Sunday, October 23, 2005



Just went in again for a physical and for the first time I picked up a pamplet on menopause. I had avoided eye contact with the racks that held this info and decided ok well I am old enough I SHOULD take a look at the thing.

So far I have had no HOT FLASH symptoms (KNOCK ON WOOD) but did come across a list of "35 symptoms of Menopause" and I admit to experiencing a few of these, (IN BOLD)

1. Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling
2. Irregular heart beat
3. Irritability
4. Mood swings, sudden tears
5. Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
6. Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
7. Loss of libido
8. Dry vagina
9. Crashing fatigue
10. Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
11. Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom (see note)
12. Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
13. Disturbing memory lapses
14. Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence (ONLY WHENI AM ON AN AIRPLANE)
15. Itchy, crawly skin (see note)
16. Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons
17. Increased tension in muscles
18. Breast tenderness
19. Headache change: increase or decrease
20. Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
21. Sudden bouts of bloat
22. Depression
23. Exacerbation of existing conditions
24. Increase in allergies
25. Weight gain
26. Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
27. Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
28. Changes in body odor
29. Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head
30. Tingling in the extremities
31. Gum problems, increased bleeding
32. Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
33. Osteoporosis (after several years)
34. Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
35. Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, 'whooshing,' buzzing etc.

Whoa some of these are scary, itchy crawly skin and the electric shock under the skin is freaky. I think I had one of those under my skin in the back of my head. Felt like a muscle spasm. According to my chiropractor, Georgiana, she says my estrogen levels are high since I have not had hot flashes. She gets them all the time now and my neighbor across the street says she can't sleep without a fan going anymore.

Why is it that after all these years, those Mammograms still hurt like hell? Isn't it enough that we have to get used to those cold steel speculums for the pap smears? Speaking of which why don't they preheat those those things, or the plates that smash your breasts?

The process of the physical seems to have streamlined a bit - it went rather quickly and smoothly - Kaiser has gotten the system down - one person does all the initial testing rather than going from one floor to another. With the exception of the mammogram though - one person is stuck doing that all day long.