The Worst.

For someone who works with WordPress, I’m an awful blogger.

I used to blog nearly every day before WordPress became my job, now I’m just “ugh blogging” like it’s some chore. I mean it really isn’t, but I think it’s more that I’m less anonymous than I was before so I’m less…open…about my life and everything around it.

Maybe it’s because I somehow think I have this image to protect. Which is riduculous because anyone that knows me already knows I’m a hot mess express. Or maybe I’m now a hot flash express…

Yep. The big M. Or more accurately, perimenopause – which is the bratty younger sister of menopause. The thing that has aggrivated me so much that I need to write about it.

And what I’ve discovered about perimenopause/menopause is that:

  1. There’s few resources out there for women going through this.
  2. There’s few doctors that actually know what to do about it.
  3. There’s fuck all you can do about it.

What do you mean? Surely there’s medications or treatments that can help?

Of course there are, but what are you trying to treat? Here’s a graphic to help you picture the bullshit women of a certain age go through:

The worst bingo card EVER

Note that this says Common Symptoms. COMMON.

But just to give you a fun insight into what I’M dealing with, the only ones I haven’t had either periodically or all the fucking time are 3, 6 (hysterectomy), 16, 20, 25, 30, 31, and 34. For you math-challenged folks, I have 26 of 34 “common” symptoms. With my luck, those other eight will pop up eventually.

How do you treat that? I went from zero medications to currently six to deal with these symptoms with varying levels of success. The best part about these symptoms is that they’re not constant nor are they consistent from person to person. So how do you treat that? Even with hormone treatment, a woman’s hormones can fluctuate by the hour – so how is a single dose of hormones going to be consistently effective?

Crazy, right? Welcome to the terrordome.

I try to give my husband half of an idea about what I’m going through, but it’s tough to explain to someone how fucking wild this all is. Like, when did this weird saggy neck thing pop up? Why can’t I remember shit anymore? Whose old hands are these? Why do I itch? WHY AM I SO HOT?!

In the past week, I literally raged at a piece of ice that fell on the floor. Screaming and stomping and I wanted to blow up the entire world. Because I dropped a piece of ice. Then an hour later I’m crying. Like full-on Katherine Hepburn sobs.

On other days I have to take a cold shower to just find some relief from the incessant hot feeling I’m suffering through. Other days I want to crawl up into a ball and die. Don’t get me started about what my allergies are doing now. They weren’t the greatest before but now they’re even worse!

Also, I love the advice on how to improve symptoms: cut down on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. What’s the point of life after that?

I’m not even going to go into the digestive and other biological warfare that’s being waged in my body.

I’ve been finding myself to be increasingly stressed out and overwhelmed by everything lately. It got to the point where I exercised the option at work to go to a part-time schedule. I work four days a week for 80% of my full-time salary. I’m grateful to both my company and the good fortune that my husband and I have where we can weather a pay reduction, even for a short period of time. I’ve been on this reduced schedule for a month now and it’s been so helpful. I planned on staying part-time until the end of the year, but I’ll re-evaluate when the time gets closer. Knowing that I can be going through this for YEARS, I may need more time as I try to adjust and adapt to this new phase of life.

Yes, I’m trying to exercise and be more healthy, but my god it’s hard. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: if men had to go through this shit, there’d be more comprehensive health and mental care for this. 😦

I’m sure I’ll post more than once every two years now. Maybe.

I Did That Push Up For Nothing!

Yeah, I’m getting back on the ol’ workout wagon.

While I’ve been running quite a bit since we got the treadmill last fall, I haven’t been doing much else despite having equipped our home gym with the following:

  • Dumbbells: 3lb to 50lb
  • Rower (well, we’ve had this for years)
  • Weight bench
  • TRX trainer (also had this pre-pandemic)
  • Kettlebells (4kg + 8kg)

I had my good friend J (who is a personal trainer) set me up with a workout program so I can start working my weak, ineffective T-Rex arms into something not so weak and ineffective.

Now I have four different workouts – one is a warm up for days I run – and three others that give a more full body workout with weights/bodyweight stuff. Annnnd I’ve only done the warm up one in the month I’ve had them.

Hear me out!

Pre-pandemic I was going to Orangetheory Fitness where half of the one hour class is on the treadmill and the other half doing weights/etc. It was super effective for me and how I always did it was run first – weights second. Therefore in my monkey brain, I’d do the same thing here! Do a run, then go do the weights.

Except that didn’t happen.

I’d run and wear myself out then not go do the weights. Oops.

J told me “do the weights first, then go run so you stop putting it off”. OMG FINE J.

I did that and instead of the 38 minute class I was going to take (shout out to iFit!), I just ended up doing a manual run and ran a mile and walked a quarter mile to cool down because I was wiped out.

I guess if I want to do longer runs I’ll need to skip the weights on those days. I have two separate but related goals to my running: get my mile per minute pace below 11 minutes per mile and to run a 10k again.

My last 5k (a virtual Easter race through iFit) I had a 12:30 min/mi pace with no walk breaks. I can do a mile faster than that, but my goal is endurance and not walking, so baby steps I suppose. Blows my mind that I used to run 10ks at 10 min/mi pace, but then I was almost ten years younger and forty pounds lighter.

Can’t get any younger, but the weight can creep its way off. Well, once I stop eating like an asshole.

Why can’t salads be as tasty as pizza? Come on people.

Lost Friends

There are friends in your life who made a huge impact on you. Friends who changed who you were as a person. Friends who were your lifeline through hard times. Friends who were there to celebrate your victories. Friends who you shared once-in-a-lifetime experiences with. Friends who were there through the laughter and the tears. Friends who you thought would always be in your life.

But today – they’re not.

They’re not around for a number of reasons. You no longer work at the same company, so you don’t see them every day like you used to. You moved to a different city or a different state. Your interests changed and you didn’t have enough in common anymore. They had kids and you didn’t. You both grew up and life took priority. All valid life reasons why friendships ended or fizzled.

There are other times where there doesn’t seem to be a reason. One day you’re friends, the next they’ve ghosted you. Those are the ones that really sting. It would be one thing to have a huge fight and exchange hearty “fuck yous”, then that would make sense. But nothing like that happened. It’s like one day you were friends, the next you never existed. Which hurts because these friends helped you through some low points in your life and now that you’ve come out the other side, they’re not around to see that person that you’ve become.

Finally – the worst one and the reason I’m being so introspective today is when your friend passes away. One minute they’re there and the next they’re gone forever. I haven’t lost anyone to COVID-19 thank fucking gawd, but I have lost them to cancer.

My good friend Alex passed away after a long battle with leukemia two years ago tomorrow. I have the reminder in my calendar so I make sure to remember him and to celebrate that friendship even though it’s now lost. He’d probably tell me I was being stupid for being so mushy and making such a big fuss about it. Makes me smile just thinking about it. Miss you, friend.