Ask any woman, or teenage girl, and they’ll tell you that there are at least a couple of days out of every month where they are either making everyone around them miserable, or they’re feeling miserable because of hormones. I’ve often said that I think we can blame hormones for almost anything that’s out of whack in our lives…got pimples, hormones. Bad hair day, probably hormones. Gaining weight, hormones! Headache? Hormones! Cramps? Hormones!
These pesky little buggers cause problems during puberty, pregnancy, and then just when you think you’re getting things under control perimenopause and menopause come knocking on your door and completely knock you off balance!
I am now solidly in my mid-forties. My childbearing days are long behind me. My youngest child is 10 years old. At this point in my life I find myself thing, oh just go AWAY already! This once a month trip down insanity lane is getting old.
I had horrible, crippling cramps when I was young, then I had several years where having a period was kind of no big deal. I didn’t have any wild PMS symptoms, I didn’t have cramps. I usually lost track of when it was coming around to that time of the month and wasn’t really keeping track anyway.
Then came the years of birth control and counting the days between periods. Either in the interest of preventing pregnancy or creating one. I was blessedly regular and conceived easily both times we wanted children. I felt blessed and lucky, I had friends and family members who struggled with infertility and loss of pregnancies. My pregnancies weren’t delightful, but they weren’t the stuff they make Lifetime TV movies about either, so I was okay!
Then after I had our second child is when the hormone monster reared its ugly, ugly head. Hormone based birth control made me a crazy person. No, I see you smiling there. I was not moody. I wasn’t irritable. I was a crazy person! The type of crazy person where I could hear the crazy pouring out of my mouth but could not stop it. I could see my poor husband staring at me as if I had grown an extra head, and frankly that just made me even more mad! Poor guy, I think he probably wondered if I was going to end up in a padded room!
We finally made the decision that two children was definitely enough for us and the hormone birth control was off the table. I had my tubes tied and thought we were all in the clear…and we were, for a while!
A few years ago I realized I was beginning to be a little cranky (this is being polite, I was verging on crazy person again) every 28 days or so. I mentioned it to my doctor and she told me that people who suffered from postpartum depression are more likely to suffer from PMS and PMDD later. It all made sense! I understood why I was becoming a moody, cranky, (pardon my French) BITCH once a month! She wrote me a prescription and it helped. I could function again without feeling like I had to bite my tongue for 4-5 days every month to avoid causing permanent damage to my relationships.
This past month I ran out of that little prescription and boy did I remind myself why I need it!
So, I have the mood thing seemingly under control but hormones can’t be content with that. Now I have those disabling cramps that I started with when I was in my early teens! The type of cramps that make you want to curl up into a ball and rock while moaning faintly. The kind that wake you up in the middle of the night just to remind you how much hormones truly suck. The kind of cramps that make me sneak into that stash of Vicodin I have leftover from when I smashed my finger almost off last spring! Seriously, hormones…just take your toys and GO AWAY. My baby making days are long gone. Every month when the cramps and tension start to build I think, you know what I hear that menopause completely sucks but this part is no walk in the park either and it’s hung around long enough! It’s time to move on down the line!
No matter what phase of the hormone train you’re riding, it sucks. It’s not a fun ride! It’s a rollercoaster, but not the cool kind!