July 30, 2011

Cranky Crazy Pants

by Veronica

I think its happening - that descent into menopausal madness. Yesterday someone said the word, "bridge" and I had a momentary flash of "What's that?" Right after I gave out the wrong phone number for my husband, which came after I couldn't remember my own phone number. About a week ago I had my first real hot flash. Thankfully, I kept myself from asking everyone around me, "Is it hot in here or is it just me?" And...I found my first gray hair...down there. Ew.

I remember after my daughter was born, my hormones all askew, I cried at Hallmark commercials (the one with the red-headed sisters re-uniting when one shows up at the other's house? Did they really re-unite, or did the old arguments raise their scabby heads over tea in the kitchen and the sister slammed the door on her way out?) The other day I cried (well, got teary eyed more than cried) at a scene in my audio book (Ken Follett's Fall of Giants) while running on the treadmill. Picture that - a 48 year old woman, huffing away on a treadmill, crying. Ah, well.

Then, I was scheduling some things on my calendar and realized I had written two or three emails to people who hadn't written back. In fact, people I haven't heard from in quite some time and I had the ridiculous notion to make a list of these names. Make a list! And then do what with it? W-A-C-K-O. Except I wouldn't do anything with that list because I'm just too tired - or as the websites label it - I have fatigue. Not all the time, not disabling, but certainly annoying. See that stack of dishes? Not if I leave the kitchen! Laundry? Just don't go in that room either.

Maybe its not fatigue but boredom! Sudden Newsflash Inspiration Thing: I don't think menopausal women have hormonal fluctuations - I think they have Acute Boredom Syndrome. I don't want to do dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, food preparation, dusting, toilet-bowl scrubbing, or cat-box cleaning not because my estrogen is waning like the moon, but because thirty years later, I just feel like doing something else.  I'd like to see some research comparing menopausal symptoms of women who can afford "cleaning ladies" v. those who have to manage their own chores plus a part/full time job. I wish I could get funding for a study like that because I'd hire a cleaning lady and monitor my "fatigue" while she's cleaning and grocery shopping. Then I'd chart my mood swings while laying by the pool or playing tennis before lunch with friends. I'd use the time spent getting a massage or mani/pedi to manage my irritability, dizziness and anxiety. Finally, while curling up with a book before bedtime, and actually staying awake long enough to read more than three sentences - the same three sentences - I'd note whether or not my sleeping habits are disordered.

My over-40-sisters, fear menopause no more! Use paper plates, ignore the dust, and invest in 30 pairs of underwear so you only have to do laundry one day a month. Get outside and read a great book, go for walks or tea with friends; take a cool shower then lay naked in front of a fan, eat ice cream for dinner and do some yoga. And quit reading the news. I'll tell you what's going on: famine, wars, weather related disasters and people are still getting married and having kids.

Yes, our bodies are changing, and so should our priorities. And on that note, I'm off to not feel anxious or care about hot flashes. 

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