A couple years ago, Reddit user gfjq23 got into a Facebook argument with her sister over whether or not Santa Claus exists. She became concerned over her sister's reaction, which included blowing the issue way out of proportion. It was so bad, OP's sister got medical tests done - and it revealed something unexpected.
Original Poster had asked Reddit for advice at the time and then provided an update.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
To summarize the last post, I posted a Ryan Reynolds meme about Santa Claus not being real on Facebook which my 13-year-old niece saw. My sister flipped out about it and wanted me to publicly rescind and say how Santa is real, but I thought my nieces were too old to believe in that stuff and refused. It lead to a crazy fight between us. Link to the original.
Anyway, I talked to my nieces and neither of them believe in Santa, so they were baffled about the fight. I talked to my BIL and he said my sister has been flying off the handle lately. We agreed she should probably get a check up and he convinced her to go to the doctor.
Onto the update. They did a MRI and nothing showed up. Then they did some bloodwork which looked fine, except some elevated cholesterol. She isn't pregnant. They pretty much wrote her off as a crazy person and sent her to a psychologist for stress. After a session, the psychologist told her to do some "deep breathing" and sent her away as fixed.
She got worse. She stopped sleeping and barely ate, yet still gained weight. Any small annoyance would send her into a rage. Commercials were making her so upset she would ugly cry. I asked my BIL if they tested hormone levels or anything like that and he said the doctors didn't feel it was necessary.
She called me one day crying and apologizing, saying she was the worst sister ever and I had every right to hate her. She was so devastated she ruined our relationship and such. It was weird and NOT my sister, so when I got a chance to speak I told her she was going to go see my doctor and I wasn't taking no for an answer. I set up an appointment and my doctor ordered a full blood panel including hormone and vitamins before my sister drove to town for her appointment.
When my sister drove up we spent the morning shopping and she was unpredictable. One minute she was happy and the next yelling about some perceived sight ("That fucking pretentious makeup counter bitch just looked at me funny for my cheap drug store makeup."). It was uncomfortable, So I just walked on eggshells to keep her from exploding.
Anyway, results of the bloodwork and a good doctor: perimenopause. Her hormones are completely abnormal. None of her doctors would even consider it because she was "too young" for menopause, so they didn't even bother running the tests. She'll be coming up with a care plan with my doctor for hormone replacement therapy and diet change to hopefully get back on track.
She still a nutcase right now. For example, she called me crying the other night because she will never have more kids (wha...her husband had a vasectomy years ago). I'm driving to her place next weekend and we're going to batch cook a bunch of meals for her new diet plan (I'll be doing it with her as I could stand to eat healthier). So it'll be a slow process, but we have a diagnosis and plan. I'm just taking her outbursts as "crazy hormones" right now because it'll take awhile to even out.
I got her a dark chocolate cake for Easter that said, "Happy Reverse Easter (when the Easter Bunny takes back your eggs)" because I'm kind of a jerk. She thought it was hilarious though, so we are good.
TL/DR; Sister is going through perimenopause, so she's irrationally, but understandably nutty right now. Oh, and Santa Claus still doesn't exist.
At least they're getting along now.Giphy
This is the best thing ever. So glad you figured it out. good for you for realizing she was totally out of whack and helping her get back on track. Good luck!
Those hormonal imbalances are rough.Giphy
Holy crap when my mom went through this (before she got onto hormone treatments to balance her out) she legit acted like a crazy person, so I know exactly what you're going through.
My dad gave her an ultimatum to get it checked out because her behavior towards us was getting so irrational and violent, especially me. That's the one and only time I've ever heard divorce mentioned under my roof, because my dad said flat-out to her in the midst of a terrible argument he could not live like that any longer.
Now she's post-menopause after getting hormone treatments and you would have never imagined she behaved that way in the past.
Perimenopause is far more rare than menopause.Giphy
It's my understanding that it's not too terribly common. There are women on the other side of the spectrum who have asymptomatic menopause, which is also pretty rare. Most women fall somewhere between the two extremes.
The symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, and moodiness.Giphy
The physical symptoms were the bad part for my mum. Among other things, she permanently had the feeling that she'd severely burnt her tongue. Apparently that's a thing.
Perimenopause occurs in younger women before the typical onset of menopause.Giphy
My mother went through menopause almost immediately after having my sister. She was 41 and our family GP refused to acknowledge it could possibly be menopause because of her age, despite her very clearly having all the symptoms. I was 13 when all this started and it was an awful time for our family. At one point I was sure my parents would divorce. I honestly don't know how my dad didn't just walk away. I would've.
Six years later the doctor told her, "whoops, sorry, seems you've actually already been through menopause". It nearly tore our family apart, my mother has never been the same and now it's "over" (totally wasn't) you'll admit it happened? Uh, thanks? Huge victory for her.
The fact that a debate about Santa Claus led to the discovery is pretty remarkable.Giphy
I suppose the sub can add 'hormone imbalance' right next to the 'gas leaks' and 'tumor' unexpected twist responses now. :)
But seriously, it's great that you found out what was really going on and got your sister some help. Going through any health issue is terrifying, let alone one that effects you mental health. It's good you're supporting her and willing to try and get it resolved.
OP did a heck of a thing.Giphy
You, ma'am, are an AMAZING sister. Well done. She will be so grateful when her hormones are back under control (as will her husband and kids). I hope I have someone who looks out for me as well as you looked out for her.
I hope your sister starts feeling better soon, and take yourself out for a VERY well earned spa day. You deserve it.
And it was Reddit which came through with the best advice - seek help.Giphy
A lot of doctors just write off emotional disturbances in women as depression or, if they're less professional about it, "just being an emotional woman." Good on you for pushing to get a second opinion and find the root of the problem. I have PMDD, and many people, including doctors, don't realize how much hormone disturbances can mess you up.
And the cake sounds awesome, it sounds like she's got a pretty decent attitude about it now that there's a diagnosis.
OP's nieces were not bothered by Santa Claus not existing, by the way.Giphy
I'm just relieved to know a 13 year old didn't still believe in Santa Claus.-g-
Pretty much anyone who gets butthurt over a Facebook post needs this type of deep medical analysis.
What happens when a 13-year-old is encouraged to believe in Santa?.Giphy
One of my best friends, who's a similar age to your sister and is a single mom, has a 13 yo daughter than I discovered DOES still believe in Santa Claus. I was like "are you kidding???" And my friend says no and that she wants her to still believe. Personally, I know the daughter has been made fun of in school for it, as if she isn't awkward enough. I dropped it for this last Christmas but I don't think I'll be able to let it go another year...
Are the presents still hidden before Christmas?Giphy
Lots of people hide presents even without Santa. My mom still does...I don't know why. We're not going to scour the house for them.
Yup. It's just plain weird.Giphy
She hides the presents in my apartment not so her daughter can't shake them to figure out what's in them (that's why my mom hid the presents for so long until I moved out of the house) but so that her daughter thinks "Santa" actually delivers them Christmas morning.
Some parents troll their kids.Giphy
I plan to torture my future children just like my dad tortures me, so yes, Santa exists.
Regardless, people love a happy ending - isn't that what Santa is about?Giphy
This was one of the few relationship updates that for whatever reason I was dying to read. Glad it had a (mostly) happy ending!