Friday, October 3, 2008

SOS for PMS by Mary Byers (AND GIVEAWAY)

*** To enter to win a copy leave a comment on this post until Friday October 12 at midnight. ***
"It’s my hope that this book will bring help, hope and healing to moms who suffer from PMS. It’s been a source of despair in my own life but things are looking up now that I’ve developed my own coping plan. Those I interviewed for this book shared intimately about their own battles and I believe their stories, along with that of Callie’s (the main character in the book) will convince other women that it is possible to change their current response to PMS and encourage them to start today.”
—Mary M. Byers, author of The S.O.S. for P.M.S.

My Review: I really liked this book. There is a lot of practical advice on how to deal with the various issues that come with P.M.S. I also learned about some things I did not know like to chart your symptoms. She even includes sample calenders and charts for you in the book. I also liked the mini story in the book about Carrie a fictional character who provides an example of PMS and what it can do for a woman and family. Although I am not married my family has often referred to days when I am not being nice enough for them as PMS days. My mother even said I only get two of them a month. They tease me about them. It can be really annoying as many things I say and do they don't like. This book really opened my eyes. I highly recommend it. :)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Mary Byers is a professional speaker and writer whose passion for transforming lives is evident in every project she takes on. In her first book with Harvest House Publishers, The Mother Load: How to Meet Your Own Needs While Caring for Your Family, Byers teaches women how to take care of themselves so that they can nurture a happy, healthy family. The mother of two lively children, she offers down-to-earth suggestions, spiritual truths, and real-life advice on how to juggle family responsibilities while creating a balanced life through supportive friendships, stress-relieving laughter, regular exercise, rejuvenating solitude, and an intimate relationship with the Lord. The founder of Word Works, Byers graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Telecommunications. She is also a Certified Association Executive. Byers and her husband, Stuart, reside in Illinois with their two children.

Other books by Mary:

How to Say No...and Live to Tell About It
Extraordinary Women: Secrets to Discovering the Dream God Created for You



Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $11.99
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736921702
ISBN-13: 978-0736921701

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:



There's Yellow Caution Tape in the Kitchen Again

Callie O'Keefe stood in the bathroom crying. Her two children, ages four and two, were outside the closed door, listening to their mother sob. Abby still felt the sting of her mother's hand on the back of her head. She'd made her younger sister cry, setting her mother off and resulting in the physical smack that seemed to come from nowhere with the speed of a rattlesnake strike. Abby stood in the hallway confused. Though she was the one who had been struck, her mother was the one crying.

As her children stood bewildered outside the bathroom door, Callie cried into a bathroom towel. "Lord, please help me stop this," she begged. "This is not the kind of mom I want to be!" This prayer had been uttered at least once a month for many years as she struggled with depression, anger, and fits of unpredictable behavior that descended on her prior to the onset of menstruation.

It was the same every month. The familiar twinge of oncoming cramps alerted her that her period would begin within the week, which meant she had to watch her words and actions very carefully. Each PMS battle started the same. Callie resolved to "do better and be kinder." And each resolution was quickly broken when her children set her off by arguing, complaining that the other got the bigger piece, or spilling a glass of milk at the very moment Callie's ability to cope was at its lowest. And it wasn't only the children who were bruised by her irrational behavior. Her husband, Steve, was just as likely to be the target of a tirade that she would later regret. Some nights it was so bad she'd wait until he was asleep and then slink into the guest room to bed down for the night. That way she wouldn't have to face him in the morning and see the hurt in his eyes.

As sobs racked her body, Callie grieved the fact that each month she seemed

to get worse. What had started as mild PMS in her 20s was now cause for serious concern. Two children in the house and an inability to control her words and emotions was a combustible combination. Callie knew she was doing damage to the family and feared the long-term consequences.

She raised her head from the towel, looked into the mirror, and saw the face of a mother in agony. Surely I'm not the only one who's out of control like this every month, she decided. Callie remembered a neighbor down the street who had once mentioned at a party that her husband had nicknamed her "The Human Hurricane" because of the damage she did regularly while in the clutches of PMS. At the time Callie laughed because she couldn't imagine quiet, gentle Amber turning into anything close to a hurricane. But after the morning Callie just experienced, she now believed it was possible.

