Thursday, December 9, 2010

TMI Thursday. Period.

After the last few days of roller coaster emotions, embarrassing admissions of vulnerability, and a predilection for coffee house style acoustic music instead of the audio book of Ape House by Sara Gruen while I drive, I might have had a clue.

Sudden and physical needs for wine, chocolate and beer are clear indications.

After I cried at Jen's blog post, there should have been no question.

As if the now monthly eruption on my left cheek isn't enough of a harbinger.

It was as I stood in the kitchen eating Nestle Quik straight from the container that I knew for sure.

And boy do I miss my IUD.

Do I want it back?  No.  I mean, sex without a condom was so so nice, but now that I am finally losing weight, really losing weight, as in have lost three clothing sizes, I'm convinced that the hormones in my old Mirena were partially to blame for my extra tonnage and inability to lose it.

But dang, did I get used to not having a period.  It was like menopause without the hot flashes and other unpleasant (to put it mildly? I'm still in denial) side effects.

So now I'm back to thinking in terms of twenty-eight days.  Even before my IUD days, I didn't have to keep track.  My little round pill pack did it for me.  When it was time for the green pills, I knew to assess the situation:  Were there enough stickers and harpoons?  Did I have a private stash of chocolate so I didn't end up eating Nestle Quik and choking on the powder like I did yesterday when Sophie came into the kitchen and yelled "Mama!" when she saw me at the counter, spoon midair, the yellow container with the rabbit on it open in front of me.

"What are you doing?"  Who is she, my mother?

"We're out of chocolate."  I sputtered.

"So you're eating the Nestle Quik?"

I nodded, coughing on the powder that was now lodged in the back of my throat.

She came over and peered into the open container.  "Did you double dip?"

I shook my head.  I wanted to say, Listen you.  I'd have some chocolate if you guys didn't eat it all.  But instead I sheepishly put the lid back on the container and dropped my spoon into the dishwasher.

"Why do you need chocolate anyway?"  At nearly twelve, she's got a pretty good clue, but sometimes she's afraid to admit how much she knows.  Or, more accurately, she uses the Q & A format to confirm what she she thinks she knows.

"I think I'm about to start my period."  I put the Quik on the shelf in the pantry and stood looking at her.


"Any more questions?"  This was as good a time as any for me to play the role of attentive mother.

"Have you been crying?"  She took a step closer to me.

"Maybe."  I'd read Jen's post about John Lennon and just lost it.

"So when you're about to start your period, you cry and you crave chocolate?"  Okay, so yes, she's information gathering.  This is natural and good.

"I don't always cry, but now it seems I get kind of kooky and emotional.  And zitty.  And bloaty.  But I always craved chocolate.  I mean, when I'm PMSing, it's worse, but I am definitely experiencing PMS things I didn't before."  Too much information?  Did she flinch?  Was she looking for a quick exit now?

"Before when?"

"Well, when I was a teenager.  I didn't get pimples or cramps and I didn't cry or act all mean and crabby.  Not that I remember at least.  But now, since I've had my IUD out, this is different.  It may be because my body is aging and my reproductive system is getting ready to shut down."

She stood blinking at me.  Okay, I'd said too much.  "Does that mean that you and Daddy will stop having sex?"

"That's a bit personal, don't you think?"

She shrugged.  "Yeah."

"Well, if you must know, the answer is no.  I like Daddy like that so deal with it.  The only good thing about starting my period is the fact that I know that I'm not pregnant.  It's really a waste of time.  It's not like I'm going to have more babies."

"I see."

"This is pretty awkward, isn't it?" I said, glancing back into the pantry.

"Maybe.  You know what's awkward?  Reaching into Daddy's top drawer where you hide the chocolate and seeing the box of condoms."

"That's called snooping and I see the box of condoms hasn't deterred you from looking for chocolate.  I hoped it would."

"I have my priorities."

"You are so bad.  You'd better hope that I never pry into your private life like you do mine because I am saving up some really embarrassing questions."  I paused and we smiled at each other.  I continued, "Are we done here?  I have some reading to do."

"Yeah.  You know there's a thing of Hershey's syrup in there.  You don't even need a spoon for that," she said walking past me.

"So I see," I said reaching into the cabinet, flipping open the top of the dark plastic bottle and tipping my head back.

