Diary of a Mad Menopausal Women PART II !!!

Perhaps I was only partly in my right mind when I wrote the Diary of a MMW Part I, because ohhhhh there’s so much more! So many wonderful nuggets of information that should be, no … NEED TO BE shared. TMI perhaps? But of course. Because let me tell you … everything about this stage of life (especially when it comes screeching out of the sky like a hot, burning comet despite the fact that you are way too young and certainly not the least bit ready to handle its weapons of mass destruction on your life) is too much. But alas, once again, I digress.

Let me first say Thank You. —I’m attempting the sandwich effect (did someone say “SANDWICH”? Maybe I need a sandwich? Do I? No. Truly. I doubt I’ll need to eat food ever again because my body reacts by osmosis if I merely sniff food). But yeah…back to the sandwich effect: To “Sandwich” means to say something nice or complimentary (does it count if it’s completely facetious? I don’t know) at the beginning and at the end of a conversation thereby softening the blow of the negative stuff in the middle. So here goes …

Thank you, Menopause. You are so kind as to slap me with only 8 symptoms when I realize now that there could be many, many more. Like a hoarder you’ve collected an oh so yummy assortment of trinkets to clutter my existence, but to my surprise (and utter “delight” — now I’m just lying but hoping you’ll take the bait) you limited yourself to an even 8. Thank you, oh Queen of Misery. You are so gracious.

–End of the first slice of bread in my sandwich effect. Now for the stuff in the middle–

Sweet Symptom #1: Hot Flashes

I’m pretty sure my blood is molten lava, boiling inside my veins. I can feel it about to erupt. It starts down in my feet and begins its volcanic ascent up my body. Fiery hot liquid. I am standing in the middle of a sea of people … smack dab in the center of an aisle with no escape on either side. Church goers in front of me. Behind me. Flanking to my right and to my left. Singing heart-felt songs that I, too, love to sing — on any given Sunday. I frantically fan myself. No. No no no no. NO! The flames hover between my angelic wing bones (scapula, to be exact) and sweat droplets form. unknown-3I have to stop fanning myself and begin to unstick my shirt from my skin. I’m so hot. I need to undress here and now. Please. There’s gonna be a fire in here when my body instantaneously combusts. Fair warning folks. It’s either my nakedness or this place is gonna turn to ash in a split second. Take your pick because at this point I could care less.

Fanning. Unsticking. Sweating.

Just as I am about to free myself from my clothing, without an iota of concern that I’m in a public place surrounded by a slew of people (who cares, right? I don’t know most of these people anyway. They may be just fine with public nudity. Who’s to say?) the fiery hot flames wrap themselves around my body almost like a hug. Never trust an embrace from your enemy. It’s a deception equal to the Judas Kiss. The arms of fire wrap themselves around my torso on the front side of my body, claw their way up my neck and onto my face. I am ready to explode. I am certain that my lava blood will burst forth out of the top of my head and I and everyone within reach will be completely engulfed in flames …. utterly annihilated.

Fanning. Unsticking. Sweating…profusely. Angry. Uncomfortable. Miserable.

And just like that, the Demon escapes out of the pores on the top of my head. I hear an evil laugh…sinister and cruel. I am left standing (barely) and now need to take a shower, although, from the looks of me it would appear I just stepped out of the shower … drenched and with steam rising from my skin.

Endearing Symptom #2: Headaches

To say there’s an icepick in my brain is not at all acknowledging the super-hero qualities of Hormone Headache (H2 for short). She’s an evil villain with a strong arm and an iron grip. She laughs in the face of other headache minions because they are easily manipulated and controlled by heavy (and sometimes not so heavy) doses of medication. H2 does not flinch. Medication doesn’t stand a chance. There’s nothing on the face of this Earth or within the Cosmos that can take her down. She has a sledgehammer effect that lasts for days on end. There’s no relief from her constant vice-grip. Her muscles bulge. Her veins swell and all the while she is smiling her evil smile of victory. H2 is indestructible, and she knows it. Menopause, I have no words for your gift. In fact, I am speechless because I can barely lift my head to acknowledge you.

