Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Lord Bless My PMS

Well, I said this blog would be the perfect and the imperfect. The following is a large dose of "im".
Today was a day I want to forget. If God works for good, I gave him plenty to work with, and that grieves me.
PMS and the homeschooling mom have to be two of the worst combinations on the planet. Usually it's not to bad, but every few months it's absolutely horrible and I feel like I barely survive it (it is now known as PMDD, and I would suggest you read up if you feel nutts about every three months or if you have it this severe every time. Remember that being aware of what you're body is going through will help you know how to prepare. I am personally not one for medication but I can clear my slate ahead of time or at least that is what I'm learning I really need to do). I don't know if it's because we get older, or because it increases with multiple births, but since Superkid it has been harder.
I was very encouraged about a year a go by a Family Life Episode I listened to that talked about this issue. I'm not remembering who the speaker was, but it was a lady (My hard drive is telling me it was Martha Peace the author of "The Excellent Wife") which made me feel better. (I also use to assume that PMS meant the pain and moodiness you have during your cycle, duh? I should have realized the "pre" meant something. She made me feel better by explaining that it can occur five to ten days before your period starts) She explained that your brain actually does swell physically and that makes it harder to think and deal with normal every day things. I was relieved to know there was a reason for my madness. I began to think I should prepare better to down shift during those times. However, the strange thing is, I always forget to plan ahead and the opposite happens. It comes on a day when ... well.. let me just give you a picture of what I woke up to today....
Yesterday was bible study and Rick had been home sick this past weekend so I did not get much housework done. So, I did some school with the kids but had to leave early enough to get some errands one before the study. We managed to unload the dishes before leaving ..That was it.
So, this morning my counters were covered with a very indefinite line between yesterdays clean unloaded dishes and yesterdays all day of dirties. The counter behind me had scraps from making the rest of the dinner when we got home at near six pm, and salsa had been left out and open so you can imagine the lovely onion smell through the house added to the nachos for dinner dish pile. I had gone to bed at 8pm! Remember that I'm a night person, I don't go to bed at 8. Still, I was about to fall over and sleep anywhere if I didn't. That was warning sigh number one, and I should have taken more heed.
Back to the scene...
Lilo had made three "tents" in the living room the day before and remnants were still all over the place. The few TJ's groceries (not perishable) were on my kitchen table, along with the text books, pencils and notebooks from school the day before, accented with some yummy plates from lunch. Each kids room was covered with toys, pop-beads, clean laundry, dirty laundry, hand-me-downs' that needed to be decided upon, and all manner of clutter. My room had two brown wicker chairs filled to overflowing with clean laundry that had been moved from the bed to the chairs, from the chairs to the bed, and back to the chairs more times than I want to count all week. There are final piles of things that need to go out to the shed from Christmas or whatever and a huge tack board that we removed from the girl’s room that I have not figured out what to do with. That has clean laundry draped over it too.
Anyway....enough with all that.
I walked my hour on the treadmill thinking that and a good quiet time would help me with the day. (I have blogged about this before on my old site about my tendency to think that a quiet time is my right of passage to a good day. My thinking is wrong and yet I seem destined t repeat it.)
I don't want to go into the ugly details of how the day unfolded, you don't want to hear and I've all ready re-lived it once with my husband when he asked what had happened that put me in such tears. If I could sum it up it would be a constant repeating pattern of me telling the kids they needed to do something and them in a constant pattern of forgetting or loosing focus every one to three minutes, or sighing and claiming great tiredness when asked to help. It ended with me crying through most of my own chores through the afternoon, two trips to my room to cry out to God and just sob, and a sore nose from crying and blowing.
In our bible study we have been searching what it means to trust God. To know that he is sovereign and want's us to bend to his agenda and recognize that he allows certain things to come our way. I was devastated today at how poorly I was responding and how I felt my body and circumstances were being taken to the very edge of my sanity. In my tears I prayed something that I've never prayed before. I asked Jesus to cover me with his blood. I think the words I repeated were "cover me right now Lord, please cover me". I could literally feel the state my head was in as being so not normal. It's a very strange combination of adrenaline that want's to get it all done NOW, and an overwhelming reaction of "I CAN'T, IT'S TOO MUCH!" all coming at once. Oh and now that the day is over I know I have to trust that he will use today for His glory because I really feel like I blew it. Yet, He is God, that is what He does. I am learning slowly to deal better with these days. I was convicted today to really plan ahead on the calendar this next month. To clear the path for a total down shift to first gear so that when that day comes I have a easier school day (or day off!), a frozen meal ready, and an effort put out to have things fairly tidy so I can just love my children and not become a crazy woman.

One thing that occurred to me today that I shared with my husband is that a homeschool mom's life is like not other professionals. It would be like a working woman taking her kids off to school, and leaving for work with a fairly clean house and coming home to find that some little dwarves had come in and ate, played, messed dishes, pottied, bathed, studied, painted, slept and all manner of doings all day long. Now, she has to make dinner and get it all ready for the next day to do it over again while she goes off to her job. What is our job? Schooling, only we get to attempt to be productive in the midst of the daily affairs of all different life needs, habbits, and goings on as well as a combination of ages meeting us with challenges at different developmental levels. That can drive you crazy on a good day.
So, Lord, please...bless my day of PMS!
PS: I would like to thank my husband for making mac and cheese tonight....thanks honey.XXOOXX
Added Later On:
If you sense that you may have some PMDD symptoms, please read the comments of Flo here on this blog post (for you who are not sure, click where you read "5 comments" or whatever number it is by the time you get to it. Yes, I do have some who have told me they are not sure where the comments are). I appreciated her help. I think I will be doing more research on this myself. Ignorance is NOT bliss on this one!


