Friday, January 30, 2009

And now a word about the big "M"

Listen, if you are male, or under the age of 35, you probably won't give a crap about this post, so STOP reading NOW! I didn't care 20 years ago. Although I probably should have..

Let's just say that I have become increasingly aware of the fact that I want to break up with my gynecologist that I have been seeing for 15 years or so. He has thrown hormones at me for years, with never really listening to me and my symptoms of the big "M". I found some office samples of this in my medicine cabinet today which I never took. I had no idea what they were, why he was giving them to me although I had a vague idea it had something to do with hot flashes 3 years ago. I have dabbled in HRT over the years, although there were always males involved in my decisions of what to take. The "expert" in bio identical hormones at the local compounding pharmacist (male), although a phone conversation about my symptoms just didn't do it for me as far as following my progress as I lathered on the hormone cream everyday hoping for a miracle for the "7 dwarfs of menopause":

Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful, and All Dried Up.

I coined this phrase from Suzane Sommers, who was on Oprah yesterday and discussing bioidenticals HRTs as if they were the second coming...If every middle aged woman in America does not go out and get these hormones today as result of her testimony, I would be shocked. She (and Robin Mcgraw, Phil's wife) said that she has NEVER felt BETTER in her LIFE, EVER! And she is 60 years old...

So I am on a quest to deal with my own hormonal issues this year, 2009. The hormones Dr. D has given me in the past have either
A: not worked or
B: made me gain weight.
B does it make me feel fantastic because our wonderful culture has decided that skinny is good! Now why can't I live in this culture, where fat is beautiful? OK, that is a bit extreme and these women are abused and suffering health risks but why do we have to feel like we are fat if we are over 20 BMI?
This may be something I never get over..

So back to my quest to deal with menopause. I went to see a Nurse Practitioner this week who specializes in HRT, bio identical hormone replacement to be exact. She actually ordered blood tests? Imagine that! I asked that the test results be sent to me also (you can do that you know-a little known fact). I have my own medical file with notes and test results for other things. It is time that we all become in charge of our own health care, as we watch the HMO's take over the world. Just give a menopausal woman a reason to be pissed and here I am pissed at the health care system! Do you know that doctors are expected to see 5 patients an hour?.I digress..

Oprah is waking up all women of the world to this issue! I LURV Oprah! She and I are the same age so each year she gives us info about whatever stage in life she is going through so all I have to do is follow her along and I get all the ideas and info I want for whatever life stage I am in.

Along with my new medical approach to the big "M" I am armed with new books:

"The Wisdom of Menopause" by Christiane Northrup, MD-the guru of menopause
"What's Age Got to Do With It?" by Robin McGraw-yes Dr. Phil's is actually quite good and yes she is my age too.
I am about to get Suzanne Somers book: "Breakthrough" also...She is a bit extreme and has gobs of money to invest in supplements and doctors but I am like a sponge right now around this issue.

Also found this website, where women seem to contemplate the latest menopause issues as well.

I have been having symptoms of "perimenopause" for probably 20 years but the real deal crept up on me about 3 years ago. I have been to many different medical professionals about the symptoms but never really have gotten to the bottom of all of it. Maybe this is a fantasy that hormones, vitamins or eating differently will cure me-I would like a quick fix for my sleepless nights and hot flashes!

Tune in for more on the "Big M"..

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pictures from the Sandia Snowshoe 5k..

Dave, Margaret, Mark, DP:

Cold Me:

Dread Pirate and me:

Dave, Margaret, me and DP:

Also have a pretty good one on the course:

I finished 57th out of 135. My usual middle of the pack..

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Birthday baby..

On this 27th day of January...

27 years ago today.....

When I was 27 years old...

My daughter Allison was born..

Which makes her 27 years old today..

She was the best little baby ever. She smiled all the time and rarely cried. She fought hard to keep up with her big sister, 4 years her senior. That was difficult as Becca "took care of" her little sister and bossed her around quite a bit. Plus Becca had some pretty big shoes to fill! Poor little Allison took a big hit when mommy and daddy got divorced when she was 4 years old. But she made it through and when she was little, she had the most amazing insight about her situation and feelings. Her leadership ability shown at a young age. We use to say that Allison would grow up to be president, as she always seemed to have a knack of rounding up the other kids at school. Yes she did get in trouble for "talking too much", a much admired quality that showed up on my report card as well. Allison has always been creative and funny, she makes us all laugh with her stories and quick wit.

