In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I shared with you last week, that I am right smack in the middle of the insanity called menopause. Even as I reached the one month mark yesterday, of not smoking, I do still question my sanity of stopping at such a time. Maybe that is why I am completely amazed that I am still smoke free and have not committed murder.Seriously.

I have tried hard to keep my sense of humor through out all of this but believe me it has been harder than hell to laugh some days. The insanity of all these things are no laughing matter. There is nothing funny about withdrawing from an addiction…the side affects that feel like you really could come out of your skin…and sorting through the issues that make me addicted to such things, makes me want to hide under a rock.

Reading this article helped me a lot and explains a lot of the symptoms associated with withdrawal. I read lots of things to help me get through and nonetheless, just reading that I would very likely gain weight, and not being able to sleep at night, feeling irritable, tired and frustrated and fighting mood swings and depression, have about put me over the edge.

Here’s a glimpse into this insanity…the first week of not smoking. It’s 2 am and I can’t sleep. I go on-line to various stop smoking web sites to get encouragement. I read that a person can expect to gain up to 21 lbs and that is just from not smoking…that an average smoker burns 200 calories a day just in the process of smoking and that just stopping, will put on the weight…that it takes 3 months for your metabolism to get to normal…that if you eat more, due to your increased appetite, and don’t increase your exercise, that you can then double or even triple that number.

Holy Hannah. Up to this point I thought the reason people gained so much weight is because they ate instead of smoked. I flipped out. I ran to my sleeping husband and he was woken up to me screaming and crying hysterically over him. You can take a moment a feel sorry for my poor husband, that didn’t know what hit him. Honestly, I think he wanted to stuff a cigarette in my mouth and call it quits for me but he didn’t. He’s such a trooper.

There is nothing funny about Menopause and the hellish insanity that living in the middle of it can bring. When you read about all these symptoms at I hate Menopause or here in a long list of symptoms… which include weight gain, insomnia, irritability, mood swings, depression, and fatigue which are all smoking withdrawal symptoms also. You have to be as surprised as I am that I am not in jail.

I have determined that menopausal woman are not suppose to be “mommy’s” to little children. A menopausal woman is no match up to a 2 ½ and almost 4 year old children, who’s characteristics include being rigid and inflexible, domineering and demanding, having violent emotions, being defiant, argumentative, and going to opposite extremes. Can you see the conflict? Can you hear the conflict? Once again, you can take a moment to feel sorry for my poor husband who comes home to this every day.

… only for a moment though, because he comes with his own set of symptoms. In all my research to find some answers and help for these maladies of mine, I came across this web site called Body Logic, about Andropause, which is male menopause and my dear lovely husband has most of the symptoms listed. You men are not off the hook and come to find out that more men suffer then what gets talked about. One of the symptoms listed is Irritable Male Syndrome which I always knew existed(sorry guys)but didn’t know the medical community had an actual name for it. Just reading that alone, gave me some pleasure. Anyways, there is a whole slew of symptoms which he has and now we know why our household has gone completely nuts…and I’m not the only one!

If you can imagine for a moment, a menopausal woman who has recently quit smoking, married to and living with an andropausal man, who also has recently quit smoking,…living with and trying to be “Daddy and Mommy” to a 2 ½ year old little girl and an almost 4 year old little boy. Can you imagine what life is like at our house? The dynamic’s in our home right now are explosive, emotional and exhausting. This is no laughing matter…but maybe it is…cause seriously, it is kind of funny when I lay it all out like this.

Recently, I happened to catch the Dr. Phil show which is surprisingly rare, but the woman I care for had it on and on this day it was about Menopause and Andropause and they brought up Bioidentical Hormones. I must live under a rock, because I had never heard of this before and come to find out that it’s been out for a long time. In fact Suzanne Summers wrote about them in her book, Ageless, The Naked Truth about Bioidentical Hormones. I have not read the book yet but I have been researching them and my husband and I, are quite possibly going to give them a try.

I know my husband and I aren’t the only ones going through this so I want to share with you what we are finding out. In doing my research I came across this web site and this one,that explain bioidentical hormones and what they do for men and women. I also came across this blog, Holy Hormones, that is written by a woman, that has gotten a lot of help from them. She also shares a lot of good information about women issues so I would recommend giving her blog a visit.
So here I am, exercising like crazy and cooking and eating really healthy on top of everything else I already do in a day, just to maintain some sense of control over these things. I am doing everything I can to get a decent night sleep but it’s not happening. I am doing everything I can to not let the shit sandwiches kick my ass completely. I am doing everything I can to maintain some sense of peace and tranquility in our home in spite of the hormones that are shooting all over the place. The truth is, I am just trying to hang on to my sanity here and if you have any information to share with me, it would be greatly appreciated by me and anyone that has to be around me.

If you are ever wondering why I haven’t stopped by your place and commented or written a new post in awhile, you now know why!


Bina said...

I have been wondering where you've been! First of all, my husband has none of those symptons! Whew!

