|On Getting Older, a Multipart Series: Part I
||[Aug. 5th, 2015|09:56 am]
So, there are a lot of things I didn’t expect when I passed the half century mark. One of them was a sudden and clear realization why so many over-fifty women can be perceived as difficult, challenging, whatever. For me, it tends to boil down to “all out of expletives to give”. Plus, while there are some great things about being this age? There also a lot of things that make me want to walk around, grabbing twenty-year olds by the throat and shake them, screeching “Enjoy it while you have it, you expletive!”
For starters, this menopause thing is utter bullexpletive. I mean, yay, okay, enough with the whole menstruation thing, the supplies, the accidents, the piggery jiggery of trying to schedule romantic weekends around your useless uterus who, in her dotage, is firing off complete random bowshots, screw that lunar schedule thing, there’d be nothing, nothing, nothing, then I’ve got something special planned and then she’s all “whoo-hoo”, looky what I found, another egg that’d rolled underneath the sofa. It’s got a little cat hair on it, but booyah, let’s fire that puppy off and see if it’s still good!
Dear Uterus, knock that expletive off. They are NOT good. You know what a blueberry looks like? One that rolled under the fridge in July and now it’s January and you’re cleaning out the kitchen and pull out the fridge to clean off the coils and there’s that sad little shriveled up blue bead that used to be a blueberry, but is now a hard, crinkled calcified ex-blueberry? That’s what our eggs look like now. And what the hell? I should have run out of them long before now! Where are they coming from?
It’s not comforting to me to know that my uterus keeps house as well as I do. Seriously, I’ve been, or nearly been through menopause twice already – once blessed freedom for a year and then “oh, hey, I totally found this box of eggs in the attic – now that you no longer carry feminine hygiene products around with you, I’m going to make your bio-resin conference in Chicago more interesting by playing Carrie-at-the-Prom in the middle of the plenary session. Let’s be all fertile again for a year or so! Oh, and now that you’re too old to take birth control pills….fancy a game of Russian roulette?”
Then another blissful stretch of peace and quiet for nine months, hey, maybe this time it’s menopause for real, except “oh, look what I found in the junk drawer, underneath the eyeglass repair kit – another couple of eggs!” Seriously, I’m surprised I couldn’t hear the sound of my dessicated eggs rolling down my fallopian tubes like some kind of internal rainstick, only less melodic.
I’m two months shy of a year without any eggshots (like a rim shot, but less amusing), and although I’ve been there before, and might be tempting fate to even THINK this, I think this time I might actually be done.
Mostly because this time, the hot flashes are MEAN. Oh, yeah, that’s right - balancing the joy of not having to worry about getting pregnant or menstruating, is the whole bursting into flames thing several times a day. And night. The last two times we (my doctor and I) thought this was seriously the end, the hot flashes were a creeping sensation of warmth and flush. I’d get hot, maybe break out in a light forehead sweat, crank up the AC or fan, and a minute or two later, I’d be back to normal. Not this time. This is my junkie of a hypothalamus – that’s right, that’s what’s going on. Your hypothalamus which regulates your temperature is an expletive estrogen junkie. So, when it goes through withdrawal, so do you. And oh, lordy, this is no 48 hour detox! Six to twelve times a day, I break out in a sweat. Oh, not just a sweat….it’s like I’m carrying my own personal sauna around and someone’s cranked to the red danger line. I will get so hot that sweat runs down the side of my face…down my arms and drips off my elbows. Even if it’s 50 effing degrees.
(When I bought a car recently, the salesman kept emphasizing the heated seats, the heated seats…even as I was signing the paperwork in the business office. Me being me, I finally said “dude, enough of the heated seats! Look at me – I’m 51 years old. You know what I want? I want a button the dash that I can just slap when I’m having a hot flash and it will automatically roll down all the windows, put the AC on full blast and CHILL the seats.” The woman doing the paperwork, similarly aged, said “Say it, sister! Now you’re talking!” )
This is really expletive annoying during the day – go to put your make-up on and….son of a biscuit, let me go stick my face in the freezer first. Oh, pardon me, Important Client, while I burst into flames and drip sweat all over your conference table in the middle of a presentation. At night, all cozy, snugged up against the Consort, sound asleep and then GAH, roll away, throw off all the covers and turn the fan on, lay there on the now damp sheets until I fall asleep again…only to wake up 20 minutes later, expletive FREEZING. Try that two or three times a night! I’ve been sleep deprived for two years now.
My doctor says “try to find out what triggers it and avoid the triggers”. Great. You know what triggers it? Being hot or being irritated/annoyed. Awesome. That’s like my default state.
For the record, I’m having one right now, since writing about it has reminded me of how irritating it is… you see the conundrum. Pardon me while I head downstairs to the fridge and crawl inside.