As in perimenopause. The totally unwelcome and inevitable change overtaking so many of us. The condition that has made my last week a trip through hell. I do my best to ignore the symptoms most of the time; there's no sense concentrating on what you can't change, right? But this week has been a real bitch. With a capital B. So I figured I take a fresh look at the symptoms and see how I'm doing.
First, I needed a symptom list. I found a good one at this site. Just a quick top 10 type thing.
Let's see how I compare, and to be fair, this will be FULL of TMI:
10. Irregular periods. This is totally what touched all this off today. After rising entirely too early for a Sunday morning, I felt that all too familiar "gush". You ladies know exactly what I'm talking about. After a quick check of my period tracker, I was not surprised to see I'm a full week early. Looking back through my history, my cycle has gone anywhere from 23 days to 65 days. At one point, I skipped a month entirely (hence the 65 days), sending me off to the store in a panic for a pregnancy test. Not a comforting thought when you're approaching your mid-40's.
9. Problems sleeping. Did I mention I was awake early this morning? I can't fall asleep at night. I wake up on average of 598 times during the night. I'm either awake before the birds, or sleep through my alarm for 45 minutes. I nod off at my desk at work. I operate best on a full eight hours of quality sleep a night. Something that hasn't happened in approximately 1,825 nights. I'm not joking.
8. Hot flashes. Sweet Jesus, what happened to my internal thermometer?? I'm just thankful they are usually at night. Needless to say, I no longer have to question if it's time to wash the bedding.
7. Mood changes. Let me just say, The Enterprise entering Warp Speed has nothing on me. Olympic-class sprinters take lessons from my family.
6. Low libido. Sex? Fuggetaboutit. More often than not, my husband has a better chance of winning the lotto or being struck by lightning than enjoying the pleasures of my company.
5. Vaginal dryness. I suppose it would be easier to verify this if I were actually having sex regularly. I'll have to get back to you on this one. Or maybe you'd rather I didn't.
4. Weight gain. Particularly in the tummy area. I haven't had a pooch like this since immediately post-birth nearly 17 years ago. Thank the stars for spandex. Even last year, when I had my first - and hopefully last - painful bout with diverticulitis and lost 10 pounds in nine days, I didn't lose the balloon on my tummy. And, sadly, the 10 pounds has found its way back home.
3. Tender breasts. I'm convinced that somewhere in the chain of hormonal monsters, there is an ethereal being that holds a voodoo doll representing my boobs. Every.Damn.Thing.Makes.My.Boobs.Hurt. I finally got smart enough to decrease my caffeine intake, which did help. But they routinely remind me they are there and not at all happy to be in a bra/out of a bra/exposed to wind/exposed to the shower/within arms reach of my husband/or hanging out above the hot stove. Nothing makes them happy. Nothing.
2. Urinary incontinence. This one just pisses me off. All of the symptoms do, but this one in particular. I don't dare sneeze, cough, or even blink my eyes most days. I know where every bathroom within a 100-mile radius is, because if my bladder isn't dripping like a broken faucet it is screaming at me that it has to pee, RIGHT FUCKING NOW.
1. Migraines. In the last week, I've been under the influence of a headache for five days. Several of those days, I've been riding the very thin line between a ridiculously bad headache and a migraine. I've given serious thought to trying out the ancient procedure of tripanning. For those unfamiliar, here is a reference. Honestly, it sounds a lot more pleasant than the constant pain of a headache.
In closing, I'd like to address my ovaries directly, since they are charge of this delightful death march.
Fuck you, and the Fallopian tubes you rode in on.