Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pre Murder Syndrome

Just a little FYI to my sistas suffering from PMS. When you reach your thirtysomethings, beware.  'The Change' from pre-menstrual to pre-murder will sneak up on you.

In high school PMS presented itself as a general bad mood that lasted  a few days and ended with cramps that put me in the fetal position. 45 months of pregnancy, 30 months of nursing and at least 162 lady cycles later, something changed.

I woke up one morning and just didn't feel like getting out of bed. Coffee had lost its punch, I decided work could be put off til tomorrow. I felt subdued with no urgency to accomplish the slightest task. In groups I started to withdraw. I believed it was because I was just tired or absorbed in my profound thoughts. The next few days I would grow more on edge. I'd notice how much everyone in the world was so husband, kids, small appliances. If I caught anybody engaged in a pet peeve I passive-aggressively deemed our relationship over. Then I started to bloat, become narcoleptic and crave cake batter. I didn't want to cook so I'd defer to fast food, willfully clogging my family's arteries for dinner. When I scanned the house I pessimistically noticed everything that needed to be done; the cabinets coming unhinged, the food avalanche on the pantry floor, the tsunami of dirty laundry consuming the clean clothes, the baby quilt I started for Audrey six years ago.  Month after month I was demoralized by the indisputable evidence that I'd failed at being a mediocre mom and housewife. 

Then, I'd snap. 

"Stop burning a hole through me with your laser beam star trek vision!...Everyone get out. Get OUT! GET OUT!!!... Fine, If you're not gonna clean, I'm going to my room and YOU can entertain the company" (said to husband while he was cooking dinner).  Or, I'd cry.  It could be at anything...the news, cleaning the litter box, email spam (I don't cry so it's a reliable sign I've cracked).

At some point I'd start muttering substitute expletives and become completely convinced my marriage was a jail sentence, my kids were chaos incarnate, my house was a ramshackle, my clothes were rags, my face was a mountain range and I sing like a kazoo. But  I managed to push through it. Sometimes I'd go to the neighbors and drink her cokes. Sometimes I'd have coffee and eat warm brownie dough, like I am doing now.

But then I'd wake up with a telltale headache and  know labor like cramps would be upon me within 24 hours followed by cursed Aunt Flo.  And I'd remember, Oh silly, you were  just having hormones!

This pattern continued for at least a year before I caught on. 
 I finally went to the doctor.  I begged for a cocktail of anti depressants, Vicodin, and Tetracycline. Unfortunately he diagnosed me as 'normal' and suggested I get back on the pill to regulate things. So I did. It might have resolved my issues but I kept forgetting to take them which threw my cycle into another tailspin. I'm just not the regimented type.                 

It's been about four years since the new developments in my cycle surfaced and I've learned to manage them on my own. I'll warn my family if I start to notice the symptoms.  Though the signs were unfamiliar and not easy for me to detect at first, I still don't usually notice the shift until I've insulted someone and they call me out.  If its too late, I  just apologize, a lot.


Christina said...

LOL! This made me laugh. That explains why Jeff was reluctant to go home. Just come over and we'll make cookies :)

Heather said...

This was hilarious Lisa... actually following your online rants because of this... ;) I thoroughly enjoyed it... however completely reject PMS altogether .. Exercise keeps it at bay.. :D

Anonymous said...

I first read this as "Pie Murder Syndrom" and thought to myself, "mmmmm.... I love to murder pies.... with my mouth... especially blueberry ones".

But all pies aside (ooey-gooey ones in particular), well written. I laughed. A lot. Not at you, but with you, as the saying goes.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the 'couragement guys:) Glad you like it...*phew*

kym said...

I relate on a level I hope very few understand. I have such PMS from hell that it has its own name: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. And before anyone dare say PMDD was invented by Eli Lilly to sell Sarafem, I invite you to walk one (and it will only take ONE) cycle in my hormonal heels.

My doctor too put me on the pill at first, in fact several different kinds. It made things SO MUCH WORSE! After years of cycling through all of the feelings you describe for half of every month (my PMDD symptoms start on Day 14), I acquiesed and tried a low dose antidepressant. And OH MY WORD, that changed my life (and the lives of my husband, children and people who drive near me).

Now instead of 2 weeks of PMS symptoms, I have a day or two. And part of our family lore are things like: "The baked potato incident", "The where is my ginger root incident", "The glad Mom is a bad shot and missed Dad's head with those keys incident."

And this is why I am the only woman in the world to look forward to menopause.

Thank you for sharing. Although its usually a punchline, PMS/PMDD is not funny when you're in the middle of its tempestuous talons.