men-OH!-pause

rip your head offI want to rip Sauerkraut’s head off and not for any particular reason either. I just do. This, of course, is completely irrational and horribly wrong. Sauerkraut is one of the good guys. He is kind, patient, loving, supportive, easy going, caring. His heart is big and generous. He does not have a spiteful bone in his body and, if I were to say that I wanted to go to the moon and back, he would figure out a way to get me there. He loves me even when I do not love myself. The last thing he deserves is to be living with this crazed wildebeest of a woman formerly known as his wife. You know, just like the artist formerly known as Prince only not as talented.

Welcome to menopause, my friends, and it is making our lives a living hell.

I do not know who I am anymore. Normally an even-keeled kind of gal, I can nowmenopause cartoon suddenly transform into the Incredible Hulk on a dime. All it can take is a look, a misinterpreted innocent statement, such as, ‘my you look beautiful today’, a lost set of keys, a request (would you like mustard or ketchup on your hamburger?) or feeling overwhelmed, and I can say things that I would never have said before. “What do you mean I look beautiful? What’s that supposed to mean? Why are you asking me if I want mustard or ketchup on my hamburger? You know I like both.” Yet, I know that had Sauerkraut not told me that I looked beautiful, I more than likely would have accused him of not caring about how I looked. Had he not asked what I wanted on my hamburger, I would have been Hulked out because of that too. “You didn’t ask me before putting both on my burger. I just don’t matter (sniff).” When he does say or do something nice for me like telling me he will bring in all the groceries AND put them away so I won’t “flash” as we call it, I dissolve into a crying, babbling eejit. Poor Sauerkraut, he doesn’t stand a chance. He is now damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

Menopause DefenseThis is certainly new for me though not by choice. I am usually the ever so easy to please one, the peacemaker, the witty comeback kid, the voice of reason, the go to gal, the one who understands why having and using a word filter is important and extremely necessary in certain situations. Now I don’t trust myself. I am afraid of what is going to come flying out of my mouth. I am afraid that I am going to offend someone. What if I said something inappropriate to someone sweet and innocent, like a nun, for instance, and next thing you know, I am in the frickin’ word jail for hurting a nun’s feelings? Just my frickin luck.

And don’t get me going on the hot flashes. They alone can make me ‘rage, rage against the dying of the night’. They come on when I least expect it. Sorting laundry can cause them. Setting the table, being silly, laughing, coming up a flight of stairs can cause them. The frozen section of the grocery store is now my new favourite place to hang out.
Freezer“Hey, girlfriend, how about meeting me for a tub of ice cream in aisle 10 and then we can get caught up on the latest gossip? Oh, by the way, be sure to wear your fleece-lined knickers so you won’t freeze.” Somehow it does not seem like an appealing way for a friend to spend time with me. I am getting that I don’t want to go out for fear I will “flash” just by walking into the store. Wearing a sundress does not seem appropriate in the middle of winter yet it would be the only way I would be able to keep cool. I can’t even hide the hot flashes when I am having them; I am so fair skinned that as soon as I feel one coming on, I know that my face is flushed and glistening with perspiration. Not that long ago, I was asked by a store associate if I was feeling okay. It took everything I had not to punch her in the face. I know that she was acting out of concern; after all, I looked like I had a fever of 110 degrees with my brightly red flushed face. I politely thanked her for her concern and told her that I was fine. However, inside my head I was yelling: “No, I am not okay. My effing hormones are making my life a living hell. It’s effing menopause, lady. Just you wait, your day is coming!” I can so see me being escorted out of the store by security.

noooo-god-no-god-please-no-no-noooooooooooooooooooooooo-meme-11363Then there is the depression, the blue days, the “I hate my life” days. I feel crazed, vulnerable. I suddenly lack confidence and feel trapped in a body I no longer recognize. I had to walk out of the craft store, Michaels, the other day because I was overwhelmed when I could not find the scrapbook paper I was looking for. Tears were welling up inside and I could feel the damn close to bursting. Who the heck has a meltdown in Michaels? Me, that’s who, the crazed Martha Stewart crafter. When I got out to the car all I wanted to do was scream at the top of my lungs, “Eve, this is YOUR frickin’ fault!! Why the eff did you have to eat that forbidden fruit? You Bitch!”  I am so going straight to hell.

