Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Precious Sleep

It's time to hibernate. I want to curl up on the futon with Iris and take naps.

We got about 8 inches of snow the other day. I was off work and the girls helped me shovel the sidewalks and driveway, and then we went for a run in the snow. I wouldn't be able to take the girls out all winter on the icy streets without Yak Trax. They are like tire chains for your running shoes.

I went to see my doctor two weeks ago. She is a PA, and she's awesome. Very knowledgeable about womens' health and supportive of me taking an active role in guiding my health care. I've known her for a long time as I used to see her when I lived in Ft. Collins before. I told her what's been going on with me. Then she told me the bad news: menopause symptoms can last 10 years!

I've been having a terrible time sleeping. One night I'll be up in the middle of the night, then I'll sleep the first half of the night and be awake the second half, and the next night I won't be able to fall asleep until late. Sunday night I called in sick to work the next day because I wanted to spare myself the torture of toughing it out through a 12 hour shift when I'm a zombie. Except I didn't realize that the next night was going to be worse!

No one ever tells you enough about this in advance. I guess there's no sense in forewarning anyone that their life might be hell for the next 10 years or so. Suddenly one night you wake up drenched in sweat and it goes downhill from there.

I wish I could be one of those women who skate through menopause without noticing. I feel like I'm working the night shift again, sweating and hot flashing my way through. Everyone has a different idea of what to do: black cohosh, something called estroven, hormones, anti-depressants, valerian root, melatonin, benadryl, tylenol p.m., wine, beer, and shots.

I don't like to drink alcohol because then I don't sleep well. I've tried benadryl and it doesn't work. Hormones, antidepressants, and beta blockers are some of the things I could try. I am not too excited about any of them. Beta blockers wouldn't be good because they would reduce my tolerance to exercise, being an athlete I need to be able to raise my heart rate. They would help relieve some of the anxiety about not sleeping, though.

Hormones are out because of my family history of breast cancer. And anti-depressants, well I went ahead and tried 10 mg of Prozac a day and I lasted 2 weeks on it. I was forgetting everything, and it made me even more foggy than I was before and I can't be doing that when I'm at work. I didn't like the way it made me feel so I bagged it, reluctantly, because I was so hopeful that it would take the edge off. Actually I feel clearer headed now that I'm off it. It didn't help me sleep or make me any less emotional.

I've been using the hot tub a lot and it seems to help put me to sleep, but there's still the problem of waking up in the middle of the night. I guess I could always go back outside to the hot tub at 1 am.

Last night Dennis & I were both up. Maybe men go through this too. I think I slept until midnight, but Dennis said it was 10:30. Whatever time it was, once I woke up, I never fell back to sleep at all, all night. I didn't feel good about calling off work again, fortunately we were staffed well enough at work that I was able to go home early. I feel like I've been working nights. Five hours of sleep in two days doesn't cut it.

The running club T&H 10K was last Sunday followed by breakfast at Avo's and the Tortoise & Hare awards and an informal club social/meeting. I woke up at 7:30 and couldn't drag myself out of bed fast enough to make it to Martinez Park by 8 am to start the race, so I showed up at Avo's for the breakfast. I went running later. I did manage a 2 hour run Saturday which went well. I was sore afterwards from the uneven surfaces and Yak Trax. I got a massage from Cindy afterwards and then I was able to relax enough to take a nap.

I have work to do before I go to Arizona. Oil change, new tires, and replace the windshield, which has a crack in it. Planning and packing, a list of things to take, buy, pack, and I've been working on my list of meditations for the run.

Next week is the Holiday Lights run for the running club followed by the potluck at Art & Allison's house. They are so generous to invite everyone over for this event again. I am going to be giving a slide show and talk about my run at Badwater this past summer.

I guess I should think about what to bring to the potluck. Last week I made veggie quesadillas, something we used to eat all the time, that I haven't made in a long time.

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