Monthly Archives: October 2007

They're HERE!!

Momma and Daddy are here for a visit.  I have been on the road literally all day.  They flew into Phoenix instead of Tucson (there is a major difference in the fare prices).  My Momma and Daddy thought it was about an hour and a half drive for me and my brother to pick them up.  Um…NOT!  Unless I was driving a race car at 150 MPH…the drive time is about three hours one way from where we live.  It was no problem for me…I would drive anywhere to pick them up.  It was fun driving there with my brother.  We both got cheesy key rings with “Rob” (amazing there are no rings with the name Robin) and “Lou” (no Louis ones either) and it was a pretty good trip there.  I didn’t realize how BIG Phoenix airport was until I got there.  Amazingly we didn’t get lost one time.  My navigational skills are improving.
I am driving around in a rental car since my car has a defective rear door.  The back door cannot be opened from the either the indie or the outside.  They must be having a hard time fixing the door because I dropped off the car on Saturday and they still have the vehicle.  I haven’t heard a word from those people at all.  The rental is a 2008 Saturn Vue…I love the car, but I really want MY car back.  I hope they don’t think I have fallen in love with this model and want to do a trade in…because I don’t want to do that.  I am so over the newness of the 2008 version.  I am like that with cars…I am like OH WOW for a few days and after that I am over it all.  I am wondering what they will do if they cannot fix the car…I definitely cannot drive a vehicle with a defective passenger door.  Something has to be done…I will give them until Friday then I will call them.  I will update the results (or lack of results) then.  I am of this mindset…I will just drive around in this rental until they do something.  It is a major safety issue for me and I will not accept the car back unfixed.
I was thinking about calling out sick tomorrow…but I know I NEED to go to work.  It is so close to the troops coming back and I have a ton of things to do before then.  I was offended by a comment that was made by someone who I was working with…he pretty much talked about me behind my back.  I thought he was happy with what I was doing and then he turned around and told the other woman that I work with that he had no idea WHY I was emailing him and calling him (I wanted to call him and tell him that he requested that I call him..what a jackass!  I didn’t…I was mad but I will remain professional no matter how much it bothers me!).  He referred to me as “THAT WOMAN”.  Well…this guy also made the same comment about my co-worker (I didn’t tell my co-worker what he said about her so I am puzzled as to why she told me this…anyone would be offended by such a thing…I was literally thrown into this)…so who does he want to work with??  I just have to realize that these types of things happen…people will do or say whatever they need to get what they want.  All the work that I did…well she is getting credit for it all.  It stings…but I am grown and this is the first time that I have dealt with this type of assignment so she can take it.  I will get paid regardless.  You just wouldn’t think people are that two faced these days.  Sigh… I guess this is what working for the Army is all about.
My house is rearranged and actually decorated.  It looks so much better now…and it is comfortable.  The only thing I have left to do is to clean my room.  I let the teens know that I want the house to STAY this way…I am not sitting here with a clenched jaw because everything is in order.  I hope to have everything in order by Friday (they changed my day off at work and now I have this Friday off instead of next Friday…THAT is a whole other story) so I can show Mom and Dad the house.  After that I would like to take them to the Desert Diamond Casino.  I haven’t been gambling since I left New Orleans so it should be fun.  If we don’t make the casino…I guess me and Lou will do a workout instead.  I haven’t done any formal exercise all week…but moving everything around was a workout in itself.  I am not bummed at all.  I will get back in the swing of things by this weekend…guaranteed.  I haven’t worked this hard to get to where I am to get lazy NOW.   Too much time and sweat was invested in all of this and I plan on staying this way.  Lou lost about 15 pounds just by working out.  Since Mom and Dad are here (Momma is borderline diabetic and my Daddy has Type 2 diabetes) I will be on track with the diet for the entire time.  Momma wants to know how I eat…and that is motivation enough to stay away from all the bad foods.
Be on the lookout for lots of pictures…I will be taking a ton of them.  I am beat so I am off to take a shower and prepare for tomorrow…

