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.

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Freaky Friday

When last we left our intrepid heroine she was bravely surviving the Great Heat Wave and courageously conquering the Epic Computer Build of 2017. Let us back up in time, to Friday, the day before all the computer parts arrived.

I finally left the house despite the continuing heat wave. I had no choice, I had three images to be taken at Radiology Ltd.  Let me say I have never encountered anyone who works there that was less than pleasant, friendly and competent.  It is a very comfortable place to have images taken. And I scored a covered parking space.  You have no idea what a difference shade makes when you climb into a car sitting out in temperatures well over 100°. (Or maybe you do and you realize what a big deal this is!)

First up, the pelvic ultrasound.  I ignored the instructions to drink 40 ounces of water one hour before my appointment and thereby avoided the embarrassment of peeing all over myself and/or the technician.  Instead I drank my normal amount of morning water and then right before I left the house I peed, drank 8 ounces of water and then sipped a few more ounces on the drive to the appointment.  My bladder was full enough for imaging but not so full as to be painful.  And as soon as we were done the technician took me straight to the restroom without being asked.  Perfect!

Then she walked me over to have my hands x-rayed as I had time before my mammogram appointment. The hand x-rays took no time at all.  Then I was escorted to mammography where I had a bit of a wait.  Part of that was due to the scheduling and part due to the fact they were running a bit behind.  It happens. I had my book and access to a bathroom (yes, of course I needed to pee again) so the wait wasn’t bad.

And the technician was good. And the room was warm.  In the past I have had some very painful mammograms.  My breasts are very dense so sometimes they feel the need to really crank down on the machine.  This one did not do that for which I am very thankful.

And I walked out the door less than two hours later thinking, gee that wasn’t bad at all!

Those flower seeds I planted in February are somehow surviving the heat!

But wait…the day got even better.  After the imaging I had arranged to drop my car off at Jack Furrier up the street from my house.  For months and months (okay, more than a year) I have had a shimmy in the steering wheel between 50-55 mph.  I diagnosed the wheels needed balancing and maybe I was missing a wheel weight. When I went to pick the car up I was told the problem was actually a leaking valve stem in the left front tire.  Now I knew the tire had developed a slow leak and we kept putting air in it but I had kind of forgotten that. Well, they fixed the valve stem, re-inflated the tire and that solved the shimmy problem. AND THEY DIDN’T CHARGE ME FOR IT!  Not a dime.  Thank you Jack Furrier.

My cantaloup plants are hanging in there.
This is the larger of two teeny cantaloups. I am not giving up hope just yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So a day I had been dreading turned out to be not only not so bad, but kind of good. Life is funny like that.

 

 

Apparently I am a Turnip

As the phlebotomist stuck a needle in me for the third time I found myself wondering who said the famous adage: “You can’t get blood from a turnip”.  (I could not find a definitive answer but maybe it’s from the bible.) And the third time was not the charm for the blood draw and thus ended a very long doctor visit.

And how did the visit start? With me being asked to sign a form stating that since this was an “annual checkup  or wellness visit” the following may not be covered:  referrals, new prescriptions, changes to current prescriptions, blah blah blah.  Um, what exactly was covered then?  Does this mean you can only get an annual check up if you are healthy?  The receptionist was stumped when I asked the question.  Apparently everyone just signs the form and hands it back, I was the first to actually read it.  I pointed out the word may and let her off the hook.  I have to trust the billing department knows all the right codes to put in.

Happily I love my doctor.  She really listens and we went through my whole list of concerns.  We talked some about menopause.  What I thought were typical crazy menopausal periods may be something more.  We discussed the joint pain in my hands and while I was thinking carpal tunnel she is leaning towards rheumatoid arthritis. So on Friday I am getting my mammogram, x-rays of my hands and a pelvic ultrasound.  And I have to go back and try to get my blood drawn again to check for hormone levels that would indicate impending menopause.  This time making sure I am well hydrated.

But guess what?  I don’t need a colonoscopy!  I do need to uh, mail some poop off and while that seems rather ew it is way better than getting knocked out and having something inserted where the sun doesn’t shine.

Now the long wait until Friday and hopefully some answers….to be continued.

(Random Yosemite photo above, chosen for it’s soothing nature!)