DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I grew up with two sisters, and I have to say, neither of my sisters, and certainly not my mom, ever had the PMS drama that my girlfriend has. And it doesn’t end with the PMS. When her period hits, she climbs in bed with a heating pad and doesn’t get up for at least 24 hours. Is she being dramatic, or is this really a thing? I feel weird asking any of the women I know about it because, for one thing, I’m betting they’ll think I’m being a jerk. --- SUFFERING THROUGH HER PERIODS
DEAR SUFFERING THROUGH HER PERIODS: Yes, rough periods ─ before, during, and after ─ are a very real thing. It’s possible you mom and sisters just had an easier time than some women, or they may have had ways of dealing with their cycles unknown to you.
Be patient and supportive of your girlfriend. If her pain continues to be debilitating, and she hasn’t already seen a doctor about it, she should consider doing so. There are medical conditions that can contribute to the severity of symptoms that many women take for granted as being part of the monthly package.