Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Aging Ain't For Sissies

I don't feel old. I don't think I look old. But apparently, I'm getting old. Aging sucks. I like the wisdom and confidence part that comes with getting older, but the actual aging part? Yeah - not so much.

I'm 38. I'm OK with being 38 and saying out loud that I'm 38. People usually don't place my age that high if they didn't know already and had to guess. Most usually would put me 5 years younger than I am. I'll take that compliment, thankyouverymuch. But even at the tender age of just 38, I think I'm starting to experience the first signs of menopause. Gasp! I said it - the M word. Actually, perimenopause is the correct term. The transition time preceding menopause.

My symptoms are very mild still, but yet I've taken notice. Mostly I've noticed that my cycles are becoming shorter. I used to be a textbook 28-29 day cycle. Like clockwork. But over the past 6-12 months they're coming a bit faster than usual. What used to be the first week of the month became the mid-month, then the end of the month, etc. With Mr. Chick having undergone the Big Snip, I'm not really actively tracking such things anymore, but in the back of my head I became aware of this. Also? I'm feeling a bit more tired than usual, yet despite that I'm finding myself waking up at various points during the night. Brief periods of wakefulness in the wee hours. It's like I can't sleep for long stretches of continual hours consistently. I wouldn't say I have insomnia exactly, but I'm just not getting the deep, restful sleep I used to. That's bumming me out.

I don't want to mention my ever-graying hair, but I can't hide from it. I have more gray hair than any of my friends, and any of my sisters when I was their age. I would estimate I am 5%-10% gray if I didn't color it, but it can be hard to tell because I DO color it.

All this points to a changing hormonal balance in the old gal. Great.

But the other thing that freaks me out just a bit about facing my advancing age? Today I had to buy a fiber supplement. Like an old person. On doctors orders. You see, I've been experiencing some rectal trouble, to try to put it delicately, but not of the constipation variety. Something else entirely. Something a little alarming, if I'm being honest. So I made an appointment and saw my doctor today. And had the joy of experiencing Dr. Jellyfinger AND a rectal scope. Fun times! My doctor saw a minor area of concern and said we need to "rest" the area and told me I needed to take the fiber supplement everyday for 2 months to see if things don't improve. Uh-huh. So now when I drink my tea in the afternoon and/or evening, it'll be loaded with added fiber! Bonus! Even though I'm NOT constipated I must take this fiber, for months, just to make sure I crap several times a day without any effort, so my colon can "rest". I don't know - crapping twice+ a day doesn't sound like a lot of rest to me, but whatever. Dr's orders. If after all the extra fiber and rest I'm still having trouble then I get the joy of scheduling a colonoscopy! The fun never ends!

Aging Ain't For Sissies, that's for damn sure!

Sounds like fun stuff!! WAtch out with fiber, if you take too much and don't have enough fluids it backfires and makes things worse (think lots of bulk with nothing to help it through!) I know I Have that probably sometimes when I eat too much fiber. I'll probably get a colonoscopy at 40 due to some family history. Better safe than sorry. I hear the prep is way worse than the actual procedure.
Yikes! No fun, but I feel your pain. I'm having the same symptoms and I'm only 29. :|

Have you tried Estroven? It's a great supplement, and I really noticed a difference. The Estroven PM is great for helping you sleep through the night.
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