Hormonally Challenged

Some nights it doesn’t pay
to try and fall asleep.
I toss, turn, fume, and burn
and sometimes even weep.

My brain is heavy in its cage
too tired to engage in thought,
still round and round it plods
until every nerve is shot.

Physically I’m just a mess
of hot and sweaty limbs;
sticky breasts, and chafing thighs
turn nighttime hours grim.

Just once I’d like to fall asleep
free of worry, care, and pain,
yet I fear that won’t take place
until I’ve died or gone insane.

  

Peace, people!

Effexor and Me: Not Qute a Love Story

A few days ago I shared a post called “Paranoia” about my crazy night of attempting  to ambush an imaginary intruder due to a temporary imbalance in my chemical makeup.

This imbalance, caused by an unintentional withdrawal from the antidepressant Effexor, led me to act in an erratic manner and resulted in a sleepless night. Once I had the drug back in my system all was right with the world. No harm, no foul.

Except that it’s not all right. This wasn’t my first experience with Effexor withdrawal. Several years ago I suffered a similar reaction after a bout with the stomach flu. For three days I kept throwing up my meds along with everything else in my system. 

The withdrawal was a terrifying experience. I had violent night terrors involving vivid decapitations and stabbings. In one savage dream I watched as Charlie Sheen had a leg brutally removed with a chain saw. Reality and imagination merged in my brain until I couldn’t discern one from the other. When I was awake, I experienced brain shivers, a sensation that’s difficult to describe but is vaguely similar to the feeling one gets when one has an inner ear infection. And the paranoia was off the charts. 

Studly was out of town on business, and had no idea how sick I was. I called him frantically insisting that I was near death. He cut his meetings short and rushed home to find me a mess. I had a migraine that had me cowering in our darkened closet and I was certain a tornado was imminent.

He rushed me to convenient care where I was fortunate to be able to see my former general practitioner. Thank goodness he was familiar with my medical history. He immediately asked how long it had been since I’d taken Effexor and got me started on an I.V. Within an hour I was back to being me.

The ironic part of this whole thing is that I don’t take Effexor for depression. My oncologist prescribed it to help ameliorate the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats. Since I cannot take a hormone replacement, she believed Effexor would provide some relief. And it does.

But I worry about the future. What happens when I’m an elderly woman and cannot control my own medical care? What happens if at some time I do not have access to the drug and go bonkers? 

Recently I read a novel with a post-apocalyptic theme. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. In the novel a virulent flu has decimated the world’s population, and a group of survivors has sought refuge in an airline terminal. The group has enough food and other provisions, but one character who takes Effexor, soon runs out of her prescription and the group is unable to secure more. That character does not do well and ends up wandering off into the unknown. I think about her often.

Well, this was a cheery post. I highly recommend the book.

Peace, People.

Edit

The kitty is too cute to be a symbol of Effexor withdrawal.

Afternoon Delight

Studly and I married in 1976. We were young, oh, so very young, and so very broke. We spent our wedding night at The Camelot Inn in Amarillo, Texas, but had to move to a less expensive motel for the rest of our honeymoon. The only thing less expensive than The Camelot Inn was a Motel 6, but none of that mattered. We were in loooove!

We had rented a tiny two bedroom house in Dumas, and thank goodness we’d paid our first month’s rent in advance, otherwise we’d have been in serious trouble. I’m not sure what either of us thought marriage was all about beyond the fact that we could now sleep together legally.

To commemorate this wondrous new development, we adopted as our song, “Afternoon Delight,” a one hit wonder by John Denver’s backup singers, The Starland Vocal Band. To this day when I hear the lyrics, “Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight…” I get all tingly inside. Of course nowadays I generally dismiss that feeling as menopausal in nature and wait for it to pass.

Peace, People!

Tantrum

Menopause
Brings out the best in me
She proclaimed sarcastically.
Hot, hot, hot
Flashes,
Night sweats to die for.
Dry–everything and everywhere.
No fair, dammit!
Just as she hit her stride:
Kids all grown, gone
Lives all their own.

