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
4 thoughts on “YayYay’s Take on Female Aging”
A friend posted this on Facebook. OMG woman, you hit every nail on the head. I am post menopausal; although I really think that you are just menopausal all the time. You are never post because it never goes away.
1) Hot flashes. You have to dress in layers. I have at least two dozen cardigans, swing sweaters, little jackets and shrugs. T-shirt and something on top. Every day.
2) Breast tenderness. It still comes and goes. And the twinges and pokes. You know, those little stabs that makes it feel like you are somebodies voodoo doll? I check for lumps all the time; because surely, there must be something going on in those babies.
3&5) I had crazy bleeding due to adenomyosis. So, hysterectomy. No more worries about when or if; but the two years before the hys were crazy. I got to keep my ovaries. Yay. So no need for hormones. Which is good; because I have heard that when you quit taking them; all the menopausal symptoms come back; because, like you know, you never got to experience them because you were taking the wonder drug.
4) OMG and I wish I could bold that and highlight it and italicize it. Sleep issues. I never get a full nights sleep two days in a row. One good one, one bad or two or three bad and then so exhausted I finally sleep. Some nights I can’t fall asleep and some I wake up and can’t go back to sleep. The nightsweats have almost disappeared; so I can’t blame them. I think anxiety is a big part of it. I’ve tried benadryl, Z-Quil, melatonin and various other sleep aids. They don’t work. About the only thing that works consistently is Xanax. Just a quarter grain, the smallest dose. My Dr is very concerned about addiction so we worked out a compromise of 80 pills per year. I hoard those babies. I take them only when pretty desperate. One pill after tossing and turning for an hour and I am usually out in thirty minutes.
Fatigue was never too bad; but lately it’s my full time partner. Some days the wave of fatigue almost flattens me; other days I am just generally tired.
6) Vaginal Dryness. How about degradation of tissue? That makes things pretty uncomfortable. But, our magic cure is “Astroglide”. It is the most amazing lubricant. It’s about $12 a tube and available at Kroger. Don’t get the liquid, get the gel. A pea size amount at the appropriate moment and viola, things are fun again. I love this stuff so much I wish I could shout it from the rooftops. I have recommended it to several girlfriends. I think every Dr that treats a menopausal woman should be giving out free samples.
7) Urinary leakage. Sneezing, laughing, ah, yup. Sometimes. And…how the hell does my bladder know I’ve just unlocked the door to my house? I hit that hallway and I have to GO, NOW. Constipation. I’ve had issues for YEARS with irritable bowel. Look up FODMAP foods. You may find that you have issues with some of these. Eat them in moderation and it may help. But, my #1 recommendation is a daily dose of Metamucil. Which is psyllium fiber. I buy the no brand at Costco. One tablespoon in about 10-12oz of water every morning before I brush my teeth and it is AMAZING how much better your bowels work. It is every easy to work it in to your morning routine. I use a tupperware cup that has a lid and pop top to shake it up. I rinse it out and leave it with my toothbrush.
9) I am probaby post menopausal about 5-7 years. The mood swings are waaaaay better. I still have my moments; but whew, glad those are over.
10) My daughter in law had to have a hysterectomy at 30 due to severe endometriosis and ovarian cysts. She swears by a cooling foam mattress topper. This may not help if you are freezing one minute and on fire the next.
I hope you can find some solutions and some answers. Thanks for letting me vent. Marie
Yes! This is the kind of stuff we women need to be sharing. Thank you for sharing and holding the flame for the rest of us to follow! I will check out the things that are working for you and see how they work for me.
I LOVE this! It’s not funny, and it’s hilarious! I love that you posted it!!!
Good times for us women!
Thank you! We may not all be rowing the same boat but it helps to know someone else is rowing the same direction. 😊
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