I was grouchy and short-tempered again last night, totally fed up with the kids and their favorite new activity that consists of running around shrieking until someone sustains a head injury, and while at least I wasn’t outwardly behaving like a goddamned harpy I could actually feel my brain shearing away from the confines of my skull, apparently attempting to escape out a nostril or ear-hole before lurching, grey and gelatinous, towards the microwave in order to self-immolate.

What is my problem, I kept wondering. I mean, sure, home life is chaotic lately, and it sucks that we can’t go outside to blow off energy, but have I just up and lost every single coping skill I was once in possession of? I’ve been exercising, I’ve been eating well, so why do I all of a sudden feel like I’m clinging to the last shreds of my personal sanity? What’s with this unfamiliar black cloud hanging over my head and the pervasive feeling of doom? Why am I so convinced everything would be a thousand times better if only I mixed salt, butter, sugar, and flour in a bowl and ate it until my pants ruptured? What . . . what’s my . . . oh.

Oh, RIGHT.

You know, I never used to have problems like this during my . . . Special Lady Time. There was the requisite puffiness, snackiness, and maybe the occasional surprise weepies attack during a sappy commercial (damn you, Gerber, and your emotionally manipulative “Anything For Baby” campaign), but I don’t remember feeling like there was a weeklong hormonal Whack-a-Mole game where my mental stability used to be.

I’m vaguely wondering if Teh Crazy might be a side effect of the Mirena, although I’ve had it for two years with no ill effects. Well, except for the first few months, and all I’ll say about that is IF you get a Mirena right after birth—or in my case, as part of the surgical hoedown that is a C-section—your uterus will shrink afterwards, which will lead you to the shocking discovery that your Mirena has STRINGS, and I’m not talking about soft strings, I’m talking about something more like fishing wire, and these strings will need to be repeatedly trimmed while they are in your personal body, unless of course you LIKE having fishing wire in your Girl Parts.

Or maybe I’m just getting older and my brain is more susceptible to fluctuating chemical imbalances. Or maybe parenthood is enough to drive anyone out of their freaking skull now and then. Or maybe this is why you can buy those tubs of pre-made cookie dough, so you can apply medicinally as needed.

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js
js
12 years ago

I am convinced it has something to do with getting “older”. I’ve noticed in the past few years that my “PMS” has gotten worse over the years. It never used to be an issue for me at all. No cramps, bloating, mood swings, nothing. But the past year has gotten OUT OF CONTROL. It started as me being more sensitive, prone to intense sob-fests over stupid commercials or shows but lately as turned into full blown…INSANITY. I swear, I feel damn near psychotic at times. The “noise” from the girl shuffling down the hall in her slippers this morning damn near made my skull tear apart it was SO ANNOYING. Little things that normally wouldn’t bother me drive me absolutely bat-shit fucking crazy. Luckily, my BF is more aware of my cycle than I am and knows when to hide out and roll with it! Perhaps we should retreat to the woods for the week prior?

Erin
12 years ago

I’m pretty sure it’s all of those things you mentioned! I’m now in my late 30s and have noticed that right before my special lady time, I can be a lunatic if I don’t reign it in. My favorite quote from myself was when I told my kids and husband that we were living in “a house of misery”. HA! Like you, I hope my kids forget that one quickly.

Another fine moment: when I slammed the door to my son’s room and accidentally locked us in there (old house) when nobody else was home. I had to yell out the window to someone I thought was a stranger in our dark alley to see if he’d call my husband. It actually was my husband who had just gotten home and will readily confirm that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve also gotten more “passionate” around that time of the month (and not in a good way).

Glad to know I’m not alone!

Lori
Lori
12 years ago

I HATED the mirena. It made me crazy. Not suddenly, but a slow, subtle descent over the course of several months. I felt so much better after I had it removed. So much more like myself and in control.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still have days where I would like to abandon my toddler on a hillside. But I feel much less volatile during that time of the month.