As Allison got older, she conquered may challenges, especially after her 3 sisters went off to school. It was tough on her and I know she was lonely and struggled through her teenage years. I never lost hope that she would make it though. When little Lane was born almost 5 years ago, I can't even put into words what that little one has brought to our lives. The gift of Lane and the way Allison is a mom to her is one of my greatest pleasures to have and witness. It is the ultimate payoff of raising such a special daughter. She is now a "leader" in her job, which suits her perfectly. She is fighting her way through college, on her own as a single mom while working full time. I am so proud of her today, on her 27th birthday! In many ways we are alike and in many ways different. One difference is she is learning to love herself at a much earlier age than I did, thus preventing much of the very heartache I put her through. For that I am so grateful. I pray everyday that she finds the kind of love that she is worthy of-she deserves it! We are alike in that she reads people, emotions and has great intuition. That is a gift she can take with her forever..

Happy Birthday my little Allison, my baby, who is not such a baby anymore but will forever be my baby!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sandia Snowshoe 5k Race Report

5k Snowshoe Race-I wasn't gonna do it the night before. I was thinking about how cold it was on top of the mountain, how slow I am in altitude, basically talking myself out of it. H had bailed on me, he wasn't even signed up. I got on Facebook and there was Dread Pirate, always a willing friend to pull me along when I am doubting myself..Well actually I just asked her if I could get a ride and she seemed so enthusiastic and said Of course! I told myself this was one of those races that probably would not be that fun doing but that I would be happy afterwards.

So there I was yesterday at the bagel shop meeting DP and 2 other friends and we made our way up the mountain in DP's car. It was cloudy as we started up the other side of the mountain, which soon became fog, which soon became pea soup fog as we rolled to the top. This will burn off I thought..or so I thought..We got to the top and there were many cars and people with all kinds of snowshoes and clothing. The biggest question of the hour was what to wear it was cold but we knew it would get warm as we got going on the race. I asked Jane twice in one sentence what she was wearing, which makes me think either I am getting senile or those hormones really do need to be checked soon! I decided on two layers on top, my hiking boots for warmth and comfort instead of running shoes under my snowshoes, gators, and my Peru hat for good luck. I brought my IPOD shuffle, thinking this would be motivating to hear music as I trudged through the trail.

10:00-boom! Off we went. I wasn't feeling a lot of race pressure here. I really have not trained in snowshoes. I did a speed running class the day before with Eric at the track, not really speed work as of yet, but drills and stuff that were enough to make me sore in places that required Advil on board. The first part of the trail was downhill..OK, so I can run this, not a problem. So I ran. That lasted about 10 minutes. Very beautiful through the trees in the fog, at 10,000 feet. My snowshoes aren't the best racing ones, but not the worst by far. I got passed, I passed a few folks. It was pretty narrow but everyone was cordial. If they were saying mean things, I did not hear them anyways, I had my IPOD on and all was well. Then came the flat, sort of up hill part about midway on the coures. OK -now I was power hiking on my snowshoes. The trail was packed snow, which was nice in some ways but uneven also in places. I almost bit the dust so to speak a couple of times. The came the really uphill part of the trail at the turn around and my heart rate zoomed up and legs started screaming! It was at this point the music became annoying and I yanked off the IPOD. I confess I actually stopped a few times just to catch my breath on the way back up the hill. I was walking VERY slowly at some points. I looked at my watch and saw that yes, I would break an hour-that was my goal. The last uphill was grueling I tried to run over the finish line and heard someone yell my name and ta-da! I was done. 56:23 was my time. I was happy it was over and glad to see Pirate at the end. It was still really foggy and I was definitely warm but we scurried back to the car to get some warm clothes on as we knew that wouldn't last. Mark, Margaret and Dave were at the car...

We decided to stay for the awards as Pirate got first place in her AG, Margaret won first overall women-way to go my people!! They had some funky age groups if you ask me. Mine was 45-54 years old. OK so I am 54-do you think I won? No, some young looking woman who did it in 48 minutes did of course! Had I raced as a 55 y.o. I would have won my age group. Guess I will just have to come back next year, as Mark so wisely pointed out...

None of us won door prizes as we waited and waited and I got colder and colder. By the time we were in the car, my hands were blocks of ice but I was happy and relieved to be done..As we traveled down the mountain, of course the sun came out and I warmed up as I managed to eat anything I could get my hands on in the "gooey bag" as my granddaughter calls it (goody bag). I did get the T-shirt and water bottle..

I was wiped out the rest of the day. Like I had done a half IM or something..H & I watched a depressing movie last night "About Her". It was great acting but about a woman who slowly succumbs to Alzheimer's Disease, which makes me worry all the more about my lack of memory lately. Still hoping it is just the hormone thing and as I search frantically on the Internet this AM, I am pretty sure I do not have A.D., thank goodness but I am more motivated than ever to figure out the hormone thing.

Oh and I can barely walk this AM, I am so sore. So I will go to spin and spin out my soreness this AM instead of killing myself on the bike as my friends are doing...