Friday, September 11, 2009

Going with the flow

Listening to suzanne somers talk excitedly about hormone therapy on oprah brought back, in full force, my concerns about aging.

As we age our body goes through a gamut of changes.. some gradual, some so sudden that its scary but its something to be expected. its the natural order of things. i'm hoping to ride the waves and just go with the flow. the whole thing about hormone replacement therapy, be it the prescribed hormones or bio-identicals, is wraught with pros & cons so unless & until i'm incapable of functioning, i think i'll just give it a skip.

2008 was the year that marked significant physiological changes for me. it drove home the fact that i was, without doubt, in the perimenopausal stage. that i better take stock and do something about it. after all, my mom started having problems early and had her last period in her late 40's and research does show that family history plays a part in menopause.

It started with menstrual irregularity. oh i never really had it like clockwork but when it started coming twice a month and then missing the next, that was something totally new.. and scary. my cycle became erratic, the flow heavy to the point of flooding and the cramps of my youth came back with a vengeance.

But even with the pain, discomfort & inconvenience, i still consider myself lucky. so far i havent had any of the hot flashes they're all talking about and neither have i gone through any significant mood swings. yes, i admit to being a tad more emotional than i used to be but its more of a quiet melancholy, an acceptance of my own mortality. no depressive tendencies, aggression or abusive behaviour (as yet) and for the sake of my loved ones, i hope i never do. i have seen first hand how these mood swings can affect people closest to us and its not a pretty sight.

I can attest to having difficulties in obtaining quality sleep but then again, i've been having sleeping problems from way back when so maybe it doesnt count as a change. and personally, i think its the Lord's way of making it easier for us to seek spiritual enlightenment as we get older. if we cant sleep we might as well perform the solat tahajud, hajat & bermunajad.

Then theres sex, that important part of our lives without which renders some of us (especially the male of the species) almost useless lol. its way up there on our list of needs along with eating & sleeping and since its 'almost' what makes the world go round, i'm thankful that my libido is intact and i still find the lack of sexual activity, with golfman away and all, extremely frustrating. it would indeed be hard work to keep faking it since excitement begets excitement and one needs to remain 'interested' ;)

[Of course theres always the case of the sluggish 'engine' but theres so many ways to get it going if one is creative enough lol]

But apart from problems arising from my fluctuating and gradually diminishing hormones, managing the natural aging process is in itself quite a challenge.

Theres memory loss. and its a great concern to me. used to be if i ended up somewhere without recalling the reason why, retracing my steps would help me remember. but not anymore. no matter how many times i go back and forth, the memory remains stubbornly elusive.

Fatigue is next.. it's insiduous and can creep up on me without warning. i cant afford to have it happening so often bcos i have so so much to do.

Theres also the inevitable muscle shrinkage and weight gain. gawd, i so do not need the extra kgs. but surprisingly, i found out that being thin in old age is not necessarily a good thing

[hah.. thin is not gonna happen any time soon]

Not forgetting the debilitating diseases thats just waiting to happen like diabetes, hypertension to name just two. also loss of hearing & eyesight or even worse, senility & alzheimer! so far i've been spared but i do worry. especially over diabetes because its in my genetic makeup. both my dad and uncle died of it and my aunty has been on insulin jabs for a long time.

Then theres the aches & pains. oh the ache and pains!!

Growing old gracefully.. its obviously easier said than done.


Anonymous said...

Uh, scary. But I think you are taking it gracefully. If/when I get to your age, I wanna be just like you (coz I think you're pretty cool for a mom with grown kids!).

Anyway, my experience is from seeing how my mom went thru menopause. She did complain of some hot flushes but alhamdulillah she looked at menopause from a brighter pov so she didn't have any emotional drama ke apa LOL. For eg, she said she didn't have to worry abt the monthly issue when performing her 2nd-time hajj :) isn't that a great thing? Just like you wrote, maybe Allah SWT has plans for us when we're older, no periods meant we have no reason to cuti, eh? Can focus more on our ibadah kot.

Justiffa said...

Haza ur gonna be a 'cool' mom urself when the time comes, of that i'm sure ;)

Akak pun harap2 jd mcm mak haza and be able to maintain a positive & relaxed attitude about the whole thing. kalau bole biar la 'go with the flow' je sbb its a natural process and Allah tak pernah nak nayakan umatNYA. Still i'm aware that there are people severely affected.. and when that happens kena la do something about it.