Category Archives: PMS

An immenses conversation

On the way back from the beach yesterday.  Two moms on the front seat, two teenage kids at the back.

Kids singing some random song, completely out of tune and loud.

Mom1:  Can you please tone it down a little?  Mom 2 and I are trying to have a conversation.

Kids’ ears flap.  Moms’ conversation, they are sure, would be something they can crib about later.  E.g. “moms don’t know how to have fun, you know?”. “Moms are so jealous of anyone who has fun, that they have to get on our case if we laugh ” . (Actual quotes we have overheard in the past few days).

Mom 2:  I haven’t gotten my periods in three months now. I wonder if I have menopaused.

Mom1:  Lucky you.   You can set the calendar by me.

Mom 2:  I wonder if I am really that lucky.  Maybe when it comes, it will finally kill me.

Mom 1: More likely.  At least, when you are dead, you won’t get periods anymore.

Mom 2:  I am not sure.  My ghost will probably get PMS.

Kid 1: May be we are better off singing.

Mom 2:  Don’t behave like you guys don’t know what we are talking about.  Especially considering how crabby you guys get before your period.

Mom 1:  You know how they throw parties and have celebrations for menarche*?  We must have a celebration for menopause you know..makes more sense.

Mom 2: What do you mean we must have a celebration for menopause?  We must have a kick-ass party.  You know, invite all menopausal/perimenopausal women, have a big feast, dancing, singing, new clothes, drinking..the works.

Mom 1:  And banners.  “Take that, uterus”.

Mom 2: “Die, ovaries”

Mom 1:  “Hormones to hell”

Mom 2:  “Vale, vaginal vagaries”

Mom 1:  “Cheerio Cramps”

Kid 2:  You know how moms think we are crazy?…

Mom 2:  And we can have a cake shaped like uterus.

Mom 1: With red icing

Mom 2:  And not cut it, but each of us gets a knife and stabs it

The kids are stunned to silence until we reach home.

Later in the night, mom 1 gets a message from mom2: “Got my P :(”

Mom 1:  What?  No party then?

Mom 2:  More time to plan.

What can I say?  We are glass-half-full people.

* In India, a girl’s menarche is traditionally celebrated on a grand scale – feasting and all.  It still is among many families.

Edited to add:  A dear cousin wrote back saying “why so much hatred for the uterus?  Without it, you two would not have had your kids”.  I feel partly combative, but also bad.  Thirty odd years of pain and PMS shebang (the other mom in this conversation faints every period with pain, and I go through dark mental periods every month) seems like a steep price to pay for reproduction, considering that the other half of the procreationist gets away scott free.  That said, I’d face any pain all over again, and again, and all my life, for my kid. If I have inadvertently hurt anyone by this post, I am sorry. I considered deleting this post, but realised that that would be escapist.  I own these thoughts. They may be wrong, but they are mine.

 

 

And the crappy weekend begins..

…with a hormone-sourced migraine and intense palpitations.  Will there ever be an end to this hormonal see-saw every month?  It seems so unfair that for an activity that needs two genders – procreation – one pays a price every month for decades and the other gets away scot free. If there is a creationist God, he is definitely male.

The vote-of-confidence is at 11 AM in our state assembly.  You may keep your hand on the flush lever on the ready and drain our state down the sewer at 11 IST, because that’s where we are going to belong for the next four years of our miserable lives.

I am gearing up for a painful personal meeting in the afternoon.  Not a good day to be PMSsing.

The one good (?!) PMS reaction for today was sobbing at the video posted by Carol.

If there is a single nice thing about being a woman, I am missing it.

Navel gazing

This would probably turn out to be a self-absorbed, nay, self-obsessed post, but it is being written to clarify the muddled head.  It could also be a bare-all kind of post, so consider this fair warning.

My gynaecologist, who is also a very good friend, once told me there is a superstition in the medical community that all emergencies come in three’s – the day she told me, she had to tackle two cases of rather rare ectopic pregnancy and was afraid of a third within the next few days.  Since then, I start looking for threes of bad news too, especially within healthcare, it has become a bit of an obsession with me.

Two weeks back, my uncle-through-marriage (79 years old) was diagnosed with prostrate cancer, needing surgery, radiation and the works.  A couple of days later, my neighbour cried to me about her mother’s newly diagnosed stomach cancer, followed by a strenuous surgery and the works.  I am tight-wound since then for a third announcement of the stupid monster that can’t seem to be killed no matter how advanced medicine has grown.

Last week, a distant cousin and childhood playmate of mine, called to say that her father is in deep dementia/Alzheimer, can’t remember anything, even peeing, and is on catheter.  It gave my stomach quite a turn because this distant uncle of mine was a terror when I was growing up – dynamic, authoritative and what not.  I can’t even imagine him as being a baby, as she says he is.

A couple of days later, my father’s brother (80) had a dementia-induced nervous breakdown. I would rather not go into the details of the breakdown more because it is exhausting to even recollect it, but he still continues to be like a cat on a  sanity-insanity wall, ready to jump to either side at will.  We take him to the psychiatrist today, who will prescribe medicines, I am sure.  But knowing his tempramentallity, and my aunt not taking anything seriously, I wonder if the medicines would even be consumed – we can only lead the horse to the water.

I wonder if there will be a third case of dementia.

