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Posts Tagged ‘perimenopause’

Perimenopausal constipation.

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All the crap we women go through in our lifetime. Bleeding every 28 days, with cramps and cravings leading up to it. Bloating at various times of the month. Some, like me, carry little aliens in us for nine months, skin stretching, hemorrhoids, cravings, heartburn, feet swelling, and in my case, puking the whole time. Then pushing the alien out of you courtesy of the mother of all menstrual cramps. Some, like me, may have then had an ovary removed because of a tumor. I have friends who had even more substantial surgeries and more complicated womanly paths to walk than me. Then hot flashes, weight gain, low libido, thinning hair, insomnia. All of that I could deal with.

Loved having my boys. Would do it again, even with the puking (because I am quite skilled at puking in a bucket in all situations, could list it as a “special skill” on my resume). I never had tough periods, didn’t mind the chocolate cravings (who would?).

Even the wonderful world of perimenopause has been manageable so far.

Until those two little words. Perimenopausal constipation. And this is why I am crabby.

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Periods.

They are the key to making a new life and a pain in the ass till perimenopause.

My journey began 33 years ago. In my teen years, it was an annoyance that I complained about because everyone else did. I would take all of my fake complaints back if I knew how hard some girls had it. My period arrived every 28 days between 1:00 and 1:10 PM like clockwork. Little to no cramping with a craving for chocolate on the first day and salty sweet the next four. No night flow. We’re talking dream cycle. By my twenties I could tell when I was ovulating and from which ovary. For 29 years except for the 18 months I was pregnant. It went right back to schedule after each son was born.

Some women experience hell with their periods and my heart goes out to them. But I can’t write about it because I had a cakewalk for 29 years.

I did fall into societal norms and hid my tampon or pad when I had to change it at a public place or work. Even now, I still hide it up my sleeve, in my waistband, or, if there is one, in my pocket. Those new period panties seem like they could be amazing, but since I am almost done my journey, I am not making that investment.

Perimenopause began four years ago or so in my early forties. I had my left ovary removed when I was 37 because of a benign tumor so it arrived a little early. Not horrible at first, just lost my clockwork cycle. But since I needed a little protection for the prolapsed bladder on an increasingly regular basis, I was poised and ready for any surprises.

Then other aspects started to infiltrate. Night sweats, hot flashes. More than that, my entire body temperature changed. I could handle cold better than I ever could before, and I am still not crazy from the heat.

Insomnia. Not my first dance so I could adjust (and I can use the time productively, like posting to my humble blog).

Adult acne. Um, hello? How is this fair in any way?

Hair loss. Not happy about this one, but my hair style helps to hide it.

Lack of sex drive. Seriously? After all the years of bleeding out of my whoowhoo, you take that away now, when I need something to hang onto? Acne and hair thinning weren’t enough of a bitch slap in the face?

Weight gain. What’s new? Fatigue. Please, I pushed two humans out of me. Then chased them around for four to six years, while working full time, no nanny. Come at me with something else.

And then a glorious thing happened. I went five months without my period. Oh, could the end be in sight? Could I just have seven more months?

Welcome to day 8 of the period from Satan himself.
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It’s like all the stuff I never had to deal with is wrapped up in this one period. Heavy flow, day and night. Cramps. Bloating. Cravings for chocolate all day everyday. Plus my hot flashes, insomnia, and fatigue. Or I’m just tired from the freakin’ blood loss. I’m sure I’m down a few pints. I feel like it’s penance for the 29 easy years.

And we don’t talk about it. I forgot! This is breaking the rules! Sorry, but I’m bleeding over here and I’m sharing my little story with my fellow bleeders. My one bestie said, and I quote, “F#@%, I don’t want to hit perimenopause.” My hope is that it’s the opposite of what your years of periods were like. Now I have cramps and pain and stuff that I feel actually warrants the complaining that I used to do to fit in. “Oh, yeah, I hate when I’m ragging it.” Or the classic “surfing the crimson wave” or just three little letters, PMS.

And still, this will pass. And it’s not as bad as others have to experience every month. So I’ll quit my whining.

So maybe, if you had a truly difficult journey to menopause, then perimenopause is easier. I know there is no medical evidence for this, but let me dream. Because then it will be easier for two of my besties. And I am happy to blaze this path first, being the oldest (which they love to remind me of). ūüėČ

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For about two years I have been in perimenopause. ¬†I can handle not being able to lose weight (unless I were to quit my job and make that my full time job). ¬†I can handle the inability to sleep through a night. ¬†The grumpiness (some say that’s not new anyway), moodiness, crying at everything. ¬†The forgetfulness. ¬†The random visits from my period. ¬†I can even stand the hot flashes. ¬†But what I cannot stand are the pimples. ¬†Seriously? ¬†All that other crap, but I still get the same damn acne I had in my teens? ¬†I’m sorry but there should be some payoff for all the new stuff. ¬†I console myself with the fact this is at least happening a little earlier since they took the one ovary out eight years ago. ¬†If I were going through perimenopause while my sons were teenagers, someone wouldn’t survive.

