Friday, May 8, 2009

The Day My Eyelids Fell and Other Menopausal Stories

I remember it well. While sitting in church listening to the Pastor preach, I reached up to rub my itchy eye. And that's when it happened. I noticed that things didn't feel right, I reached over to check the other eye and was the same. When did this happen and for how long has it been like this? My eyelids were no longer tight! They were sagging! Please don't ask me what the Pastor spoke on, I don't know. And don't ask me what we did for the rest of the day, I can't remember. I just know that to my horror, I realized that I was getting older.

I started coloring my hair at the age of 28 because I began to turn grey. My husband has always been the one who was/is practical and frugal, and he insisted that I didn't need to color my hair since it had only a few greys. He said he would tell me if I needed it. Well, I continued to be vain and colored it for quite a few years. Then one day, I started thinking about all the money I was spending on hair coloring services and thought that my real hair color really couldn't be that bad, even with a few greys. Heck, both my sisters have a few greys and it looks fine on them, so why not let my hair go natural. It didn't take long until the good old hubs said, "I think you need to keep coloring". Okay, so not only didn't I have a couple of greys, the grey was covering three quarters of my head. I still color to this very day...

It was one of the coldest nights of the year. While sleeping in my tank top and short pajamas, I was awakened for the fourth time that night with a hot flash and sweating profusely. I couldn't stand it anymore. I got up and opened the door to our balcony and stood out there for five minutes in the subzero weather, with the snow flying, in only the tank top and shorts. When I finally cooled off and came back to bed, I saw hubby huddled under three blankets shivering like crazy. He then curled up next to me to try to warm up. Yep, it happened again, another hot flash, not two minutes later, back outside again.

While driving home from having a pelvic ultra sound for a leaky bladder, (yes, another menopause symptom)I had to stop for a train. I am sure most, if not all of you, have had those ultra sounds where you have to drink gallons of water. Well, I was behind a long line of cars waiting for that train. The train kept coming and coming and coming and I kept waiting and waiting and waiting. I began to squirm and wiggle. Of course I turned the music up and sang with gusto trying to get my mind off my filling bladder. I danced in my seat. That train kept moving. I know you must think, I am making this up, but I am not, the train had to be 30 minutes long. I knew that even if I finally get to cross that railroad track, I still had about a ten minute drive home. Well, that's when I decided to pull into a little (I reiterate little) market right there at the train tracks. It was a dive to say the least. I walked in and begged the owner to let me use his restroom. Of course he said it is only for costumers. I promised to buy something when I was finished. I think after he saw me dancing around and my cries of please, please, please, he gave in and told me where it was. I had to go down the oldest set of stairs into an even older Michigan basement. It was dark and damp and cold and I thought I saw something move in the corner. (true story!!) When I entered the restroom, I started to cry. It was beyond my imagination, dirty. But because I had to go so bad, I closed my eyes and prayed that I would hit the toilet while hovering. When I finished, I ran up those stairs and out the door hollering THANK YOU SO MUCH. (The owner didn't even look me in the eye, now I know why he didn't want to let me use the restroom!) I couldn't buy anything from that place, ewwwww...shudder.

Menopause, what a trip!!!


Donna's Book Nook said...

i believe you when you say this was a true story--even creative imanginations would have a hard time making that one up! I've been in similar situations, and although I was laughing out loud reading your story, it's not very funny when it's happening.

I know God had a real sense of humor when he made women, with all of our unique set of challenges!

Have a great day! (I still color my hair too--can't stand that grey!) Donna

Joyce said...

Oh my gosh I could have written this! I guess what surprised me was how everything seemed to happen literally overnight. One day I had zero symptoms and then overnite it was like being hit by a freight train. I love my windows in England. There are no screens here so I quite often walk by a window, swing it open and stick my head out to cool off.

And the bladder thing...what's up with that??? That was unexpected!

And don't get me started on the weight thing and how my metabolism has practically come to a screeching halt.

I feel your pain-have some chocolate : ) It helps.

Rebecca said...

This too shall pass! How funny! How true!
I only tried to color my hair once. "We have this new stuff. It won't be red", she reassured me. Well, it WAS red. And I've never tried it since!

I'm still trying to figure out how to respond to your thoughtful comments on my post....Do you get them if I just comment on my own post following yours? (I don't think so....)

Letters From Midlife said...

My hair is well on its way to being white. I quit coloring it about 8 years ago. I just didn't want the maintenance and my hair didn't take the color very easily anyway. My grandma always had pretty white hair so I'm hoping mine will do the same.

beckymc said...

O My goodness Gina! I would laugh out loud but then all would know I am reading blogs at work! This is hysterical but o so true! I know about the hot flashes, bladder thing and the GREY hair. O I hate it! I do color my hair but I am told it does not do much good. I can't stand it!

Donna Cooper said...

I'm right there with you sistah! Oh the joy!

Kelly said...

I can so relate about the bladder. Just yesterday (while in the middle of hair-coloring foiling!) I had to tell my hairdresser that I just couldn't wait till she was done foiling..I HAD to go to the bathroom right then and there. It's amazing the inability to hold it anymore.
And the flashes...I too have stood outside on my back porch in the dead of a winter night trying to cool off.
I think the worst thing though is the irritability/anxiety/getting older and annoyed feeling. Somedays, my patience level is nil, stress levels are high, and tears come super easy....I feel like I am back in jr high school or something with my feelings and emotions!

Pat said...

First of all Gina, thank you for visiting a leaving a comment on my led me back to this delight of yours!
I love the way you write and I will be a steady reader.
I have experienced everything in this post...and I still color my hair! My mother colored hers till she passed away at 86 and I'm folowing in her footsteps.
I look forward to many more visits with you!