After rinsing her face with cool water, Callie opened the bathroom door and sat on the floor next to Abby. She gathered her sweet daughter into her lap, rested her chin on the top of Abby's head, and murmured the words she'd had to say so many times before: "Abby, mommy lost her temper, and she's very sorry. I was angry that you made Jessica cry, but how I handled it was inappropriate. I'm so sorry."

Abby's response was the same as always. "It's okay, Mommy. I love you." The ease with which she offered forgiveness amplified Callie's pain.

After hugging Jessica, Callie headed to the phone to make two calls. First, she'd call her physician to make an appointment to discuss her symptoms. Then she'd call Amber, the Human Hurricane, and ask if she'd come over some afternoon for a cup of coffee while the children napped. She finally realized she needed help and couldn't fight the PMS battle alone.

Though the phone calls were small steps, they would pay big dividends. By acknowledging the problem, Callie placed herself on the road to healing.

allie is like me--and many women I know who suffer from severe PMS. We don't want to act the way we do. We're normally fairly balanced, kind people. We love our husbands and children. And yet, when triggered, we speak words we regret in an ugly tone

of voice. We overreact. Sometimes we punish our children physically. Sometimes we rebuke them by ignoring them or withholding our love. One mother I interviewed confessed that, while under the influence of PMS, she ran away for a day when she felt she could no longer take the pressure of mothering.

Do you know you suffer from PMS? Or are you wondering if you do? Let's start by taking a closer look at the symptoms.

Physical Symptoms

acne

bloating, water retention, weight gain

breast swelling and tenderness

bruising

changes in bowel habits (constipation/ diarrhea)

decreased sexual desire

dizziness

fatigue, lack of energy

food cravings, especially for sweet or salty foods

leg cramps

nausea

nipple discharge

pain (headaches, aching muscles and joints, cramps, low back pain)

rashes

sensitivity to light

shakiness

sleep pattern changes and/or insomnia

sweating

swelling of hands and/or feet

vaginal irritation

Behavioral and Emotional Symptoms

anger

anxiety

decreased alertness

depression, sadness, hopelessness

forgetfulness

inability to concentrate

indecision

irritability

loneliness * paranoia

loss of control * suicidal thoughts

mood swings * unexplained crying

nightmares * withdrawal from family and friends

panic attacks

These are just a few of the 150 or so PMS symptoms that have been identified. Individually they are often manageable. When combined, they can be debilitating. According to WebMd:

Although 85 percent of women experience PMS at times in their lives, about 40 percent are significantly affected.

While most women first experience PMS in their mid20s, PMS becomes even more common among women in their 30s.

PMS can come and go during the reproductive years, and symptoms may worsen as a woman approaches perimenopause in the late 30s or 40s.

Severe PMS symptoms may be premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which affects up to 8 percent of women.1

For the purpose of our discussions, I'll be dealing with PMS. However, if you suffer from PMDD, please note: The symptoms you are wrestling with are more severe than regular PMS indications. Because of that, it's even more essential that you be proactive in developing a personal coping plan. The unexpected, unpredictable nature of PMDD mood swings, depression, and feelings of being overwhelmed make it extremely detrimental to mothering. The sooner you respond to the monthly tsunami that sweeps you away each month, the better off you and your family will be.

Mothers, be encouraged! You are not alone in the PMS battle, and you are not imagining your symptoms. Here's what a physician wrote about her own challenge each month:

When I asked my mother for help she could only offer sympathy. She told me that I'd probably grow out of it as I got older. Instead, it got worse. My PMS continued all through my medical training at Northwestern University in Chicago. One week out of the month I was in too much pain to do my work properly. I still remember the many afternoons when I had to leave the medical or pediatric ward. I went to the medical student on-call room and lay there in agony with severe nausea and cramps. My body swelled up so badly that I couldn't bear to bump against anything. The cysts in my breasts became large and tender. I was the only woman student on many of my rotations, and my symptoms made me feel inferior to and different from the male students. My moods fluctuated terribly. Part of the month I would feel calm and relaxed--like everyone else. But before my period I became quarrelsome and hard to deal with. I became much more sensitive to imagined or real slights and put-downs. I craved sugar and went on junk-food binges. Often I'd steal away and cry, not knowing how I was ever going to get through my training.2

