"Yep. All good." I give him a big thumbs up with a side of overly-enthusiastic smile.
He gives me a pointed look. I ignore him and lift my chin.
Rissa says "Mama do you need a hug?"
Yes, I do. I do need a hug. But I'm pretty sure that if I have physical contact I'm going to lose it.
Rissa doesn't give me a choice and pulls me in. I quickly morph into Shirley Maclaine a la Terms of Endearment, unwilling to let my daughter go. I then burst into hiccuping sobs.
It has taken me three weeks to go from positive to psychotic. Three weeks of sleeplessness and I'm no longer in control. Fucking peri-menopause.
David calls me at work the next day. "Hey love... just wanted to check to see how you're doing..."
"I'm fine," I say determinedly. I don't want to be that person. I don't want to be that whiny, complaining, malcontent who can't keep her shit together. He already heard my diatribe against feminine middle-age maladies over the long weekend - I'm not going to give it to him again - the comedy would be stale. "I'm working my head around it - it'll all be good. I'll see you at home."
|I might have spent WAY too much time designing her in www.heromachine.com|
Waking once a night is normal. Twice I can cope with... but six?? Six times in a night has taken me right back to early parenthood. 16 years on, I no longer have the stamina to withstand it. Sweating vertically I can handle, it really only becomes unbearable when I'm horizontal.
Hot - then quickly-cold, sweating, nauseated, heart racing - basically it's all the symptoms leading up to a bout of violent diarrhea. And even though I know that I'm not technically ill, my body has been conditioned to recognize the feeling of cold sweats as something very, very bad.
I have to wear pajamas now. I HATE wearing pajamas. I commiserate with my mother over it... Over the fact that my father didn't understand her just like David doesn't understand me. "Why are you wearing more clothes to bed if you're having night sweats?" Any woman suffering from these fuckers knows that you wear those pajamas so that when you throw the blankets off in the middle of the night you don't wind up shivering from the inevitable hypothermia when that slick of sweat cools your body.
"It's bedtime," says David.
"I don't think I can," I say - my bottom lip trembles pathetically. "I'm afraid to go to bed now. I hate failing at things. And now I suck at sleeping - something even babies can do! I'm not drinking alcohol. I'm not ingesting caffeine. I've cut down on salt and sugar... I'm terrified of doing HRT on account of the does it or doesn't it cause CANCER with long-term use debate. My Mom still gets hot flashes - and she's 71 - her Mom had them until she was 77. I'm 47 - I'd have to be on HRT for 30 years!!"
"Come on, we've got this," he says. He takes my hand and leads me up the stairs. "You are taking a sleeping pill tonight..."
"But I can't take sleeping pills every..." I begin.
"Just tonight before you brush your teeth - tomorrow we'll head to the health food store and stock up on every hot flash and night sweat remedy known to the world. But tonight, tonight you're taking a sleeping pill and you're gonna put on your pj's and lie down and get thumped with the massager. And then maybe you'll even enjoy a little "extra" massaging, for added relaxation." He smiles and waggles his eyebrows. "I'm turning the fan on to blow directly on your side of the bed, and if all that fails, we'll stand a couch on its side in here, I'll strap you in and you can sleep standing up, you know, like a vampire in a coffin. We've got this."