I would like to have titled this Eve should be throat punched but that is just hormones talking.
Yesterday, I had one of those days where I didn’t really feel bad and nothing hurt, but I just felt a little “off”. I trust most ladies know how what I mean. There is just something right under the surface that is making me mad, sad, annoyed, lonely, frustrated and just generally ill.
I try to recognized those days and not take it out on my people, but when I’m not really sure what my problem is, I sometimes assume it might be them. The truth is, I believe it is hormones.
I am at that stage in life that doctors call perimenopausal. For my sisters who have gone before, bless you. I have decided this aging business if for the birds and I am about to begin a search for cures to my problems. If you have suggestions on any of these, let me hear ’em. For my sisters who haven’t experienced this yet, let me give you a what little help I can and a promise to share more as I find it.
According to my personal experience and WebMD (And isn’t that the best doctor ever? All the info and no lectures about your lifestyle, habits or weight!) here are a few the things you have to look forward to:
- Hot flashes – If you haven’t had one of these babies, you really don’t know what you are missing. When I was a kid, someone had left a glass outside and a spider had taken up residence there. Daddy brought the glass in and one of us decided to try to microwave it. (If you are of a mindset that this was an evil deed, I apologize for offending your sensitive nature.) Anyway, after a few seconds, the spider ran around and then after a few more, he exploded. (Again, I apologize.) That is what a hot flash feels like to me, you start to fan and try to get away from it, but the heat IS COMING FROM THE INSIDE. It feels like you really might explode right before you break into a cold sweat. I recommend a small personal fan and layers of clothing you can remove without being arrested..
- Breast tenderness – Not only have they chosen to run for the border, now they are actually causing physical pain. Good times. Even though this isn’t one of my major issues so far, I have no doubt its coming.
- Worse premenstrual syndrome – Not only are the symptoms worse, but they are random. You just have syndrome – may be premenstrual, may be post menstrual. Since you may have no idea when or if a period is actually coming you really won’t know.
- Fatigue and sleep problems – I think the fatigue comes from the sleep problems. Lavender essential oil in a diffuser has helped with this some. I also think it helps when I make myself get up early and exercise. Maybe it’s the endorphins, maybe it’s because my body is actually more tired and I sleep better, maybe it’s because when I run, I hash out all those thoughts that keep me awake after I wake up, I really don’t know why, but it seems to be true for me.
- Irregular periods – The only thing worse that someone inviting themself to stay at your house for week is them showing up unexpectedly to do so.
- Vaginal dryness – Feels ugly even typing it and is pretty self explanatory. If being tired and irritable isn’t enough to make you slack off in the sheets, this one might. Again, a vicious cycle. Less sheets=more irritability.
- Urinary issues including but not limited to leakage and urgency – Our female reproductive organs, our bladder and rectum are all crammed into to a small area between our hip bones, our pelvic bone and our tail bone. They should all be supported by a hammock of muscles (that sounds relaxing doesn’t it?) called the pelvic floor. At my age and after 4 kids, the hammock is sagging and I’m feeling like I need new floor coverings. Women don’t want to talk about this stuff but it is a fact. (Another fact: Men often have it too. Their stuff wears out just like ours does.) I recently learned that chronic constipation can contribute to pelvic floor problems. Who knew? (Probably everyone but me.) So, if you have a problem with pooping, get fiber and probiotics. I am researching other solutions for this because I don’t want to have to act old because my parts are old.
- Decreased sex drive – see 2 thru 7 above. Enough said.
- Mood swings – I think getting a prescription for hormones helps with this but I think they also contribute to cancer. I prefer to keep a bail bondsman on speed dial.
- Night sweats – This one isn’t on WebMD but it is the one that actually spawned this post and the fury that is going to drive me to look for solutions to share with you. If you haven’t had a night sweat, let me try to describe it for you. This time of year, I am cold. My hands, feet and butt feel like ice cubes most of the time. Such was the case last night when I went to bed. I was so cold I hated to even touch my husband because I was like one big ole ice cube. Fast forward about 3 hours. The ice cube has melted and I am soaking wet. Everything between my belly button and my hair are wet. When I started having night sweats a couple of years ago (yes, it has been that long) I told Russell someone should make dry wick nightgowns. Someone did. They were on Amazon but I found a men’s x-large shirt on clearance at Target for about 5 dollars. I wasn’t wearing it last night. I got up went to pee, took off my t-shirt and used it to dry under my boobs and grabbed a tank top. By the time I got back in the bed, I was cold again only now I was cold and had a wet head (yes, it was that bad). I did this three more times during the night only after the first tank top, I stripped. There was enough moisture under my sagging but thankfully not painful boobs to sprout birdseed.
I know that God’s word assures me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that to every time there is a season but this is for the birds. I am going to actively research ways to help myself with the aging problems I have and share the solutions that work (and the ones that don’t) with you! I will be looking at research and doing personal trials. Do you have information you can share with me? Is there something I didn’t mention that you know others struggle with as well? Let me kno