Don’t glaze over – this won’t be too bad once we get past the embarrassing bit. Let’s face it, menstruation is just part of life, and something everyone needs to get on with. The actual period bit isn’t so much of an issue, really – its just biology; and easy enough to cope with, but I thought it would be worth sharing my ‘Thursday experience’, so that others who might have a similar experience can share, and those who have absolutely no experience at all, can try to understand a little.
The concept of PMT is a comedian’s dream. There are so many gags you can get out of the stereotypical stressed-out maniac who will snap at the slightest thing and start stabbing people. In my experience women like this don’t really exist. For me, the 24 hours before my period is the time when I start to lose my spatial awareness and start crashing into things – yes literally! I’ve got the bruises to prove it! – and is the time when the headache starts. Its the kind of headache you get with a hangover. Everything seems slightly too loud, too fast, too busy. I want people to be quiet and leave me alone. I just want to sleep, but I know that sleep won’t cure this particular hangover feeling.
Next day (which for me is always a Thursday) I will wake up feeling like I have the flu and a hangover at once. I have a fuzzy, woolly head that feels like I’m dehydrated, but no amount of water will fix it. My limbs are heavy and difficult to co-ordinate and I feel a little dizzy. I know I must get up for work, but on such Thursday mornings, I always wonder how on earth I’m ever going to get up and go to work. But I always do. I feel vaguely nauseous, light-headed and incredibly tired. My thoughts seem slower on such Thursdays, and I ache all over. I feel bruised, like I’ve been run-over. I’m much more likely to cry at anything – especially if I stub my toe or walk into the door frame. Making complex decisions is a real struggle. I battle on. Very soon the stomach cramps will start, and I’ll need the painkillers, but I won’t let this stop me from getting on with things, even though I’d love to give in and just sleep, I mustn’t. So I regularly take ibuprofen, perhaps interspersed with paracetamol or even aspirin, and put on a brave face. No-one knows I feel like crap. Keep similing. No-one wants to know, anyway.
Still, it will only be a few hours of hell. Normally by tea-time I start to feel better. By Friday I’ll be OK again.
Its awful. But its a fact of life.