The Next Iron Chef…

…I so love this show!!  I always wonder if I would have pressed the issue in the Summer of 1987 and took the Culinary Arts program instead of going Pre-Med (yep…Pre-Med and I can’t stand the sight of blood and I suck at most of the subjects that end with “Y”) would I have my own restaurant??  Would I have the skills to be in competition??  The Chefs that are featured are around my age 35 and up.  Hell…Gordon Ramsey (I have a love/hate thing for him) is my age…38.  I always wonder if I would have chosen the right words…instead of telling my parents “I wanna be a COOK!” Maybe I should have said “I wanna be a CHEF and own my own restaurant!” would that have made a difference??  At that time wanting to be a cook wasn’t the same as cheffing.  Oh well…I am a Foodie.  Cooking gives me joy.  It is an outlet for me.  I am what is called a “eyeball” cook.  I don’t follow recipes to the letter.  Everything I prepare is in my head.  If anyone asked me HOW to make something or ask for a recipe I wouldn’t be able to tell them.  I can’t pinpoint measurements…I just know when it is right.  That is the best way to cook for me.  I am slowly but surely limping along to getting that degree.  I will never say I am TOO old to do anything.  I don’t care if I am 90…I will have that diploma behind me.  I wanna be buried with my knife roll…
I want John Besh to win.  He is a New Orleans Chef and I swear he looks familiar to me.  His techniques and the way he puts the flavors together reminds me of my cooking.  I can tell he puts his soul in the food…that is what makes a difference in every plate.
Gonna go and watch the show and pretend I am competing.


I think this is my problem. I tend to get looney about a week or two before my cycle. It used to be really bad before I decided to go low carb…but it is still terrible. I get on my own nerves. I put in some of the things that I am experiencing and I came up with PMDD. I don’t want to have to take yet another pill…but at least it is good to know what the heck is wrong with me. Or at least have an idea. I know that I am losing my mind every two weeks. I read somewhere that they put people on Prozac…but that may not be the case. I have been on Vitamin P before and it did nothing but make me gain weight…thus making me more depressed. It seems to be getting worse though…I have been able to deal with all of this but for some reason it seems to be STEROID level symptoms. One good thing from this…my house is getting deep cleaned…I tend to nest very hard. The kids try to avoid me…yeah…I am that terrible…

Here are the symptoms that I found…and I have every single one of them.


PMDD symptoms begin sometime after the middle of a monthly cycle (after ovulation), usually get worse during the week before menses, and then usually disappear within a few days of the start of menses. The symptoms follow this pattern every month or almost every month.

Here are the symptoms that make up the diagnosis of PMDD. All of the symptoms do not need to be present, and they may vary from month to month. At least 5 are required to make the diagnosis, including at least one of the first four.*

  1. Very depressed mood, feeling hopeless (check)
  2. Marked anxiety, tension, edginess (YEP!)
  3. Sudden mood shifts (crying easily, extreme sensitivity) (I started crying watching a commercial…feelings get hurt fast)
  4. Persistent, marked irritability, anger, increased conflicts (can you say…BITCH ON WHEELS?? Everyone avoids me)
  5. Loss of interest in usual activities (work, school, socializing, etc.) (check…I tend to “hide”…just want to be on my island by myself)
  6. Difficulty concentrating and staying focused (I call it Oldtimers Disease…)
  7. Fatigue, tiredness, loss of energy (I am usually beyond exhausted…usually a week before my cycle)
  8. Marked appetite change, overeating, food cravings (Craving is an understatement…try NEED potato chips and candy)
  9. Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or sleeping too much (I vary between not being able to sleep to passing out)
  10. Feeling out of control or overwhelmed (I call them Panic Attacks)
  11. Physical symptoms such as weight gain, bloating, breast tenderness or swelling, headache, and muscle or joint aches and pains (all of the above, plus extreme cramps and heavy heavy cycle…I tend to gain between 8-10 pounds of water…then I cycle to symptom 3, then 10, then 3, etc.)

*Adapted from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed 1994, with permission from the American Psychiatric Association

PMDD symptoms are not always present. Symptoms disappear during or by the end of menses, and return at about the same time during following cycles. If symptoms are present every day, then they are unlikely to be due to PMDD.

To be considered PMDD, symptoms must be severe enough to really disrupt a woman’s life — interfere with work, school, social activities or interpersonal relationships.

I was right…antidepressants! Ugh!

There is no shortage of medications that have been used to treat premenstrual symptoms — some by prescription only and others over-the-counter. Many women have premenstrual symptoms that can be annoying but are usually rather mild. If these symptoms are more troublesome, they are called PMS or premenstrual syndrome. If they are quite severe and disabling and include depression, anxiety and/or irritability they may well be PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder). Many medication studies have focused on PMS which, unfortunately, has often been vaguely defined.

