Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Short, Private Vacations in the Tropics, Huh?

Well, I've been awful about not blogging lately. It's because school has just started up and I'm teaching a course I haven't taught here before, so I'm having to spend time doing more class prep than usual. Over the summer I re-read The Great Gatsby, and now I'm keeping a few weeks ahead by re-reading Othello. I'd forgotten what a manipulating puppet-master Iago was.

My friends on Facebook have all been treated to my various bouts of hypochondria. Well, not everything. Mostly they've just been hearing about my perimenopause. I've been this way for years, but I seem to be going through a particularly rough patch at the moment. No sign of a period since May's, and my night sweats are getting worse. Fortunately they're not really making me lose much sleep--if I wake up at all, it's because I'm shivering, and I'm shivering because my blanket and pillow have gotten wet. I just turn over the pillow, throw off the blanket, and pull another one on. Then I go back to sleep.

But I'm also having repeating hot flashes in the morning, so my 8am class has been treated to me standing there, fanning myself, walking over to the open window for air and standing there gasping, all the while mopping my face and arms with a hand towel. I finally had to break down and tell them to not worry; I'm not dying. I'm just old and menopausal. We all laughed about it. Still, it's embarrassing. On Monday, when I left class, not just my shirt was sticking to me, but also my pant legs were so wet they were sticking to me. In anticipation of another day like that sometime, I've brought an extra shirt to campus and have it in a drawer in my office. Sheesh.

I see the doctor tomorrow for my annual check-up, so perhaps he'll have some bright ideas. In the meantime, I'm taking One a Day vitamins for menopausal women, which, as far as I can tell, is different from other One a Day vitamins only because it has soy isoflavones, and I'm taking black cohosh. Another friend is recommending wild yam.

And then this morning I had a bout of light-headedness, felt simultaneously hungry and nauseous, and my right arm was tingling like crazy. Actually, it's still tingling. But the nausea has gone away. Chelle told me to take an aspirin in case I was having a heart attack. Good lord. I'm falling apart. I thought when I quit drinking three years ago, I was supposed to get healthier. It's true I have dropped about twenty pounds (a lot of which was bloat), but my cholesterol continues to creep up no matter how much sugar I skip eating. I just may be at the mercy of my genes on this one. Hello, Lipitor.

But who am I kidding? Death stares at all of us all the time. At any moment, a bus might run over and kill any one of us. What good does it do to focus on it?

If there's a moral to all this yabber, I guess it's to keep your shit in order at all times, regardless of whether you're twenty or eighty. Make sure your loved ones know you love them. Click back through your day at night before you go to sleep, and if there's something you don't feel good about, vow to make it right the very next day. And then make it right. No postponing stuff. Go ahead and stick your neck out and take a chance on something you've been wanting to do but have been too afraid to do. Lately I've been reminding myself that the things I have tended to regret the most are things I didn't do, not things I actually did. Do I sound morbid? I don't feel morbid. I just feel like being realistic. And I feel like life just might be lived more fully if I live it understanding that it's short and that nothing lasts forever.

Or, maybe I'm just being hormonal. There's always that.

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