2018 Aspirations: December

I wasn’t going to do a summary blog for this month.  I was thinking a ‘what I learned’ summation for the year as a whole in January would suffice.

But halfway through the month I have changed  my mind.  I am a woman so I can do that.  I wish I could say a menopausal woman but alas…

December 12th:  It has been a very unhappy start to the month.  My insomnia has gotten out of control.  After a complete meltdown concerning my son not doing a task by a set deadline I realized I needed to solve the sleep problem.   And if I couldn’t figure out how to get more sleep then I needed to make arrangements to slink off to a deserted mountain cabin until such time I could be civil to people again.

 My current insomnia type is the wake in the middle of the night variety.  I am pretty sure this is being caused by a mild hot flash.  The problem was, once awake I couldn’t get back to sleep anytime soon.  For a few nights I got up and wrapped Christmas presents which was actually kind of nice.  Very peaceful.

But then the sleep deprivation began to build and that led to pure misery.  Waking at 3:00a.m. meant it was too late to take something to help me get back to sleep.  I wanted to just start going to bed at 6:00p.m. but that doesn’t work for so many reasons.

Enter melatonin.  Of course I had heard of it but I didn’t realize I could take it long term and at a higher dosage.  Not only does it help you fall asleep but it helps you stay asleep and sleep deeper.  So I got a bottle of the 10mg dosage and started popping a pill at bedtime.  The first night I still woke up (twice I think) but I fell back asleep pretty quickly. Phew.

January 2: It was a pretty unhappy ending to the month with a few days in the middle that were bearable. Actually those days were around the 21st through Christmas. For most of the month I felt really tired, even when I did sleep and apathetic about pretty much everything, including celebrating the holidays. I muddled through in a most unsatisfactory way.

I had a fairly heavy period again in the middle of the month. Luckily the worst was over before our trip to Flagstaff. (the picture is of me attempting to tame a dinosaur at a park in Flagstaff) ūüôā I realized that the bad days are now out numbering the good and it is time to make some changes. Stay Tuned.

Nice Dinosaur

2018 Aspirations: October

As I write these posts each month I find that my current situation colors what I remember about the previous month.  I try and jot down a few notes about topics I want to address but my feelings tend to be lost to the nether regions of time.  So for this month I am going to try and write the post as the month goes on.

October 10th:  After such a poetic opening paragraph I now find myself drawing a blank! The weather has cooled down and we even got some rare October rain.  I can feel myself fighting to be happy, I want to be happy but my insomnia has returned and being tired all the time is a drag.

Physically my breasts are killing me by the end of the day.  I bought some bra extenders which help a little.  I have had a little spotting here and there and lots of weepy feelings over odd things.

All I want to do is cocoon at home with books and movies and pumpkin treats but the first week of October was filled with errands and simple chores that my heart wasn’t in. I struggled through and was happy to climb into bed with my book each night. I just started “Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams” ¬†by Susan Branch. ¬†I kind of hate her because she is living the life I want!

I did get my mammogram done and then promptly forgot all about it. ¬†I was surprised to get the results today, just the normal very dense tissue and lots of cysts report. Since I get a mammogram every year they have lots of comparison images so I feel good about the interpretation of the lumps. ¬†(My mother died of breast cancer at the age of 33 so I am extra vigilant but at this stage I think my odds are the same as everyone else’s for getting breast cancer.)

I have been thinking about getting my hair dyed. ¬†I have some “silver”, not too much but enough that I wonder if I would look younger without it. ¬†And then today the woman who cleans my bathrooms gave me the best compliment (totally out of the blue!), she said I look younger every time she sees me! ¬†We discussed the gray situation and I am still dithering but wow her comment really gave a nice boost to my ego.

October 17th:  The tedium and minutia of day to day life is killing me.  I barely have the energy to keep up with the basics like laundry and cooking.  My apathy is scaring me.  Why am I convinced it is so wrong to just sit for a spell and wait for this phase to pass?

Physically I feel like I am getting my period, bloated breasts, the need to eat junk when I am not the least bit hungry, weepiness, backache and low cramps. And let’s not forget a return of insomnia and leg/foot cramps. ¬†But not a speck of bleeding. ¬†I tell myself this is a good sign but what do I know?

October 26th:¬† Still feel like my body is trying to have a period, mostly with the backache ¬†and fatigue these days. ¬†I have had a little bit of spotting but no real period. ¬†Emotionally I have been up and down. I wake up and do my yoga and shower and find myself thinking I feel pretty good and looking forward to the day. By 3:00p I am starting to drag, by 6:00p I am longing for bed and at 8:00p I crawl into bed with my book feeling quite apathetic. ¬†I have been extra busy these days, just one of those stretches filled with long to-do lists and many outside activities. ¬†I try and get a little extra sleep but it just isn’t happening.

I have the illogical feeling that if I can muddle through to the end of the year that January will find me feeling much better physically and mentally. ¬†I know this isn’t logical. ¬† I wonder if it is just what I need to tell myself to get through this two and a half month long marathon holiday fest?

November 3rd:  Well I got my period and now I feel much better.  Just a normal period which was a relief (I was afraid it was going to be one of those that last 3 weeks).  My skin is oily these days with a few tiny bumps on my chin, not really seen but I can feel them.  Acne at my age and with all these crazy feelings makes total sense.  Why not add as much as possible to the pot of misery?

I did a really good job with exercising, yoga and meditation this month and despite all my hormonal craziness I feel like I survived with a modicum of grace.

I figured out that night sweats were causing my insomnia.  I was just getting warm, not really hot (maybe due to the cooler weather?) but it was enough to wake me up.

On the eating front I was pretty surprised to find that I held steady at 145lbs despite eating whatever I wanted. ¬†(Until I stepped on the scale this morning but since it is now November we won’t go there, damn Halloween!) ¬† I really do want to go low to moderately- low carb and I am thinking about the best way to do this in a way that can be permanent. ¬†There needs to be some flexibility but also some firm rules. ¬†(Does that make sense?) ¬†I am going to read “Better Than Before” by Gretchen Ruben and I am also looking at ways to use my bullet journal to keep me on track. ¬†The Goal is to have a plan/system in place for January 7th. ¬†Fingers crossed.

So how would I sum up October? ¬†I learned time isn’t my problem, energy is as regards getting things done and my mood. ¬†This includes eating healthy which takes more energy than grabbing junk. ¬†After my two weeks of bliss in August I also feel pretty confident that once I get into actual menopause life will be better. ¬†Fingers still crossed.