Monday, November 3, 2014


So... I'm in menopause.

This presents my body a bit of a quandary where my thyroid issues are concerned.  See, because my thyroid is basically kaput, my internal thermostat is off kilter, and I spent a great deal of my time being cold.  This is great during the summer, because this means that while everyone else is sweltering and complaining about how hot they are, I'm usually comfortable.  Come on, I actually carry a jacket around during the summer, because I never know when I'm going to start shivering.

Of course, the flip side is that during the winter, while everybody else is saying how nice it is that it's cooler, I'm freezing to death.  Well... not to death because I'm quite obviously here and alive.  But, I get very, very cold, to the point where my hands and feet will hurt, and while the rest of my family is comfortable sitting around in sweats and maybe a long sleeved shirt, I'm wrapped in six or seven layers of clothing, with at least three pair of wool socks on, and a knit hat, and a scarf wrapped around my neck, oh, and don't forget the fingerless gloves!

It's kind of embarrassing sometimes, and there have been times when we've been out in public and I've had someone, usually male, look at me with false sympathy and say, "Oh, are you cold?"

I used to try to explain the thyroid issue, but now, I find it much easier to simply lay my ice cold hands against whatever bare skin presents itself.  If I'm feeling nice, I'll take their hand, or lay my hand against their cheek, and they'll usually respond with suddenly widened eyes and an, "Oh, honey!! Let's find you some hot chocolate/a warm place by the fire/heater/let me get you a blanket!!"

If I'm feeling irritated and, okay, let's face it, vindictive for being patronized, I'll lay my icy little hands against the back of their neck or, if they're one of those entirely offensive people who never wear jackets or long sleeves when it's freezing outside (of whom my son is one) and thus standing there with bared arms, I might slide my hand against their inner bicep or against their back.  That usually results in a shriek or whoop of some sort (seriously, y'all, my hands are really cold), lots of shivering and offers of hot toddies, blankets, heaters, anything just don't put your hands on me again, for gossakes!!

This has changed somewhat, though, thanks to menopause.  Oh, I still get cold!  I still wrap up and shiver and stuff, but... now...


Don't get me wrong, I am totally rocking the not having periods.  And not having cramps that my mother "affectionately" dubbed "The Screaming Mimi's" when I was a teenager.  If I had to choose between having The Screaming Mimi's again, or going through labor with my kids?

I'd choose labor.  Seriously.  That.  Bad.

So, I am really, really good with not having periods.  Really.

What I'm not good with are the thermostat issues.

I spend all day cold, bundled up and shivering, and by the time bedtime rolls around, I'm looking forward to bundling up under the covers and cozying up to my own personal heater, also known as the Husbandly One.

I slip into bed, snuggle up to him, and for about, oh, I'd say thirty seconds, everything is right with my world.  I'm snuggled up to my favorite husband, I'm blissfully, wonderfully warm, and my eyes start to drift closed...

And it starts.  Heat starts to travel up from the small of my back.  Suffocating waves of uncomfortable, not so blissful heat, and I start sweating, and I have to push away from my suddenly too hot husband, throw off the covers, and lay there, panting as I sweat and start pondering turning the ceiling fan up just so I can stop sweating.  I can feel it coming off of me in waves, and I wonder if I'm going to have to get THO up so I can change the sheets when... I start to shiver.   Goosebumps start on my arms and thighs, and my toes and fingers start to ache, my teeth begin to chatter, and I have to pull the covers back on before I start shaking.  Because... I'm cold again!!!

I want to yell at my body, "Hey, make up your effin' mind!! Hot or cold, hot or cold, you can't have both, so decide!!  Either let me snuggle up under the covers or lie on top of them, just make up your mind!!!"

Stupid hormones.

It's like being in the middle of Antarctica wearing only a light cashmere cardigan over your sleeveless tee, hurrying toward the thick heavy parka and mukluks you know are just right there, waiting for you.  And you've just managed to get the mukluks on and are struggling into the parka when BAM!! You're suddenly in hottest, most humid place you can imagine.  Like... the Amazonian rainforest or something.  Or Nairobi.    And just when you're stripping off your sweat-soaked sleeveless tee... BAM!!!  Antarctica again!!

And this is only at night.

If I wanted to sleep during the day, I could do it in perfect comfort under the blankets.  No problem.  I've done it, as a matter of fact, when I got hit in the face by the Wall of Fatigue and just couldn't stay awake any longer.

But during the night?  Ugh.

I'll survive this, but for now?  Not enjoying this aspect.

THO is properly sympathetic (he is, at times, a wise, wise man) and applies chocolate when necessary, usually to ensure his survival.  He is most fortunate that I'm not experiencing the extreme mood swings I remember my mother going through.

I don't even want to think about that.

So... while I'm enjoying the freedom from fertility, I'm not so much enjoying the wild temperature variations.  Oh well,  c'est la vie!