I am getting old.

Obviously we all are aging, but somehow that process seems to have gone by faster for me in the last few years.

It all started when my cycles got out of whack. At first I blamed it on my daughters. You know how when you have a bunch of women living in one house their bodies tend to adjust to each other and your cycles line up? Well, I was living with teens who weren’t quite “regular” yet, so I thought that’s why I was going all wonky. I didn’t think much of it.

Then the wonkiness wasn’t wonkiness as much as it was frequency. I’ve always been a 30 day kind of gal, like clockwork. Then I went to 28, which disappointed me, but really was nothing to complain about.

21 days, on the other hand, is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!!! And having to sleep on top of a towel, and not go out for more than 2 hours during “that time of the month” in case Niagara Falls hits, is really frustrating.

And if said cycle also lasts way too long, too, life just becomes unfair.

But it’s not just that life isn’t fair. It’s that your body decides it’s had enough, and then it decides not to make any more red blood cells, because really, what’s the point? You’re losing them too fast anyway. May as well go kick your feet up and grab a cold one and take the day off.

So your body takes a whole bunch of days off, and one day you wake up and you are so TIRED you feel like you did during the first trimester of pregnancy. But you can’t figure out the reason, so you push ahead, and push ahead, and push ahead, until one day you come back from a speaking engagement and flying all over the country and you just lose it. You start crying uncontrollably because life is just so OVERWHELMING and you can’t do it anymore.

Eventually you decide maybe a visit to the doctor may be in order, and lo and behold, you have major anemia. Yay! You’re not going crazy. There’s a reason!

So you take iron supplements for a few months, and you’re happily contented because soon this will all be over. You go for another checkup, and–WHAM!–you’re even more anemic than before.

Your doctor is now worried, and sends you for an ultrasound and a specialist, but this is Canada, and both take forever. So in the meantime she puts you on a progesterone pill, hoping this will even out the cycles.

It doesn’t. It’s just as bad.

And not just that, but one day you wake up and you’re certain you have bed bugs, because you have bites ALL OVER YOUR LEGS. Everyday they keep coming. Then some on your hands. You do research on the internet, because, OH MY GOODNESS, THOSE ARE IN MY BED!?! And you want to throw out your bedding, but the internet says there’s no point, because the little critters may be in your night table. Or your beautiful wooden headboard. And you can’t throw everything out! So you do the biggest clean you’ve done in your entire life, and then fly out to Calgary for five days to speak at a marriage conference.

You’re happy, because there will be no more bed bugs!

But there are. The bites keep happening. And you REJOICE! Because this means the problem is with YOU, not your BED.

It’s those blasted pills. They gave me a weird rash.

Oh, and did I mention I gained five pounds within two weeks of starting them?

Then, right after the trip home from Calgary, your leg starts to feel weird. Within a few days you can’t walk the pain is so bad. You go in for an emergency ultrasound because they think it may be a blood clot. It’s not. You have an Xray. They don’t see anything there, either. Finally they conclude you have inflamed superficial veins, which are totally harmless but hurt like the dickens. So they give you Tylenol 3s, which make you very happy.

And you go home and put on old lady pressure stockings.


Oh, yeah, baby. Old lady pressure stockings. Muffin top. Old lady slippers. Doesn't get better than that!

Oh, yeah, baby. Old lady pressure stockings. Muffin top. Old lady slippers. Doesn’t get better than that!

You are officially an old lady.

Sixteen years ago, when you had varicose veins ripped out after your last child, the surgeon said, “you’ll have to wear these from now on, for the rest of your life.” You scoffed at him. You laughed. You were 28. You were invincible! And besides, it was July and it was HOT.

And now you’re wearing them all the time out of desperation. You’re even sleeping with them. They’re like one huge, tight chastity belt.

In the middle of all this you finally get that ultrasound appointment, where you become far too intimate with a probe. And after that humiliation, it turns out you have several things in your uterus that need to be taken out.

So you’re scheduled for surgery.

And that’s where I’m going. Tomorrow. My daughter has the biggest quiz meet of the year this weekend, and I’m just praying I’ll be well enough to go see her on Saturday.

Mostly I’m praying this will fix a lot of my problems, because I’ve just been so tired.

I understand what people mean now when they talk about having black moods, and just being so depressed and unable to move. I know what it feels like to just feel desperate, and logically you know you shouldn’t feel that way, but there’s no way to kick yourself out of that mode.

This has been a tough year in so many ways. Work is busier. I miss my oldest daughter. My husband’s work has increased, too. And I’m just so tired all of the time. Things that once were easy–like going grocery shopping–seem like so much effort I could curl up in a ball and cry. And sometimes I even do.

I love my husband, but so often I erupt because I just can’t handle life. And I find myself feeling so guilty all the time for not being a good wife and mom that I shut people out, which is totally counterproductive. I just want “me” back again.

Perimenopause and menopause are really hard on some women, and I have a feeling the next ten years are going to rather challenging for me. But at least if there’s one thing that I’ve realized, it’s that I can’t keep going full steam ahead with everything I’m doing. I really need rest, or my body is going to start to shut down!

So if you think of me tomorrow, can you say a prayer for me in surgery? It could either be something really simple or something far more complex, and they won’t know until they get in there.

Thanks so much! And I hope I didn’t scar any of you too badly.

Sheila Gregoire on FacebookOkay, totally shameless plug now that I have you all feeling sorry for me: Can you help me reach 20,000 likes on Facebook this weekend? I’ve been feeling a little down all week, and if I had something to look forward to–some goal other than just “get through surgery and hope I shaved my legs enough that I won’t embarrass myself”, then I’d be happier. I need about 700 more people–so come on over and “like” my page, and send other people my way, too!

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