My Peri-Menopausal Self

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I turn 47 today which means I am officially sliding down the old age hill towards the half century mark.  On one hand I am one year closer to the 10% senior discount at Dunkins.  On the other, my body isn’t exactly being a team player any more.

Like an old car whose warranty had just expired, when I hit my 40’s, everything seemed to start to fall apart.  You silently pray that old Bessy will keep kicking for just a few more years until you can trade her in.  Unfortunately, there is no trade ins when it comes to life.  You are stuck with the body you took off the lot.  All sales final.

There are a lot of things no one warns you about as you get older. Similar to childbirth, most people are reluctant to tell you the gory details for fear of causing you to gouge your eyes out and run screaming from the room or curl in a sobbing ball in the corner of the room.

Fortunately, I am not one of those people.  I will tell you straight out some of the suckass things that happen to you as you climb the hill of old age towards “the Change”.  Hey, misery loves company

HAIR:

Say goodbye to your luscious locks.  Your hair will slowly begin to convert into straw.  Sorry ladies, but no amount of highlights are going to hide those steel like grey hairs that keep popping up on your head.  You will also be blessed with your hair starting to fall out.  I don’t mean an occasionally stray hair.  We are talking shedding like a sheep dog in winter.  I cannot tell you how much hair I find at the bottom of the shower drain after each washing.  I could probably knit a 3 piece suit out of the sh*t.

While your hair is shedding from your head, mysterious hairs will begin to pop out in places you never knew could grow hair and those suckers will be industrial strength.   I have one hair – just one- that keeps growing underneath my chin. I have affectionately named it “splinter” ever since my son commented that poor mommy has a “splinter” in her chin.  In order to get “splinter” to vacate my chin area, I must position myself with a firm grip on my tweezers as I brace my feet against the vanity and pull with all my might.  I believe the feeling is close to having your fingernails ripped off and it brings tears to your eyes.

BOOBS:

Ah, those lovely breasts.  Remember how cute and perky they used to be?  You could throw them in a lacy little number and they would stand up at attention.  Two plump melons peeking out of your shirt.  Now, thanks to breastfeeding two kids and gravity, mine look like two dried out tangerines hanging in a panty hose.  Rather than peeking out from the top of the shirt, my cleavage is more in the vicinity of my belt buckle.  Bras are no longer for looks, they are for support so I can give the appearance that my boobs are still up near my chest, not part of my waistline.  Somewhat horrifying is I now wear the same bra that my mother wears because I need the full coverage or those puppies escape out the front when I lean over.   My mom tells me their underwear is super comfy too.  Aaah thanks, but I draw the line at bras.  Im not ready for granny panties…yet.

BODY:

My “temple” is becoming more like an ancient ruin.   What was once a strong, solid column, providing support and protection, now has begun to show wear and barely keeps me upright some days..  Things have begun to shift and settle.  Where there was once smoothness, now has wrinkles.  Parts of me are spreading outward, mainly my a$$.  Other parts are drooping downward.  Things jiggle when I wave and often creak or snap when I move.

Now, I never really expected for my body to not change as aged, I just thought I would be able to keep it in check a little better.  How stupid was I? Especially after having two kids.  Right there was cause enough for my midriff to go to pot.  Add too many iced coffees and my love of french fries and I’m lucky I’m not confined to a Lark.  These days,my midsection looks more like the Pillsbury doughboy, soft and pasty.  Only difference is, if you poke me in the stomach, I will not giggle.  I’ll punch you in the f@*^%ing face. 🙂

PEE:

While this subject could fit well under the last section, I felt it need a whole section on its own.  Yeah, its that important.  When my doctor told me after having my second child “Things will never be right down there again”, he was not joking.  I no longer have any control over that area of my body.  It’s like after the second kid, they snipped the important nerve that signals your brain as to how your muscles work.  I can no longer sneeze, laugh, or do a frigging jumping jack, without having to pee.   Even if I just went.  And forget holding it.  That’s freaking torture.  As soon as I see a toilet, my muscles start to fail and I am jumping around like a stripper with a wardrobe malfunction trying to get my zipper down.   I used to make fun of my mother for having to use the bathroom every 5 minutes.  Now we are racing each other to the first open stall.  First the bras, now the bladder.  I am not sure what to expect next.

NIGHT SWEATS:

I go to bed freezing my ass off but peel off the layers as I sweat out of my clothing during the night. My side of the bed is soaking wet and gross, so I scootch over to the husband’s side. This only irritates him with my clamminess, so I end up back in the waterbed area, although we clearly only bought a regular mattress. Now I wake up an hour later and I’m shivering because I am freaking freezing again. Don’t worry – this cycle will repeat itself after I find something else dry and warm to put on

PERIOD? NO PERIOD?:

So remember when you were first waiting for your period and you had to be prepared at all times because you just never knew when it could possibly just arrive? This is just what peri-menopause is like. Some months, I have my period 3 weeks out of the month. Some months go by and nothing happens at all. Tracking? This is a waste of time. It just shows up whenever it decides to, stays on a while, maybe goes away and comes back next week. It’s like seasonal coffees at D&D… you never know when they are coming and/or going away.

Moral is: don’t leave home without your supplies.

Or in white pants.

I can’t be too upset though.  My body may have some wear, but it still manages to get up everyday and get me to Dunkins.  As long as I have some caffeine and a boatload of Depends, I guess I’ll hang on to the old girl.  We’ve been through so much.  And if the other side of 50 is as much fun as the hills of 40, then I pretty sure I am in for a wild ride.

I just hope the ride doesn’t involve a Lark…or do I? 🙂

Sue

PS  I must give a shout out to my dear pal, Cindy, who helped me with late night editing and her funny addition about night sweats and periods.  I swear we share the same brain…which explains a lot.  I love you and your saggy uterus with all my heart. 🙂

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Goooooood Morning!

In our house, I am the morning person.  I’m up at five on Tuesdays and Thursdays so as to be in the pool at 5:30.  I have been known to get up at 4:30 on the occasional Saturday if it means getting in the pool early enough to have my own lane.  Plus it’s actually easier to get in the pool at five on a Saturday than 8:15.  8:15 means feeding the kiddos first and sneaking out the door when they aren’t looking.    Also, in an effort to get back into running more regularly, I just agreed to meet a friend at 5:15 on Fridays.  The morning is quiet.  There are rarely children up and about calling “Mooooommm?  Mom?  Mommy?”  I get time to work out and have it be done before I get entrenched in my day.  But sometime, just sometimes, morning and I don’t agree. Continue reading