Monday, August 10, 2009

Let the Pre-Ovulation Crazies Begin

So, I'm officially on CD9 and I can feel the pre-O hormonal surge beginning. In fact, this is one of the few, subtle double meanings behind the title of my blog. The fact is that since I went off birth control pills (BCP) in March, I have had insane hormonal mood swings around ovulation...and it seems to be getting worse each month!

For lack of a better way to describe it, I'd say it feels a bit like severe PMS, but three weeks too early! From approximately CD10 through O day (usually between CD15 and CD19 for me), I've got everything from paranoia to cry at the drop of a hat. It's very much extreme and it gets in the way of relationships and work, to some extent. Andy is a wonderful source of support during that time of the month, partly because we've dealt with similar issues over the years related to his depression. More than most, he clearly understands the phrase "I can't just flip the switch and make my brain stop working that way." Other people aren't always so understanding. And, I'll admit that the full "wrath" does seem to be taken out a bit more on my pregnant friends than my TTC-ones...and Andy, even more so, takes the brunt of it because I see him most often.

After a particularly awful episode last month, we realized that there was something more going on here than just "normal" hormonal mood swings. Shortly thereafter, my doctor decided that there were a combination of factors converging to create this added insanity...first, I probably have a predisposition to PMDD (Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder) and I'm likely having a particularly hard time coming off of BCP.

The former was not surprising to me in the least. Over the 10 years that I was on BCP, I tried at least 6 different brands all of which caused a myriad of side effects from low sex drive to extreme mood swings. Finally, a doctor prescribed Yaz, of course, is specifically formulated to help treat PMDD. It worked brilliantly for my last two years on BCP. And, then I went off BCP and found myself with increased sex drive (YAY!) but mood swings to trump all of the BCP-induced mood swings combined!

However, the latter point (that I'm just having a hard time coming off BCP) has irked me a bit. I guess this annoyance comes from the "why us," "this sucks" category of my brain. But, I find it particular annoying/frustrating that some people can get pregnant while still on BCP. Others can get pregnant the month after coming off. Still others have no adverse issues coming off it at all. And then there's us...obviously not pregnant while on the pill or shortly thereafter (though, we know the source of many of those issues now) AND having trouble coming off the pill. It's rather annoying!

But, then the rational "what are we going to do about it" side of my brain kicks in. It reminds me that it's not all out of my control. My doctor has offered Xanax if it doesn't get any better or gets worse. Meanwhile, I'm going to get a massage this week, strategically timed at the beginning of the O surge so that I can hopefully fend off the "crazies" a bit longer. I'm also hoping that just knowing that its coming will help me not put myself in situations to trigger it. If all else fails, or in addition to "all else," I'm looking into meeting with a therapist...particularly if we really are on this journey long-term. If your eyebrows were raised at the word "therapist," then look for a future blog post on the virtues of therapy in our society these days, but I digress...(hmmm, shall we blame that snippiness on the pre-O crazies? ;-)

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