Normalcy Is Not For Me!

14 Jan

I am a non-conformist, right down to my lady parts.  In high school, I never knew when my period would appear, how long it would last, or just how bad it would be.  I would go MONTHS without it sometimes. Fortunately, I wasn’t sexually active, so there was no fear of becoming a teen mom.  But that fear absent, there was no motivation to help me to learn about my body and why it misbehaved so.

The moment my father put me on birth control was after I needed him to help me put on my socks and shoes before school in the morning for 3 months because I had this back pain so intense that I couldn’t touch my feet.  I didn’t know what I had done to myself.  I protested gym class all the time, I wasn’t an athlete, what the hell did I do?  Well, my period started and I was magically able to touch my toes again without even the slightest of aches.

The pill solved some of my physical complaints and regulated my cycle, but it wasn’t the cure-all.  In college, I thought the depression I had stemmed from having chosen a crappy school; that classes were what caused all my stress, and some of my less charming personality traits were born out of that stress.  I eventually found a magical doctor (magical in that he actually listened and was able to think outside the box) and he prescribed 10mg of Prozac daily.  Gone were my crying spells, my mood swings, my feelings of being a nutter.  After a couple of successful months of this low dose of the drug (people with depression are given 20+mg a day) he determined I had PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

Symptoms

The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS. However, they are generally more severe and debilitating and include a least one mood-related symptom. Symptoms occur during the week just before menstrual bleeding and usually improve within a few days after the period starts.

Five or more of the following symptoms must be present to diagnose PMDD, including one mood-related symptom:

  • Disinterest in daily activities and relationships
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Feeling of sadness or hopelessness, possible suicidal thoughts
  • Feelings of tension or anxiety
  • Feeling out of control
  • Food cravings or binge eating
  • Mood swings marked by periods of teariness
  • Panic attack
  • Persistent irritability or anger that affects other people
  • Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
  • Problems sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating

I dutifully took my BC and my Prozac and became a functioning member of society.  I achieved balance, and was better equipped to handle stress and inconveniences.  It was amazing.  Gone were the days of temper tantrums that left me feeling guilty, ashamed, and out of control. I had the tools I needed to grow up.

 

zen_monk

 

Well, here we are, my first unmedicated cycle.  No more calming chemical improvements.  I am now subject to the whims of my disorder and prisoner to my uncontrolled mood swings. Things went well until right after ovulation. Then I had fatigue, I could have hibernated if I had the opportunity. The internet soothed by fears by telling me that my progesterone levels are increased and that’ll make a gal sleepy.  I figured that I didn’t recognize this because I had so rarely ovulated in the last decade.  But things continued to go down hill.  I speculated that since every member of the family I work for, and my own dear husband (DH on TTC boards) had H3N2, I was probably getting the killer flu as well.  I had headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, etc. I couldn’t function. I just didn’t have the high fever and chills.

As my period didn’t come and didn’t come and all the pregnancy tests I took were negative, I began to worry about the endless luteal phase of doom.  That would mean I would ovulate only 4 times a year.  The internet did nothing to mollify me this time.  Every page on irregular periods wants you to test for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (last year I had month-long periods from the Implanon so I had already had ultrasounds inside and out).  Pages would say things like:

it is very important to clear out the old blood and establish a healthy cycle again.

Derp.  This is my natural setting.  I don’t get “healthy” cycles. Without advice or consolation, I just waited for my period to come.  And waited and waited. By 230AM Sunday, I had experienced EVERY SYMPTOM on that list.  My poor poor husband.  I turned to facebook (complete with a TMI warning for family) and had an outpouring of support. My husband and I determined we would try specialized vitamins FertilityBlend which contains supplements that also improve regularity like Vitex and Dong Quai, as well as supplements to promote ovulation.

My stress faded and I got the first full night of sleep in days.  What would have been day 34 of my cycle, became day 1 when Aunt Flo decided to stop by after all. My hope is restored, as I could ovulate as many as 8 times this year (still not a good as 12 times a year, but a big improvement over 4), but I won’t know until I have a few more cycles.  It is time to learn about charting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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