Did I ever tell you about my trip to the SuperGyno? Well, I wouldn’t blame you if you don’t remember, even if I did tell you about it, which I can’t swear I did, and if I can’t remember telling you, how can I expect you to remember reading about it? I can’t. That would make me a…I don’t know. Not a hypocrite, exactly, but certainly some kind of unreasonable person with some kind of nerve. Anyway, to recap—or cap, as the case may be—my visits with the SuperGyno resulted in the determination that we should try supplementing with progesterone. Supplementing me with progesterone, that is. So since progesterone in the pill form is not well absorbed, my choices were a topical cream or a troche that dissolves under my tongue. Not being especially excited by the idea of applying a topical cream that would contain a hormone that might possibly rub off onto inconvenient surfaces, I chose the troche.

A compounding pharmacy compounded me a troche. They had many flavors from which to choose from. I did not opt for anything chocolate flavored because I did not expect chocolate-flavored hormone to taste like any kind of chocolate I would want. After listening to them recite their list of chocolate varieties, I chose the first non-chocolate variety they mentioned, which was raspberry lemonade. Or strawberry lemonade. Some kind of berry lemonade. Does it really matter? I just didn’t want to be on the phone all day talking about hormone flavors. So everyone who is squeamish about uteruses and lady business—if you weren’t already put off by a reference to “SuperGyno”—should avert their eyes for the next part because I’m about to give you TMI, even though it’s not really that much I, in my opinion, but who can predict the reactions of the squeamish? You know who you are, you know what to do.

So I was supposed to start taking the troche on day 12 of my cycle and continue every day until the first day of my next cycle. Is that delicately-put enough for you, squeamish persons who did not heed my warning and read this paragraph anyway? I did what I was supposed to do, as near as I could figure. The pharmacist told me to let the troche dissolve under my tongue and try not to swallow my saliva while the troche was dissolving, in order for more of the progesterone to be absorbed directly into my under-the-tongue tissue, which is fine, actually, except for the fact that when it finally dissolves (about a 20-25 minute process, believe it or not), my mouth is filled with saliva that tastes like the stuff that’s supposed to be directly absorbed by my under-the-tongue tissue but instead is threatening to go down my throat or be spat out of my mouth. I mean, I assume that’s the stuff that’s supposed to be absorbed. The pharmacist didn’t want me to swallow it because it doesn’t absorb as well in the stomach as it does under the tongue, and that’s the whole point of taking a troche instead of swallowing a pill: to absorb more progesterone. On the other hand, here is all this saliva—and okay, here’s the part that’s TMI, I should have warned you about that too, sorry, go ahead and skip ahead if you can’t handle it—and it doesn’t seem like the saliva would eventually be absorbed by my under-the-tongue tissue (or my inside-the-cheeks tissue, which the pharmacist said would do just as well) if I just gave it enough time. It seems like the more time I give it, the more saliva gets produced. So what is the point? Have I absorbed any of this progesterone directly into the appropriate tissue, or have I converted most of it into saliva? And what should I do with said saliva? I can’t just keep it in my mouth indefinitely. It’s around this time that it occurs to me that the pharmacist could have just been messing with me. I wouldn’t put it past a pharmacist. Who knows what sort of frustrated psychopath becomes a pharmacist? I’ve never known any pharmacists socially. I can’t vouch for their characters in general. I know you’re all waiting with bated breath to learn the fate of my berry-lemonade-progesterone-laced saliva, so I’ll just tell you: I swallowed it and to hell with the consequences.

Talking of which, what were the consequences? Well, I can tell you that my PMS was significantly less PMS-y this month. Whether that has to do more with progesterone or luck, I do not know. I do know that it isn’t a placebo effect, because I didn’t expect it to work in the first place. So there’s that. We’ll see how the next couple months go.

