So far, I’ve paid a hefty price, including but not limited to:
• monthly reminders that I’m a woman.
• cramps accompanied by splitting headaches and four extra pounds every one of those months.
• pregnancy. I loved being pregnant, but a little too much. I gained 80 pounds with my oldest.
• stretch marks – inevitable after an extra 80 pounds.
• a fun little treat called a perineum tear.
• and finally, dealing with the aftermath of emotions after childbirth. Not to mention all that weight I had to lose afterwards.
“The change” was supposed to be a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not quite there yet, but it’s knocking on my door. It’s bad enough it knocks on my door between 2-4 a.m. by dumping a bucket of tepid sweat on top of me, but it also reminds me I should be more worried about the environment or something equally as random.
I don’t know why I’m shocked I didn’t expect how this would go down. A few friends mentioned late-night sweaty wakeup calls and difficulty losing weight. I guess it’s one of those things you must experience to take it seriously. It’s like when my parents tried to warn me that I might not be ready for the responsibility of having a credit card my freshman year in college. “You should pay it off every single month. Do not purchase something you can’t already pay cash for. It’s for emergency use only. Don’t carry a balance.”
But what did they know, right? And to be fair, paying for 10 on-campus parking tickets so I could register for classes kind of qualifies as an emergency. I’m convinced that if Domino’s didn’t accept credit cards, it would not have taken me so long to pay off that stupid credit card.
So, right now it’s 3 a.m. I woke up and noticed my heart was fluttering. Not in the cute “butterfly” way, either. It’s fluttering like I’m getting ready to go down the first hill of the world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster, and my seat belt won’t fasten. I immediately Google, “heart attack symptoms.” And because I have the attention span of a squirrel on Red Bull, I immediately change my Google search to “how to lose 10 pounds in one week.” No matter what I try, I can’t seem to get rid of the weight I gained this winter. To be fair, it’s not that diets don’t work for me any longer. It’s that my willpower, along with my memory, have exited stage left.
I’ve thought about hormone replacements. Like any treatment, natural or manufactured, there are just so many side effects.
Why can’t scientists create a replacement hormone that causes weight loss, elation and clear skin?
Why do I have to wait weeks for hormone replacement therapy to work?
Why is it easier to create a car that drives itself?
My mood swings have become a thing of beauty, and by beauty, I mean they suck. Ask my children and husband.
Husband: “Are you OK? Why are you crying?”
Me: “Why are you so obsessed with me? I’m so bloated. I love you. I’m hungry.”
There’s good news though. During one of my late-night Google search sessions, I found out all of this is preparing me for the real thing. Because of all this intense prep work, “the change” may not be as hard on my family or me. In the meantime, these lovely symptoms are making for great stories my children and husband can share with each other. They just have to make sure I’m not within earshot when they do.
Comments and not suggestions on which essential oil, whole-raw food-vegan diet will keep perimenopause symptoms at bay? You can email Becky Andrews at [email protected] Andrews and Angel Kane are the brains behind Telling Tales, a weekly column in The Democrat.