FeBruArY

Whew. The last month has been….something else. That is putting it mildly.

First we had an appendectomy. He has healed beautifully. While in the hospital he dreamed of IHOP and within a day of getting home, got his wish.

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Less than 2 weeks later my 13yo broke his foot, so we were right back to the same ER. Am on first name basis with ER staff. Winning!

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It is quite a bad break, right at the growth plate. 4 weeks no weight bearing, then we will see how it is healing. He is comfortable now, but it hurt pretty good at first. We are grateful it will not require pins or surgery of any kind.

During all of this I got sick with a whole host of female issues, AKA peri-menopause. A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: THIS SHOULD NEVER BE MISTAKEN FOR A HEAVY PERIOD AND CRAMPING OR SOME PMS THAT IS WORSE ONE MONTH. That is called your late 30’s or early 40’s, AND IT IS NOT PERIMENOPAUSE, so quit calling it that (raises hand and is guilty of this). This is much like the bleeding you have after having a baby and are waiting to deliver the placenta. Or maybe the heaviest day you have ever had for, oh, say, 4-6 weeks. Honestly, I am about to just give in to my GYN docs pleas for a hysterectomy after the last bout of peri-menopausal insanity. Right now my HGB and HCT are at all time low levels…9.6 and 28 respectively after 6 weeks of heavy bleeding and let me tell you that running, surfing or cycling take on a whole new challenge when you are that anemic. It is like being at a high altitude. Huff, puff. I am pretty weak and emotional. Not to mention caring for sick kids during it all? (bangs head on wall) I seriously felt defeated.

Why don’t women talk to each other about this stuff??? I feel like it is some sort of Big Secret. You would think everyone is just breezing through ThE ChAnGE by their silence. When you are vocal about it you start hearing casual things like “Oh, yes. Now that you say that I do remember bleeding half to death here and there.” BUT THEY DON”T SHARE THIS WITH YOU UNLESS YOU TELL THEM FIRST. Even if you ASK. It’s like a secret f’ing knock or handshake.

Well, I want out of this little, macabre club. I have never in my life had cysts on my ovaries, but in the last year have had two months (both in February) of hell from giant fluid filled monsters that screwed my hormones up beautifully and resulted in 6 weeks of bleeding and mood freak outs that had my husband wondering where oh where did his normal wife go. I am done with this and ready to move on, but I don’t think I am off the hook quite that easily. I just pray for a long break from all the bleeding so I can get my iron count up and not worry about getting attacked by a bull shark every time I go surfing. You think I am kidding there folks, don’t you? Well I am not. It was so bad I surfed far away from Mia and Bill just in case. No joke.

And if that were all not enough, my FIL went in the hospital for a routine procedure and almost died. It was no bueno.

Oh, and across the whole spectrum of stuff Bill has been feeling bad from his stuff, which puts me pretty much over the edge. I can’t bear when he is sick. It’s like a black cloud comes and sits over me and I worry and worry.

But….in spite of all of this, yesterday the sun came out. We all blinked and shielded our eyes and said “Whasthat?”. It warmed up enough to sit out in a bathing suit soaking up some sun with the animals. Nurtle the Turtle, AKA “Nerds”, was pretty stoked.

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We also went to church on Wednesday and got our ashes. It felt like a promise of good days ahead. A reminder that, even when things are kinda rough, there is something good and true that you can count on every….single….day.

Ashes, with a shaka photo bomb from Billy
Ashes, with a shaka photo bomb from Billy

And so begins the month of March and this Lenten season. I decided not to give up anything so to speak. Instead, I am giving something to Him. My trust and faith that everything will be okay. It doesn’t sound like much, but honestly, it is everything right now.

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11 Responses to FeBruArY

  1. Kriste says:

    🙁 Boo for peri-menopause! I was wondering where you were on instagram! Hope there are better days ahead!

    • Jody says:

      Kriste, thank you. I was so overwhelmed with all going on here I could not deal with the computer much at all. So ready for spring and to have some normal cycles for a bit.