Fantastic Symptom #3: Rage

As I mentioned in Diary of a MMW Part I, “rage” may be too kind a word to describe the murderous tendencies that erupt from within my being. I only slightly kid when I say, “You must die”. Of course, I could be talking to another living, breathing human being or to an inanimate object without a soul. Either way the rage is real.

A few more examples

There’s Road Rage: So you think it’s cool to drive your mini van in the far left lane, peddle to the floor at a top speed of 45 mph? To be quite frank, can I just say that it’s problematic to me that you are driving a mini van in the first place? But to actually drive LIKE a mini van driver as well? Can you NOT break the mold at all and drive that thing like a race car … for ONCE in your life? Can you NOT live a little? Seriously. My blood is boiling even as I type. Get your big, fat mini van with all its stickers of moms, dads, children, pets and soccer balls, out of my way. Move it or lose it sister because I don’t have time for this. Take your mini van and all your sports equipment and head on over there to the right lane where the SLOW PEOPLE go because if I’m honest, I’m about to drive you into the ditch.

And let’s not forget Crowd Rage: You will never find me shopping on Black Friday. Never. Ever. I am truly saving myself a potential cat fight and possibly a night in the slammer. I can barely handle grocery shopping in Costco … all those carts and hoards of people, and screaming children, wandering husbands, so many hands reaching for the same item. “Excuse me. Pardon me.” That’s what I SHOULD say (rather than what I actually DO say, between clenched teeth). But what I want to scream is “GET THE HECK OUT OF MY WAY AND PAY ATTENTION, WHY DON’T YOU? ” I mean, really, why do people turn off their brains in crowds? Do I always have to move aside because you have no idea where you are going and you’d plow right into me if I didn’t move? Please don’t rub up against me. You may cause a hot flash to break loose and then IT’S ON! I can’t be responsible for what might occur, right here, right now. Crowds make me feel like I have the creepy crawlies all over me. It’s pandemonium. Chaos. And at any second I may very well go crazy on all of you, like a bat out of hell.

How about Circumstantial Rage: Did you move that pile of stuff I had … you know, the pile that had been here on the kitchen table for about a month now? It had become a decoration of sorts. Did you move it? Did you touch it? I am going to blow a gasket. Where are my glasses? They were JUST HERE a minute ago. I will tear this entire house apart, top to bottom … RIGHT NOW. I cannot for the life of me get this cereal bag opened. Why do they make these bags so stinking hard to open? I could come up with a better design than this! FINE!!!! I’ll slice open this thing with a knife and let all the cereal fall to the floor. At least I’ll be the winner and not this poor excuse for an “easy open” container. Where are the keys? The car is warming up outside and now I can’t find the keys. Wait. Oh yeah. They are in the ignition in the car (that is warming up). OK. Tornado rage averted, this once. Did you just look at me, during my fit of rage, with mockery in your eyes? Did you dare just look at me that way? Because you may want to start running … and I mean fast … Your eyes are about to be clawed out.

Delightful Symptom #4: Insomnia

It’s an enigma, sleeplessness is. I am usually completely exhausted and am ready and willing to fall asleep. I look forward to the darkness…the soft pillow…the whir of the fan…the weight of the covers on top of me. I anticipate dreaming, entering a world of my brain’s creation. Closing my eyes. Resting my bones.

Yet sleep eludes me … completely. It whole-heartedly scorns me. One sheep. Two sheep. Five Hundred Thousand sheep … those fluffy white barnyard animals mock me, tiptoeing in front of me just underneath the breath of the ceiling fan. The whirring fan creates a rhythmic dance, keeping time with the second hand of the clock … the sheep throw a party. I become a very wide awake, creepy spectator with the words of Lionel Ritchie’s “All Night Long” on my lips.

