Friday, February 12, 2010

Ranting of a Crone

I am, once again, awake. It is 4:45am. I fling back covers and stagger to the bathroom, splash cold water on my face, grab a washcloth, soak it in cold water to sponge my neck, arms and torso. Awake again at 5:08 am, 5:33 am, 6:07 am and finally at 7:10 am I kick off sticky, damp and tangled bedsheets, get up and dress for the day.

In September of 1999, my body began the agonizing feminine journey through menopause. The first two years were a mere 'warm-up' of things to come. For the next six years, I sweated through days and nights of bodily torture, surging with heat every forty minutes, each episode lasting anywhere from eight to twenty minutes. Trying to sleep became well-nigh impossible. I eventually lined my bed with wool blankets to wick up the moisture as I had been changing the sheets two and three times a night.

Sometime in October of 2008, the day time attacks began to lessen. I left my hand-held fan at home and put flannel sheets on the bed. However, around the same time, another phenomenon began and persists: without fail, just as I am about to drop off to sleep, the adrenaline builds in my core, sweat pours and I am awake again. Wide awake. These incidents continue throughout the night. The good thing, I suppose, is that the episodes only last three minutes, with another 10 minutes or so trying to return to sleep.

I dream many dreams through these unsettling nights as I fall quickly and briefly into the REM stage of sleep. Apparently, my body is taking care of me while I struggle through the change, allowing the deep rest necessary to bypass the serious consequences of sleep deprivation.

Medical intervention? Natural remedies? PAAH! Nothing works. And I've tried most, when finances allow. One option I refuse to try is Hormone Replacement Therapy. It is an intervention that will only prolong the inevitable, with varying degrees of success and dubious side effects.


Kim said...

I enjoyed this piece, I always think that adreneline rush is a panic attack. But then, my income is the same as yours, so often it IS a panic attack. Then my brain gets on the roller coaster of doubts and fears, or sometimes bitterness and anger. Thankfully, I have a patch of dirt to dig in. I hope you do too. Cheers:)

Chrystal Ocean said...

My hot flashes are finally over - except I've noticed since being able to have coffee again, even diluted, that they've returned to visit a few times, especially at night.

BTW, it's great to hear from readers who are in the same boat. Please visit and comment here as often as you like, Kim. You likely have ideas we haven't thought of yet and the more, the better.

Kim said...

I notice sharp cheese, which I love, and spicey and/or tomato based sauces trigger them too. I'm okay with it though, except my husband has circulation issues and needs at least a 22 degree room...just have to keep in mind, this too shall pass. At least we're in between pads and depends Lol!

Daphne Moldowin said...

Kim, I appreciate your comments. That 'this too shall pass", I have no doubt, although my mother, at 81 year of age, still experiences the odd flash. SIGH. I laughed out loud when reading the last sentence in your second comment!