The Padless Period™ by Ella Mak

PMS (Pass My Sweatpants)

PMS (Pass My Sweatpants)

I never expected that even a few decades into my adulthood, my body could still reduce me to the emotional turmoil and physical challenges of being a teenager. But PMS can, almost every time.

It’s incredible that I still never quite expect the symptoms, or that it may take a day or two to realize why I’m feeling the way I do. There is still often a moment when I put on my pants, look in the mirror and stare incredulously at my bloated belly, wondering what the heck I have been eating. I lament my recent food choices and criticize myself for letting things get this far (meaning my stomach) because really I don’t want to have to buy more pairs of pants to just fit into them. Inevitably, I start bleeding, and within a day, my pants fit again.

And I’m not sure what causes the occasional, but glaringly awkward pimple on my face. Is it the fluctuations of my hormones from PMS? Or is it that I have given into my intensified cravings for chocolate too many times? I never did learn the truth of that one.

I used to get cramps in my back, which is always a hard one to explain. Most of my friends had cramps in the front like normal PMS’ers. But trying to describe back pain, and more so know how to relieve it, was not in the typical PMS handbooks when I was growing up. Now that my oldest daughter has started her cycles, I watch in sympathy as she squirms and complains about her own back pain. Who knew PMS symptoms could be genetic?

I have certainly felt the fatigue of PMS. But I wonder if it is actual fatigue or more of a desire to close oneself off from the rest of the world. Either way, it looks similar, jammies, a blanket, the couch, and a good book (and quite possibly a pint of fudge swirl ice cream). 

Some women get headaches, even debilitating ones. Though I never experienced PMS headaches myself, I have witnessed other women go through them. They do not look like your average, run of the mill headache. Just another little gift from the PMS fairy.

When it comes down to it, the most common and frustratingly joked about PMS symptom, I think, for most women (whether we like to admit it or not) is emotional distress. This can range anywhere from acting like a raging you-know-what to becoming a dissolved pile of tears on the kitchen floor. This is often referred to as a mood swing, a cute name that does not truthfully depict nor adequately warn a person for what is in store.

Stay tuned for tips on how to survive PMS…

Anne Fricke Guest Blooger, is an author, performance poet, podcaster, mother, wife and campfire storyteller. You can learn more about her at

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