Happy Easter!

Okay, so a brief update on the hot flashes — they’re not as bad.  Thank God!  and Heather.  She told me to try Swiss brand HRT.  So I did.  Dr. R had recommended I try a progesterone cream, but I was a little leery about that.  I started out taking 4 capsules of the Swiss HRT and am now down to 3/day.  I still get the odd flash, but they’re no where’s near as bad as they were a week ago.  At least I’m sleeping through the night (mostly) again.

Had a great break!  Once I goSpringt back from convention in Lethbridge.  Had a sore throat, which I think was allergies.  Kind of knocked me on my ass for a day or two.  Or, maybe, I was just run down from all the runnin’ aroun’ I do.  Who knows?  Anyway, after I got rested up I was rarin’ to go.

Last Thursday we picked up Timothy and Hailey and had them for 1/2 day.  We flew kites, baked cinnamon buns, played loud games, went to Hailey’s Tae Kwon Do and then had ice-cream right before taking them home to bed.  We had a blast!  They made me better, I swear.Learning to fly

Friday, Tim and I took off for Jasper.  via Mayerthorpe, cause we’re a little dopey and don’t know how to read signs very well, apparently.

anyhow. . .  we figured it out before we got to Grand Prairie, which was a good thing.  Don’t really know what we would have done there for fun.

The mountains were great.  We went for a hike at Old Fort Point, I got some lovely shots of the river and the bridge and a gnarly old pine.  Then we stayed in an overpriced, but very roomy suite at Whistler’s Inn, (where we generally stay when in Jasper).  We had a lovely meal at Cassio’s and then went for a short walk before turning in for the night.  No wild and crazy antics for us.  We were bushed.

Got up late Saturday and packed everything out at 10:30.  Had an expensive, but tasty breakfast at the Soft Rock Cafe, where someone stole my orange juice when I got up to go to the bathroom.  Crazy!  I guess they were thirsty and couldn’t afford their own.

We did another short hike up Patricia Lake trail but got wierded out by a ranger who told us a cougar or wolves had killed a deer on the trail and he was there looking for it.  (the carcass)  He was all nonchalant about it, but I couldn’t help listening for stealthy sounds in the trees around us — which is really quite pointless when the wind is blowing and things are scritching and scratching everywhere around you.

Tim finally spotted the carcass while I was busy setting my camera up and whistled for the ranger.  He came trudging up, said thanks and dragged it off.  Sheesh!  I got a few decent, but boring shots of the mountains to the east of Jasper and then decided enough was enough.  We finished our hike and then made a bee-line out of town.  Got back home around 8 p.m.  Tired, but happy.

Yesterday, we had a nice brunch with Landon, Jenn and the kids.  The kids were all hopped up on sugar, but what the hey — the Easter Bunny only comes once a year. Once again, the kids made my day. Ethan is really beginning to develop a personality.  He’s just like Landon was as a baby.  A ‘pudger’ as we called him.  But happy?!  OMG! he’s a happy little guy.

Later in the day we went to my niece, Lisette’s, for a barbecue with her and Scott and Michelle.  Scott’s on his way to Mexico again.  Then he gets home for four days and heads off to Pennsylvania for 3 weeks.  A busy guy.  Looks like things are really starting to go his way.  Very happy for him.  Michelle, too.

on to other things. . .

. . . last night finally got around to watching The Road.  I’d read the book in the summer and thought it was an amazing story.  The movie left a lot to be desired.  Viggo was good (when isn’t he?) but the story is so bleak and depressing, it just didn’t work on film.  Also, and I’m grateful for this, they chose to leave out a lot of  the really horrific stuff that made the book so compelling.  Much of the time you couldn’t hear what was being said because the characters spoke so softly. My advice — don’t waste time on the movie — read the book.  It’s amazing.

I am so glad it’s Spring.  Tim and I went for a nice walk in the early morning sunshine today and it felt like all was right with the world again.  I am so happy that winter is once more behind us.  The dark, cold mornings, the dark, cold evenings a thing of the past.  From now on, it’s steadily increasing daylight and sunlight and warmth.  Soon, the early flowers will be out and the birds will be singing in the big pine outside my bedroom window. I’ll be able to get out and get my gardening gloves on and muck around in the dirt.   Yay!