All joking aside, the hot flashes, the depression and the mood swings are both unbearable and debilitating. In Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood, I am an Eeyore when who I really want to be is a Tigger. The hot flashes control me and control how long I can perform a task, stay out, and talk comfortably with someone. The same goes for the depression and the mood swings. It is easier to stay at home than it is to commit to an outing with friends. I do not want to be Miss Party Pooper, Mrs. Debbie Downer, or Ms. Negative Nancy. Really, it is my way of protecting the rest of the human race from, well, me.  Or so I tell myself.

menopause meets insomniaMenopause is a vicious cycle. What I need more than anything is a good night’s sleep, yet with the recurring insomnia and the night sweats, it is impossible to attain. Then, if I do not get sleep, the depression rears its ugly head after a couple of days. Then, I am unable to get off the sofa which in turns leads to self-defeating internal thought processes. I have to work so hard at not berating myself for being lazy, unfocused and unmotivated. I have to remind myself that it is okay not to be perfect right now. I have to remind myself that this is something that is out of my control even though I so desperately want to control it. Oh, how I want my life back! I want me back. I want this all to go away.

Funniest_Memes_i-may-look-calm-but-inside-my-mind_10475But apparently it is not going to go away. Recently, a woman said to me, “I hate to tell you this but I am 70 and I still get hot flashes.” I wanted to clock her right then and there. But, I didn’t. Instead I just smiled and nodded like I cared. If she only knew the inside thoughts that I was having while she was speaking, she would never had said what she did. I swear if my inside thoughts ever explode, the world as we know it will be over. It will be flooded by an alphabet soup of swear words, inappropriate comments, sarcasm, visual images of head banging and face punching, eye rolling, and a whole slew of “blah, blah, blah, blah, blahs”.

Some of you reading this will think that I am exaggerating. Some of you will know that I am not (just ask Sauerkraut). Some of you may be scared as hell for what may be coming your way. The purpose of this post is neither to scare nor exaggerate. The purpose is merely to put it out there so that others will know that they are not alone. Hey, who am I Always laughkidding? The purpose is also for me to rant and rave about the whole miserable thing while, at the same time, laying the groundwork for future posts about the new things I tried to help me through this time in my life, why I did some of things I did, the results, the new antics I managed to get myself in to, etc., etc., because, if life has taught me anything, it is that it is waaaaaaay better to laugh about my situation than it is to cry about it.

Thankfully, life has also taught me that I am indeed a survivor (thank the Lord Baby Jesus for that!) and, because of that, I do know that I will get through this one way or another. While I do not know how long this menopause thing is going to last, I do know that eventually I will come out the other side in (hopefully) one piece, whenever, wherever that may be. Until then, may God help us all.

Laughter: 1

Heads Ripped Off: 0

who doesn't like to procrastinate?

I was all set to tackle the room formally known as our bedroom. I am not sure when it happened but obviously a tornado went through it leaving total destruction in its wake. Notice that I said that I was all set to tackle the room … that was before I heard the ‘ping’ on my cell phone announcing that a new post had come in from one of my favourite bloggers, TheBloggess. With a title like “Get ready to waste a good hour‘, how could I not check out what she had to say?

Here is what TheBloggess wrote:

“My friend, Christine, introduced me to Dreamscope where you can add filters to your photos.  Not normal filters though.  Stuff like, “What would I look like if I was made out of gummi bears?” or “What if the world turned into raspberries?”  An hour later and I have a million variations of me.

Get ready to waste a good hour of your life.  But it’s for creative reasons, so I’m pretty sure it counts as art therapy.”

See why TheBloggess is a favourite? We practically think alike!

If you, too, are trying not to clean a room formally known as a bedroom, check it out. Dreamscope is also available as a free app for your iPhone.

Here are some funky filters of the Cabbage Patch:

714f9acf-336a-42ce-80e1-f359336e4eec

8316726b-cf91-46fb-bda0-ac5add3b287f

 

cfa89883-2a3a-4025-ad92-e350a5f8e709

b19eade3-62bf-4b42-8ab0-e2b1f5f907cd (1)

roses

Greek.jpeg

Roman Tiles.jpeg

Green.jpeg

Yes, I did get carried away.

