Posted by : Sherri Cornelius Wednesday, May 14, 2008

PMS is a huge part of my life. I've refrained from speaking of it too much for a couple of reasons. First, I know it makes some people uncomfortable to talk about bodily functions. You'll notice I also don't tell fart jokes here, even though I tell plenty in real life. Second, to dwell on it would feel like wallowing in self-pity, which I try not to do.

Over five years ago I had my huge-ass thyroid gland removed because of a few little cancer cells. Once the thyroid is gone, of course, one has to take replacement hormone every day. Forever and ever. Amen. Which means I'm chained to a doctor for regular testing.

It helps to have a doctor who actually listens to me because an imbalance in hormone can be a subtle problem, immeasurable by an outside source. Oh, sure, they have the "normal" range of values in a blood test to go by, but the range is relatively large, and the tweaking is all about how the patient feels. My old doctor wasn't good with symptoms like shortness of breath, hair falling out, feeling crazy. His best work was done when I was able to point to a lump or a rash or a sprain.

(I hate you, old doctor. Hate your pompous, self-important, making-me-suffer-for-five-years ass. I told you. I told you, mother frakker. GAH!


Thank the gods I finally have a doctor who actually listens to me.

I think this kind of "yes, dear," head-pat doctoring happens to women a LOT. I know how I feel, doc. Just because you can't find the cause doesn't mean I'm a hypochondriac. Just because I have monthly hormone fluctuations doesn't mean it's all in my head. So I'm in the "normal" range, so what? I feel like crap, doesn't that count for anything?

(My husband did it to me just last night. I've been working on my eating habits, and I mentioned that I was giving myself a little leeway since that time of the month was nigh. I said I always get hungrier, and maybe my body needed a few extra calories to get through. He said, "Sounds like an excuse to me." I replied, "A reason is not an excuse," and then I punched him in the face. Just kidding.)

After five years of being made to feel like a hypochondriac, I finally have vindication. My new doc lowered my prescription a lot, and I feel better than I have in years. I don't feel neurotic (or as Dwight so diplomatically put it, "focused"), my hair and skin are not as dry, my appetite is under control.

And the biggest deal of all hit me yesterday when I "started" with only a hint of PMS. Every month, growing worse as the years go on, my period has been telegraphed two weeks before by anger and craziness; a week before by incredible bloating; and a couple of days before by stomach problems, cramping and such. This month, I figured it must be time, but I didn't feel crazy at all. My appetite had increased a couple of days ago, I'd gained a single pound, I was sort of tired. I just figured I would be slammed soon enough with the full cocktail of my usual symptoms.

Surprise! That was it. The extent of my PMS, and I'm so relieved and happy and joyous. My love for my new doc burns with the intensity of a thousand suns. Maybe you folks don't quite understand the root of my joy, but that's okay. I feel it.

{ 12 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. I've been treated like a hypochondriac, too. I know how frustrating it is to have to deal with someone that doesn't see fit to give you the time of day because they've decided you're creating problems that don't exist, or greatly exaggerating any that do. They look you solemnly in the face, nod and dismiss. I could tell how serious I was being taken by the amount of time I spent waiting for the emergence of the doctor in the little exam rooms.

    I'm glad your doctor figured things out and didn't make you feel like an idiot in the process. I'm very, very glad you're feeling better, too.

  2. I've read all the articles about how to choose a doctor. After trying them all, I found out - they are all a lot of crap. I asked other people for their recommendations, didn't work. I checked lists of doctors recommended by my health insurance company, didn't work. I chose a woman doctor - surely she would be more sympathetic - absolutely not!
    I finally decided it's all about the luck of the draw. You can follow the guidelines the articles recommend, and then just hope for the good luck to find the right doctor. That's how I found my doc. Of course, he's not perfect, but at least he listens to me!

  3. A listening doctor? GASP! No WAY! I didn't even know you could use those words in conjunction with one another.

    Seriously though, I am so glad you're feeling better and that your meds are working for you now instead of against you. Woo for feeling normal!

    >:D< :X

  4. You tell lots of fart jokes? Well quit holdin' out on us!


  5. I must say, I'm rather shocked that four people actually read all the way to the end of this one. :)

  6. I can only speak for myself when I say I was looking for the fart joke. I'm out of material for my own blog.

  7. Sherri,

    I'm so glad you found a decent doctor! I like the doc that did my knee surgery, but the PA's that I see more often don't listen worth a crap. I'm still having a lot of pain and they act like I'm doing something wrong! It infuriates me! You must feel like you have a new lease on life. Good.

  8. It is infuriating! Here's how traumatized I was by my old doc: I've visited my new doc 3 times now (including today) and his kindness has brought tears to my eyes every time. I just can't believe he believes me!

    And guys, about those fart jokes, I have a confession to make. The "joke" is really just me laughing hysterically at every -um- incident. And that's where I'll leave it.

  9. Oh man. I understand your joy. I have dealt with some serious PMS in my life. Fortunately, ever since I had a baby, it's been a better. I hope it stays that way!!

    We have a new, young doctor that is our pediatrician plus an adult doctor. I haven't approached him with this problem, but I think (hope) he'd be a good doctor. I do like him so much.

    And I have to say that I'm glad I'm not the only one adopting language from Battlestar Gallactica. One of my favorite shows.

  10. You are describing me for TWENTY FREAKING YEARS! I kept insisting something was wrong with me and was pretty sure from teh symptoms it was thyroid problems, but until a year and a half ago, I wasn't diagnosed with the sleep apnea that was making me progressively sicker and sicker. It is a relief to have something like that solved!

    As far as PMS goes, it made my 20s and 30s hellish. Thank god for early menopause, because like you I suffered massive symptoms. Depression, mood swings, etc. All extreme. And then came menopause, which brought hormonal migraines! But I take 3 pills for those and all is good now.

  11. Oh, Wyrdd, isn't it the WORST? I think I've had hormonal imbalance my entire adult life, but I couldn't find anybody who wanted to dig a little deeper. Call me, we'll rag on our old doctors. (get it, rag?) lol

  12. I so get you. I suffered for years, not with thyroid, but the hormone thing. Finally found a doctor who would listen to me. But, I felt crazy for awhile, and even now, I do suffer some. Just not as much.~~Dee


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