Friday, September 26, 2008

S.O.S. for PMS

It's been a rough week. Jesse and I decided to give up caffeine. We had each decided individually before, but it's hard to stick with it when everyone else in the house (except Mia) is still drinking it. We were both guilty of starting off every morning with a Mountain Dew. Last week I started getting major migraine headaches, and caffeine only adds to the problem, and then I realized that the soda was actually making me sick to my stomach. So I talked to Jesse, and we agreed to do it together this time. Monday I had a can and a half (down from my normal 2-3); Tuesday I had half a can of Coke just to kill the withdrawal headache. Wednesday morning I had a couple of sips just to keep the withdrawal at bay. Yesterday and today, I've been completely caffeine free. Jesse is still fighting; it's hard to do it at work, so he's really going to go cold turkey this weekend. Wednesday I had a couple of doctor appointments, and I was amazed to find that my blood pressure had dropped 20 points since my last appointment, and my pulse had gone down 8 beats per minute. My blood pressure always hovered around 100/68, but in the last couple of years it's been 130/82. I couldn't believe that giving up caffeine made that much of a difference! And we need that; Jesse was put on high blood pressure medication this last week, so hopefully no caffeine will put his back in the normal range.

SOS for PMS by Mary M. Byers is an eye-opening, honest look at how premenstrual syndrome effects women and their families. Byers bravely tells about her own struggle with PMS that included depression, fatigue, and blow ups with her husband and children, some so extreme they verged on abuse. She uses a fictional woman named Callie at the beginning of each chapter who goes through her own battle and then takes Byers' recommendations and finds relief. The big three factors that can effect PMS are nutrition, stress, and exercise, and Byers includes ways to deal with all three to lessen the effects of PMS. From cutting back on caffeine to taking a walk and asking your husband to bring supper home to cut back on stress, the book is full of terrific ways to cope. Byers stresses that this is a problem with no quick solution. It takes planning and long term goals. Making a chart with not only physical symptoms, but mental as well help determine when what Byers refers to as "Black Tuesday" is coming. She has advice for husbands, including a letter from her husband with his own coping techniques. Byers promises that there is hope. It might come in the form of medications, exercise, or a combination of all her ideas, but there is hope that women don't have to suffer every month.

The winner of S.O.S for PMS is Amy Brehmer. Congrats Amy! If you'd like to read an excerpt of the book go here. Lots of other bloggers are giving away copies as they blog about it too; check them out; Mary's giving away 4 copies of the book to people who leave a comment on that post! One more nifty link; read an interview with Mary here. My next contest will begin on October 6th. Mia will be helping me out with a book review tomorrow; come back to check it out!


Mary Byers said...

Just wanted to take a minute to thank you for featuring The S.O.S. for PMS on your blog. I hope women will find hope, help and healing as a result of reading the book and appreciate your help in getting the word out.

Mary Byers
Author, The S.O.S. for PMS