What's your "comfort" for food?  Cravings?  What euphemisms do you use for items of a personal nature?  If you're a guy in a relationship with a woman of childbearing age, how do you cope?  Have you learned to keep a private stash of chocolate or tranquilizer darts?


  1. That Tampax ad cracked me up.

    Otherwise, all I'm going to say is that Sophie is a cutie pie.

  2. That was the most appropriate title. That subject gets tossed around in our house as well (now more than the past). And I'm going to end it same way as I do there.

    Uhhh......uh..alright. Zippity doo dah! Bye Bye!

  3. The couch. Sour cream n' onion chips. Do guys have items of a personal nature outside of spank mags? We're both always crabby so I don't actually notice. Does booze count?

  4. CARBS.

    I was so naive. I thought as I progressed through my forties the PMS and everything would just peter off and then I'd forget it ever existed.

    (Shucks, thanks for the link.)

  5. Hey, we're synchronized all the way across the country, and the start of my post is about menstruation, too. Plus, pancakes!

  6. The woman from whom I buy flannel feminine hygiene products calls them "fluff." I just call them pads. I get so pissed off at the world right before my period starts. It's like everyone dials up the assholicometer 95% for a few days, but it's really just me. Then I get sentimental and weepy. Then I have cramps so bad that they make me puke if I don't dose heavily with ibuprofen. Not that I have seen much of Aunt Flo these past few years since I have been bearing children in that time. Someone said the monthly gets easier or at least changes after babies, and I hope they were not lying.

    Comfort foods: chocolate, cheese, salty. We call it the chocolate-cheese-salt cycle. In college, several of the gals and I would get together with our synchronized cycles and share chocolate desserts and nachos.

  7. Who is she, my mother?


  8. having had a LAVH in 2006, i am more than happy not to deal with this further. feel better soon, and "have a Happy Period" ! ( i bet you say the same thing at THAT tvAd as we do here. take care *gentle hugs*

  9. LOL. I'm dreading the mother-daughter talks when mine gets older. I'm sure you've seen this before, but in case you haven't

  10. I have come to the conclusion that talking about menstruation is no different than talking about eating, yawning, sleeping, or some other perfectly normal thing the body does. For some reason, perhaps because it's associated with sex, or women, or just that it's private, we tend not to want to talk about it. In that way, it's like potty-talk.

    One of the great gifts my mother gave me was an aversion to thinking some things were yucky or gross because there was a discharge of body fluid involved. Being a son of one, a sister of three, a husband of one, and father of two, my life-long association with girls/women has made me immune to thinking this is TMI. As soon as I started reading your post, it occurred to me where it was headed.

    Period? Depression? Which would you take? Relax, and if your kid gives you guff, shove a spoonful of quik in her mouth.

  11. Oh Lisa. I feel you on this soooo much. I have RAGING PMS. I cannot control my skin, hair, cravings, or emotions. I am hot mess for 5 whole days BEFORE my period. The day I get "it" everyone knows because I go back to being "nice" again.

  12. We joke around here that I have a roulette wheel. Instead of 'red' or 'black', it's "sick" or "mean". I am currently sporting a "third eye" on the bridge of my nose, and have been asked (somewhat jokingly) if I'm converting to Hindu. (It does kind of look like a Bindi sticker...)

    I don't crave specific foods so much as I unhinge my jaw and shovel in whatever is in range.

  13. You guys are the best commenters. Seriously. I write about periods and you respond.


  14. I highly recommend the tubal ligation I underwent when my daughter was born. It was almost as good as being born a man! I mean, I still had ten more years of you-know-what, but no birth control! Yea!

    I don't know how far you are behind me on this thing, Lisa, but one day, poof, it's gone. It's kind of great. :)

  15. I never had PMS until after I had babies - what is that about? Now I am past all that stuff except, as you shared, the S-E-X part. My daughter asked the same thing and was not happy that i answered honestly.

    Why do you have to use an IUD with hormones? Mine didn't have hormones and it worked just fine...

    Sophie is getting gorgous like her mom!

