Perimenopause Is A Bloodsport

My body is waging a war against perimenopause. In my mid-forties, I still consider myself to be young and virile. Isn’t it too early for this?!? And why didn’t anybody warn me? Or maybe they did but I tuned them out because they were just “old ladies” whinging about their messed up cycles.

Perimenopause is essentially water drip torture. You know, the kind where water was dripped slowly onto the captive’s forehead, slowly driving them insane.

Perimenopause runs on the same principle. Just little droplets at first. Nothing you can’t handle. A restless night here, one early or late period there. Nothing unmanageable.

Drip drop drip.

Then two nights of tossing and turning. And a hot flash. Or maybe not a hot flash? It might just be an especially humid day. You’re not totally sure. 

Drip drip drip drop drop drop…

And how are we THIS tired and still standing? Some nights it’s, “Go to bed three hours before the kids” tired. 

Along with the inexplicable exhaustion, there are sudden spurts of anger for absolutely no reason. You’re the Incredible Hulk in guacamole stained yoga pants.

Drip drip drip drip drip drop drop drop drop…

Water trickles into your eyes, tickling your skin in a most unpleasant way. You want to punch a wall or at least scream until you hurt your own ears, but you’re too tired to bother. 

You’re dropping things everywhere. Sometimes it’s a bowl of pasta with oily pesto sauce onto your white capris. *Incredible Hulk roar* I suspect it’s the “slight” bloating causing your joints to expand just enough to mess with your grip. There are certain times of the month when I don’t trust myself with glassware, pots of boiling liquids, or newborn babies.

And then there’s the lack of depth perception. This is a real thing. I’ve never been aces when it comes to parallel parking, but I could always manage to negotiate my car into a regular parking space. Now, especially after the incident where the side of my SUV got to third base with a cement post in an underground parking garage, I question my spacial judgement everywhere. Women OTOSOM (on the other side of menopause) have assured me this will improve after “the change” (I just physically shuddered) and I’ll once again be able to park at the mall without endangering lives. And paint jobs. 

Drippity, drip drop…can somebody please mop my brow?

And how about that random bloating folks? I’m puffy in places I’ve never puffed before. 

All of a sudden I’m forgetting common words and basic grammar rules. Stringing together a simple five word sentence becomes a Herculean effort. (At the time of writing this I couldn’t remember the word Herculan so I used ‘Zeusian effort’ until my word retrieval thingy fired back up again.) I’ve legit Googled, “Could loss of speech be a sign of a stroke?” and “What are early signs of dementia.” 

Drip drop drip drop spray me full force in the face with a fire hose…

Depending on the day, we peri-moms can be sad. It comes in unpredictable waves, which keeps our families on their toes. We don’t even know why we’re feeling blue. And that makes us more sad and frustrated. And perpetually peckish. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve bribed my teen to ride his bike to the corner store to get his mama some therapeutic Pringles. And a little something for himself for his trouble of course. I’m not a monster. 

Perimenopause makes us restless. We don’t fall asleep easily most nights and when we do, we don’t stay asleep for an entire sleep cycle. We can’t even pin this on our kids because they sleep all night and into the following afternoon, like vampires. No longer toddlers, our offspring have become snoozy teens whose zit cream we borrow because our once blemish free skin is now spotted with hormonally inflicted acne amid the wrinkles and blotches of sun damage. How is this fair? You’d think with all the drip drop water droplets on my face my skin would look pretty good.

We peris don’t feel our sexiest at the moment. Which is for the best I guess because we’d rather play Scrabble on our phones in bed at night than do anything else if you catch my drift. 

There are days where I barely recognize the Menstrosity I’ve become. Expletive curse words will spew out of your face for no valid reason. My computer wouldn’t load a website fast enough one morning so I swore at my laptop like a filthy computer cursor.

The ride through perimenopause is a kind of slow but steady torture. There are tears and hot flashes, insomnia, and ridiculous mood swings. There are periods of periods that are a heavy and long. Kind of like your boobs without a bra these days. And periods of an absence of periods that will just plain freak you out, period.

Drip drop drip times infinity…

You too might be entering perimenopause if…

You buy your fem hygiene products from Costco.

Sweater on, sweater off, sweater on, sweater off…repeat.

One thick black wiry whisker keeps appearing in the same spot on your chin. Good luck focussing on your meeting if you should notice it while you’re stuck at work. All you can think is,”tweezers, tweezers, my kingdom for my tweezers!”

Salty foods have become medically necessary.

Birth control is less about controlling birth and more about controlling the hella hormones. 

So I have some questions. Like, when will it get better? Oh god, it WILL get better, right? I understand that diet and exercise and sleep (hahahaha) and certain supplements can help, but what about hibernating in one of those deep sleep chambers? Wake me up when I’m 59. Is that an option? What solutions have you found that actually make this less awful?

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