Care to get frisky?
Sure!
But her body screams,
“Whoa there, little missy!
Not so fast.
Let’s add a few pounds,
Wrinkles in weird places
And configurations.
Boobs that weep
For their youthful
Buoyancy and shape
And by the way
Forget about sleep.”

Well, I’ve got your number
Ms. Men-o-pause!
I’m ignoring your
Anti-passion attacks
On my body, my life.
Intimacy is still on my
Top ten list.
Despite your best efforts.
In the words of Gloria Gaynor
I will survive!

The beautiful and talented Ms. Gaynor

IMG_0923.JPG

“I Will Survive”

First I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
Without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights
Thinking how you did me wrong
I grew strong
I learned how to get along

And so you’re back
From outer space
I just walked in to find you here
With that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I had known for just one second
You’d be back to bother me

Go on now go walk out the door
Just turn around now
‘Cause you’re not welcome anymore
Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
You think I’d crumble
You think I’d lay down and die

Oh no, not I
I will survive
As long as I know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
And I’ll survive
I will survive (hey hey)

It took all the strength I had
Not to fall apart
Kept trying hard to mend
The pieces of my broken heart

And I spent oh so many nights
Just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry
Now I hold my head up high
And you see me
Somebody new
I’m not that chained up little girl
Who fell in love with you
And so you felt like dropping in
And just expect me to be free
Now I’m saving all my loving
For someone who’s loving me
Go on now go walk out the door
Just turn around now
‘Cause you’re not welcome anymore

Weren’t you the one who tried to break me with goodbye
You think I’d crumble
You think I’d lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
As long as I know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
And I’ll survive
I will survive (oh)

Go on now go walk out the door
Just turn around now
‘Cause you’re not welcome anymore
Weren’t you the one who tried to break me with goodbye
You think I’d crumble
You think I’d lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
As long as I know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
And I’ll survive
I will survive
I will survive…!

I Mustache You a Question

My name is Nana Noyz and I have a mustache. There, I’ve said it. Let the 12 Step Program commence. While I have come to terms with my crinkly wrinkles, my saggy breasts, my droopy eyelids, and my jiggly arms, I cannot embrace my facial hair, nor have I been able to admit that I am powerless to stop it.

I remember gazing in amazement at the sparkling white hairs on my Grandma’s chin and upper lip. They were fascinating to 5-year-old me, and I might have made the mistake of wishing for some of my own. If so, I rescind the wish! I do, I do, I do!

Fifty years ago I don’t think women of a certain age worried as much about random hair sprouting from their chins and cheeks. Those were the days, my friends. But in the 21st century we are almost obsessed with keeping a smooth visage until death removes all such vain concerns.

Heaven knows I try to keep ahead of the hair growth, but sensitive skin keeps me from going the depilatory cream and/or wax routes. Instead I look in a magnifying mirror every morning searching for offending follicles and then ruthlessly pluck the fruit, er, hair. There are two trouble spots.

The first is a place on my chin just left of dead center that can always be counted on to yield a pluck-able strand. It amazes me just how quickly a hair grows in this spot and I’m thinking of willing this particular follicle to science. Not only is there always a hair there, but it is consistently two shades darker and three times coarser than the hair growing on any other part of my body. Truly it is a worthy topic for Unsolved Mysteries or Ancient Aliens.

The second place is just above my upper lip. I’ve named it, The Fringe. The Fringe isn’t dark, and it isn’t coarse. In fact, it is so fine that I almost cannot see it even with the 20x magnifying mirror, but I can FEEL it. Sadly, plucking on a daily basis yields almost no results, so I end up waiting until individual hairs grow to an obscene length. You know, like when the small child sitting next to you on the park bench tries to get your attention by tugging on one.

My only consolation is that my husband, Studly Doright, cannot see anything up close without his reading glasses. This is the reason why women should always marry men near their own age. He thinks I look just like I did when we married 38 years ago. Poor guy. He got a raw deal in the “for better or worse” department; he just doesn’t know it.

I’m Nana Noyz, and I have a mustache that my husband can’t see. There. I’ve accepted it.

Peace, People.

IMG_0830