More recently there have been large, well-designed research studies of PMDD. There are now four prescription drugs that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating the condition. These FDA-approved medications are fluoxetine (Sarafem), paroxetine controlled-release (Paxil CR), and sertraline (Zoloft), together with drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol oral contraceptive (YAZ).


The antidepressants most effective for treating PMDD are those with strong effects on serotonin, a chemical neurotransmitter. They are often referred to as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). There are 6 SSRIs marketed in the U.S., although only 3 have been approved thus far by the FDA for treating PMDD. The six SSRIs available in the U.S. are:

Generic Name

Brand Name






Sarafem* or Prozac (gained weight…more depressed)




Paxil CR* or Paxil


Zoloft* (Been on that…made me NOT want to eat like my jaw was wired…PLUS was addicted to alcohol and gambling)

*Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Sarafem and Prozac are the same chemical (different commercial names for fluoxetine). The manufacturer chose to give them different names when they were approved for PMDD.

PMDD experts recommend an SSRI for PMDD when the main symptoms are depression, sudden mood shifts, anxiety, anger/irritability or fatigue with a preference in the direction of the FDA-approved drugs. If PMDD symptoms are quite severe or if PMDD is associated with another condition requiring an SSRI, treatment is usually continuous (medication is taken every day). For less severe symptoms, intermittent dosing may be all that is necessary. Intermittent dosing means taking an SSRI only during the second half of the cycle (the 2 weeks before menses). Fluoxetine (Sarafem), paroxetine controlled-release (Paxil CR), and sertraline (Zoloft) are FDA-approved for both continuous and intermittent use. Which approach is best varies from woman to woman and is best determined with your physician or nurse practitioner. Some other antidepressants (e.g., citalopram [Celexa], clomipramine [Anafranil], escitalopram [Lexapro], mirtazapine [Remeron], venlafaxine [Effexor] SATAN developed that drug. Had brain zaps, no interest in anything other than drinking, eating, and gambling. GAMBLING is a side effect?? Oh and as a extra…if you just go off the drug cold turkey and don’t ease off of it…you get major withdrawals…ever seen Heroin Addicts jonesing?? I was literally rolling around on the bed in pain because my body needed the pill. I had to get off because the electrical shock feeling in my brain was freaking me out. TERRIBLE!) show promise for treating PMDD, but they have not been as well studied as the SSRIs and none of them are FDA-approved for PMDD.

Anxiolytics (Antianxiety Drugs)

When anxiety symptoms are an outstanding feature of PMDD, antianxiety drugs are sometimes used. None are FDA-approved for PMDD. The best studied of these is alprazolam (Xanax and others), which led experts to recommend it first if an antianxiety drug is used. Both clonazepam (Klonopin and others) and lorazepam (Ativan and others) are similar drugs and can be used as alternatives. Drugs of this type tend to work quickly and may be used either as needed or regularly, but only for the second half of the cycle. Dependence and tolerance are occasional problems with these drugs.

A different type of antianxiety drug is buspirone (BuSpar and others)(OH LORD! I was on that for a month…I was so hopped up my husband would literally have to take me for a ride around New Orleans to calm me down…I would have the window open with my head out. Going back and forth like a dog. So um…not that either), which is used at times for PMDD but is not high on the list of recommendations.

Analgesics (Pain Relievers)

There are many pain relievers that can be helpful if pain is a prominent feature of PMDD. However, they are not particularly useful as overall treatments for the disorder. You can find a wide selection in the over-the-counter section of your pharmacy and others are available by prescription. These drugs are used more commonly to treat cramps that occur during menses, a condition known as dysmenorrhea. (meaning…cramps from HELL! Looking around to make friends with anyone who has a Vicodin prescription! I have to take nighttime pain killers to dull the pain. That and to help me sleep. There are some months I am literally crawling on the floor because I cannot walk…I’m falling apart!)


There are two hormonal approaches to treating PMDD. One involves stopping ovulation either with a drug or surgically. Needless to say, surgery to remove the ovaries (I lost one ovary due to an etopic pregnancy…so I guess I only have half strength symptoms. I would hate to see how I would be with both of those babies…Jeez!) is considered only as a last resort in the most severe, disabling, and otherwise treatment resistant situations. Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) are used often to treat premenstrual symptoms, but somewhat surprisingly they have not been extensively studied and their effectiveness for PMDD is not well-established. An exception is drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol (YAZ), which was FDA-approved in 2006 for treating PMDD symptoms in women who use it as a contraceptive.

