Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Saturday Afternoon at Lake Lenape

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As a single woman, I remember seeing an Oprah show, maybe back in the 90's, where the guests were women who suffered from Premenstrual Syndrome. I used to not struggle with any prementrual symptoms and I remember laughing at those women for their lack of self-control. One of the women claimed to suffer from PMS so bad that she literally wanted to kill her husband. I felt no sympathy for these women and thought they were using PMS as an excuse to get away with their inability to control their emotions.

Well, I must now have to admit that I do empathize with these women because I've come to the realization that I too suffer from PMS. DearHubby noticed a change in my behavior soon after giving birth to DearDaughter1. I refused to believe it. So every month when DearHubby thought I was very irritable, he would ask if my period was coming.

What does my PMS feel like? I feel like I'm coming down with a cold or the flu. My body gets very tired and I just don't feel very good. As a result of this fatigue feeling, I am very irratible and every little thing stresses me out. The worse part about my PMS is the overwhelming feeling of anxiety that comes down on me. It literally feels like a rush of anxiety overcomes my mind and I sense a great loss of control over life. Since I have no outlet or resolve for that anxiety, I resort to relieving the stress through anger and angry outbursts.

It's important for me to have come to this realization because although I sense a great loss of control, I should not respond with the lack of self-control, which is how I have responded. In doing a little research1 about PMS, there are several ways to relieve or tone down the symptoms. The answer is very obvious as it is for every health concern. It is to eat healthier, exercise, and reduce stress. Though I don't eat that unhealthy, my diet could be healthier. One thing I do enjoy is a can of Coke or a glass of iced tea at least once a day, both of which have caffeine. Avoiding caffeine is one of those things on the eat healthier list that I don't do. I also don't eat enough fruits and vegetables as I should. I have started an exercise routine, so that's something on the list that I can check off. However, I don't get the rest that I should. It's critical that I know these things so that when that time of the month comes, my symptoms aren't uncontrollable.

Lastly or maybe firstly(?) I need to pray for God's sufficient grace to give me the strength to get through each month with self-control even when I don't feel like it.

So, why is Lake Lenape such a significant place?

God's sufficient grace brought me there this past weekend. I was struggling with a horrible case of PMS and totally lost all sense of control. I flew off the handle many times because things didn't seem like they were going my way, when in reality, things were not working in DearHubby's favor.

DearHubby had plans to work on the mold removal in our basement. I was asked to leave the house for the day, but my plans to meet an old colleague did not pan out and other friends had other plans for the day. I had no clue where to go and that stressed me out. All morning I fretted about what to do during the day. In the meantime, DearHubby's plans to get an early start wasn't working out either. He had a doctor's appointment where he left the house at 9am, but didn't get back until 11am. Although I had more time at home to think about what I could do, I got more and more angry until I broke down in anger and tears towards my husband. Though I had a vague idea of what I should do, I was still very uncertain of my plans.

I had never been to Lake Lenape before, but I found this park on the internet under Things To Do In...When the girls and I arrived, I was taken by the view of the lake. Just like any other lake, the view was just completely serene. Well, the parking lot was very full and there were college students everywhere loading and unloading their crew boats. Blessedly, there was one parking spot left and I grabbed it. We arrived at the peak of crew practice and once I got the girls and our things unloaded, we had the opportunity to watch the teams practice. It was an exciting event for DearDaughter1 because this was the first time she had ever seen a boat before! After watching the practices, we headed into the park and what greeted us were 2 very new and clean playgrounds and a gazebo that overlooked even more of this pretty lake. I was amazed that there weren't more people taking advantage of this park! We had the park all to ourselves! Eventually, some people came by with their kids and I was taken by how friendly the people were. The girls and I have been to other parks and playgrounds before where the kids, especially the older ones, were very mean. However, these kids were very friendly and DearDaughter1 made 2 new friends that day, Chloe and Katelyn. They were older girls who took DearDaughter1 under their wings and they just had a fun time chasing after the boys or even running from them. DearDaughter1 had the time of her life and because she was so happy, I was very happy too. DearDaughter2 enjoyed the park too and even had the opportunity to try out the swings. It was one of the best days I ever had and that time was just what I needed to relieve the stressful feelings I was feeling earlier.

When we arrived home, DearHubby was not quite finished with the mold removal and so I took the girls out for an extra treat. We went out for ice cream and that topped off our day very sweetly!

I said I was brought to Lake Lenape by God's sufficient grace because He made me realize that these symptoms of PMS can be controlled. I don't have to allow my emotions to overcome me. I can still struggle with PMS, but I can also find relief and have control over it.

1. "Prementrual Syndrome";

1 comment:

Bren said...

Oh honey! I am so sorry you suffer with PMS. I know, because I suffered with it too. It has been exchanged for peri-menopause in the last 7 years, but take comfort...I would rather have PMS! You are correct. Caffeine and sugar are you major enemies. B complex really helps too. and the excersise thing is wonderful.
You may want to get a hormone level done.

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