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~Seek first to understand, then be understood~
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I have a "friend" who shows up once a month. She turns my world upside down, over and over again.
I am a good person, caring and sweet, but when she comes to visit, I could rip off your head.
She takes no prisoners, foul words she does spout, I try to keep the words in, she lets them come out.
People don't understand me, or what this is about, to have this creature inside my head.
I despise who I am, half of the time, I feel sorry for my daughter, family and friends.
There's no way to describe it, for those who don't know, it's a living nightmare, she really needs to go.
~Neysia Manor, Rest in Peace

Sunday, June 12, 2016

PMDD - After the Hysterectomy

In my first post, I shared what it was like for us in the trenches with PMDD.  This installment, I want to discuss what happened after my wife's hysterectomy, or how we finally got to life without PMDD.
The decision, I remember, was discussed a handful of times regarding whether my partner should have a hysterectomy. I remember us doing a lot of due diligence on the topic, mostly surrounded around her health. We knew we were at peace with the idea that we would no longer be able to have children—we already had two beautiful, healthy kids and we were truly blessed. The larger conversations centered around "then what?" What are the guarantees? What are the potential complications? What if the surgery doesn't work and what would the domino effect be, knowing she just had her entire reproductive house torn down and she still had PMDD?!
The decision was ultimately hers. She decided it was worth the risk of everything we had discussed, knowing the reward would mean so much more.
She had her surgery. It went well and we were told there would be no major side effects, just 6-8 weeks or physical recovery time. All good, right?
Let's harken back to PMDD and how most of us, even doctors, are learning on the fly. I obviously wasn't prepared for the three months after surgery and how PMDD kept creeping into our lives. It wouldn't go down without a kick in the gut, a roundhouse right to the head, and headlock for good measure. One of the hardest battles lied ahead and I was not any wiser to what the hell it was—again my preparation—or lack of it—didn't matter.
My wife fought for three months after her surgery. It was probably just as hard as when she had PMDD. I remember the emotional strain it took on her—how her body would never be the same. How the same place that had housed our children for almost 10 months was gone. It was an emotional rollercoaster. The fights still existed, the threats of divorce were still present, and it seemed at times as if one of my fears had come true—IT DIDN'T WORK!
As each day went by I was looking for a ray of hope. After she was fully recovered physically (try more like 3 months, not 6-8 weeks) some normalcy started to happen and it felt odd. We were always waiting for the next fight to happen. I was always tracking her episodes on my iPhone, trying to prepare for the next hostile takeover. We went back and forth at times really questioning if the surgery worked 100%.
It was a long road back emotionally for my wife post-surgery. It was harder, and took longer than any of us expected. PMDD gave us one last fight and didn't go down quietly...why should I have expected it to?
For whoever reads this, I leave you with this: It can and will get better. There are options for you and your partner. You don't have to live this way any longer. I know it is easier to run like hell than to stand and fight. I chose to stand and fight when at times I wanted to run far, far away.
I leave you with three points to help get you through it all:
1) Remember why you fell in love with her. It will carry you at times through the muck even though the woman you fell in love with might be a shadow of herself during PMDD.
2) It's okay to feel the way you do, no matter how much you might feel guilty for feeling a certain way. Things will cross your mind during her PMDD episodes that will have you questioning your sanity. You will feel like snapping at times. You will feel like doing irrational things just in the hopes that your wrong behaviors or attitudes are not so much payback for PMDD, but a pathway between staying balanced and losing your mind.
Talk about the way you feel with others even if they might not fully understand it. Just letting it go and letting out a good cry is also therapeutic. Don't hold it in. Find an outlet for yourself too. Your health still matters.
3) Lastly...Don't give up. She needs you still. She is fighting a swarm of demons that she doesn't want around. She doesn't want this any more than you do. [Whichever treatment option(s) you choose] Work towards achieving healthy solutions for both of you. There are solutions out there. Do your homework, reach out to PMDD survivors and their peers, and never, ever give up Hope.
You are stronger than you ever realized, partner, and God wouldn't give you anything you couldn't handle. Call it cliché but it's true. You were built for this for now, but it is not yours or hers to live with forever.
Liana's note: For more information on the basics of PMDD, please read my posts Dealing with PMDD - Advice for Men, and Confusion City.   Also worth reading are Top 20 Tips for Dealing with PMDD, and More Tips for Men Whose Partners Have PMDD.  All four posts are included in my book PMDD: A Handbook for Partners.  For those who prefer to have all this information (and much more!) in one convenient place, it's the book with the blue cover at the top of the sidebar. 

1 comment:

  1. Love this you are a very special man I wish all took there time to research this illness! Your wife is very lucky and thank you for writing this it gives people hope ��