Another physician wrote:

It is clear that PMS exists because among the thousands of women I have listened to, I have never had one say that each month, after her period, she loses self-esteem or fights with her husband or wants to kill herself. I have never heard a woman say that she wanted to feel postmenstrually as well as she does each month premenstrually. I've never heard a woman say, "You know, I get irritated easily, but premenstrually nothing could bother me."3

I'm sure you can identify with some of the symptoms and emotions

just expressed. Though reviewing the list of symptoms in this chapter

and realizing you have many (or all!) of them can be alarming, I hope

you also experience relief and comfort. I remember hearing about PMS for the first time and thinking, I have that! I was so relieved to understand the cause for my wild mood swings and unpredictable behavior.

It's one thing to understand why questionable behavior is occurring. It's another to do something about it. In retrospect, that's where I dropped the ball. There were many reasons that my new awareness did not lead to behavioral changes. Mostly, I was not willing to admit to myself or anyone else that I was unable to control my emotions and the resulting actions. To do so would have required admitting a weakness, something I wasn't willing to do. (Then I became a mother. Suddenly all my weaknesses showed up, en masse, the minute I arrived home from the hospital with that bundle of pink blanket and joy in my arms!)

In addition to not wanting to admit my struggle, since I was married when my PMS worsened, it was much easier to blame my husband for my problems and expect him to be the one to change. Needless to say, that plan failed dismally.

It wasn't until I noticed that once a month my normally upbeat, positive nature melted into hopelessness, helplessness, and apathy that I begin to consider getting help. Honestly, the help wasn't so much for me as it was for my family. Month after month of irrational, uncontrollable, and unlike-me behavior finally took its toll. After struggling mightily to manage the unmanageable each month, I finally got down on my knees and admitted to God that I needed help. Then, like Callie, I called my doctor, acknowledged the problem to a friend (who, it turned out, had also been struggling alone with the problem), and admitted to my husband that "Black Tuesday" at our house was a result of my hormones--and not his shortcomings as a husband. (More on this later.)

My willingness to surrender was the turning point in my battle with PMS. By acknowledging it and being proactive, I've been able to lessen the effects on my family and me. Though I certainly haven't perfected my response, my family and I are more hopeful about it than we've ever been.

Skulking around, hoping PMS will go away on its own doesn't work. Admitting that there is a problem, enlisting help, searching for solutions that work, and making the changes necessary to minimize the effects of PMS are the only ways to slay the hormone dragon.

That's what this book is about: finding hope and taking back your life. Are you ready?

9 comments:

Tarasview said...

this sounds like a book I should read :)

Bookfool said...

I think I must be the "odd girl out". I don't get PMS, ever. Sorry your family picks on your bad days. I hate button-pushing, but I think we all do that with our family members, to a certain extent.

Blessed Assurance arrived. Thank you so much! I'm easing up on my ARCs so I can get back to reading my own books and this is one I'm really looking forward to reading when the pile has been pounded down a bit.

Deborah said...

I would love to read this book. I definitely get bad PMS, and I get so tired of it being so obvious to those who know me-and they have no problem teling me they can tell. If you know what I mean! I would love to win a copy of this book-but I will probably buy it if I don't win it. Thanks for sharing!

AmandaSue said...

Now this sounds like a very useful book! I'd love to be entered in the giveaway, thank you

Jennifer @ Quiverfull Family said...

I don't get PMS (not menstruating currently), but I do have some hormonal postpartum/breastfeeding issues. I hope this might help! Are you including Canadians in your contest?

micaela6955 said...

I have had PMS issues for years, but never really knew what was happening until I read up on it. Now with my hormones out of whack, and my whole cycle screwed up I am constantly suffering from PMS and probably will until menopause...I am having NovaSure done in the spring though, so maybe that will help, just not sure. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to win.

micaela6955 at msn dot com

Danielle said...

I am definitely in need of a book like this.

ldsmom2201 at yahoo dot com
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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.

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

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