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.