So I wade through the hot flashes. ¬†I don’t really mind the heat and I can manage the winters much better than I ever have in my life. ¬†I wade through the tired nights that turn into the even more tired mornings. ¬†I have begun to drink coffee. ¬†Something I thought I would never do. ¬†And that’s fun. ¬†Watching Hubby’s face when I ask if there is any coffee…he still is getting used to it.

I enjoy making new discoveries about myself as I go through this phase of life. ¬†I’m better at saying no. ¬†I’m better at standing up for myself. ¬†If I have to feel the way I do, I’m going to be comfortable in as many other areas of my life as I can. ¬†I feel like I have a deeper appreciation for newness. ¬†I feel like I feel things more than I did before. ¬†While the boys are not yet teenagers, they are so independent. ¬†I am finding more time in each day to spend with myself, doing stuff that I find interesting. ¬†Rediscovering things I had forgotten that I found interesting. ¬†I am giving myself more freedom from deadlines and timelines that I create for myself. ¬†“I must have this, that, and this done by this time.” ¬†Or when I get it done. ¬†That freedom comes from forgetting what it was I was doing and starting something else while I try to remember the first thing. ¬†I’m writing this at 11:30. I sat down to write it at 10:30, but couldn’t remember why I had grabbed the laptop so I puttered on it till I did.

I am embracing my middle age years and exploring topics and knowledge that pique my curiosity just for fun. ¬†In my youth, I thought I would HAVE to earn a PhD. ¬†Nope. ¬†I’m good. ¬†I just like learning. ¬†I don’t need to do that at this point in my life and am glad I didn’t spend time doing it when I was young-not part of my career path. ¬†I love learning about something new when I am ready to move on to the next. ¬†I love learning about the stuff my sons are interested in so I can better guide them in their lives. ¬†I love learning about our pets. ¬†Who knew I would know so much about the diet of bearded dragons? ¬†Or know so much about their poop?

Well, I am tired. ¬†The new rule is to go to bed when my body is tired (since I gave up Diet Coke a few months ago and weened off of intravenous caffeine, I find it easier to tell when my body is actually tired). ¬†It doesn’t mean I will fall asleep. ¬†I simply will go to bed, with my hot flashes and pimples, and stare at the ceiling. ¬†I’ll take my melatonin and it will help me slip into dreamland for a bit. ¬†I’ll drift in and out of sleep. ¬†I’ll dream of a pimple-free face.

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Really, I think it is changing shape.¬† I had a very pointy skull when I was born because I came out so very quickly.¬† My mom got to the hospital and the nurse gave her the enema (it was the times…).¬† My mother calls to the nurse from the restroom, saying that the baby was coming.¬† The nurse says snarkly, no dear, that’s the enema.¬† My mother says, no dear, I’ve had a baby and this is the baby.¬† Yes, I’ve written it before (I think), I was almost born in a toilet.

Coming out as quickly as I did, my head was very pointy.¬† Obviously, it settled down over time.¬† Part of it always seemed too flat.¬† In the back, about opposite of the forehead.¬† I suppose it was the “soft spot”.¬† It is a round, flat portion of my skull.¬† Lately though, it seems to be gaining a curve to it.¬† It seems to be sinking in.¬† I will ask my neurologist about it the next time I go in for my MRI.¬† In the meantime, I wonder if this explains my memory issues.

If I can’t remember someone’s name, I call him Frank.¬† Usually this is in conversation about the person, but one time I actually called a dear man “Frank” two times in a conversation with him and thankfully he knows I am a flibbertigibbet and all was well.¬† Many other words escape me these days.¬† I make it work for me but it’s beginning to become annoying and mildly embarrassing since I run a writing lab.¬† Not a great place to be at a loss for words.

Now I realize that the skull issue is not truly contributing to this issue.¬† Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area are not close to this part of the skull, so I think I’m relatively safe.¬† I think the true culprit is perimenopause.¬† There are those who would say I’m too young, I’m not.¬† Plus I lost the left ovary in ’07 to a tumor so the right one has been in overdrive for a while.¬† Also I have all the friggin’ symptoms so being a fan of Ockham’s razor (or Occam’s, I’ve heard it both ways), there you have it.

This could even explain the change in my skull.  Could be a very interesting loss of bone.

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