Hot flashes, not sleeping, water retention, skin that when pinched does not return to its former glory...ah, the joys of getting older. I used to get soooo exasperated when I would overhear older teachers talking about such things. Didn't they know that the rest of us young chicks were planning to stay young forever? That gross stuff would NEVER happen to us! Well, guess what?
I was prescribed hormones years ago and have attributed their flowing through my arteries to everything from feeling absolutely wonderful to causing vertigo. I have honestly tried about 5 times to get off them and I just have NOT been successful. I've tried all sorts of plans, cut down to taking them every other day, gone cold turkey, taken them 3 times a week, nothing works. I can drop 5 lbs. in a few days when I am off them, but those resulting hot flashes are murder....Hot flashes are similar to the feeling of having a fire pit combust internally. My center of heat seems to be my head. Remember when Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire? I understand what he must have felt like. The internal combustion engine was invented in 1860 by German Nikolaus August Otto. I think he probably got the idea from his 50 something yr old wife, Mrs. Otto, who was constantly imploding.
And not sleeping...tossing and turning...thrashing about...and then it happens...just as you doze off, you are awakened to the feeling of the oncoming hot flash! I'm not sure of the purpose of all these changes, but one thing I do know, I don't find it fun in the least bit. Oh, yes, don't forget swollen ankles. Recently I looked down at my ankles and thought my whole body was melting. You know how they portray somebody melting in a cartoon...their body just runs down into these gigantic ankles? That's what mine look and feel like. I once had great looking ankles that supported really nice feet. (I've already explained that in a former post.) But oh, my gosh...not anytime lately. I'm just slip sliding away.
I was always told that if you'd pinch the skin on the back of your hand, you'd get an idea of how much collagen you had left. In "my glory days" my skin would snap back into place like a freshly produced rubberband, and I'd giggle a silent giggle of thankfulness...."I'll never be like Mrs. So & So, thank goodness. I have really GREAT skin DNA." Well, well, well.....all birds do indeed come home to roost because the last time I did the pinch test, my skin stayed "pinched" until I finally had to slap it back into submission. I looked like the pre-cooked Thanksgiving turkey. Ugh.
Heaven help me if I accidentally get a "sleep crease" line on my face. When that used to happen, I would go about my business assured that by the time I had my coffee it would be gone. But with low collagen levels, obviously that doesn't happen. A few weeks ago I walked around with a bad crease until 11:30 a.m. (I arise at 5:00 a.m.) Everyone wanted to know how I hurt my face...was it a cut, a gash? Plastic surgery gone awry? Finally, I went into the restroom to take a final look and you could barely see it...it was 2:30 p.m. So now, in addition to everything else I have to remember to do (and not to do while sleeping), I have to keep the covers away from my face and sleep on my back. I spend the whole night awaking, flashing, flipping over onto my back and trying to keep my ankles elevated. Such a lovely picture....
I have really tried to keep a sense of humor (you know, the fifth sense) about this whole ordeal but it's been an extremely trying time in my life. My husband says he thinks I've become obsessed with aging and that I still look just like the young vibrant woman he married. Of course, he didn't have on his glasses and couldn't hear what I said in response to that statement. The tv was turned up too loud for him to hear me...and his teeth were chattering because I had the a/c turned down to 60 degrees..."it IS hot in here," you know.