Yes, I have a million variations of the Cabbage Patch.

Yes, it does count as my ‘trying something new’.

Yes, the room formerly known as our bedroom still looks like a tornado went through it.

Hell, there’s always tomorrow. Right?

Art Therapy: 1

Bedroom: 0

 

 

 

 

 

 

no pain, no gain

 

bioreToday’s Cabbage Patch post is brought to you by Bioré Deep Cleaning Pore Strips; adhesive strips which apparently “locks onto and pulls out dirt for the deepest clean”. I had found a box of these strips while I was cleaning out a drawer in our bathroom vanity. Apparently, I must have thought that cleaning out my pores would be a good idea at the time I purchased them but after putting them in the drawer, clearly, I had forgotten about them. The fact that they were at the back of the drawer under some other junk tells me that they have been there for some time. I hope they don’t have a shelf life like milk.

I studied the box for some time and then decided that trying these strips would fulfil a promise to YC for my trying something new. Game on!

Firstly, I decided to read about just why Bioré claims I should give their pore strips a whirl and just what exactly they claim to do. Here is a copy of what appears on the back of the packaging:

  • Let’s Face It: squeezing blackheads doesn’t always work. You could damage your skin or even make it vulnerable to clogged pores. (Agreed.)
  • What it Does: Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, with selective bonding ingredients, work like a magnet by instantly locking onto and removing deep-down dirt that can cause blackheads so you get the deepest clean. When used weekly, you will have fewer clogged pores and the appearance of pores will actually diminish. It may be disgusting…but it’s also oddly satisfying. And in just 10 minutes it cleans weeks worth of dirt build up. (Ooooh, disgusting AND satisfying! I’m in.)

Next, I read the instructions on how to use the strips not just once but twice because I wanted to make sure that I knew just what the heck I was doing before I began the arduous task of cleaning my pores. Pore cleansing is serious business let me tell you. It is not for the faint of heart.

biore_smiling.png
Beautiful, huh?

As directed, I washed my face and thoroughly wet my nose so that the strips would stick. I decided that I would tackle my nose and the area above my chin because these are my problem skin areas. With dry hands, I peeled the strip off the plastic liner, applied it to the areas, smoothed the sides down, and pressed down to ensure good contact with the skin. I then let the strips dry for about 10 minutes until they were stiff to the touch – much like papier-mâché. For a minute, I thought I was back in kindergarten … ooooh, papier-mâché! How I loved doing papier-mâché as one of our crafts in kindergarten.

 

Biore_hurts
This is NOT an exaggeration

The final step involved peeling off the strips, slowly and carefully, starting at the edges and pulling toward the centre. This is supposedly to minimize skin discomfort as well as any pain which may result from the Krazy Glue-like adhesive being peeled back. Despite my attempt at following the rules to the tee, the swearing began as soon as I began peeling the strips back. By the ol’ lord thunderin’ jaysus, these suckers hurt!

The strips are similar to a band-aid, only the grip is stronger and you don’t get a break in the centre where the quilt part covers your cut or scrape. As a child I remember being told to take a band-aid off quickly because it would hurt less. I called BS then and I’m calling BS now. Both hurt and both bring tears to your eyes because, no matter how you take them off, tiny hairs and sometimes skin comes off with the adhesive. Both bloody well do hurt.

There are different types of pain – mild, sharp, severe, dull – and then there is the eye watering pain that you get when you step on Lego blocks in the dark or when you hit your shin on the corner of the metal bed frame or when you pull off a Bioré strip. I have a high pain tolerance. Not much gets to me that way. I had all of my cabbages naturally and without any pain medication. I have had several surgeries throughout my years including the removal of all my wisdom teeth in the hospital. Most recently, I survived the debilitating pain that comes with the shingles virus. So, why, then, did these strips get to me?