Danazol (Danocrine) is a synthetic steroid that suppresses ovulation and is FDA-approved for treating endometriosis (damn I have that too! This old mare just ain’t what she used to be). Its value in PMS is mostly for breast tenderness and it is not particularly well tolerated.

There is a class of drugs known as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists that prevent ovulation. These include leuprolide (Lupron), goserelin (Zoladex), and nafarelin (Synarel). These drugs are usually reserved for women who have severe PMDD that has not responded to better established and better tolerated treatments. Because these drugs cause a premature menopause, they are often used together with supplemental estrogen and progestin.

The second hormonal approach to PMS/PMDD is the use of progesterone or estrogen to directly relieve symptoms. There are literally thousands of websites with information about progesterone for PMS – natural progesterone, synthetic progesterone, progesterone-like compounds, oral progesterone, progesterone suppositories, progesterone creams, and even progesterone from wild yams. It has become progressively more difficult to separate progesterone science from progesterone hype. Remember that research studies have not found abnormal progesterone levels in women with PMS/PMDD. In addition, the best designed research studies in which progesterone was compared to placebo (a sugar pill) have not found it to be effective for severe PMS/PMDD. Nonetheless, progesterone continues to be widely prescribed by clinicians and widely used by patients, with both groups convinced that it is effective. This is an area where science and popular opinion continue to butt heads.

There has been some research to support the benefit of the estrogen patch for treating severe PMS symptoms. More study is needed to see just how this might fit into the treatment of PMDD. Estrogen is not considered a first-line treatment.


Diuretics (water pills) may be of some benefit for relieving water retention, bloating and body pain, but they are not particularly useful for the overall treatment of PMDD.

Hmmm…it looks like MEDICATION isn’t what I want. There is a dietary cure…


Dietary modifications are widely recommended to relieve premenstrual symptoms. Whether they are effective for treating the severe symptoms of PMDD is not well established. Here are some of the most common recommendations:

  1. Limit intake of alcohol, caffeine, salt, tobacco and refined sugar
  2. Increase intake of complex carbohydrates and protein
  3. Avoid overeating and weight gain
  4. Consider frequent small meals.***********I GUESS I AM DOING ALL OF THAT. MUST BE THE REASON I HAVEN’T KILLED ANYONE YET**********

Nutritional supplements (vitamins and minerals) are commonly used to treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) in a daily dose of up to 100 mg may be beneficial for some PMS symptoms, but research studies of this approach have produced conflicting results. The value of pyridoxine remains unestablished. Pyridoxine doses above 100 mg per day are not advised because high doses have actually caused nerve damage in some people. Calcium carbonate containing 1200 mg of elemental calcium daily was shown in one study to improve symptoms of PMS. Magnesium (a daily supplement of 200 mg) was reported to relieve premenstrual symptoms related to fluid retention, but whether it would be of any benefit for PMDD is not known. Optivite, a multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement, has been used widely over the past 20 or so years to treat symptoms of PMS. Other similar but not identical products are also available. There is some research support for Optivite as a treatment for PMS, but it has not been studied specifically for PMDD.

When used in conservative amounts vitamin and mineral supplements appear safe, but their effectiveness for treating PMDD remains to be established. There is no good evidence to support the theory that PMS or PMDD is caused by a deficiency of vitamins or minerals.

Evening primrose oil, a source of gamma-linolenic acid, has been touted as a treatment for PMS. However, a recent review of the research conducted with this product concluded that there is no good clinical proof that it works (and it’s expensive).

The role of herbal preparations for treating PMS and particularly PMDD is not well established. A recent study from Germany compared Vitex agnus castus (chaste tree) fruit extract to placebo (sugar pill) in 170 women with PMS and found it beneficial and well tolerated for symptoms that included mood changes, anger, irritability, and breast fullness. Whether this would be effective for the more severe symptoms of PMDD is not known.

So I guess I should look at Nutritional cures more than Medicine. I really do not want to go down the anti depressant road again. I was put on all of those things in Germany. I am a testament that sometimes happiness is not found in a bottle.

This was very informative to me…I swear a picture of me should have been on the website. I am literally the Poster Child of PMDD. Do any of you see yourself in these symptoms?? If anything this has made me want to continue the low carb way of life for the rest of my life. I surely don’t want to end up in jail because I had a donut at the wrong time of the month and lost my mind…that would so be NOT COOL!


Here is the website I got this from…there is more there if you are interested:

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or PMDD

%d bloggers like this: