Last month, I got my period a week prematurely. Unusual for me.
I thought my friend came early because I was stressed out about all of the preparations leading up to my week-long trip to Israel.
It was really great to be bleeding excessively, be jet-lagged and sharing a bed with my kicking, sideways-sleeping daughter. All while spending 14 hours a day touring a foreign country on a bus with 12 members of my immediate family. NOT.
This month, I figured I would get back on my regular schedule. I’ve been getting my period every 28 days for as long as I can remember. (Enabling me to have a little coitus interruptus while my husband was recovering from his vasectomy.)
So Aunt Flo would have come for a visit towards the latter part of my beach week. Not ideal but there aren’t too many sharks off the coast of North Carolina.
I packed tons of supplies in to our rented minivan. Thin maxi pads, pads for thongs and three different sizes of tampons. (My 12 year-old kid asked me recently if a penis was as big as a tampon. I wanted to tell her, “Only once for me and it didn’t last.” But I kept my mouth shut.)
And I suffered through a week of having breasts that were so sore that every time I got out of bed, took off a bra or slipped in and out of my bathing suit, I winced. And since I was on a beach vacation, there was a lot of changing going on. And a lot of wincing. (Jalapeno infused tequila with fresh lime juice helped.)
But I never got my period. Not on the 10 1/2 hour drive home. Not on the day after we got home.
Not until today.
A week after my PMS started. And 31 days after my last period.
And, of course, the day before my routine gynecological visit. So now I don’t have to go until the end of August. (I’ve lost a little weight what with all of the juicing. So I bet my gynecologist won’t be calling me Chunks then.)
But because I was curious about what was going on with my body, I did what I always do when I have a medical question: I turned to WebMD. And there it was. An almost perfect profile of myself found in some of the symptoms of perimenopause (defined as the stage of a woman’s reproductive life that begins several years before menopause, usually in her 40’s.)
- Breast tenderness: Um, definitely.
- Irregular periods: Hello??
- Worsening of PMS: More of a reason for me to be bitchy.
- Decreased sex drive: Yea, not yet!
- Fatigue: Well, of course, if you wake up at 5:30 am.
- Difficulty sleeping: I’m cold when I go to bed and hot when I wake up. But I thought it was because of the elf who moves up the thermostat in the middle of the night.
There are some other symptoms, like urine leakage (which I don’t have), but I think you get the point. At the age of 46 1/2 (I had to pull out a calculator to make sure that’s how old I am. Does that ever happen to you?), I’ve become perimenopausal.
And I don’t like it.
So f#*K you, perimenopause.
(I’m going to start using my “condition” as an excuse for everything. Like I’m allowed to curse because I’m perimenopausal. I haven’t brushed my teeth today because I’m perimenopausal. I can’t do that right now because… Yep, that’s me, turning limes in to limeade. With vodka. Or that tequila drink that I mentioned. I feel better already.)
Bottom image via Costco