I hope this story from Karen can be an encouragement to you. She emailed me and I asked her permission to post her story. I've changed her name to Karen, just for privacy, and the photo is there simply to let you know that real people are going through the same thing. Thank you Karen for sharing with us.
What do I dread most? It is not tax time, a visit to the gynecologist, or even the dentist! It is that time of the month when Premenstrual Syndrome strikes me. Actually, not only is it a time that I dread, my family dreads it just as much as I do.
I have suffered since my early twenties with PMS. So for nearly nineteen years I have had the “pleasure” of the anticipating my monthly “visitor” fondly nicknamed by my family as Uncle Cranky. My PMS symptoms usually hit me about ten days before my menstrual cycle starts and they are usually pretty severe. My PMS symptoms include:
- Raging hormones/Mood swings- I will start crying for no apparent reason, then in the next moment be a nasty, relentless shrew. Usually my poor, loving husband bears the brunt of my moods. Sometimes, I will be very amorous and this is when he benefits.
- Extreme tenderness- My breasts become so tender to the touch that even wearing a bra is pure torture.
- Cramping-My stomach starts cramping so sharply that I end up doubled over. This is one symptom that will usually last until that last few days of my menstrual cycle.
- Sometimes the pain will radiate around to my lower back too.
- Bloating-My normal size eight pants do not fit me during this time. I usually end up in sweats and my husband’s t-shirts.
- Migraines-Usually just before my cycle hits, I will get migraines that knock me to my knees and make me nauseous.
- Chocolate cravings-Most women get these cravings during or after their cycles, not me. I get my ravenous cravings for chocolate during my PMS time.
What I usually end up doing when the symptoms start to hit me is first off warn my family. My husband already is prepared because he actually has it marked in his personal calendar, but the younger members have not quite caught on yet.
Next, I make sure that my supply of ibuprofen is full. I usually end up taking 800 milligrams two times a day to help alleviate the cramping and headaches. I have tried the over the counter medicines like Pamprin and Midol, but they were of no help to me.
I also make sure that I have my favorite chocolate on hand. I am not typically a person who eats a lot of chocolate, but during my PMS time frame it is not unusual for me to devour a bag of Dove Milk Chocolates.
As far as for the rest of the symptoms, I make sure that I have my alone time. I will sometimes retire to my bedroom, grab the heating pad and an extra pillow and curl up, or I will go for a walk which helps to minimize the cramping and my mood swings. From what I heard, the walking increases the endorphin levels and acts like a natural pain reliever.
While my PMS symptoms and what I do to minimize my suffering may not be effective for all women, I am positive that at least a few of you out there know what I am talking about.