Thursday, February 10, 2005
Ladies -- What Day Is It?
Caution: Pull back your toes... I'm about to step on them. I have recently addressed the issue of Drama Queens. The next obvious question is: are they learning it from you? Do you warn everyone to "stay away" during your PMS days? Do you escalate minor events to cataclysmic proportions during certain times of the month? Can everyone (including the mail carrier) tell when that time has arrived, based solely on the tension level around your house?
Take a personal "inventory" -- if you have no legitimate reason for feeling angry or sad or tense, then take a look at the calendar: what day is it? Is that the reason for your emotional overload? If so, then swallow hard and get on with life. It is not your family's fault that your cycle has cycled around again, so do not inflict punishment on them for nature's timing. Besides -- you do not need the extra guilt from mistreating the people you love most.
Realizing why I felt the way I felt (when I knew good and well there was no substantial reason for the emotions) always made it easier for me to ignore the monthly symptoms and get back to feeling like myself again. Time after time, I would find myself getting extremely upset over absolutely nothing. I could become so jittery that I felt my clothing would wear out from the inside. Other times, the most innocent comment from my husband would put me near tears. Time to check the calendar. Sure enough -- the weeks had rolled by again, and I needed to get myself under control. On the odd day that simply acknowledging the cause did not dismiss the symptoms, I could take a couple of Tylenol and soon be feeling relatively normal again.
Experiment with your diet -- an allergist once told me that we often crave the foods that we are sensitive to and should stay far away from. If you find yourself craving certain foods at certain times, monitor how your body reacts to those foods. Next month, try avoiding the object of your cravings and see if it makes a significant difference in how you feel. Sugar is the primary thing I avoid for a few days each month, just before my cycle begins and continuing for the first few days, to eliminate cramping. After many months of trial and (ouch) error, I discovered the precise timing and diet combination to give me symptom-free days. (Quite a change from being incapacitated for 2 days each month!) Natural sweeteners, such as honey or fruit juices, cause me no problems and can fulfill my sweet-craving needs without causing distress. For other women, salt is the culprit. You will have a good idea of what to start monitoring based on what you find yourself craving.
A friend with several sons was thrilled to finally get a daughter, but then lamented that the menfolk would eventually have to "put up with two of us." She held to a theory that all the women in a household will automatically shift their cycles to concur with each other. I have never experienced that -- and I came from a family full of girls and had several female roommates during college. Old wives' tales are often just that and nothing more.
Once my dietary complexities had been wrangled into submission and my calendar had revealed its secrets, my days could continue one after another with wonderful consistency. No one has ever blamed me for being a PMS-witch, or even suspected where I was, cycle-wise. My husband recently commented that I am the most even-keeled woman he has ever known -- and now you all know my secret.
Posted by Carolyn M @ 9:08 AM |