Monday, February 11, 2013

Hell Week: PMDD Revisited

I've been dealing with a huge hormone roller coaster over the past year. My cycle's been ignoring the moon and the calendar and my desperate pleas for sanity for more than a year. The highlights were my first extra-long cycle, during which I took no less than four pregnancy tests; hot flashes that sent me to my GP to get my FSH (female sex hormone? maybe) tested. Turns out I'm not in early peri-menopause and have no real idea why my body went nuts.

However, the past few months my cycle has regulated, and brought with it the extreme PMDD that I thought I'd escaped when my uterus lost all sense of rhythm. PMDD is a sneaky bitch.

So let me tell you about this month's Hell Week. It kicked off with my walking into the studio, which bleaders know as my entropic walk-in closet room which is layered over, under, and between actual art supplies. When I walked in, I saw this:

This would be a huge hole in the ceiling plaster hovering threateningly
above every journal I've used since age sixteen.
That caused an angst-avalanche because that side of the room was physically unreachable. Also, I'm not cleared for bending or lifting. I cleared a path anydamnway because those are my journals. Then I was deeply wiped out and skipped the WV Creatives meeting, which was supposed to be a sanity-making thing reconnecting me with things outside my bed and/or computer.

Meanwhile, my breasts hurt like a pregnant woman (not a possibility, and I'll get into that in a moment) and my face did this:

Selfie with zits. You're welcome?
And while I waited for the Red Demon to purge herself from me, I cried. A LOT. Mostly, I like to cry during hormone peaks about my sad little uterus that won't get to grow anymore babies, despite the fact that in my brain-part I know that I would have the most uncomfortable gestation I can imagine and that the stress of a diaper-clad screaming person into my family would make our collective minds explode. But that's what PMDD brain does: It turns me into a womb-crazed person who's extra annoyed because it feels disturbingly anti-feminist to be weeping about eggs with an expiration date when getting them fertilized would thoroughly break my ass.

My disclaimer here is that I have for reals, medically diagnosed, weapons-grade PMDD. I'm not a poster child for "a woman in the White House would be irrational and unstable. Girls CRY!!!" It's idiotic to even write that but we've all heard guys sincerely argue this. And if they argue this during Hell Week I usually slash their tires and bash in their wind shields.

So I should probably get it under control again, yeah?

I'm going to tackle my diet. The success before when I eliminated soy and dairy is inspiring me. Oddly, I saw a post about cycle-related breast tenderness that said to add soy, that it would flush out the built-up estrogen. That sounds crazy to me- but I'm not an endocrinologist. In my body, eliminating soy was a great thing. So I'm on the soy-free wagon.

Another word about Hell Week- I had a discussion with Lissa Rankin, MD years ago about using more positive terminology, and she wrote this post at Owning Pink with my art & my dilemma paraphrased a bit. "Rebranding" was a cool idea, but I'm a weird one. I like the idea and the sound of Hell Week. (Stay with me- I'm going to the goofy place.) It reminds me of Buffy's Hellmouth, and that in turn reminds me of righteous demon slaying woman power. It pleases me to speak of Hell Week, and in case you're curious, we call my actual period Red Tent Week. I'm very asexual then, and I'd happily segregate myself with other bleeding ladies if I could. Maybe some chanting priestesses and herbal tea.

And a chocolate fountain.

Righteous Demon Slaying Woman Power
via Fanpop's collage-making goodness. 

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