Zimms Zoo said...

I was looking at your post when 2 of my girls had major melt-down so now I am own my way to dish out discipline. I have a feeling my day may turn out like yours.LOL

Alicia said...

Oh, dear a melt down first thing is not a good sign. Well, you posted at 7:14 am. I'ts 7:37 right now and I'm sitting here with my coffee. I will pause for a few min. and pray for you sister.
Consider some down shifting if you can too:).
It's funny how we have never met and yet I wish we could do coffee, it seems we could have some many things to talk about.
Okay, pausing to pray now....

Gombojav Tribe said...

I feel for ya! I was sort of stressed and insane yesterday, too. I started my period today. So....those nights of lost sleep did not help! I think we may spend a lot of time reading and playing learning games today and forgot other "work."

Another friend recently blogged about PMDD. Maybe her advice can be of some help.



Alicia said...

Thanks Daja, I read the article and it was very accurate. I am proud of this woman for writing about it.

Flo Oakes said...

Hey Alicia! I'm so glad you found my blog.
Man, I could write you a million things..
I was diagnosed with Post Partum Depression 4 years ago, shortly after my oldest, Sera was born. I was prescribed, and went on Prozac for months.
I do NOT recommend this!
At the time, I was not as questioning of the medical community as I am now, and there is no way I'd take a pill anymore.

After Amelie was born (18 months ago), I started feeling the same way, but I was better at paying attention to my body, and noticed that the symptoms always occurred before my period, and went away after it started.

I felt SO hopeless in those days.
I looked my symptoms up on the internet, found PMDD, and read the articles to my husband.

A bit of advice here: You might ask your husband what changes he notices in you, and when. It is really helpful to get an objective observation like that.

My husband said I was EXACTLY what the article described.
Just figuring this out made it at least 20% better.

I mean, before, when I was in the middle of "the storm", I would think "Am I always going to feel this way" "Will I be like this the rest of my life" "Will I always be a horrible mother!?"

To be able to know that it would only last a couple of days each month, and it was not something I was doing deliberately to my kids made me realize I could get through it each time. Just like labor!
I had also been feeling guilty that it was some spiritual problem between me and God. Which, I realize now, it was not in any way!
I did pray a lot for God to "fix it" and although he did not "heal me" in the sense that many people view being healed, I really believe he directed my steps through the entire process, from the internet sights I found, to the care provider I chose.

The next thing I did, which turned out being the best thing, was to visit my Naturopath.
I don't know what experience you have with natural medicine, but it's really not all a bunch of new age voodoo (haha) and if you can swing it financially, I would definitely recommend an appointment with a Naturopath.
Her goal was to diagnose and cure the cause of the PMDD, NOT only to treat the symptoms, which is all anti-depressants do.

We pieced together the clues, such as my behavior, emotions, and the physical factor of only ovulating off of one side, and she said I was text book for being low in progesterone.

That's when she gave me the Progesterone cream, called "Progonol".
I was directed to apply it certain times of the month, and the very next month (that would have been my "bad cycle") I noticed a change!

My husband noticed too.
I was calmer.
Everything that happen did not turn into a crisis.
It was amazing.

I was only on it for about 4 months (using it every other cycle) when I stopped using it.
Since then, none of the symptoms have returned.

I do have to say, that I had a breastfeeding baby who was growing at the time, and around the time I stopped taking the progesterone, she turned 1, and she stared to nurse less frequently.
This could have been a factor in the leveling off of my crazy hormones as well.

So many women feel like they were absolutely nuts during the breastfeeding years!

If you do go to a regular doctor, be sure to say you want to find out about your hormone levels and are more interested in a hormone cream than an anti-depressant.

When I stopped the Prozac, I felt worse. Plus, looking back, I think it caused a lot of harm to my nursing baby, and I wish I could go back and NOT take it!

Sorry to throw so much information at you. I really hope this helps, I really really understand the hopeless-out-of-control feeling that comes along with this.

On a happier note, I think we share MANY of the same interests and favorites. Almost your entire list in fact. Caedmon's Call (and one of my favorite boys names too!!), Anne, The Office, John Piper, the Bronte's...just too many to list!
I am about to start the book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn too.
Nice to meet you in the blog world!

Zimms Zoo said...

I just read Flo's comment and thought I would come back and blog. I too had PPD. It was very scary. The doc recommended a prescription, but instead I went to a close friend who left the medical field becuase of the way they prescribe drugs so much. He is an M.D. who now does natural stuff. He helped a lot. I still have symptoms off and on, but are much more manageable.
I went through the whole relational thing with God too. It is nice to know that it isn't only me.

P.S. Where do you live again? Maybe we could have a virtual cup of coffee. (In my case hot chocolate;))

Kristen Borland said...

so i was wondering today why i feel so lousy, got so emotional this morning, and have felt like doing nothing but sitting around with the kids watching kid movies. and then i checked your post (i've already read this post and i still didn't catch on right away!), and i thought, "well, duh! that's what's going on!" can we do frozen pizza for dinner tonight?!

see u sunday!