It’s been a short while but I trust you have been good. My last Bellanaija post can be found here.
Today I’m gonna be writing about:
PMS – Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
Okay, so I am obviously not new to menstruation (given my age) but I have definitely been ignorant about many things concerning this topic. The good news is that I learn something new every month. For me, PMS is the latest knowledge that I have acquired and it happened so because of certain events which I am about to write about that made me open up my heart to a little research.
For a long time, I had always noticed a change in my emotions and activities just a few days before my period would start but all these while, I just did not know that there was a name for these circles of events. A specific change for me was fatigue – I would find myself yawning constantly and sleeping like I were a pregnant woman and no matter how much coffee I swallowed, it would make no difference. In fact, it would seem as if I had been drinking warm milk to make me sleep even more. For me, this tired feeling was not much of a problem because anytime I could not explain why I was so tired from doing nothing productive, I would check my period calendar. So it was useful in the sense that it was a reminder of my period and so I could start making plans ahead such as buying new sanitary towels, reordering my prescriptions, arranging my underwear (lol) and then shopping for and cooking the food that I would eat the following week.
Like I said, I kind of appreciate the fatigue feeling, besides the fact that I get way less work done, because it helped me prepare. However, around my previous period season, another event that was quite strange happened. It was on a Monday; as usual I had packed my lunch, taken a shower and done my makeup before leaving for work. When I got to work, the first thing I did was head straight to the coffee shop to get my ‘milk’, as that was how it would seem to my body during that season. It was still early so the queue was short, thankfully! When I got to the counter, the friendly waitress smiled and took my order. She was as polite as always but I noticed that there was something different about her that day. You see, usually, she would make a comment about how she liked my look for the day and would laugh loudly or smile really broadly, or something along that line. The point is that she would always try to do something to start a conversation with me (which I often felt was unnecessary as I am almost never in the mood for small talks early in the morning), but I would respond nonetheless because she seemed like a nice person. However, this time she did not say anything and I just assumed that she had had a long weekend or was really busy although only 2 people were left on the queue.
I had already ignored my thoughts and was putting a lid over my cup when I saw her take a quick glance at me. The glance was so fast that I would not have noticed it if I were not a sharp babe. My heart skipped a bit as I suddenly suspected what had happened. I slowly raised my hands reaching for my hair and there it was, I had worn my hairnet to work! I have no idea of how it happened since I had stood in front of the mirror applying my makeup that morning. I was so embarrassed and tried to quickly remove the net as covertly as I could but I could not help thinking about how many people had seen me in that state that morning – the people on the coffee queue and all the people on the road that I had walked past on my way to work (yes, yes, I know that they don’t know me but still, they have eyes!). No wonder the waitress had not said anything about my beautiful African braids, as she liked to call them.
I took my drink and headed back to my office with my hairnet in my pocket. I wondered what I would have done if I had been in her shoes; would I have told her that her hairnet was on or just ignored it as she did? Nevertheless, I could not blame her for my own forgetfulness; I could only blame my hormonal changes and womanhood. I tried to console myself by saying to myself that my hairnet wasn’t as bad looking; it was one of the usual black knitted ones with spaces in between and so at least a part of my hair was still showing. I also thought about how it could have been worse; one of my aunts had once told me that she had mistakenly worn her wig cap (without the wig) to a big store before. So truly, my case was not the worst in history but I knew that henceforth I had to be more cautious during these periods.
So it was this experience of mine above along with a few others, that made me check my internet for the cause of my problems and then I came across the word ‘PMS’. From my research, PMS is caused by hormonal and chemical changes in the body and brain in preparation for menses during the menstrual cycle. PMS, apparently, can make you forgetful (just as in my hairnet case), get you emotional and give you crying spells (I experienced a really bad one that same period. The poor dude that I was crying to looked confused and helpless. I do not even remember why I was crying, that’s how petty the reason was but I continued uncontrollably for an hour). Other symptoms associated with this syndrome include tender breasts, food cravings, mood swings, poor concentration, and fatigue like I mentioned earlier. Depression, acne and pain are also common such that some people take medications for them. So if you are having any of these strange feelings or changes just before your period begins, fear not; you are not alone! However, do not hesitate to visit your doctor if you cannot help yourself.
A few personal tips that might be useful are:
· Being aware – when you are aware of what is going on within you, then you may be more relaxed and comfortable and be in a better place of mind to plan. So take some time out and read about PMS and its associated symptoms.
· Staying away from annoying people – so if you know people that are generally annoying, try to avoid them during this period since you are more likely to be irritable. You don’t want to find yourself yelling at someone in the office.
· Eating healthy – Food cravings are common and so try to stock yourself and your environment with healthy foods and drinks like fruits so that once you feel like eating, you would be eating an apple instead of a chocolate bar which you might regret in the near future.
· Lastly, enjoy the moment while it lasts – yup! While menstruation has its snags, remember that menopause is a different ball game.
I hope I have shared something useful today and please leave your comments below. Thank you and have a great week.
Twitter handle: @vivio_gogo