Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cycles


I noticed this cyclical thing quite a while back in my post menopausal years. My menstruation years numbered 44. I know. Unimaginable. The only reward being a symptom free menopause. Even though I was braced for night-sweats, drenching hot flashes and losing my mind. Crickets. A good thing.

BUT. These hormonal/lunar cycles continue. Consisting of days of high energy followed by days of sluggish ennui. Only the slug days now involve a dead weariness in the bones. Like today. I worked this morning and then took off after my lunch and lay comatose in my bed for a couple of hours. I honestly felt I couldn't move a muscle.

I've tracked these episodes and wonder if they are specifically female but Daughter tells me her father went into a rigid sleep at the dinner table when she was staying with him a week or so ago. Mid-sentence kind of coma with a clatter of cutlery on the plate and his eyes closed and out of it for a while. She was very alarmed and mentioned to him that he should take care of his tiredness like I do and just go to bed.

So I wonder. I don't expect this to happen to me again for another month and it sure puts me in mind of the exhaustion around my periods but of course a younger body can counter-balance that by burning through it, like I used to do.

Not anymore. I obey the signals from my body.

It's the only one I have and the longer I live the more I love it.

23 comments:

  1. Now that retired I spend more time on discovering me. One of my things I discovered was that it was okay to lay down. I always thought that seemed such a waste of time. No More!! I feel refreshed if to just closing my eyes or actually napping. I am so glad I don't listen to that "inner shoulds" voice.

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    1. Me too Judi! My life was run by the should for more years than I care to count....
      XO
      WWW

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  2. I do get sudden drops in energy and feel sleepy at odd times during the day. My GP tells me it is caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure. I have also noticed my temperature can drop to between 33°C to 35°C for for no apparent reason.

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  3. Stupid me
    I always thought if I laid down in the afternoon
    someone would think I am lazy.
    Now I ask - who is someone?
    Now I have to
    just for an hour...

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  4. GM:
    Is this consistent all the time? Mine isn't just on a monthly basis, like lunar cycle, it is strange. Yours could be your blood sugars maybe?
    XO
    WWW

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  5. ANY time I'm tired now OWJ I lie down, I don't push it like my daughter's father was doing, that would be dangerous. No apologies, no shame.
    XO
    WWW

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  6. Funny, but until I read your tally of years of menses, I had not thought to calculate my own number. 40 years, give or take a few months. Interesting. I too had an easy menopause. Never went to a doctor about any symptoms nor did I ever take hormone replacement therapy. I just considered it all part of life.

    All those years of running at top speed, and now I find myself having less and less time in a day that I can run at top speed. By4 o'clock, on most days, I am done. Never thought of it being cyclical.

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  7. "It's the only one I have and the longer I live the more I love it."

    Yes! Yes Yes Yes Yes! I don't know about you, but I've taken my body for granted for many years. Now I'm learning to respect and love it. And listen to it. I wonder if our youthful bodies told us time after time that we were tired and needed to rest, and we ignored them ... and now we are listening. Maybe it's not "old age" at all but just plain listening.

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  8. At last ... someone who - like me - didn't suffer any symptoms. One moment I was as regular as clockwork. The next month it ceased. Just like that. No sweat, no hot flushes, no mood swings, nothing. My one earlier fear - namely that I'd miss my periods (yes, really) - didn't come true either. My body and mind flipped a switch, and that was that. A clean break as it were.

    Interesting how you worked out your bleeding years. I started late, clocking up maybe thirty years.

    As to resting during the day: I do believe in cat napping. It works miracles. When the afternoon slump overcomes me I lie down. Eyes shut. Gone. Exactly twenty minutes later (no alarm clock) I am vertical again. Refreshed. Raring to go. It's brilliant.

    Like you I believe we should listen to what our body tells us. Mind you, and not suspicious by nature, I sometimes do wonder about those "silent" potential killers. Bastards.

    U

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  9. When I think about it I am heading into my 39th year of being a woman and it's only getting worse instead of easier. Each month is a trial I find and if my mother is anything to go by I still have at least another 5 years to go yet. {{SIGH}}

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  10. DKZ - another twin. I literally BRACED for menopause, dreading it and it slithered by me unnoticed. I farm myself out a bit during the day, pace myself, like now as I write. Plan and look ahead and try not to focus too much on my ills and bodily aches.
    XO
    WWW

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  11. SJG:
    You put me in mind of my alcoholic years where I didn't sleep at all (I passed out, blacked out) and I remember my first 9 months of sobriety and I couldn't stop sleeping, everywhere any time anywhere, it was embarrassing. But at the end a rebirth. Truly.

