Seriously, it doesn't even cross my mind until I am forced to battle hormonal imbalance.
I was on the worst birth control medication that existed. (Online research confirms this. Duh, if it's online, it's true.) Seriously, I know it's the worst because I got it for basically nothing. Since I was uninsured from July 2008 to May 2010, it was always a precarious situation when it came to getting medical help. In short, I always had to get my yearly gynecological exams from the local abortion clinic and receive whatever brand of BCPs they were promoting at the time. While I didn't have many problems with it in the beginning, the past 6 months have been absolute horror. In fact, I'm surprised I was not murdered in the past 2 months. That bad.
It wasn't just the cramps, the irritability, the breakouts, missing periods, and the weight gain.. the worst were my terrible terrible mood swings. 2 weeks ago, I had one of the worst breakdowns ever. I came home from work, after a hellish commute and found Craig sitting in my apartment.
"I'm hungry," I said.
"Me too, let's order something," he replied.
"Okay, what do you want?"
"I don't care, I'll eat anything. Pick what you want."
And I broke down, right there, because I couldn't decide what I wanted to eat and I was so hungry I could have eaten my own hand.
I pulled it together, ordered some food, and ate like I had never seen food before in my life.
After dinner, we laid in bed, watching tv and talking when I felt it swell up again. There wasn't even a trigger this time... just sobs.
Craig held me close, stroked my hair and laughed (obviously, at the absurdity of it all) and I choked through sobs "Don't [gasp] laugh at [gasp] me [sob] [sob] [sob]!!!"
"You're not the only one who appreciates you changing birth control pills," he said to me.
[sob] [sob] [sob] [sob]
I know I have been a nightmare to live with, but he takes it all in stride, I'm grateful for that.
So, I switched. One of the first things I did after getting insured was to make an appointment with a REAL gynecological practice and get some REAL medical attention. He put me on a different BCP and I was extactic! Finally, I would be back to normal, no terrible side effects! While I knew that there was always the possibility of having symptoms with any medication, I expected that this one (which is widely used) would be much lighter on the side effects. What I didn't expect, was the tyrant of symptoms I would experience when changing hormones.
12 hours after taking the new mixture of anti-baby pills, I was a mess. Craig had just left for vacation and to the outside, I was experiencing some major withdrawal. I couldn't stop crying! I took long showers, went swimming, and even tried to sleep, but the emotions kept swelling up out of nowhere! The next day, sitting at work wiping tears off my face, I kept having to convince everyone that I was fine. And the following day, I stepped off the curb into a rain puddle that soaked me up to the ankle. Right there, on a busy New York street, I broke down into a sobbing mess. Not little tears, but big, choking sobs that caused people to take their headphones out of their ears. I was making a scene - because my shoe was wet.
As my body continues to adjust to the new hormones, I am experiencing a plethora of swings. One moment, I am full of energy, bursting out of my skin with the need to RUN; the next, I'm so tired, I can't keep my eyes open. I actually fell asleep standing up, waiting for the bus. My stomach is gnawing at my throat, begging for food and then suddenly, I can't eat a single thing. Perfectly fine to boiling angry in a matter of seconds! Sooo annoying.
[to go ahead and stop any suspicions, no, I am not pregnant.]
As the week has gone on, things have slowly gotten better. I didn't cry when watching TV last night, which was a first in 5 days. And, I've been able to stay awake all day today! (Seriously, I've been nodding off at work, then feeling bad about it and crying again) Hopefully, my body is finally adjusting to the hormonal change and finding balance.
So, I take you for granted, hormonal balance. Because without it, I certainily would never have any friends.