Every month, I PMS, MS, Post-MS and it really wrecks havoc on managing my bipolar: emotions and behavior. Yes, I have discussed this with every clinician I know, including the research scientists at the top of this field. Guess, what, ain't chit they can do! Also there's a quandary: the meds I take for the bipolar, while good, have the booterrific side effect to messing around with my thyroid, which makes bipolar management, specifically the depression worse. I was reinvigorated today when I read that the thyroid may be "balanced" with Vitamin D. I have not been taking my Vit. D. supplement. And what's worse is I live in Seattle, a place that has less than optimal weather, so yeah, I am shutdown.
But my huge bipolar mania symptoms are amplified before my menstrual cycle. I have been tracking my symptoms over 3 months and have found that the numbers of my symptoms increase ~18th day of the month and peak 28th day of the month, then I have my cycle. Mentally, I am so snap happy. I snap at my husband for just breathing! I pick fights, when there are none. I feel rushed, anxious, worried and angry. I lament, whine and I cry. Physiologically, I am now seeing hand/foot swelling, my diastolic number increases in my blood pressure.
My cycle keeps flipping scripts on me. Uber heavy, red, clots for 2-3 days. Then there is a 1 day drop off with a trickle, pantyliner days for 2-3 days. I usually feel sickly during those days. Headaches, aches and pains, nasal congestion, stomach aches, immobile in the morning. My mood is complete fatigue and exhaustion. My complaints are just that.
After my period--just 2-3 days I am relatively normal. Easy going. My mood is mostly balanced. There are some external stressors, but overall, I am fine. I also have no pain, but I feel sore.
Then I post-MS and it lasts ~1 week. Physically, I feel nausea. I am still rather tired. I get started on my day when I have appointments. Mentally, I worry, I cry, I am depressed, I cannot move myself away emotionally, I cannot concentrate. Physiologically, I am about to ovulate. I think it is evolution telling me I am fertile, so my body attempts to get ready--which invariably does not happen. So what happens is it flings chemical signals and ligands to piss off my pituitary-hypothalamus axis--which puts the dampers on my emotions into depression...All of this action causes a migraine--especially on my right-side hemisphere--like 2 rebars on the caudal and frontalis sides of the skull. My husband calls it my invisible alien implant and the aliens tune it, often! I agree to it because, I've had 2 MRI's and they found absolutely nothing in my head... (Yep, including my brain--it's missing! :))
For 1-2 weeks I am not crazy. Then the entire cycle starts again.
Between the Post-MS to the PMS part, I was having break-through bleeding. 1-2 days of having to wear a pantyliner. This was occurring 7 years ago before I left my hometown. Only last year did I find something that stopped the break through bleeding--MINDFULNESS! It was stress that brings this problem on! And having these hormones, ligands, chemical agents flinging around in my body, no matter how much exercise I do, no matter how much chocolate/caffeine I avoid, I the break through bleeding only became manageable until I got a hold of the stress.
Hopefully, I can manage this stress through mindfulness for my PMS-MS-Post-MS. But it is very hard when it is not a clear cut physical problem.
Do I think my bipolar is a result of my PMS-MS-Post-MS? No. I can still be manic during those 1-2 weeks when I am not crazy if I don't take my meds. That's why I take them. The depression is persistent, it is something I learned to accept, cope and deal with to live in recovery. I use mindfulness to reach a positive outlook, rather that the negative statements from those bad ass tapes I have. It mostly works 75% to 80% of the time.
What works is isometrics. Getting those muscle groups to let go of all that glucose and become more insulin sensitive. Also I minimize stress by writing my thoughts in this blog and elsewhere. Reaching a balance, even if temporary is important for me to do.
Welp, I wrote this so that any woman who suffers like I do knows that they are not alone and this issue can be worked out.