“Women’s Trouble”

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.


8 Responses to ““Women’s Trouble””

  1. 1 hoverfrog 1 August 2008 at 10:56 am

    So I should probably take this into account with my own daughters then?

  2. 2 drunkenspaniel 1 August 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Yes, probably. This is the bit no-one ever tells you about!! But I should add that not everyone will suffer like me. It does vary hugely from person to person.

  3. 3 Jason 4 August 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Just as well that we Men don’t suffer the same issues, after all, it’d be ten times worse if we did… 🙂

  4. 4 drunkenspaniel 4 August 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Jason, it would be wrong of me to comment….. But just imagine……
    And be a little sympathetic to the womenfolk.

  5. 5 Sewmouse 4 September 2008 at 7:06 pm

    One of my “symptoms” has always been about 2-days prior of what a friend described as “nesting”. I want to clean. I have oodles of energy and will start energetically cleaning out closets or behind furniture – only to have the impetus disappear the moment Mother Nature actually arrives.

    I also get insomnia. Which turns into narcolepsy-ish behavior the next day.

  6. 6 drunkenspaniel 4 September 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing Sewmouse. These are the things they never tell you about in the little advisory pamphlets…. ;o)

  7. 7 Rosy 5 September 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Yurr… like Sewmouse, I get nesting behaviour. It’s sometimes terrifically useful, especially when the house is a total state.
    And I get obsessively keen to have A Plan, whether it’s for what I’m going to do at the weekend, or what we’re going to have for dinner. And I get angry when people deviate from whatever plan I’ve cooked up.
    And I get fits of total self-loathing, whatever I (think I’ve) done wrong makes me a bad person, and nothing will ever go right again.

    Usually once I’ve figured out what’s happening I can cope with it, because I’ve learnt to apply a sort of damper to my feelings when I realise they’re being mucked about by my hormones… but this is all complicated by the fact that despite the fact I’m 26 tomorrow, my period has only ever been regular to within 3 days either way when I was on the pill (and I had to come off that because it put my blood pressure up, sigh).

    Then when the Blood Everywhere stage hits I start having to set an alarm clock to wake me up in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep with a towel (never could) and they don’t sell tampax big enough (I have a coil because of not being able to go back on the pill). I usually get hideous back pain to go with, but this month having just got back from a week’s holiday hiking in the alps I haven’t. Which is nice. I think I need to take up some sport again…

    My boyfriend is a total saint for putting up with me.

  8. 8 drunkenspaniel 5 September 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks Rosy – nice of you to drop in!
    You didn’t leave a blog-link, do you have one?

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