I'm not that gal who uses PMS as a convenient excuse for bad behaviour. I'm that gal who despairs that the cliches that abound regarding PMS and MS and PostMS are all pretty much accurate. I get my period once every 23 days - Thank God for Vitex from the Health food shoppe - otherwise I'd be getting it every 2 weeks.
I'm pretty much out for the count for a good 36-48 hours when Auntie Flow comes to visit. But what utterly galls me? I didn't begin my period, at the age of 11, having difficulties. I was crampless for years. I started to get cramps when I was around 28 years of age, so basically 17 YEARS after my period began I started feeling icky about it. Until then, it was a titch messy, but nothing to really complain about. I would recognize PMS every now and again - if I was weepy for no reason, or I was reaching for the frying pan to whack someone over the head - but it was completely manageable.
Since having kids - it's became bad. So bad that I'm out of my head stoned on medication for the first two days bad. The urban myth is that after you have kids, you get all regular and it's less painful and tidy... and it's all BULLSHIT! I napped for three hours today - my anti-inflammatory and the 2 Extra-Strength Tylenol that I took to combat the pain most probably shouldn't be taken together and I was in a near-coma state. Last night, in bed, David read to me as I quietly sobbed holding the heating pad against my tummy, praying desperately for the pills to kick in. What the POOH!?! Is this a by-product of my peri-freaking-menopause??
I recently read this article in Maclean's that talked about how there isn't enough adequate medical testing done on women. Like most of the sample groups for breast cancer used to be done on dudes kind of medical testing. What the?!? I talk with my girlfriends who have had kids and not one of them has a zip-zop, quick, no muss, no fuss period. They have the 'having to use three tampons in your hooha at the same time' periods.
WARNING GRAPHIC INFORMATION FOLLOWS:
I started using the Diva Cup instead of tampons a couple of years ago. Yessiree - I'm folding and inserting a reusable blood receptacle. Okay, brief tangent! When one is using the Diva Cup at home, it is very easy to deal with the emptying and cleaning of it. You empty it into the toilet, you reach over to the sink and you rinse it out, you re-insert. When one is in a public washroom, you really can't get to the sink to do the rinsing part. Therefore you have to empty it and then re-insert it without the rinsing. Thing is? Blood makes the Diva Cup somewhat slippery. There have been occasions while in a public washroom, where I was concerned that while trying to fold the sucker and reinsert it, it might fly out of my hands and bink-bonk around the stall - careening off the walls not unlike a ball in a pinball machine, leaving some sort of Jackson Pollack crime scene in the stall.
The great thing about the Diva Cup is that I can now accurately measure how much blood I am losing. It is sometimes 120 - 180 ml. According to the menstrual experts, the 'average' blood flow during your period is supposed to be between 30-45 ml. And I want to ask - WHO are they talking to?? Because, when I talk to my friends, they seem to be bleeding just as much as I am. Where does this so-called average come from? From young adolescents who aren't regular yet? I lose so much blood, David brings me random glasses of water to rehydrate me during those first two days and watches me with the same look that is usually reserved for my bad angina. Like he's waiting for me to pass out at any second.
I hate acting the frail little flower of a woman, because that just isn't me. I ain't that girl. And yet for the first two days during my period, I am at the mercy of my hormones. I am indeed that weepy, achy, overly-medicated woman who wanders around in her jammies and bathrobe with a hot water bottle sobbing.
Thank God it's only 2 of every 23 days! On the third day of my period, I return. The real me. The me who thinks that writing 5 pages is completely doable. The me who has enough energy to take the vacuum up to the 3rd floor. The me who isn't stoned. I once again become a participating member of the family! I write lucidly! I take chicken out of the freezer the night before! I can and will strip a piece of furniture... As God is my witness the next 21 days will be productive!!!