And then … it’s morning. Was it ever night? I can’t remember. I am now a full-fledged zombie, angry at the world around me. Pissed at those sheep.

Attractive Symptom #5: Body Padding

The search is on. My body is desperate to find any trace of estrogen left. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Empty. Perfect. Just perfect. I hear the internal megaphone making the announcement:

“OK. Turn her into a middle aged Grandma even though she’s only in her 40’s. This is gonna be fun to watch! Produce some extra padding between her tits and her hoo-ha. Give it that rippled, cottage cheese effect. Nice. Very nice. Don’t go overboard, just yet. Just enough to annoy her. Let’s watch her do a little extra cardio for good measure and see how much more she will attempt to sweat it out in the gym. We’ll fool her to believe she has any control, but truly Lady M is in charge and what She says goes. So …. bring on that stubborn body fat.”

But fight it, I will. Lady M may be in charge, but I remind you that Lady M also gave me some RAGE. So I will pull a full monty on this body padding scheme and switch up every aspect of my life if necessary. I will not go down easily. BRING IT ON, Lady M. I’m and Angry Menopausal Woman. You may have met your match!

Dreamy Symptom #6: Night Sweats

My bed has become a furnace. The covers suffocate me. I’m trapped under here! Panic!! Get me out! Beads of sweat form in strange places on my body. They rise to the surface of my skin and like an army, each bead begins to march alongside the others … forming a solid pool of liquid. I flail … arms and legs completely hung up in the covers, twisted in knots. Get me out! I’m boiling. The liquid army, after forming a solid front, arm in arm, begins to run, traveling as a single liquid unit down my body. I continue to flail and my efforts are equivalent to a full week’s worth of cardio activity as I desperately try to loosen myself from the pretzel twist of the covers, cinching down my arms and legs. The furnace of my bed hits its top temperature and I am positive I will become a heap of ash. My last ditch effort of removing the covers rewards me. I continue to flail as the cool air rushes over me and snuffs out the flames of the fiery furnace and ceases the momentum of the liquid army. I count my breaths … 30 seconds perhaps. And now …. the ice cold tundra hits me hard. Back under the covers to await the next sweat-sesh. Laundry is gonna be a bitch.

Excellent Symptom #7: Mood Swings

Me: I am so happy! Life and all its people are beautiful. Such a delight!

Also Me: I hate my life and these people are on my very last nerve. Why can’t I live out my miserable existence on some lonely island somewhere … left to die.

Me: I absolutely love my job. I’ve been able to accomplish so much. I am blessed.

Also Me: I want to burn this business to the ground. I’m so tired. If I have to face one more client today and be “happy and upbeat”, I may just slit my own throat.

Me: Laughter is the best medicine!

Also Me: I can’t stop crying. The World is a dark, bleak place. Sadness is the only truth.

Me: I love being a parent. I should have had 10 children so that I could tend to them and care for all their needs and love them to pieces every moment of my life.

Also Me: Mommy is going into an Extended Time Out. Fend for yourselves. I’ll be here under the covers for a few weeks. images-2

Me: The World is my oyster. I can do ANYTHING! I am Super Woman.

Also Me: I’m such a failure … at EVERYTHING. I think I’ll sit here in this dark corner, eat a carton of ice-cream (only to suffer from my lactose intolerance later) and give in to the fact that my only super power is Mastery of Melancholy.

Me: I’m so excited!

Also Me: Shut up you over-zealous, pie-in-the-sky-thinking, hyperbole-speaking twit.

Marvelous Symptom #8: Deep, Dark Despair

When I was younger, I use to sit on the floor beside my grandmother as she watched one of her favorite TV shows called Hee Haw. If you are a “youngan” you may not have a clue here … you were watching shows like Friends or Keeping up with the Kardashians (as in last year). Hee Haw was filled with hayseed hillbillies chewing on pieces of hay, sitting on haystacks, dressed in overalls and calico patterned (albeit very low cut) dresses. It was a backwoods comedy show.

