I’ve scheduled myself to visit my family Independence Day weekend, but I’m starting to think this was no good, very bad planning on my part. I double checked my calendar, and there just so happens to be a little red star drawn in the middle of that week. For those of you who’ve never had to track your cycle for medical purposes, this means I’ll be taking the first of the little white pills of my birth control just in time for my period to start during my family visit.
When I’m not taking steroids, which is most of the time, my PMDD is pretty well under control. This does not, however, mean that my periods are easy-peasy and entirely uneventful. It just means that I go through what is considered normal PMS instead of being descended upon by the evil, horrible PMDD Fairy and thereby becoming an emotional basket case wrapped in pain and rage. I’m still irritable; I still cramp; I still get what I call period brain (in which the stew of hormones limits my ability to focus and seems to lower my IQ significantly). It’s just MUCH LESS pronounced, and is sometimes accompanied by a menstrual migraine. Amongst most human beings, I can suck it up and go about my business with only mild grumbling.
Amongst my family, it’s a different story.
I love my family. I sometimes have to remind myself of that, but I love them. For the most part they are lovely, kind, caring, good people. But I can tell you from past experience that visiting them when I have to bring along Aunt Flo never turns out well. I invariably end up making my mother cry or smacking my brother with my shoe or some other hormone influenced outburst that upon later reflection makes me feel like the biggest jerk ever (except the shoe thing; my brother hit me first. It was dropping that F-bomb at my fundamentalist Christian doesn’t-even-say-damn brother AFTER hitting him with my flip-flop that made me feel like a jackass). So generally speaking, unless I’m so unfortunate as to be PMSing during Thanksgiving or Christmas, I avoid hangin’ with the fam during my period whenever possible.
All precedent tells me I should just cancel this trip and try to schedule it again later. But therein lies the problem. I’m low on leave at work and saving it up in case the ENT decides the bone spur in my nose needs to come out, which would require surgery. This is the only four-day weekend I’ll have all summer. And to boot, we have dance company rehearsal every Sunday from now until our show in November. There’s really not another good time for me to drive up there until Thanksgiving. But as much as I want to see my adorable nephew, I really don’t want to subject the poor kid to my bitchy PMS alter ego at so early an age.
What to do, what to do…