Because it’s Spring I feel compelled to try something strange and renewing.  So, I’m not going to watch TV from Sunday to Thursday.  If there’s time and I don’t have better things to do I’ll watch television on Friday night and Saturday.  I want to see how much more I can accomplish by not sitting in front of the ‘boob tube’ every night.

Granted, I don’t watch TV that much anyway — never enough time, really — but I have found myself plunking down in front of it a little more than I want to, these days.  Normally, we PVR everything and watch it later so we can skip through the commercials, but that can still eat up 2 or 3what it's all about hours a night.  When I started thinking about it, I was sort of appalled by how much TV we were watching.  So, this morning, while I was folding sheets I decided:  Time for an experiment!

Tim’s not thrilled.  I’ll probably be doing this one by myself, too.  Oh well, to each his own, I say.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Happy Spring everybody!

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Hot Flashes and temporary insanity

So. . . after approximately 15 years I am no longer taking hormone replacements.  At 35 I had a total hysterectomy and therefore went in to what is lovingly called ‘medical menopause’.  Because I was fairly young for such  a procedure they put me on estrogen replacement to help my body deal with the effects that the loss of estrogen production would have.  Long story short — I was sailing along quite happily until I discovered that taking estrogen for a prolonged period of time could seriously up my risk for developing breast cancer.  Therefore, I went to my Naturopath, Dr. Richardson, a great doctor, really, and he helped wean me off the estrogen and suggested an herbal aid for controlling hot flashes and mood swings.

Now, about 2 months later I often feel like I’d gnaw off my own foot sometimes for one of those little yellow pills I was so dependent on.

It started off innocently enough — one or two mild flushes a day.  Something just hot enough to make me take off my sweater for a minute or two.  Then, it started progressively getting worse.  Soon, I couldn’t stand the feel of my clothes when I started ‘flashing’.   My legs would feel like they were bathed in a sheen of hot, greasy sweat beneath my pants; it would literally make me want to scream.  At work, however, that would be considered inappropriate behaviour.  At home — well, I do what ever I damn well please when one of these hot flashes strikes.

The biggest problem — besides the feeling that I’m living in a blast furnace for a good chunk of my day — is the night-time.  I really don’t get any sleep anymore.  Maybe an hour or two, but then I wake up feeling so hot, so sweaty and uncomfortable that I have to get up and walk around to create a cool breeze.  Repeat this scenario 5, 6 times in a night and you can see why they also add ‘mood swings’ to the mix of symptoms menopausal women endure.

I think I have a general understanding of how the ‘frequent flyer’ method of torture works.  No bloody wonder it works — after a week of nights like that I’d confess to anything just to have eight uninterrupted hours of blissful sleep.  However, in my case, I’d want cool, crisp cotton sheets, an open window with a slight breeze blowing gently over me — just in case.

I feel tired and stressed out all the time.  I can’t focus on anything for any length of time.  I’m irritable, emotional and sometimes irrational.  All because of a lack of estrogen.

How do women do it, who go through this process naturally?  Is it less intense?  How long will I have to suffer through this?  Dr. Richardson says a few years.  Right now that seems totally unacceptable.  I’m trying something new to help control the hot flashes, I hope it works.  Or someone just might die.

I’m joking … maybe.  ‘Cause right now, I’m having one and it’s making my skin crawl.  Excuse me while I go stand out side for a moment or two.

Okay, I’m back.  Feeling somewhat normal.  Praying that the new medication is going to magically kick in.

I know I’m not the only woman to have ever gone through this, and that my symptoms are probably not as bad as someone else’s, but you know what?  I don’t care.  This is happening to me, and right now I only care about me.

I would like someone to explain to me just exactly what the medical reason for this aspect of menopause is.  Nearly everything regarding human physiology has some explanation — so what is nature trying to protect me from with these godforsaken flashes of unbearable heat?  Is it killing cancer-causing cells?  Is it boosting/protecting my immune system?  What purpose does this torture serve?  Please, someone, enlighten me.