Thursday, 23 January 2014

Here Be Monsters

Well, one singular monster to be completely accurate. It’s me.

(Innovative, but I like the dragon version better. Image from

It’s possibly unwise to continue with a post that alienates half of my readership by gender automatically, but sometimes these things just need saying, so I apologise to any male readers and particularly those without strong stomachs. If you really want to run away I promise not to laugh. Well, I promise not to laugh too much.

It’s that time of the month.

For those unfamiliar, what I mean is it’s the one week a month where regardless of how well behaved I am in terms of maximum being kind to myself and minimum stress I’m riddled with pain regardless. It’s the one week out of every four when Petunia starts wearing her Smaug hat, decides she’s King Under the Mountain and wakes up to find that someone stole her Arkenstone. She doesn’t take this particularly well.

I can put as many strategies in place as I like (and believe me I’ve tried repeatedly) but to continue with my metaphor, none of this matters and I am essentially Esgaroth on the Long Lake heading for a roasting.

Prior to contracting Fibromyalgia, with some help from the contraceptive pill I didn’t have particularly bad periods. A couple of days of stomach ache and to be honest that was the worst it ever became. I’d have frequent accompanying headaches but that would be the utmost extent of any peripheral symptoms. I was never given to PMS either. As long as I had access to a hot water bottle and bananas I’d remain the picture of equanimity about the whole thing.

Yes, bananas. Stop looking at me like that. They can help settle down cramps because they’re full of potassium – and unlike the other oft-toted remedy of chamomile tea bananas don’t taste like pond water.

Enter Petunia and her dragon phase. The problem isn’t just that the usual cramps have gotten worse; it’s the sudden interaction with the usual pain and stiffness symptoms. It usually renders me far too uncomfortable to exercise for at least the first few days, so I don’t have my usual get out of jail with only minor aching card to play.

The worst part though is my horrendous mood swings, which as I said I never used to have. I’ll either be irrationally irritated by everything (whether it would have irritated me or not on a normal day doesn’t really seem to factor in) or I just want to curl up and cry for…... well, no reason I can particularly think of. It’s not a good time to catch me with a weepy film, as my mother learnt to her amusement last year.

Sure, let’s watch The Bucket List. “It’s not too bad, you might cry a little bit at the end”.

(All joking aside it's a great film, I recommend giving it a watch. Image from

Fast forward two hours and I was making a solid attempt at the world’s first house flood caused purely by tears. As an aside though if you ever want me to cry on cue, apparently you just have to show me either Morgan Freeman or Bernard Cribbins being especially sincere (I’m looking at you Russel T Davies, and I haven’t forgiven you for The End of Time yet!) and I’ll sob like a baby.

So, we’re left with the only solution being the one my friend and I usually come to – if it can’t be fixed by cake, it ain’t worth fixing. Fine in theory, except that I already tend to feel like something of a beached whale for the entire time because I can’t exercise, so whilst cake never makes it worse, in this instance it doesn’t necessarily make things better either. You can’t blame a girl for diligently making further tests in this regard though…

My inventory for these weeks tends to consist of my hot water bottle or my wheat bag, the sofa, Disney films, the occasional piece of cake (in the name of science) and as many cups of chai tea as my attempts at Puss in Boots eyes can encourage out of my long-suffering other half. If you don’t already then you really should feel for him a bit, he does after all have to live with me when I’m like this.

So, I have come to a conclusion.

If I ever rule the world, “time of the month” is going to come with an automatic opt-out for those suffering with other health problems, given it seems to interact with most of them.

With this in mind, who’d vote for me?

Pushing tongue out of cheek, and wishing you all many spoons xxx

1 comment:

  1. I've had a mirena coil for the last 6 years, and it's worth every bit of the discomfort of the actual insertion/replacement and the first couple of months while your system goes mental trying to work out what's going on. I haven't had a proper period in 5 years, and the monthly cycle is more like an occasional unexplained weepy few days, tender boobs every now and again, and an occasional cramp for half an hour once a quarter. Prior to this, it was 10 days of sheer agony and floods and mood swings every 3-4 weeks. I will never go back.