My face is melting, and apparently, so are my insides. I am currently experiencing what I believe to be my third hot flash. The thermostat says that it is 68 degrees in here. I am sitting still, wearing a tank top and shorts and melting from the inside out.
I used to write as therapy, sort of, a personal get it off my chest thing. I haven’t done that in a while, and I need to. Initial disclaimer: this is pretty personal, woman-centric, and more than anyone could possibly want to know. Please, feel free to follow some of the links on the side to more mentally challenging posts and authors, to something more entertaining and easy to read.
Still here? Great. Welcome to my week of irritability. It’s like walking on glass. I’ve been constantly irritable for a week, at no one, nothing, just a generalized irritation. I feel like every moment is on my last nerve. Any small thing would just be that one little push. This isn’t me; I’m not like this… ever. I don’t like it. I’m trying hard to control it, to not snap at people, to snap out of it. Not working so well.
Add that to the fact that I haven’t slept well in a few days. I’ve been waking up soaked in sweat. The air is on 64. But I am sweating. I’ve been having ridiculous dreams that I can’t remember.
There are changes in my libido. Not good ones. I’m not a fan of this.
So I called my doctor. I think he thinks I’m joking, that I want some anxiety medication. I don’t. I want to know what is going on and why my body is turning on me. A few of the women I work with said it sounded hormonal, like I was going through perimenopause. I had never heard that term. The nurse asked today if I had other symptoms of it. “What other symptoms? I’m 36. I’ve never thought about it, talked about it, researched it. I don’t even know what it is.”
I know now. I was walking Maddie and despite the beautiful night, I felt like someone lit a fire in my scalp, neck and chest. I came inside and carefully typed p-e-r-i-m-e-n-o-p-a-u-s-e into Google. Googling symptoms is a bad idea, for the record.
And now I’m sitting here in tears, morning the impending loss of reproductive danger, of youth, of the choice to have kids, of God knows what. Estrogen probably. I wonder if it comes in a frosted glass bottle that I could keep in the frig for just such moody occasions. Poured in a martini glass with a couple of big olives as if it were some really adult cocktail. No need for umbrellas or fruit here, this is the big league, the grown up table.
As many times as I’ve joked that it was time to turn the (baby) factory into a playground because I didn’t want children, I wanted to be the one to make that choice. I was not ready for that choice to be made for me yet. I’ve read that it starts early sometimes in women who have not given birth. It’s like a cruel joke a nature, “Aha, lady, you have not fulfilled your womanly childbearing duty, so now you lose it. ” Puts a new spin on use it or lose it. I’m having bloodwork done tomorrow to check hormone levels, but I don’t need a lab result to tell me what I already know.
So the inferno in my neck and chest seems to have passed. I’m still cranky, and at the same time a little sad now. I feel like my uterus and ovaries and all their associated girly chemicals are going on an extended sabbatical. I doubt they send postcards, but that’s what I get for cursing them once a month for 24 years. I hear that at this point I should start taking calcium and be aware that my bone density will start to decrease. Dear God, I’m becoming Sally Field. I’ll need some Boniva, and to sit up straight. You like me, you really really like me. (Most of you are way way too young to remember that, which is why your bone density and periods are still status quo.) Maybe Bobby and I can get two bathtubs in the backyard and we can sit in our respective clawfoot tubs on the lawn watching the sunset and holding hands planning our intimacy in advance. I’m going to have to start taking a multivitamin. I also read that I will be coming into my woman-power, the full bloom of my womanhood. Pfft. Horse crap. What happens after full bloom, I ask you? Wilting. That’s what happens. I can almost guarantee that said wilting is a direct result of the greenhouse effect that I had going on a few minutes ago.
I’ll cope with this much better in the morning, I hope. I may just be irritable, but for now, a glass of wine is in order. I raise a toast to my girly bits, inside and out, and thank them for their hard work, dedication and countless surprises through the years. God definitely has a sense of humor and irony. Oh, and Eve, seriously, you and I are having some strong words when I get there. An apple? I’d understand it if it were a croissant tree, a European chocolate tree, a sushi tree, something. But apples? This is your fault. Thanks.