Tuesday, October 26, 2010

As I stirred my coffee this morning, I contemplated today's post. There were a few thoughts floating around in my brain, but the one I decided on is one that I've been meaning to write about for a while. I'm sure it's something that will make some uncomfortable, but I figure, what the hell? I don't think anyone reads this blog anyway. :) Not to mention, when I was in university, my filter that kept me from offending people was much thinner. So, if there is someone reading this, consider yourself warned.
This month, as I am sure you are aware, is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Originally, I was going to write about breast health and alternative ways to take care of your breast tissue-which I still may write about later-but instead, I have decided to enlighten you on the wonderful experience of PMS as a blind woman. "How is it different from any other woman?" you ask. Allow me to fill you in.
First of all, PMS is different for every woman. Each body is different and therefore, each experience is very different. There are many varying factors that make up the premenstrual experience. Body composition, such as weight, fat to muscle ratio, level of physical activities...the list could go on and on. That said, I have yet to find a study that examines PMS and its variations with relation to disabled women. Maybe it's just me it impacts so greatly; perhaps all other disabled women experience PMS the "normal" way. Regardless, PMS is a pain in the ass-at least for me it is.
Some women are very lucky and do not experience any symptoms. Menstruation doesn't phase them either. To those fantastic women, I say count your blessings. For others, it is painful, exhausting and a myriad of other things. Think of all of the symptoms that some women present with: exhaustion, clumsiness, forgetfulness, crankiness...now apply those to someone who can't see and you have a very interesting seven days.
For an entire week before menstruation, I am a train wreck. I don't really get moody. I guess I'm just lucky that way, but I am the most clumsy and forgetful person you would ever meet. Sometimes it gets annoying because I am expected to function as per normal, but I just can't. For example, I make important phone calls about viewing houses or to the vet to check on Kyo's hip check and I get confused and flustered for the simplest reasons. I phoned the vet today to ask if Kyo's hip evaluation had come in and he approached the conversation as if I were looking at the evaluation in front of me. Instead of explaining that I am blind and cannot see the evaluation, I just blundered through the conversation and didn't learn anything of any use. I almost need to call the man back and try the entire conversation again. Since I am blind, I rely heavily on memory for everything. I memorise phone numbers, where I put every day items like shoes/dog leashes, but when I'm PMSing you can forget it. I hardly even remember my own phone number. It's frustrating, and sometimes, humorous. I will forget where my shoes are and spend fifteen minutes racing around the house trying to find them so we can get to where we are going.
Memory dysfunction is not my only problem. I am so clumsy you would think my feet were three sizes too big and made out of bricks. I bang my toes off of chair/table/couch legs, graze my shoulders off of door frames, trip over sand granules and drop things right out of my hands. As a blind person, I rely on spacial awareness, which basically means, my body remembers how far away something is or how wide a hallway or door frame is. It also means that I "listen" for objects like walls, door openings, pretty much that is face level and that keeps me from banging into them. A lot of this has become second nature and I don't even realise I'm doing it anymore. That is, until I stop doing it. For about five to seven days I am a walking disaster. Today, for instance, I tried to put the sugar bole up on the shelf that I put it on every day and I completely missed; whacking the bole on the side of the shelf instead and nearly knocking the lid to the floor where it would have most certainly shattered. What do I do about this crazy annoying phenomenon? I laugh-well, at least most of the time.
Some days, I get frustrated and annoyed, but most of the time, it's just another part of my crazy life. I mean, really, what else can you do when you try to pick up your puppy and carry her to the back door to potty and you walk into a wall? You laugh because your puppy promptly looks up at you as if to say, "what is your deal?" No matter how you spin it, PMS is a pain for most women, but there are a select few that it makes life even more interesting and whacky for: me being one of them.

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