  2. Mara says:

    Yikes, I hope the next months are smoother for you. I don’t have anything to say about menopause, but your experience regarding the not-talking-about-it resonate with me because that’s how I found miscarriage to be. Nobody ever mentions them, then you have one and bam– it turns out everybody and her mom have had one or more. I remember thinking, “how has it never come up that practically every woman I know older than me has had a miscarriage?!”

    • Jody says:

      Oh my gosh Mara, exactly! Miscarriage is such a closet issue with most women. After going through 5 of them I learned that half my friends had had them! Female issues see to be so taboo and that is just so wrong.

  3. Jillbert says:

    I echo your “Goodbye February.” I’m dancing around the beginning of peri-menopause and it’s not picnic — doesn’t make me too excited for what’s further down the road. Mostly my issues are anxiety, racing heart, etc. that ties into my monthly cycle. I thought I was alone in my hormonal craziness but at a recent mom gathering, this topic came up. Turns out all of us women of a certain age (mid-40’s+) are dealing with a whole variety of physical effects from the coming change. Many had issues like you, others had anxiety issues like me. Being a woman is no picnic.

    Here’s to spring (and no further ER visits for your family)! In my family, instead of giving up something for Lent, we focus on doing 40 good deeds — being extra helpful to others and kind to siblings. Sometimes the habits stick around after Lent. 🙂

    • Jody says:

      Jill, it stinks right? I have the EXACT same anxiety. It is terrible. For me, it has really jacked with my blood sugar bad. My doc said all the hormone issues will put your glucose out of whack. Low blood sugar can bring on the anxiety and panic feelings. When you feel it, try drinking a glass of orange juice immediately and then eat some peanut butter crackers. Let me know if that helps. I am seeing a direct tie to my hormones and the reactive hypoglycemia I was diagnosed with 3 years ago.

    • Jody says:

      Jill, I have the EXACT same issues with anxiety near my cycle. It is terrible. I have had bad issues with something called reactive hypoglycemia for 3 years now, and we thought it was from my triathlon training. At my last appointment the doc told me he thinks it is from the onset of peri-menopause. Apparently the whacked out hormones can cause your blood sugar to get crazy. When you feel that, try drinking 4-6oz of orange juice and eat some peanut butter crackers. It makes it stop immediately for me.

  4. Linda says:

    Women should come out of the closet about body issues, yes. Hormone replacement is my miracle cure, started in my fifties, eliminated hot flashes, sleep is regulated, not for everybody but I agree that we don’t share.
    Think spring!????

    • Jody says:

      Linda, I agree!! I will not rule out HRT when the time comes. I told Bill if menopause is the way I felt 2 weeks ago, then bring on the meds!

  5. Leeann says:

    Nice to hear from you! It has been a season of trials over there for you all for sure. I admit to laughing aloud at the bull shark comment!
    I think part of the thing with peri menopause is that it is so different from woman to woman. Or at least that’s how it seems to me. My experience has been having a normal period every other month or so, sometimes every two. Other than that, it’s just enough spotting that I am sure I am “going to start” at any moment for a week or more at a time. I get the thrill of going in to the Gyn for an endometrial biopsy next month just to be sure all as well.

    Now that I think of it, I do know folks who have had exactly what you are talking about and they both had something done called an Ablation. I assume you know/have read about this?

    I hope that the next couple of months are sunny days, great surfing and no ER visits!

    • Jody says:

      Leann, LOL about the bull shark comment. I was watching the water around me for sure. Sorry you are going through period woes too. I can relate to the spotting and the endometrial biopsy angst. Ive had numerous US and we have been trying for a biopsy for 3 years. I have a retroverted uterus, so it makes getting one tough. There were no particular worries about cancer with me, but he wanted one just to be sure. I did not want a D&C so we tried each time I went in. We FINALLY got it 2 weeks ago and all was clear. Hope it went well for you and all comes back good!

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