an experiment begins

Posted: May 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

Where we last left off, I was splashing my angst around about menopause and the frustrating lack of clear information about it.  That was the same day as my doctor appointment, which had included my first pointed conversation about the M-word withe the doc.

I woke up the next morning mad.  G got to listen to me rant.  It was 3 AM as usual.  I hadn’t slept well the previous night, thanks to excessive excitement about some stuff unfolding.  A night of at least more sleep than THAT hadn’t helped.  I was so tired that I felt like for sure I was either going to throw up or pass out.  On top of that, I had some wicked mid-month cramping going on, enough that I just wanted to wrap up in a ball around a heating pad and not get up at all.

A shower didn’t help.  Stretching didn’t help.  Breakfast didn’t help.  Devotionals didn’t help.  I did all my “next right things” and when 6 AM rolled around, I still felt as bad or worse than I had upon waking.  I had been ranting to G the whole time – not about my physical stuff, but about the doctor appointment the day before.  Though the doctor had been friendly as always, I realized I’d once again sabotaged myself with my slow reaction time – my failure to feel my feelings in the moment, my inability to push back at inadequate answers and demand more.

The doctor had been nice, but after a night of sleep it felt in retrospect like she’d been pretty dismissive.  I had given her two full pages of detailed report, of which almost a full page was related to pretty severe and consistent exhaustion.  She’d read it and basically patted me on the head and said, “Yeah, it’s menopause…deal with it, honey.”  And being the ever-compliant lady I am, I had thanked her and taken what she gave me without question – which was precious little.  After a night of sleep, I was newly reminded that God’s been working on me about this business of not just taking whatever I’m given.  I was ready to demand another appointment, even if it took 2 months to get back in, which is generally the case at our doctors’ office.  I was ready to sit down in her exam room and refuse to leave until she spent a little more time and effort looking at the details I had given her.  My exhaustion might be contributed to by menopause, but I refuse to believe it has to be quite this sometimes-debilitating.

I read a little blog my pastor had written, and then, practically mid-rant, I laid my head down on G’s lap and took a 2-hour nap, since there was time before we needed to get going.   I heard/felt him praying much of that time.  When I woke up, I was practically a new person.  No more nausea.  No more lightheadedness.  No more supercramps.  My head was much clearer for thought beyond rage.

That’s when some stuff came together.  While I’ve been kind of a tired person my whole life, the severity of it has ramped up for roughly the last 6 months.  Which is roughly the amount of time since G changed positions – and schedules – at work.  Which required us to rework our lives for this crazy schedule of rising at 3 AM and going to bed around 6:30 or7 PM.  My prayer partner has been telling me all along that her body wouldn’t adjust to a schedule like that, and I’ve been dismissing that.  I generally tend to believe that we can do whatever we decide to do.  As long as I was getting 8 hours of mattress time, surely it would be fine.  But my pastor’s blog seemed to confirm what my prayer partner had been saying – that maybe some folks just can’t physically adjust to such a schedule.

Of course my prayer partner and my pastor are both at the very top of the elite list of folks from whom I’ll take direction without playing the “you don’t know” card…uh…for too long, at least!

So before I demand another doctor appointment and try to force help out of my doc, I’m trying an experiment to help myself:  I’m killing my 3 AM wake time.  G can still get up then, but I’m gonna shoot for more like 5 AM, which has been approximately my wake time for…oh, too many years to count.  I’m still gonna keep going to bed early at least for awhile, since the exhaustion also could be made worse by the menopause – my reading seems to verify the doc’s counsel on that.  Menopause ladies be TIRED, from what I can gather.

The experiment is worth a try.  It costs no money, though I’m massively bummed at what it will cost me in super-cuddle hours with G.  I’ll let ya know how it goes.

But first:  I’m off to Chicago with my daughter for a mini-vacation at my heart’s home, JPUSA!  I’ve got DAYS ahead of resting, chilling with friends, sitting by my lake, and also getting extra sleep, maybe.  Though I’ve already begun the new sleep experiment, it feels likely to me that this vacation will sort of kick-start it in a way, so I’m grateful that the timing worked out like that.

Last note:  a big THANK YOU to those who have shared your menopause experiences with me thus far.  I’m still looking to collect that kind of thing from as many ladies as possible!  I’m already feeling the “not alone” thing much more, just from what has come in thus far.  You all are awesome.



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