Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Your Monthly Guest

Above: The best cure for Aunt Flo - chocolate!
Warning: If you are male, and get skeeved out by the frank discussion of women’s health issues, you may not want to read this post. You may also want to get over yourself. I’m just sayin’.

Tip Of The Day: How to deal with a visit from Aunt Flo. By the way, it took me YEARS to understand why she was called Flo. Yeah, I am that slow. Sad, but true.

Tip For Tomorrow: A cheap date does not have to equal a cheapskate – unfortunately, my last date was both.
Cheap movie theaters in the TC. And by the way? If you spring for the tickets? Do NOT make your date pay for the snacks.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Larue sent me the funniest e-mail the other day – one of those ‘forward to the world’ deals, like the fake job application to McDonalds. She usually doesn’t send that type of e-mail, but this one was so fabulous, she had to copy all her girls on it.

It was one woman’s letter to a Person In Charge at Always (the folks that gave us pads with wings). Did you know Always started printing “Have A Happy Period” on their wrappers? Me neither. Apparently, that was the WRONG THING TO SAY to this woman. And thus, her lengthy rant ensued.

I have to agree with the anti-Always lady. There is no such thing as a ‘happy period,’ there is only a ‘less sucky’ or a ‘well, at least I’m not actually dying’ period. However, there ARE ways to make your period not as awful as it could be. And best of all? These ways tend to be very inexpensive. Finally, we can catch a break!

1. Increase your fiber intake the week before your period. I actually read about this tip in one of those Sweet Valley High-esque teen series from the eighties. I think it was called Seniors or something like that.
Anyhoo, the brainy one (not to be confused with the slutty one, the popular one, or the shy one) said that she ate 6 prunes a day before her period, because the extra fiber reduced bloating and cramping during her period.
If you hate prunes (I know I do), there are plenty of high fiber cereals to eat instead. I’m a big fan of All Bran – it has, like, a billion percent of your daily allowance of fiber in one bowl.

2. Reduce consumption of salt and caffeine during your period. I’ve read these two tips in several health magazines, so the info is coming from people much smarter than I. Too much salt will make you bloated, and too much caffeine can make your cramps worse.
I can attest to the caffeine thing. I try to cut back to only 1 cuppa joe a day during the blessed monthly event, and it seems to reduce my cramping. But if I go crazy with the coffee, I’m in pain for days.
As to the salt, I bloat no matter what. And I NEED to indulge my cravings for salt-laden Totino Party Pizzas. Truly.

3. Exercise to reduce cramps. I know this is true, as I have experienced it firsthand. The only problem is that the LAST thing I want to do when I have cramps is go to the gym. Sigh. But it does work.

4. Have an orgasm to reduce cramps. No, seriously, it’s true. Once again, I read this tip in a women’s health magazine. And, once again, the very LAST thing I feel like doing when I have cramps is, well, that.

5. Take a hot bath. Now THIS is something I want to do when I’m doubled over in pain. A comforting bath is perfect, especially with bubbles. The bubbles don’t do anything for my cramps, I just like them. However, don’t get too relaxed and fall asleep in the tub, like my SIL did once. Not safe – and you can’t count on your spouse to wake you up.

6. Use a heating pad to sooth your cramps. I have a heating pad waiting, at the ready, under my bed just for this reason. I also store it under there to keep the monsters at bay. Okay, no, not really.
Once again, don’t fall asleep using the heating pad – you could burn yourself, which would only make your period worse.

7. Drink more water. I have been told (by my doctor, no less) that drinking more water will help flush out your system and reduce bloating. I guess you need to rinse away the salt, or something. So if you needed another reason to drink more water, here you go. Just don’t go crazy with the bottled water, or Al Gore will yell at you for contributing to global warming.

8. Last, but not least, eat more chocolate. I’m pretty sure that this tip works in a purely psychological fashion, but do we care? Don’t you WANT a reason to eat more chocolate? I know I do. I often use “today is a day ending in y” as an excuse to indulge…

There you have it – 8 cheap ways to make Aunt Flo’s visit a little less unbearable. No, you’ll never have a ‘happy period;’ that just flies in the face of reason. But maybe these tips will make you less inclined to write a letter to Always. If not, have at it. I mean, really. “Have A Happy Period?” Sheesh.


LaRue said...

I did what is quite possibly the cheapest thing in regards to periods: I had a hysterectomy. And how, you might ask, is this cheap? Well, first, my insurance covered everything.

Second, I no longer have to purchase any feminine hygiene supplies, or the tons of Ibuprofen I used to eat like candy. (Starting 10 days before the blessed event.) I also got back the hours/days of my life where I would either lie there in agony, or pass out from pain, rather than being productive, like sewing or working outside the home.

The downside? $5.00 a month in estrogen replacement (I was only 31). And no monthly excuse for eating chocolate. (Not that this has stopped me of course.)

And Happy Periods? Also, I believe the book you were referring to was "The Girls of Canby Hall." (I am SO old...)

The Cheap Chick said...

Nope, it wasn't Canby. I'm pretty sure it was Seniors. I know for a fact it wasn't SWH or Cheerleaders - although I did learn some interesting make-up tips from those two.

Anonymous said...

Start taking 4 advil every 6 hours about 3 days before. Or, if you're perimenopausal, about 20 days before. Then, warm up the rice bag in the micro ... it's going to be a bumpy ride.

And, oh yea, labor pains? Yea, they aren't much compared to my monthly pain without advil.