I do miss the reliability, no-thought aspects of the mirena, though. And I know that lots of women love it. It just did NOT work for me.

kate
kate
12 years ago

I’ve had the Mirena for almost 3 years and it never fails that I don’t remember when I’m PMS-ing until I’m REALLY fucking PMS-ing. I think it’s the lack of actual, um…physical evidence that it’s your “time-o-the-month” which lets it slip right past me until I’m being a turbo bitch to all around & using a backhoe to cram chocolate into my maw. And every. single. time it’s like an epiphany to realize why I’m feeling that way.

Jessamyn
12 years ago

Just want to say – OMG, ME TOO! In fact, it’s usually my husband who chimes in, when I ask why I am going INSANE, and why can’t I stop crying? And why do I hate the children? And why does my life have to suck so much, that isn’t it about that time of the month? And almost every time it’s a surprise to me! I blame that on several things: 1) PMS lasts longer (it’s not just the day before, it’s 3 or 4 days before), 2) PMS feels worse – physically I kind of feel like I’ve been hit by a truck, and mentally I keep thinking about how much better everyone in my family would be without me around; and 3) my damn periods are getting closer together and lasting longer, so when you add in all those days of PMS and then the period itself, there are only about 16 or 17 days of sanity. Also, the zits come on about 3 days before and manage to get allll cleared up about a week before the next batch hits.

Anyway, so my vote would be possibly the older thing, or maybe the combination of PMS and parenthood. (I don’t have a Mirena, which of course is not to say that that’s what causing it for you, but my experience has definitely gotten worse lately without that.)

melanie
melanie
12 years ago

oh crap, I read this and just when i was about to get the mirena….. STRESS!!!

I always struggle during that time of the month, I am moody, mad and uncomfortable, I bleed WAY too much for WAY WAY too long (anyone else want 9-10 day long periods every 24 days or so?? YAY I get 2 weeks of freedom and I start all flipping over again…. I keep thinking it would be better if i wasnt so freaking depressed over feeling like I am always on my period…but maybe the hell not…. (can you tell what time it is again??)

amybow
12 years ago

i am glad that i am not the only one with the whole sharp pointy fishing wire issues with the IUD. It is effective alright, because my husband is reluctant to come near me!

Rachael
Rachael
12 years ago

It’s the Mirena. I’m sure it is, because I also have one and like you, after about 2 years of it being in my week before ‘the week’ I can’t get far enough away from myself. There are tears over random TV moments, my partner will committ at least one ultimate injustice (in my head), the chocolate calls me constantly and generally I just want to rip heads off then go and rock in the corner. I was NEVER like this before. The flip side is before the Mirena I had horrible ‘physical’ periods, now I just have horrible ’emotional’ periods. I’m not sure which is worse. Luckily my partner also knows my cycle better than I do so he simply gives me his standard “Oh” in an all knowing way and leaves me to it. Bless him.

Becky
12 years ago

I don’t have a mirena either (I have a fetus instead at the moment), and right now my hormones are in overdrive all the time anyway, so I don’t really have a helpful comment on that part of your post. What I want to know is, are those tubs of cookie dough pasteurized (your post has given me a craving)? Although I guess the better question is, am I really worried enough about it to stop myself from eating the cookie dough if they aren’t? And the answer to that is no.

Kym
Kym
12 years ago

I had a tubal ligation at the time of my 3rd c-section, and I don’t know if I would of done it if I would of know there are “side affects” afterwards. I am a wreck about a week or so before, and a week or so after. SO that only leaves me 2 weeks of being sane. Oh and did I mention just how heavy it is? Good Christ I NEVER would of done it if I’d known…

Emma
Emma
12 years ago

I wish I could blame mine on the Mirena (sounds like a voodoo curse), but I guess I’m just naturally lucky to have both horrible physical and emotional reactions when Aunt Flo visits. And this is why some animals eat their children. They act up during the wrong time of mama’s month.

Michelle
Michelle
12 years ago

I think a lot of it has to do with getting older. I never had pms or cramps or any other annoying thing associated with my period until I was in my mid thirties.
That’s when the sh*t hit the fan so to speak.
I finally had the lining lasered off to
stop the unspeakable bleeding so I’m always
caught off guard when the crazies strike
since I don’t actually have a period anymore.
I’m actually rooting for menopause to hit, it’s got to be better than the insanity that
hits every month.

Sunshyn
12 years ago

As soon as you wrote about eating cookie dough in your previous entry, I figured it was PMS, but I didn’t want to say so, lest you bite my head off… Ha! You might want to look at your “white” food intake (flour, sugar, salt, dairy), because those can make things way worse. You could be fostering gut candida, even. Which sets off a craving for more white food group intake… I’m battling that myself right now, and someone suggested I take activated charcoal around dinner time and do a magnesium follow-up a couple of hours later, before bed. I’m gonna try that after I get some money in my hot little hand again; right now, I’m too broke to pay attention, as my late ol’ man used to say! Because this food addiction has to STOP!

honeybecke
honeybecke
12 years ago

I have a few days a month which I have in the last few months pegged as my ‘angry days’. I am just pissed off for a few days for no reason and I get all worried something is wrong with me and then I check the date and oh, right it’s my angry days. It does suck though. So, IUD’s. Sigh.
I had a copper IUD inserted last May and although it is not hormonal, I swear it effed with me and gave me new-to-me zits, hair loss and moodiness. A crazy itchy rash that would.not.go.away for a month and a half was the last straw. Even my dermatologist was stumped. I started doing some research online and I found a cool website where other women were having the same issues with it and they had it out and the new to them zits, hair loss and rash stopped. A copper allergy, can you believe it? It usually takes a few months to build up to an allergen. Well, I got that muthafucker out and that rash was gone in 3 days. No more zits, no more handfuls of hair in the shower. Anyways, sorry to go on in your comments about it, but you mentioned IUD and this is all very recent for me so I wanted to share.
I do miss my IUD and god, now what.
The copper allergy thing is rare, so I do not want to give IUD’s a bad name. I really do love the idea of an IUD.
So, heres to the angry days. May our families make it through to the other side.

kate
12 years ago

I actually got the Mirena because I was having insane crazy hormonal rages/depressions all the time from the birth control pill. that I had taken for basically ten years, with only three short breaks for pregnancies. I don’t know why my hormones suddenly went berserk, and so far the Mirena has helped since it isn’t adding anything to my already volatile cocktail, but this post has me concerned. hopefully the tides don’t change and I stay reasonably less wicked than I was before. Either way I can’t wait until I’m really sure I’m done having kids and the onus of birth control can be lifted off my shoulders, snip snip.

Mama Ritchie
12 years ago

AHA! I knew it!

My PMS has transformed into FU-PMS after I had Charlie and progressively is getting worse. It had nothing to do with birth control cuz I’ve been on different kinds and now I’m on nothing (THANK YOU TUBAL!) and it just keeps getting worse. I was convinced it was due to childbirth but my cousin who never gave birth says it’s happening to her too so now I’m pretty sure it just has to do with getting older.

Having lady parts sucks.

Jill
12 years ago

I like to call it Mirena-rage. We are just buying time with it till the insurance plan restarts and hubby can snip snip, ’cause that thing is a crazy-factory.

Mama Ritchie
12 years ago

and js, I agree we should retreat into the woods for a week. I remember seeing some NatGeo show on some African tribe that sends their women off to a solitary hut when they have their period and I think it’s a GREAT idea. I want my yurt to be air conditioned, with a steady supply of People magazines and Hershey Kisses.

Nothing But Bonfires
12 years ago

One time my husband asked me for a pen somewhere on the approach to my Special Lady Time and I said “there’s one in my purse.” He said “Ugh, your purse is a trash heap.” Innocuous, right? Could have been handled with a quick eyeroll?

Well, nope. I. LOST. MY. SHIT.

It went something like this: “MY PURSE IS A TRASH HEAP? A TRASH HEAP? SCREW YOU THEN YOU ASSHOLE. I HATE YOU. WHY DID I EVER MARRY YOU? MY PURSE IS NOT A ****-ING TRASH HEAP.”

Then I inhaled a half bag of Hershey’s chocolate nuggets with almonds and toffee chips. It’s been three months since the Trash Heap Episode and we can laugh about it now (“Got any gum?” “Sure, look in my trash heap”) but boy howdy, was I ready to get a divorce about then.

Katherine
Katherine
12 years ago

Like some of your readers, I had periods from hell and ended up on BCs just to control them for nearly 20 years. I finally went off the hormones and found I was just so much more comfortable in my own skin, on my own weirdly fluctuating hormonal schedule. I’m perimenopausal now, but the ONE THING that consistently helps–with the hormones, the periods, the PMS, and yes, the fibroids–is accupuncture. I cannot overstate how effective it has been for me WRT regulating all of that (and it banished the fibroids). I highly recommend it, and am happy to refer anyone to the lovely accupuncturist I use. (She’s in Ballard.)

Amanda
12 years ago

“Purse is a trash heap” OMG that’s funny. I’m so sorry but I totally understand the “I want a divorce rage” that makes you look like a complete lunatic.

Linda – it does sound hormonal.

beach
beach
12 years ago

Getting older and brain MUCH more influenced by hormonal fluctuations would be my vote. Yesterday I was in the hole of doom myself, seriously, its January in Massachusetts, life sucks, I hate my hair, I think I may hate my husband,I want a bag of cheez puffs for dinner….oh right, special lady time arrived this morn. I can already feel the clouds parting and I feel a little more human. I think I feel normal for maybe a week a month now(I am 46) but find it worse in the winter!! Hang tough.

Nichole
12 years ago

I’m pretty sure the Mirena made me wildly crazy for awhile. I didn’t have it removed, and it’s not as bad now as it was. Except for during the ladytime, when I’m certifiable.

Kate
12 years ago

I betcha the Mirena ain’t helping. I had one too and was literally on the verge of leaving my husband over such injustices as leaving the cupboards open, and then a light bulb went on. Hmm….moodiness, hair falling out, totally irrational anger, horrible painful skin eruptions…I googled “Mirena side effects” and boy howdy, I found out I wasn’t alone, not did I have the worst of it. I went to my husband and said “I don’t think it’s YOU that’s the problem” and I got that bitch yanked out a week later. DRASTIC improvement since (October).

Sure, I have since enjoyed the return of that Special Lady Time and Gut-wrenching Cramps/Back pain every month but it’s worth it to not want to kill people on a daily basis.

Sally
Sally
12 years ago

I’ve had my Mirena for two years, also, and just recently my PMS has gotten so bad that I’m going to get it taken out next week. Not only is it worse, but I get PMS every time I get any spotting, which is at least once a week. This leads to me being a total whining bitch 24/7.

C @ Kid Things
12 years ago

I have the Mirena, too, with no ill side effects I thought. Although I now think it might be making me crazy, too. It could very well just be my kids, though.

6512 and growing
12 years ago

*wishing there was a fabulous birth control option*
*sighs*

Joy
Joy
12 years ago

I JUST went to the doctor (naturopath-woman) yesterday to answer some of the exact questions/issues you’ve been having lately. For me, it was an “Ah-ha” moment when she pointed out that women in their late 30’s to early 40’s (I am 36) have less progesterone production happening, and so the finite balance of estrogen to progesterone is…out of whack. So, more est. than prog.= anger, sore breasts, weepy and emotional, acne, bloating, etc. You name it, it’s happening. And for me, it’s AFTER my period that everything is worse. I feel like the wicked witch of the east for about 1-2 weeks after my “Special Lady Time”. The good news, she gave me some great natural vitamins and supplements to help. (hydroxy-tryptophan, breastblend by vitanica, and avoid coffee and alcohol-Boo!Hoo!) I swear, the worst part is not having coffee or alcohol, but if it keeps me from having psychotic rage episodes (exactly like what you are describing in your last two posts, which, btw, made me laugh out loud), than I will survive. I want my husband and kids to like me, and not be afraid of me. And I’d like to have some fun in January, as opposed to hating everything and everyone, but most of all myself. GUILT, I tell you, is the worst part of it all!!
Good luck, and keep your chin up!

Joanne
12 years ago

Ha, insane in the brain! That is the second time this week someone I know has referred to that lyric while talking about them and caring for their kids.

I am nuttier than a fruitcake, tired, etc., but I have been pregnant or nursing for three years and I think it’s just hormones. I’m not using any birth control and … still nutty! I don’t know if it’s age or circumstance? Little kids? If you find out, tell me.

Dana
Dana
12 years ago

I’m SO relieved you wrote about this. I’ve had a Mirena for 2 years, and it’s been relatively problem free (um…yeah…except that it HURT!LIKE!HELL! going in since I haven’t had a baby). It was fine until the last 6(ish) months. I started getting ovarian cysts – several of which ruptured and really caused my hormones to get out of wack! From then on out, I have been becoming quite a bit more…. um… “ragey”. Then I get stuck in a big fat mental wrinkle of self doubt thinking “I’m not this way -I’m a (relatively) nice person -what the hell is my problem?” After trying to figure out what was causing all this insanity – I starting thinking that it might have something to do with the Mirena. SO – For the good of all humanity, I’m having it taken out next Thursday. My husband keeps offering to go out in the garage and get his needlenose pliers to help a sister out, but …um…NO – I think I can make it another week – now whether or not he survives until then, who can be sure?

Barb
Barb
12 years ago

Never had children, but did turn 40 last month and boy, howdy, my emotions are all over the freakin’ place…thought it was just me…maybe 41 will be better…

Judith
Judith
12 years ago

Yes to the PMS getting worse as we get older, at least in my experience. By the time I was 55 I was certifiably insane half the time. Luckily, it went away with menopause. Talk to your ob-gyn, I am sure there are meds that can help. I was too get help and now regret it as I walked away from at least three very good jobs in the throes of PMSing and now nobody wants to hire an old lady. (And when I say walked away, I mean it. Grabbed my purse and left. Never went back.)

Gertie
Gertie
12 years ago

see now, I’m just a bitch ALL the time – that way there’s never the threat of a mood swing.

Judith
Judith
12 years ago

PS I was too obstinate. I am not PMSing but I am now senile. At least I am in a good mood.

anon
anon
12 years ago

This morning I threatened to throw a scalding hot cup of coffee in my husband’s “fucking face” if he didn’t “get the fuck away from me asshole!!! I HATE YOU I HATE YOU!!”

But I don’t get PMS. He’s just a TOTAL FUCKING ASSHOLE every four weeks. *shrug*

Christina
12 years ago

I don’t know about Mirena and I suppose it could be but I am not on any birth control and the past few days I have felt the same way. I call it hormonal hell and while I had some minor PMS issues prior to having babies the post baby PMS world is like throwing my effing brain into a blender and WEE let’s see what comes out. Also, I think this is how I might be when I am senile old lady. All bad words and nasty moods and OMG I am going to grouchy mouthy mean old lady! ACKKKKK.

Tracy
Tracy
12 years ago

It’s definitely worse now that I’m older.

I read your earlier post this morning, nodding my head and thinking… I’ve had those awful days with my young daughter during the perfect storm of PMS/her being in a special toddler asshole phase. Not pretty.

It could also explain your awful long run over the weekend. I feel like I’m running under water the week before my period.

Or maybe it is a brain tumor.

victoria
victoria
12 years ago

Maybe it’s a mind-body-context confluence? You are undergoing HUGE stress right now: going back to school and taking on a marathon, not to mention the constant fluctuating and unpredictable stresses of wrangling two little tornadoes while also working full time, trying to be a reasonably good spouse and companion to your husband, trying to keep the house in some semblance of cleanliness, and cooking for two little food critics who shun anything new while also sticking to your own ambitious health-and-fitness nutrition plan. Oh, and also taking on the project of home-cooked meals all of a sudden (homemade pasta? homemade bread? on top of everything else you’re doing!! It’s a lot!)

