September 25, 2010

Aging Healthfully

I have not been feeling well for a couple of days.  I have mainly felt worn out and agitated or anxious, having trouble staying asleep at night and I have gained a few pounds over the past couple of weeks.  I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in January and have been taking a synthetic hormone to replace what my thyroid isn't producing.  With how I had been feeling I made a call to my doctor and I was able to get in within 30 minutes of my phone call.

We live in a small town and this doctor has a small practice which I appreciate more and more from the standpoint that he is easy to get an appointment to see, his office is a mere 4 blocks from our house, he has a great repoire or bedside manner and he goes to our church.  Also, he asks a lot of questions when I am in to see him.  Yesterday he took a vial of blood for the lab to test to check my thyroid hormone levels.  Perhaps I need my medication adjusted which is what I had thought.  But then after asking questions I told him that I had not had a menstrual cycle for 6 weeks and was feeling as if I might be entering pre-menopause.  I was worried about the weight gain and not being able to sleep through the night. 

We talked about my diet, exercise and sleep patterns.  He is a bike enthusiast and I have been biking a lot lately.  While I may be entering menopause, that alone does not explain entirely how I have felt.  After talking with him I am going to change my exercise time to early afternoon instead of late afternoon and when I feel really tired or sleepy, instead of drinking another cup of coffee, I will take a cat nap. I need to keep my exercise time away from the evening hours as this will hamper my sleep. Then before bedtime he recommended that I take one tablet of Melatonin which would help me sleep better and would most probably take care of my Restless Leg Syndrome.

He will contact me on Monday with the lab work and to see if the Melatonin is helping with sleep.  Here is what I have learned about myself, getting enough sleep is important.  When I worked I would get about 5 hours of sleep each night and had done that for years.  Since I have been home I have tried to get more sleep per night but it has been interrupted sleep which can happen as you age and approach menopause. 

Also, I didn't gain the weight that I thought I had gained.  When he weighed me I weighed only 1/4 lb. more than I had when I was in for my last visit in April.  So, my scale must be off.  I'm not sure if it is or not but I am definitely a little O.C.D. about my weight.  Gaining weight has been my biggest worry as I age and that is why I am so conscientious about exercising.  As a side note, I hate to exercise and I am constantly looking for forms of exercise that I enjoy, hence biking. 

I have been very conscious over the past months of getting more and more fresh fruits and vegetables into our diets.  I am the primary consumer of fresh foods in our household, my husband would be second and my son is a distant last.  It is frustrating to get my son to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and the best I can do is to buy them, make fresh fruit and vegetable salads at mealtimes and encourage him to eat them. 

As for approaching menopause, I am not worried about it.  I just want to make sure that I am taking care of myself as I age by eating healthy foods (no more bologna sandwiches that I had been craving), getting plenty of sleep and exercising.  I have no idea if  I will breeze through menopause or not, but I want to be a healthy "prime time" adult so I will take care of myself and when I am not feeling well, I will call my doctor. 

I slept great last night and I didn't wake up much.  Today I had planned on being outside working on projects but it has been raining and is very overcast and cloudy.  Looks to rain more later on.  My husband is outside right now building the base for his new shed.  I in turn plan to stay inside doing housework and working on a home office for myself.  Every homemaker needs their own office in my opinion and I have got to find one place to call my own. 


Marie said...

I have just recently came upon your blog, and enjoy reading it. Thank you. I have been at home since Feb when I rolled my car(black ice) and broke both ankle bones in my right foot. So, I identify with you. Melatonin works great and doesnt leave you felling groggy in the morning. For restless legs, my physical therapist suggests putting a bar of soap near your feetat night. I swear it works. I dont know why or how, but when my ankle acts up and my neurons are over firing, I go get a bar of lever2000, and put it in my bed and the restless leg/foot problem disappears and I can gotosleep. Give it a try, just dont use soap like dove or camay.
My PT says studies are being done on this bar soap trick and why it works. Hope you feel better soon.

Martha said...


Thank you for the tip on using bar soap. I had heard about this a long time ago but had forgotten. I will definitely give it a try.

Welcome to my blog.


Maureen said...

Martha I read that the average age for a Women to go into Menopause is 52 and just 6 months after my 52nd Birthday my period stopped and never returned. I take nothing for my flushes etc. as my Mother has had breast cancer so sticking synthetic substances into my body is not an option. I have dealt with my symptons as naturally as possible, with diet exercise and positive thinking, I am maybe one of the lucky ones but anything else just was,nt necessary.
After saying that I cope well with my symptoms I have to add that I was awake every night for hours at a time, I could go to bed tired but still take hours to fall over and then be awake again about 2 hours later and struggle to get back to sleep. Eventually I gave in and went to my Doctor to ask for a sleeping pill, which he would,nt give me as they are too addictive, so he gave me a very mild anti-depressant I take half a tablet a day and I now sleep like a log. It has also helped with my restless leg syndrome. Although I,ll remember the soap trick.

tammyyarbrough said...

Hey Martha,
Sorry to hear you're not feeling well. I was told to try Melatonin several years ago, and boy, it made me have some really strange and vivid dreams! I think the idea of having a cat nap during the day is wonderful advise. I get in my workout, housework, eat lunch, prep dinner, and take a nap about 1 hour before my little "angel" comes home from school. I feel refreshed and I'm able to be a better wife and mother.

I also have OCD when it comes to my weight. I weigh myself each morning, and if I've gained 1/2 a pound I work extra hard that day to watch my food consumption- crazy isn't it? My hubby says I am the healthiest person he knows...blah, blah, blah

P.S. What happened to your nook upstairs? I would certainly call that MY SPACE if the shoe were on the other foot :D

BTW, Buddy is STILL available for adoption. I will pay all charges. This little dog is a MESS!! He goes from bad to REALLY BAD. Gee, sounds like all these spoiled men in my house =D

Elizabeth said...

Hmmm....are you sure you aren't pregnant?! ;)Sounds exactly like what I experience when I am! lol

Martha said...

I had a tubal ligation after my last pregnancy. Of course, there is that one in a million chance.... I don't even want to think about it at my age!!!