Menopause and Other Random Thoughts

Disclaimer:  Men, be advised: this is not about brewing beer or making wine.

It is also not about crochet or toiletries.

It is about the sad and ugly truth about that thing our ancestors called, “the change of life.” 

That said? Men, if women-type subjects freak you out or make you squirm (and not in that ‘good’ way), you will want to totally avoid reading further. On the other hand, if you have wives and want some insight to the hell that menopause bestows on the loves of your lives, you are more than welcome to stay.

Also, the formatting on this post is whack, and I’m sorry, but my patience with it ended about three minutes in, so that’s that. End disclaimer…

Because I can’t usually fall asleep until sometime after one o’clock in the morning, and because I am sick and freaking tired of waking up at all hours of the night because someone lit a fire under my bed while I was in it, I figured I could do something halfway productive, even though I have to be up at six-thirty to go to work. This post is a compilation of many sleepless nights…

Things that menopause f*cks up:

  1. Moods:
    I'll take a few bottles of each, thanks...

    I’ll take a few bottles of each, thanks…

    Remember when we were all kids and had maybe started our periods, or were about to? Remember, as parents, those mood swings that we couldn’t really make sense of, especially when our daughters were dealing with them, too? Yeah, those. Welcome to puberty-reincarnation. Seriously…It’s like that, only WAY worse.

    WTActualF? This would be my head spinning…I should move to Hollywood, because honestly? I can cry real tears on demand. I should be able to nail an Oscar, yo.

    Is it wrong that I vacillate between tears and wanting to throat punch people? Is it?

  2. Our personal thermostats: I don’t know how other women are experiencing this, but my internal thermostat is soooo broken. Like the hot flashes aren’t bad enough, I get cold flashes, too. For those of you ladies (and men-folk who are still here for whatever reason) that have not had the pleasure of experiencing your own very personal tropical vacation from hell, the closest thing I can compare what this feels like is when you have the flu and you have been chilled for a good while and your fever breaks. You know that “heating up from the inside out” feeling you get that makes you want to crawl into the freezer? Yeah, that. And frequently.

    Mine started a couple months ago when I was feeling a little under the weather, and the weekend they started, I was convinced I must have been running a fever and it would break once an hour. At the time? I didn’t put 2 and 2 together to get 4.Now I know better. After several weeks of ’round the clock, hourly (and then some) personal tropical vacations from hell, I pretty much knew what it was that I was dealing with.Unfortunately, we have a history of breast cancer on both sides of our family, so hormone replacement therapy is not an option for me, so I went to Googling and ended up at the local CVS, purchasing Black Cohosh and vitamin E to see if I could get some relief. I was trying not to go to the doctor. Oh, silly me. My appointment is Monday…On the opposite side of the spectrum, when I’m not sweating my ass off, I am freezing. I keep a light jacket on the back of my chair for use when I don’t have the table-top desk fan blowing on me. Just sayin….

  3. TMI WARNING… Libido: This messes with my head the most. I like no….love sex. Let me rephrase…loveD it. Yanno, when I was still young and my remaining ovary was behaving itself…At this particular point in my life? If Johnny’s mini-me fell off? Oh, well. How awful is that? I think I could handle everything else if I could still enjoy my very favorite extra-curricular activity, ever. These days I could care freaking less. Johnny has been a prince among men. He just pats my hand and tells me that he knows that I’m feeling out of sorts. On the one hand? That is the sweetest thing, ever. On the other? I really, really have to try not punch him in the face when he says that. See #1 for explanation. *sigh* But I love him bunches…Especially when I get texts on a stormy day like the following: “Let it rain, let it pour, with every drop I love you more.” While ordinarily that would make me want to fly home and be all frisky and the like, this made me smile and cry at the same time. Do you see, now, how much this absolutely sucks?

    I’ve read (Google to the rescue) that antidepressants can help alleviate many of the “annoyances” (annoyances, my ass; I just want to stab things), but the side effects from them include “decreased libido.” Nothing from nothing leaves nothing, right? Whatever. *huff*

  4. My mind…It is like that part of my brain that is dedicated to memory has turned into a sieve, and I lose crucial bits of information. I am assuming that this is because I am so distracted by my personal, almost constant discomfort/sleep deprivation that it makes it so that I have a hard time focusing on anything else.This truly sucks, because my job now requires the actual use of my mind, and if I can’t remember when you came and told me you were going to have surgery and were going to be out for a minimum of six weeks? Yeah. That is a problem. Sorry, Bonnie. 😦
This is pretty much me.

This is pretty much me.

Being the Google Queen that I am? I read up on everything I could get my hands on about hot flashes and how to reduce them. Don’t you know that everything I read pissed me off? (Okay, seriously, what doesn’t piss me off, these days?) Things to avoid: caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Seriously? If you know me, you know that my contribution to safety in the workplace is ample amounts of coffee in the morning. You also know that I have quit smoking so many times that my picture is in Webster’s under “epic fail” and that I am a firm believer that nobody likes a quitter, but I’m working on it. And then there is wine. You can have my wine glass when you pry it from my cold, dead hand. All of that said, I actually am scaling back on all of the above, but I’m not freaking happy about any of it.

I had the absolute pleasure of having lunch with She Who Shall Not Be Named the other day, and I related my hormonal nightmare to her. She is dealing with the same. Her doctor told her that this can go on for five to ten years. I now understand why older women are so grumpy. Five to ten years??!! Oh. Mah. Gawd. You’re frigging kidding me, RIGHT???

On the up-side? Exercise is a good thing, and I’ve been back in the weight room regularly, and walking. A lot.

It’s kinda difficult, because I am mostly sleepy, but I do what I can.

So that’s the situation in my neck of the woods.

For those of you that have been here and done that? I would totally appreciate some love and commiseration. Post experiences below.

Please and thank you.

Until Next Time…

About Julie the Workaholic

Mom of three (grown) sons and one (grown) step-daughter, wife of one, friend of many, and owned by seven 4-legged critters, writer, photographer, friend, huge fan of life, and most of all, lover of all things beautiful .….Getting healthy, and hoping to make a dent in the world in a most positive way! (And then there's my alter-ego, the Workaholic, who is me, just unfiltered.)
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11 Responses to Menopause and Other Random Thoughts

  1. Pingback: Better Late Than Never, No? – Menopause; 21st Century Style

  2. The V-Pub says:

    Thanks for the insight. I’m not going to make a smart ass remark due to my fear of you finding me and beating me up. 😉

  3. Susan says:

    #1: This too shall pass.
    #2: Soy. Soy. Soy supplements. Tofu. Edamame. Soy. Worked for me at least.
    #3: Had the (much more rare) entirely opposite effect on me. (Susan ducks and swerves away from Julie’s throat punch.) It bordered on ridiculous. Poor husband actually started faking headaches when “too tired” only resulted in “I’ll do all the work, you just lay there.” (Susan ducks and swerves away from Johnny’s throat punch.)
    #4: What was #4 again?

    • #1: Thank goodness!!!!
      #2: Good thing I like tofu! They make soy supplements? Going to Google that!
      #3: RUN, Susan, RUN!!!!!! 😉
      #4: I have not been jailed for assault or worse, so there’s that.

  4. joyful2bee says:

    Julie, at first my menopause was not so bad, but I a past 60 now and although I don’t feel miserable or moody (as much as I used to) I still have night sweats at 5:30 in the morning! I can handle cold weather better than ever before. Wonder why?? lol

    I hate to remind you of this but summer is coming. Buckle in, Hun. Maybe things will calm down for you before that happens. Sorry you are not feeling so good.

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