Woke up this morning and was almost jumping for joy … I got my period!  I leaned over and cuddled Maria telling her, I’m not mad … it’s just my period! 

I felt absolutely no anxiety all day.  Nothing … it was gone.  No dread.  It was just me … Ishbel … able to contend with the world just as she is and able to cope with the world just as she knows she is capable of.  A far cry from the state I was in the evening before.

I was leaving at 9 am, to cycle to a school to give talks, so I took Maria out for an early morning walk.  You can always tell if I’ve been experiencing high anxiety because Maria acts defensive towards me from other dogs. 

She loves playing with dogs and she’ll run up and jump and dance around them to play, and their owners let their dogs off their lead, because Maria is so damn cute, and they leap and jump about, tails wagging.  But should the dog come towards me, when I’ve been experiencing anxiety, Maria turns into a growling menace, to keep the dog away from me, leaving me utterly embarrassed.  Maria picks up when I’ve been highly anxious.  She doesn’t know why I’m anxious, so she minimizes threats, which in her world are dogs.  She would never hurt another dog, but by god her warning is ferocious from her time on the streets. 

I really enjoyed giving my two talks in the school and helped children develop their cycling skills, by playing games on bikes in the school yard.  I had so much fun and enjoyed playing the bike games just as much as the children.  

I didn’t feel nervous or anxious at all, and trust me, children are a much harder to please audience than adults, and they don’t hide their distaste or boredom out of politeness lol.  I felt awesome leaving the school and cycled home mostly downhill – and everyone knows how much I love downhills!  

I’ve been getting 2 periods each month for the last several months.  Which is not good for me as when it’s my time of the month, I have to step back from the outside world, I don’t give press interviews, and I don’t do public speaking events during this time, because I don’t have the same coping levels, I cry easily and my anxiety soars.  But this way of managing things wasn’t possible with two periods a month.

I went to my doctor a few weeks back to ask for tests.  I had asked the GP for hormone tests, but when I checked with the nurse taking my blood, she said my hormones were not being tested as such, but that my thyroid was amongst the standard blood tests being done.  My GP wanted to rule out that I had no tropical diseases.  I had mentioned I’d had a virus over winter, which caused a horrendous cough and meant I had to cancel radio interviews and podcasts in the USA.  She asked me if I was ever sick when cycling the world. 

To which I replied no … but then I said no wait … because I remembered the time, I was swimming in murky waters with giant waterfalls above and I got so sick the locals took me to a hospital and put me through the system using one of their cards.  I laughed when I saw the medical card belonged to a man.  Obviously, something like that would never happen here, but the locals had lived through a war and year long siege together, so if you were trusted by a local there was no questions asked.

Then I remembered, when my foot went incredibly swollen and I had a red rash, which was raised, spread up my legs and thighs.  I had to go into hospital for that.

The GP sitting in front of me now asked what had been wrong and I said I didn’t know.  She was confused because I had said I had been in hospital – how was it possible I didn’t know.  Well … I didn’t speak their language, so I didn’t understand what was being said to me.  They just gave me meds and I went to a hostel to recover.

A week later, the test results came back all within normal ranges.  I asked the medical receptionist, since I didn’t have a tropical disease, could my hormones be tested now but was told the case was closed and I would need to make another appointment with my GP, if I wanted any more done.  Well … pink elephant in the room … I’m still having 2 periods each month.

Mind you the great thing about that GP’s appointment was the prescription of a medication to ease my anxiety.  Now I’ve never taken medication for mental health before … no wait …  I did once get a prescription for anti-depressants from a vet (not in UK!) as I was experiencing extremely low mood after being rejected by family again.  I took the anti-depressants for a few weeks, then stopped as my mind went really ‘cloudy’ and I was unable to think.  Suppose here’s where I should put in a disclaimer … never get a human prescription from a vet and never just stop taking medication without consulting your doctor.   

I think there’s as equal a chance as not, that the problems I’m experiencing could stem from a hormonal imbalance.  I decided to go back to my doctor tomorrow and I’m only going to utter words I want my hormones tested, so there is no confusion.