But that is not the fear I have – at least not the main fear.  A nagging doubt that has been doing its rounds in my head is this – have I inherited the insanity gene, that seems to fly around in my paternal family?  In each generation, I know at least of someone who has gone completely off the rocker – at some stage of their life or another.  My great grand mother was supposedly prone to hysteria that she had to be locked up.  My grand aunt was also hysteric, it seems.  My uncle seems to be on the way to going raving mad.  My father refuses medical help for his depression. Another uncle lived and died with Parkinson’s. I have a cousin, in whom, I can see shades of insanity – he already has the beginnings of persecution complex and it scares me to talk to him.

Considering that my PMS mood swings (they no longer swing, they seem permanently in the high of anxiety) last longer (they start with ovulation and last until aunt flo visits), could I be the next manifestation of the madness? The most disturbing thing for me is that as I see/hear of all the mad things my uncle has been doing this past week , I can actually understand what was going on in his head.  I can often feel that restlessness and confusion in my head too , I merely don’t translate them into action, like he did on that day.  How long before the walls that separate thoughts from intention and action break down?

I have a very good control over my actions now – even when I am seeing red, I can smile like there are daisies inside my head.  Now and then I yell (especially nearing aunt flo) at the kid for something trivial.  But I do feel a lot of anger, worry, anxiety, and fear inside, even if I don’t show them out.  Is that the start of the madness, which will finally come out when the veneer of civility breaks down?  Would I also breakdown and cry and laugh hysterically the next minute, and pace up and down the house like a caged panther, the way my uncle did?

Or as usual, am I overthinking this?  That everyone has thoughts and emotions cruising through their head, and what they make of them is what separates the sane from the insane?  I read somewhere that pain is inevitable, suffering is a choice.  My meditation mentor tells me the same thing – the stomach’s function is to digest, the lung’s function is respiration, the brain’s function is to think and feel – you cannot live without them.  It is detachment from them, or being aware of them that makes the difference.

So, perhaps I am not on my way to la-la land, despite the hormones wrecking havoc inside as I type this out and there is hope for me yet. But my uncle’s breakdown is an eye opener for me.  Whether or not I have the gene, it is my choice to keep my brain healthy.  More reading, more writing, more meditation and more exercise are the only paths to take henceforth.

The buck stops with me.

Dreams, inspiration and other matters

My hormones, after kinda-sorta behaving themselves for the past couple of months, are acting up (to put it mildly) again and I am having a tough (to put it mildly) PMS season as I type this out.  I know that my anxiety is hormonal and not merely a response to some life issues that I am currently facing, because the dreams are back.  A couple of nights back, I dreamt that I was injecting a drug into a gaping, open, bloody wound in the arms of my kid. A faceless doctor insists that I must be the one to inject, and thrusts a large syringe (the kind used on cows in a farm) into my hand to be used on a gnash from which blood is gushing. As I inject the drug, the the medicine and the blood are reabsorbed into the body in what looks like a reverse video sequence, leaving an open, dry wound.  Needless to add, writing about it is making my stomach lurch.

Last night, I was in labor.  I reach the hospital to see it abandoned.  I run from room to room as contraction after contraction engulf me, and finally find a room in which my neighbour (who in the dream is a medical doctor) is sleeping on a bare wooden bench.  I wake him and he panics seeing a very pregnant woman apparently covered in blood and runs away.  And then another lady (I can’t remember who it was) comes in, calls herself a doctor, and pricks my belly with a pin.  Air hisses out of the tummy as it inflates like a punctured tire, and she sends me back home saying there is no baby, only air.

If that ain’t hormones, I’ll eat my hat.  If I have one, that is.

I have also been unable to meditate.  Instead of forcing it I am just going to give it a break until the mental violence settles a bit.

I’d do anything to be a man during these times.  At least no progesterone/estrogen see saw to mess with the head.

These are also times I am extremely grateful to a couple of my girl friends and my cousin, who hear me out without judging and offer me a vent so that I don’t explode all around and cause damage.

And my blog readers for not judging me.  Wait, you are not judging me, are you?

**

Two women have inspired me in the recent past.  One was the house guest I had around Christmas time.  She works in an IT company and is single parenting a son (husband works in a different city and visits every weekend) and described how she optimises her chores so that she is out of the house by 7.30 AM.

Another hyper-energetic friend I know from the kid’s school, is a stay at home mom, running a joint family that includes her parents-in-law, stock marketing husband, and two daughters.  Being passionate about religious literature, she finishes her home chores by the time her husband and children are out of the house (~8 AM) and spends the rest of the day working on her hobby.

Both efficient women are a stark antithesis to me.  I’d love to be like them.  But there is a large gap between intention and action.  Today, I tried completing my chores by the time the kid was out to school and managed about 90% which is 90% more than what I normally accomplish.  So, there could be hope yet.

The plus side is that my kid has taken it upon herself to wake early (6 AM, midnight to her) in order to study for her exams and finish reading the Hithhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, to which she is hooked (I am hooked to Lord of the Rings, if you must know).  This makes getting ready to school less stressful and rushed for both of us. I hope this trend continues in our household.  Although, if she is anything like me (and she is), it is just a passing phase. We both value our morning sleep too much to let mundane things like life intrude into it.

**

Did anyone watch Season 4 of the new Sherlock Holmes? Did you live to tell the tale?  Apparently I have, but barely.  Seriously, what the frack?