I think the answer lies in the fact that I chose to do this. I chose to inflict this barbarous torture upon myself. It was not a matter of something being seriously wrong with my body which needed to be addressed such as my impacted wisdom teeth and, that if not remedied, would cause further complications. No, I decided that it was much better getting that nasty dirt out of my pores than leaving it in there. Vanity was definitely involved because, I mean, what if somebody saw these nasty old blackheads? There wasn’t a hobbit inspired outfit I could pull on to cover them and I certainly didn’t want to don a face covering similar to what Michael Jackson used to cover his young children’s faces with. Remember what the world said about that? C-R-A-Z-Y!

Do the strips work? Yes. Along with some tiny hairs and what feels like a layer of skin, blackheads do stick to it and come out of the pore. However, this is only a temporary fix because only the top layer of the blackhead is removed and not the entire blackhead itself. It is only a matter of time before the blackhead returns because the source of the problem has not been addressed. It is, really, a band-aid for the problem so to speak. My concern is that the way these strips adhere to the skin is that if you were to follow the weekly use guidelines, over time, the skin could be injured or torn especially if you have sensitive skin. I also read in some reviews of the strips that they could also cause spider veins to surface. Yes, those nasty spider veins — right.on.your.nose.

Biore memeIs there something satisfying about looking at the blackheads on the strip after they have been removed? You’re darn tootin’, there is. It was almost with a child-like wonder that I examined the strip from every possible angle. I mean, how disgusting is that? I studied it, questioned it (how the heck did all of that get there?), admired it, and had a sick sense of satisfaction about what was removed. I looked at it as if I had just accomplished the most amazing feat. Good grief, I need to get a life.

It wasn’t long though before the stinging irritation of my nose brought me back to reality. My nose was blotchy red and it stung for a good fifteen-twenty minutes. Depending on how you look at it, I suppose it was a small price to pay for removing at least some of the blackheads.

When Sauerkraut got home from work that day, he asked his usual question, “how was your day?” I don’t think he was expecting to come home to a detailed story of how I removed some nasty dirt from my nose pores. While he didn’t say much, I could tell that he thought I was perhaps exaggerating about the pain somewhat. I even told him that I didn’t understand how in the many on-line reviews I read about the nose strips, the majority of the reviewers said that they didn’t hurt. I regaled him with my tales of painful nose woes and about how those suckers remove more than blackheads. “I’m sure I lost not one but two layers of skin when I removed the strips,” I whined.

Next it was my turn to be surprised. Sauerkraut said, “Let me try it then”. Holy smokes! Sauerkraut is going to be a girly girl with me. I could not have been happier than if I had won the lottery. Yee haw, all I could think of was ‘ let me strap that strip on your nose before you change your mind!’

Biore TogetherWell, let me tell you, I have never before felt more vindicated in my life. After reaching the paper-mache phase, Sauerkraut began to slowly and carefully pull back the edges toward the centre of his nose. He had to close his eyes while doing it. “This is bringing tears to my eyes,” I could faintly hear him saying. Yessiree, Sauerkraut had tears in his eyes when it was finally removed. Not that I am gloating or anything like that. I mean, I did share in his pain and I did refrain myself from saying, ‘na na na, boo, boo’.

He, too, was fascinated by what was on the strip. “They are like little spikes,” he proudly stated. He studied them but not for as long as I studied mine. Clearly, he is not the girly girl I thought he was.  After the stinging was over, he did mention that his nose felt very smooth and soft. Maybe he is a girly girl? I am so confused……

Will I do it again? Probably but only because I still have a few strips left in the box and I have already paid for them (they weren’t exactly inexpensive). Even though I read so many positive reviews about their effectiveness and how the reviewers could not live without them, I am not convinced that they would be good for my sensitive skin over time. I also read that the main ingredient on the strips is polyquaternium-37, a film-forming hairspray type ingredient, and I am not really comfortable with the thought of putting hairspray on my nose to remove dirt.

After all is said and done, I think that I will stick with the old fashioned soap and water skin regimen. Sauerkraut thinks that he will stick with the strips. I guess, for the sake of our marriage and for the sake that I may just want him to be a girly girl with me again on another product trial, we will just agree to disagree.

Now if I could just figure out how to get these suckers to do some deep cleaning around the cabbage patch…..

Disgustingly Satisfying: 1

Dignity: 0

 

 

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