One of the skits had the same tune attached to it each time. The words to the tune went as follows:

“Gloom, despair and agony on me. Deep dark depression. Incessant misery. If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, despair and agony on me.”

These are the words, the motto, the end-all of menopausal symptoms. Lady M holds nothing back with this one. Does she hold anything back from the other symptoms? Truly, she does not. And I hate her for it … though her steadfastness is somewhat admirable, even at my expense.

Despair rises up, wearing a dark-as-night cloak and hood, with a face indistinct and a body made of what seems to be hollow darkness … an oil-black air that encompasses the cloak. It overcomes me yet there is nothing tangible for me to ward off … only the dripping, inky air … cold air. Ice cold. Despair speaks to me in hushed tones and I often wonder if the thoughts are actually my own. The words fall on me from out of nowhere, like a heavy, blinding snow. They beat me down with their grim messages:

“You are a no good piece of garbage. Why do you even try?”

“Life is just one disaster after another. There’s nothing good under the sun.”

“Just give up. It would be easier than the failure you’ll experience in trying.”

“No one out there really cares for you.”

“Stay under those blankets. You can’t help yourself feel better anyway.”

“Joy? There is no such thing!”

“It’s just a matter of time before everything comes crumbling down on you.”

“You can’t fight for yourself or for your happiness. All is lost.”

“Become a hermit. Besides, who would want to be around your foul-ness.”

“You can’t beat Lady M. She’s got you … hook, line and sinker. This is your new normal, so suck it up buttercup.”

And there I lie … underneath of pile of UNTRUTHS that I’m convinced are real and true. Despair laughs. It’s a sickening laugh. An evil laugh. He believes he is the Victor. And some days, he is.

And now for the second slice of bread in my sandwich effect (again I have to ask…do I need a sandwich? Am I hungry? Do I even like sandwiches?) Alas, I digress once again. OK. I’m going to need your help here … especially if you have a sarcastic bone in your body to offer as a condiment on our sandwich. Let’s all give a round of applause and possibly a standing ovation to the Center of our Universe … LADY M!

Lady M I do humbly thank you for giving me reason to contemplate life. Thank you for waking me to the times in my life when I truly had it good, but didn’t know it. Because of your current influence on my life, I will never again complain about any of the trivial things that were a mere annoyance to me before you came along. Those things never changed my life like you have, oh Dear Queen of Misery. I’d give anything to weigh only 5 pounds heavier than what I’m use to weighing. I’m ashamed that I complained about those silly five pounds … back before you reeked havoc on my life. And quite frankly, I absolutely love the heat, so bring on those hot flashes and night sweats (I know you will anyway). I also realize that my rage is just an outflow of my inner passion. Thank you for revealing this to me. And truly, my attitude DID NEED some adjusting because perhaps insomnia is a blessing. More hours to my day. I can sleep when I die, right? Lady M, you are so kind. The headaches remind me that I’m actually alive and still living above ground. Perfect. And the Despair, well, you in your great wisdom knew that I would need an evil adversary to fight on a daily basis in order to unveil the warrior that I am to the World at large. Indeed, I am forever in your debt.

Lady M, you have given me so much. How can I ever repay you? Gifts without my asking for them or deserving them. You’ve bestowed upon me some doozies … and have given freely without restraint. I bend down on one knee (wait … hold on a second while I slowly, very slowly make my way down to the floor) in humility of your Greatness, Goodness, Kindness and Graciousness.

I now bid thee farewell as I down 4 Advil, tuck my hand held fan into my purse as I look for my keys. I hope to not run anyone off the road today as I go to the store to purchase some Sominex, a body weight scale, extra tissues for when I have my breakdown later and a dual-edged sword to show Despair who’s boss today and remind the people in my house that I do have the upper hand, even when I’m a little on the crazy side.

~Yours Truly

Mad Menopausal Woman

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