I’m sure it’s my enhanced progesterone levels that allowed me to stay so calm yesterday while I tried to help Princess Zurg finish sewing the skirt I promised to help her sew about three months ago. I really thought today was the day. I had a crisis of sorts back in May when I couldn’t understand the directions about interfacing, but then it turned out that I wouldn’t need the interfacing after all because we weren’t doing the thing that required the interfacing. So that was a relief because damned if I knew what they were talking about. The rest was just piecing stuff together—and, you know, sewing it—and how hard could that be? As it turns out, pretty hard. Actually, I’m sure it’s not hard. I’m sure it’s very simple. I just can’t understand how it’s supposed to be done. I mean, I thought it looked fairly straightforward. I know what skirts are supposed to look like, after all, and this was a skirt with an elastic waist, not like I’m trying to put in a zipper or invent the internet, so okay, maybe I got cocky.

First we had to sew the side seams, which went fine. I mean, it mostly went fine. The seams are not exactly…crooked…they’re more…not exactly straight…but mostly straight. In my amateur opinion, straight enough for a skirt sewn by a girl being taught to sew by a totally incompetent person. I think we have every reason to be proud of those seams. At least I understood how they were supposed to go. (Did I mention that we sewed a pillowcase two years ago? We totally owned that pillowcase.) Then we had to sew the casing or the casement or whatever the crap it’s called—this thingy that you thread the elastic through that attaches to the top of the skirt—and that was fine up to a point. The pattern said to fold the casing (or casement or whatever the crap) lengthwise with the rough edges matched up. Fine. Done. Then it said to stitch it to the skirt. Really, in so many words. “Stitch it to the skirt.” No mention of where, how, or in what manner. That would not have troubled me so much, given that it seemed pretty obvious that I should stitch it to the top of the skirt, since that is where it is supposed to end up. But the diagram showed it being attached with the non-rough edges stitched to the rough edge of the skirt and the rough edges at the top just hanging out like they belonged there, with no further instructions as to how one might eventually make the rough edges non-rough. I’m not some kind of needlework expert, but I’ve worn clothes for most of my life and I know that rough edges are not supposed to just hang out where people can see them. They’re supposed to be tucked out of sight somehow, but there is nothing in the instructions or the diagrams of this pattern that would give me a clue as to how I’m to make this happen.

At this point it occurs to me that the makers of this sewing pattern could very well be messing with me on the same level as the compounding pharmacist. While I know several seamstresses socially, I am not acquainted with any who design “easy” sewing patterns for “beginners,” so I don’t know what kind of sick bastard goes in for that stuff. It also occurs to me that I could probably design my own pattern in less time than it would take for me to decipher this one. I once successfully did that for a Barbie doll. Only once because it was way more trouble than it was worth, but all the same, I did it. I’m not a complete idiot. I’m going to put that on my tombstone. That’s how true it is. I am not a complete idiot. I’m of average intelligence, and no offense to people who can sew competently, but I have to believe most of them are merely of average intelligence themselves. Clearly, not everyone who sews competently is some kind of genius, so it’s not like my reach exceeds my grasp. At least not theoretically. It doesn’t really make sense that I, as a literate 42-year-old woman of average intelligence who’s been wearing clothes most of her life, can’t grasp the concepts in an “easy” sewing pattern designed for “beginners.” Yet the execution thereof continually eludes me. I don’t mind telling you, it’s frustrating.

Needless to say, I didn’t actually help PZ finish sewing this skirt. I helped her take one more baby step toward eventually finishing it with or without my help. Whether the skirt eventually gets finished, I think, is less up to me than it is up to fate. Or divine intervention. We’ll see. She is taking an actual sewing class later this month. It will be taught, presumably, by someone who can sew competently and who, for all I know, may be a genius. With any luck, he or she will be able to teach PZ everything that is, apparently, beyond my ability to understand. It’s a longshot, for sure, but we can always pray. I have your prayers, gentle readers, do I not? For I really do not wish to revisit that pattern in my lifetime.

Well, now that I’ve detailed my menstrual cycle and my shortcomings, I think it’s time for me to go. Gentle readers, I hope your July is filled with satisfaction.

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