Monday, September 18, 2017

So now let us speak of something awkward

You know how I wind up writing about stuff that most people don't talk about in polite company because I really need to talk about it?

Now I need to talk about perimenopause. I do

I hate it.

There are going to be words like boobs and period and such.

And now you've been warned.

Perimenopause, which I guess is also called premenopause, for those who don't know, and until recently I didn't, is the period (heh) of time leading up to menopause during which your reproductive hormones begin to decline. This can be a short number of years or a decade, as I understand it.

Hormones are tricksy, and everything affects everything, and you might have very few symptoms or your experience might be extreme. You just don't know until you're in it.

And even when you're in it, month to month you don't necessarily know. Which, for me, makes it not unlike depression.

Several months ago, I thought my antidepressant wasn't working, or that maybe the dosage needed tweaking. Because I couldn't stand anyone in my family.

Nick would walk toward me and I'd think, "Come closer. SO I CAN KICK YOU."

The kids and my mom would do things that my kids and my mom do. Like eat breakfast. And I would think, "OH MY GOD THEY'RE SO ANNOYING."

I snapped and snarled at all of them. I had no patience.

This continued for some days and I was about to reach out to my shrink and ask him for help. And then I got my period. Immediately, much like Dorothy landing in Oz, the world became bright and happy again.

In retrospect, I have always reacted extremely to hormones. What can I say? I'm a delicate flower.

I was raised believing condoms were the answer to most of the world's problems. Not everyone is in agreement, and I had several stints on hormonal birth control. I turned into a raging lunatic. Crying easily, angry, completely irrational. All the time.

Basically when I think about it, it combined all the difficult parts of being me, but taken to extremes.

Like pregnancy. I was a crazypants during pregnancy.

Now it's moot. (Snip snip!)

For years, coasting on my own hormones, I've had a pretty even cycle. Sometimes I'd have PMS and my boobs would get very sore, and I would get mad at them. But still, it didn't last. But it was generally brief, as were my periods.

And on a related note, India calls it my pyramid. "Do you have your pyramid, Mama?"

She also learned about period undies when one day she said, "Don't put those on! They're dirty!" I know, I know, this is a horrifying topic. I told you.

I do have some fear that she's taken this information to school, but what are you doing to do? Her mama has pyramid undies. At least it's true. (Unlike the time she told her class that for time out we put her in the bathroom after Nick poops.)

But now. Now I have PMS on steroids. My boobs are so sore. I extra hate everyone. I eat so much sugar and junk food.

After the kids went to bed last night, this is what I had for dinner. Gelato and Cheez-Its.

Horror. I know.
And I know it doesn't help. In fact, I know it does the opposite of helping. I KNOW.

What I don't know is when this annoying ride it will end. It's not consistent month to month.

It's kind of like being in one of those horrible carnival mirror houses where this one makes you short and wide and this one makes you taller and this one makes you upside down and this one makes three of you but there's only actually half of each of you so I guess one-point-five and where the fuck is the exit?

And this misery could end in a minute, or tomorrow, or next Friday. Your guess is as good as mine.

This morning Nick called and I guess I snapped at him because he said, "I really wish your period would start."

And I snarled, "Just imagine BEING ME right now."

Also, hand me those Cheez-Its and come over here so I can kick you.


  1. Guess what? Once your "pyramids" end forever, YOU DO NOT MISS THEM! If I happen to see a feminine hygiene product in the store, I'm like, huh, don't need THOSE anymore!! One of the blessings of getting older :)

    1. I believe you--totally don't think I'll miss them. Has your body changed?

  2. Pre-menopause is rough. Then comes her big bad sister menopause, which for me, lasted 10 years. The good news is that for some people, menopause is a breeze. For others like myself, it was a cacophony of sleepless nights, being hot and sweaty all of the time, night sweats and mood extremes. On the bright side, almost a year after it has ended, all of those symptoms including the "pyramids" are gone now and I feel pretty awesome. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

    1. Kate! I didn't realize that menopause could also be an ordeal! Oh my gosh. WHY don't women talk about this? This post has sparked huge discussion on my FB page. We need this info! We need to share our experiences!!! Thank you!

  3. You crack me up. Thank you for that. Looking back, I think my entire history 2007 - 2013 were pre-menopause. My poor family. I'm still apologizing. And then it all just stopped except for the massive consumption of carbs which is just me. It took me a while to quit waiting for the other shoe of horrid symptoms to drop.

    1. Oh, Lisa. That actually makes a lot of sense. I can totally see it. How awful to be waiting and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Big hugs.


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