I read your blog and think, Wow, she has endless energy! But even ambitious, driven people like you need a break now and then. Maybe you could tell your husband that he needs to take care of the kids for a weekend while you go off to a nice hotel and have various spa treatments. Or something like that.

obabe
12 years ago

did the nurse ask you who the strings were bothering (you or your husband) when you went in to have them trimmed? MINE DID. nice.

erin
12 years ago

this post is so timely. i just googled “super bitchy” and have been reading what my problem could be for over 2 hours.

i wonder if it is an age thing…i’m mid thirties now and the edginess and general crapitude i give to my poor husband and small wee dependents right before “the event” is downright appalling. i seriously can’t even stand myself. just know there are LOTS of women struggling w/all these mixed up angstfilled hormones too.

hope things look up for all of us soon!

Suzy Voices
12 years ago

Probably the age thing. I’ve been crazy ever since I hit 38 or so. Also, I had the Mirena and had it removed, but that didn’t help. Took some natural hormones, that helped a little. Finally got some Cymbalta and that helped a LOT.

Liz
Liz
12 years ago

I’ve had a Mirena for…3 years? I still love it. I think it’s reining in my crazy. I haven’t had a period in god knows how long, so I just blame any bitchiness on PMS. Nobody can prove otherwise!

jumbles
jumbles
12 years ago

lurker de-lurking alert! I don’t have any chi’rens and am a bit than you Linda, but wanted to give a shout-out to copper IUD’s. (BTW are people still saying “shout-out?”) I got mine about 7 months ago and after about 2 intensely crampy periods, it’s pretty much been smooth sailing. I get a few little cramps and have one very heavy day of my period, then a very light day or two and it’s over. Plus no hormones, plus you can leave it in for TWELVE YEARS. I’ve never had to get the strings trimmed and it doesn’t seem to bother the man. Anyway, could be something to consider.

jumbles
jumbles
12 years ago

D’oh. Younger. A bit younger.

KateB
KateB
12 years ago

Again with the copying my life and stresses? Sheesh! I had my Mirena taken out for the exact same reasons and it is like a whole new world over here. WAY less screaming for no apparent reason, even though I know I shouldn’t be upset or screaming. WAY less crying and sadness and lack of motivation. My OB/GYN thought I was making it up when I went in to see him about this and sent me home. He’d never heard of these side effects, but I had three other friends who all said the same thing about their Mirena. I went back two months later and he took it out since he figured I must be serious if I came back. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Total life changer! Only downfall is I just paid $70!!!! for one month of birth control. Good luck!

whoorl
12 years ago

My PMS has become pretty bad over the past few years. In fact, I had no PMS symptoms before having a child – I thought it was a total crock of shit excuse that people used for their whack-shit behavior.

Dude, I stand corrected. I am a such a DICK around my period now. What gives?

Leigh
12 years ago

My periods were SO MUCH worse with an IUD.

Now I take the pill everyday. I mean everyday, I don’t take the placebos. Since I take it everyday I no longer get periods. I love it!! No mood swings, no water retention, no cravings. My mood is much more stable. It is perfectly safe. For those women who can take the pill, it’s a great option.

Leigh
12 years ago

P.S. I also had issues with the pokey strings and so did my guy. Also, horrible looong heavy bleeds. TMI?

Leigh
12 years ago

PPS: And I do NOT things it’s the age thing! I am 48 and I do not think you get bitchier around your period as you get older.

I don’t like to use age as an excuse for anything. (Hee-hee, seeing if I can start another Internet war)

whoorl
12 years ago

Also, this is just my lowly opinion, but being a former sales rep for female hormones for years and years, you couldn’t pay me to use any sort of birth control that overrides my body’s innate hormone regulation (pills, IUDS, etc…)

It’s not natural. Period. Of course, that doesn’t leave us many viable options for preventing pregnancy. Sucks all around, methinks.

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