  16. Congrats on the dropping of 3 sizes. You're rockin' it girl, cheek honker or not. I heard yesterday that caffeine and donuts in the morning are brain boosters, so what the hell, I gave it a try. I'm not sure I got any brighter, but I did go up a dress size. Thing is, once you start eating the sweets you crave, the harder it is to stop. So freakin' addictive!

  17. P.S. I am thankful for my hysterectomy because I never want to see PMS again. Ever.

  18. I will always crave Italian food and Northern New Mexican food.

    As for personal euphemisms, when I still used female sundry items, we always called them torpedoes.

    I still HAVE to have chocolate! ;)

  19. I don't notice many cravings or anything from H. in terms of PMS, she just cramps and such but nothing that I really notice from here.

    Me on the other hand, I have this cycle where I crave chocolate a lot more at certain times, so we just refer to it as my PMS although none of those initials can apply to me.

    Boxer Rebel (I changed my ID for a possible new blog)

  20. Lisa, this isn't a comment for the post, sorry -- wanted to offer you this:
    go to The New York Times online and read the following articles:
    Hackers Attack those seen as WikiLeaks Enemies
    The Lede Blog: Attacks on MasterCard and PayPal sites to Avenge WikiLeaks are 'Operation Payback"
    and also

    The Lede Blog: Operation Payback attacks Visa
    ...ans also read the Comments, on Lede Blog. (I've never looked at that before -- followed it from NYTms article...

  21. I had IUD's for years and always had periods. I had no idea amenorrhea was one of the benefits of newer models. That would have been handy to say the least.

    Meanwhile, even though the fertility is gone, the chocolate cravings linger.

    You both look very lovely in that pic and the conversation was great. If only my mother had been so wise but even nowadays you're a rare bird.

  22. Great mother-daughter conversation. And you have my sympathies on the resumption of your cycles! Thank goodness I'm done with all that! But I paid my dues - the perimenopause was hell for me!

  23. When I'm cranky, in order to get rid of all that negative energy and not blow up at people, I clean. PMS means that my house is clean at least once a month. Of course, the family can't enjoy it because they're cowering.

    I don't mind the PMS because, for me, it goes along with the other, shall we say "enthusiastic" end of the monthly hormonal swing for me - what I refer to as the "frisky" time.

  24. stickers and harpoons
    AKA "Clampax Pontoons", that _still_ cracks Jan up.

    Raincoats? I nominate Doug to receive the Nobel on behalf of the Chinese dissident.

    Push that radio button down one click from the Coffee House to The Loft.

  25. Can't answer the other questions, but when I'm pmsing screw chocolate, I want meat. Red meat. In it's most perfect form: A bacon cheeseburger.

  26. I was lucky that I never had mood changes during that time of the month...I could never tell I was going to get it until I got it...but then I made up for it by having two C-sections and that was before they did the bikini cut...mine was a vertical slice starting about an inch below my belly button. I bet if it was now and not 40 years ago I could sue the doctor for the horrible and jagged scar I was left with! :)

  27. bacon, chocolate, whipped cream--popcorn, cheese, tartar sauce, fried foods...need I continue? Oh and homemade creamed spinach. Did I mention lasagna?

    But I'm (lucky me!) more pms-y midcycle at ovulation usually...more moody and emotional, that is, and hungry prior to the period. WTF? I get like 3 days off per month.

  28. "oh, that's just one of mommy's bathroom things that she keeps in her purse," says my 6-year old daughter to her dad when asked what her little brother is playing with.

    so now i call them those bathroom things.

    i eat a slightly modified version of straight quik. i fill a short glass halfway full with the brown powder and then pour a little bit of milk on top but don't mix it. i like the slight wet film over my bites of quik. i also make peanut butter and semi-sweet morsel chocolate chip sandwiches. sometimes i skip the bread. (spoon in Jif jar, dip into bag of morsels. repeat. repeat. repeat.)

  29. "Did you double dip?"

    ...with an extra lick and 3/4 spoon twist at the end, baby! Your Kwik, your rules.


  30. I love to read about your relationships with your kids!--this post was great, and I love the banter you have with your nearly 12-year-old (?) daughter. :)

    Every few months I get REALLY
    PMS-ey. In those months, Iwanski always says the same thing, "I think I'm going to check into a hotel room for a few days." LOL! Except when he says it, I'm usually so cranky that I want to punch him in the mouth. *grin*


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