Friday, September 23, 2011

Here We Go!

No...not on the road....not yet! But we are going on an adventure of sorts. Karin & I both read A Complaint Free World and have begun the 21 day challenge (which usually takes much longer to complete I must add). We did great for the first day. Of course we started midday so we'll have to see how a full day goes. But still....a good start! It will be no small challenge. Even though I'm a pretty upbeat person, I didn't have to think too hard to realize the enormity of the task. And complaining isn't the only component of the challenge. Not gossiping is part of the deal too. And while I'm not one to go crazy with that, gossiping in this content means not saying anything about a person that you wouldn't say to their face. Okay....that's a toughie. But I think we're in the right frame of mind for this. We can laugh at ourselves when we open our mouths to speak and then shut them to keep the badness from coming out. It will be comical if nothing else.   :)

Wish us luck!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

God I Love Being a Woman! ;-)'s been over three weeks since I've shown my face here! I read other blogs, even comment from time to time...but just can't seem to get myself to sit down and write. Actually, that's not true. I write my morning pages most every day. But that's just for me. And it is really good for me.

I'm having some trouble though concentrating enough to write anything meant for anyone else's eyes. I'm in an interesting place these days. A place called "menopause" or officially "perimenopause" I guess. Either way it's a sucky place to be. I've actually been here for a couple of years already, but it's just now getting to the really fun part. The part where all kinds of scary physical symptoms pop up out of nowhere. And the symptoms I'm talking about they don't even bother to warn you about! We all know about hot flashes and mood swings and forgetfulness. But do they clue you into the fact that you might feel like you're having heart attacks, strokes, brain tumors and more??? Nope. More fun to watch you freak out I guess.

If not for an online friend sending a link to the mind numbing list of 35 possible symptoms, I might not have figured out what was wrong with me. I'd be just another "hysterical" woman in the ER thinking she's dying. Now that I know, I clearly see the patterns. Knowledge is power....and peace of mind! That said, knowledge is not exactly encouraging. From all the personal stories I have been reading, this is going to be a very long and very bumpy ride. Best fasten my seat belt.

I now know that the hot flash isn't the worst of it. It's what comes right before that is truly terrifying. All of the following have precluded hot flashes for me thus far (and we're talking about just in the past couple of weeks that I've even been having them): dizzy spells, pressure in the head, weird buzzy electric-like shock sensations in the head, and the grand daddy of them all - heart palpitations so bad I thought my heart was going to explode.

Today at work, I was massaging an older client who has terminal renal cancer. With this type of client we only do very light massage for circulation and relaxation. So I was not working hard. I was actually getting sleepy from the light work I was doing. All of a sudden my heart started to beat VERY fast and VERY hard! It scared the crap out of me. I began to panic. I had an intense feeling of doom and also of claustrophobia which is very unlike me. Then, as suddenly as it had come on, it stopped. It probably lasted no more than ten seconds, but felt much longer. The instant that it stopped, a wave of heat smacked me upside the head. And immediately I realized what the heart stuff was all about. The hot flash was a short one, only lasting a minute or so. I survived. Today was not my day to die.    :)

I know as time progresses I will get used to it all. But right now I am just not a happy camper! I've been researching like crazy. Researching stuff always makes me feel better. I came across something that reminded me of a conversation I had with a client a couple of years ago but had forgotten about. She told me how she had learned that taking magnesium was helpful for hot flashes and that it worked very well for her. What I found out is that it is not only helpful for hot flashes but also for all other symptoms. It is the most important dietary super star in regards to proper hormone function. It is actually recommended that women begin supplementing with magnesium long before the time for menopause. The list of things it is helpful with is very long. And evidently, about 67% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. Interestingly, Japanese women have a very low incidence of menopausal symptoms. And guess what? Their diets are very high in magnesium due to eating a lot of sea vegetables which are exceptionally high in the mineral.

Not only am I going through this, but my partner Karin has been living with it for several years herself. She has killer hot flashes which we have tried various natural treatments for with varying degrees of success. None have been effective in the long term. She might do better for awhile but it always comes back. And now there are two of us in the same house going bonkers!!! You had better believe we're going to be trying out the magnesium approach. Got my fingers crossed.   :)

We have too much going on to be laid low by all of this. I am determined to not let it overtake me. But do be patient with me. Sometimes my energy levels are just not there. Not enough to make myself write. I will do my best though. And I'll leave you with a couple of useful links for you or someone you know who might be struggling through menopause. The first is easy reading and information all women should have easy access to. The second is considerably more technical but worth digesting. One of the things I found from reading about other womens experiences is that the majority of doctors know diddly squat about menopause. It's up to us ladies!     :)