There is a lot going on in the world. Icebergs the size of Rhode Island are falling off of Anartica; teenagers who are escapees from the Sci-Fi movie Village of the Damned are attacking their teachers and videotaping themselves doing so; and who knows what Dick Cheney is smiling about behind his sinister sunglasses in today’s news stories. However, as serious as these matters may be, I don’t have time to write about them. My world is about me, and only me for today.
When I turned 50, my doctor told me that I was perimenopausal.
“You’re perimenopausal, Ms. Reid. It’s a normal part of aging, a transition into menopause, there’s nothing to worry about.”
Warning: if you’re the type of man who passes out or starts giggling uncontrollably when you hear words like period, stop reading now.
That was three years ago and I sort of forgot about it. I read a little online about being perimenopausal and it didn’t sound so bad. I was coming to the end of my reproductive cycle and eventually, after 12 consecutive months without a period, I would be officially menopausal, no big deal.
I had my last menstrual cycle 13 months ago and I was delighted at how smoothly I had transitioned from perimenopause to menopause. On my 53rd birthday a few weeks ago, I was chatting with my sister who is two years younger.
“Well, based on my experience, menopause should be a breeze for you, if these things are at all hereditary.”
My sister’s response wasn’t as enthusiastic as I expected, “Uh huh.”
As I mentioned in my last post, I was a bit under the weather this past weekend. My doctor had allowed me to switch to a generic substitute for the Lipitor I’ve been taking for years and I had every side effect possible–muscle pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. I was also extremely fatigued which I also attributed to the side effects from the medication change. Needless to say, I’m back on Lipitor and I’m all better, sort of. Two nights ago I had my first night sweat. Or maybe it was a hot flash. I think that they may be the same thing, except one happens at night, while you are attempting to sleep and the other in the light of day.
It was 3:00 am and I woke up soaking wet. Ohmygod! Who wet the bed? I gave Laa-Laa (she’s the yellow teletubby) a suspicious look but she just lay there, looking innocent. As I dragged myself out of my damp bed, I realized that I had experienced a night sweat! I reached for the phone to call my sister, but then I noticed the time again and thought better of it.
Since then, I haven’t had another bout with the night sweats, but I’ve been doing some reading on menopause, and it’s not pretty.
My eggs are drying up even as I type this, just drying right up and I will never have any more. That’s it, every woman gets a finite number, when they’re gone, they’re gone. There is no egg store! What if I need eggs in the future?
I’ve been totally lethargic all week. No energy to do anything. My front flower bed is a weed filled, over grown mess, but do I care? Of course I do, in fact I may start crying for all those poor flowers, trying to live among all those weeds. Did I mention the mood swings?
It gets worse. I can look forward to changes in my libido, that’s polite talk for wanting to have sex. According to a delightful article that I read on WebMD, there’s going to be a bit of atrophy. Yep, that’s right, my vaginal walls are going to thin and atrophy. I quote, “In addition, your vaginal walls will thin, and the cells lining the vagina will not contain as much estrogen. Your doctor will simply take a Pap-like smear from your vaginal walls — simple and painless — and analyze the smear to check for vaginal ‘atrophy,’ the thinning and drying out of your vagina.”
You know that someone is lying; does this sound simple and painless to you? I’ve had pap smears before I atrophied and even they weren’t totally painless!
I have just enough strength to make a shopping list for all the homeopathic remedies that I’ve found on the Internet. Maybe I can get some nice young man to take the list and pick up the things that I need. Hmmm, maybe I haven’t totally atrophied yet…