    Making up for it. Maybe it continues now?

    XO
    WWW

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  12. Ursula, yes I have those glorious catnaps too and literally bounce right out of it, it's wonderful!

    XO
    WWW

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  13. Gill:
    Yes, it is said that we follow our mother's patterns. I think I did, though mum died in menopause. I am so sorry to hear you are suffering and I imagine you've tried the herbal stuff like some of my friend's did - Gingko I think and evening primrose oil and black cotash maybe?
    XO
    WWW

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  14. I found this post fascinating. I've been struggling lately with just plain discomfort in my body and wondering is this what the rest of life has to offer? I'm out of my arthritis pills and stoopid govt. hasn't sent me my new health card yet but really is it that? I do find it somewhat cyclical as well - also know that no matter what I have to sleep early at night - no more burning the late night candles. I can get up early and be fine but nothing can happen at night. Weird when in my mind I'm still 12.

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  15. I have a helluva time reading any book without nodding off except at bedtime.....lol. Haa old age! Its a good thing that it doesn't last too long.

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  16. I never had any symptoms other than the physical ones over the 32 years I had periods (less times of pregnancy and breastfeeding and the few years I was on continuous birth control), until my hysterectomy. I think I'm in menopause - it's hard to say since I don't have a uterus, but I get a sense that I cycle now and again. But if I am, it's pretty painless. No mood fluctuations like I had none before, no noticeable changes in energy and so on. BUT, all my life I have said I basically have two modes of being, sloth-like and high energy. I just go with which ever my body tells me I'm in.

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  17. Jan - you put me in mind of arthritis - my thumbs have it now and lately when waking I find my index fingers are involved. My cleaning lady reminded me today that the weather has an undernote of damp lately which exacerbates the feeling to brain and body "thick". I hope you get your card soon :)
    XO
    WWW

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  18. GFB: One of my favourite things is to lie down with a book and nod off :)

    XO
    WWW

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  19. SAW:
    Maybe you are faster than most at switching, mine is a slow descent or ascent into low or high, LOL. I still can't connect it at times to my own lunar/monthly/hormonal cycle. There's so much more to our bodies/minds than we know of. :)
    XO
    WWW

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  20. Thirty-four years minus the year and a half for two pregnancies for me. I was one of those who had lots of menopause symptoms, although. Unlike you, I hadn't expected them since after my first one or two menstruations, I'd been pretty symptom free. I thought that would continue, and my mother had always taught me to disdain whining about menstruation, childbirth or anything of that nature. The last year a half before menopause brought lots of problems. Those were followed by night sweats, a feeling that something was crawling across my skin, and sleeplessness, which exacerbates everything. How much was menopause and how much something else, however? I'm the fifth person in two generations of my mother's family to have breast cancer that hits just as menopause begins. Dealing with cancer and reconstructive surgeries, my first chick flying the nest off to a college far away, and the discovery that the youngest one had epilepsy and kyphosis of the spine that was going to require a brace were balanced by the excitement of having my first books published. All of that played havoc with a sleep pattern that had never been good. Especially in those first years after menopause, though, I think I did experience the kind of cyclical thing you mentioned. I remember wondering if there were still enough changes in hormones to prompt those cyclical changes. That's disappeared, though. I have an auto-immune disease that features exhaustion that trumps all other patterns, I think. I'm not complaining or saying "woe is me." Like you, I'm loving my life better with each year, if not every single part of my life. Since my mother died of her breast cancer on her 45th birthday, I have always been aware that each day of my life beyond my 45th birthday has been a gift my mother didn't have. So far, it's been 20 years of days that my mother didn't have.

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  21. Phew Linda, you've been through such a lot! Much of it genetic and hereditary it looks like and so very sad your mother died so young, something I can relate to as we never quite get over that :( I am now in year 15 over my mother's time so appreciate it each day with clarity and gratitude.
    XO
    WWW

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  22. I haven't particularly noticed any monthly cycle changes. My sleep rhythms have stayed constant the last three decades. A short shut eye by midmorning, a longish siesta and seven hours of sleep in the night. Except when I have doen something strenuous, my energy levels tend to remain constant too. May be, it is the climate here.

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