I sometimes wonder if I'm in the early stages of menopause, but it seems like I'm not. I mean, I'm 44, so it wouldn't be a surprise, but the only sympton I have is occasional night sweats.

I'm so very proud of you. You have had so much on your plate AND your shoulders for so very long, and you still accomplish so much. I can't imagine being in your shoes. I'm already 1/2 crazy and quitting smoking AND menopause at the same time would surely drive me over the edge.

And dang! I thought people gained weight when the quit because they ate more, too! I had no idea about the 200 calorie thing. When I do decide to quit smoking, I'll have to do leg lifts or something at my desk to make up for those calories!

Keep your head up. You are doing a wonderful job!

SciFi Dad said...

Menopause, andropause, and preschoolers in one house?

That sounds like the beginnings of some kind of biological weapon!

In all seriousness, I hope you're able to deal with the withdrawl and the hormones... I'm sure it isn't easy.

Jan said...

I'm with Sci-Fi Dad - it's amazing y'all are all still in one piece!

I'm on the fence about bioidentical hormones, but if they'll help in the short term, I don't see why you shouldn't try them.

I didn't know about the weight gain thing, either - like you, I thought it was because you ate instead of smoked. That explains quite a bit, because I've gained a LOT of weight since I quit.

Hang in there, Lori - I know it feels as if you're going crazy, but you're doing beautifully!

Life with Kaishon said...

You poor thing.
I am sorry for your stress.
I can't even imagine.
I know you will conquer this like all the other things you have conquered : ). Oh, yes, you will!

Busy Bee Suz said...

You are both going through a lot of stuff and having to just maintain your home AND the babies...uggghhh. I feel for you.
My good friend went on the bioidentical hormones..actually 2 of my good friends did and they LOVE them. They are both in early 40's.
As a matter of fact one of them was slated to have a hysterectomy because of so many problems. After about 7 months on the bio's, she got pregnant. She was told she could never, ever have kids.

So, you should get some condoms too. ;)
Take care. ***HUGS***

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

My sister suggested Evening Primrose Oil capsules. I also bought progesterone cream and use a small tab everyday. Ithink it all helped. Hard to say. I experienced a whooper and short menopause. Prechemo I was barely irregular and no other symptoms, post chemo was post menopausal. It was a hellish six months, but I got it over fast.

Hang in there Lori. Sending you love.

Jeannie said...

You poor thing! I can't imagine - I think my husband and I could have the same hormonal things happening - I am going to check out your links for sure - but we don't have the not smoking thing going on as well - I quit nearly 30 years ago and he quit about 15 years ago - but that was a really rocky time. I wish I had some advice for you.

♥ Braja said...

There's so much on this topic, isn't there?

Go to my post and read the one-line prayer: it will be wonderful for you today...

HeatherPride said...

Wow - andropause. It makes sense that men would have hormonal changes as they age too. I knew they couldn't be off the hook that easily!

You're doing so well with your nonsmoking. I know it's so hard. Hang in there.

Jason, as himself said...

Yikes! I am so sorry. Talk about everything piling on top of you at once. But you are to be commended for all of your efforts, you are not giving up.

I wish you the best! Hang in!

Twenty Four At Heart said...

My older sister recently tried bioidentical hormones. She got a life threatening blood clot and was stuck in bed for over a month. Be CAREFUL! Her experience does not mean the same thing would happen to anyone else but her doctor did feel it was a direct result of the bioidentical hormones.

SSG said...

dude your life sounds kinda manic at the moment, but hang on in there!
Being in control of small things, even like exercising and eating healthily, can make you feel a bit better, a little less "out of control" if that's what your hormones are doing.
I don't know what the cure is for the menopause- how long does it last? Does eating certain things help or getting into a routine?
But way to go on the not smoking as well, courage as you say, you're doing GREAT!

Sprite's Keeper said...

Yes, but the point is, you're still on track! Do what you need to do. The sky will clear soon!

Mouthy Housewife said...

hang in there. You CAN do it. Yes, you are in a shitty stage right now but IT WILL PASS. You are strong. You have all of us rooting you on. Keep going!

hot-flash said...

Congratulations on the one month of not smoking.

On bioidenticals, I strongly recommend you read Dr. John Lee's Hormone Balance Made Simple. It is a fantastic book that is easy to read and gets to the point of BHRT. You'll be in control once you do!

For Myself said... You're definitely strong enough for this. You'll pass on the shit sandwich and have yourself a ceasar salad! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I am thinking of you and wishing I were there with you to offer more than mere words for support. The internet is an amazing resource for topics that keep us up at night. Keep it up Lori, you will make it to the other side of this!

LiLu said...

I'm so sorry you're going through that, but honestly, it sounds like you're dealing really well! You are amazing :-)

Tricia said...

Hang in there. This must be exhausting and excruciating all at the same time, but I'm so glad you're determined to come out on the other end. Sending you strength and hugs.

Debbie said...

I already admired you for stopping but now I see that my admiration was only scratching the surface!

SSG said...

hey Lori how you doing, you alright? (((hugs)))