There are some definite pro’s to making your living traveling from one place to the next, spending thirteen weeks, and then moving on to the next hospital. I’ve been able to see places I probably would have never seen. Made friends is places I didn’t think I would. Learned from Nurses all over the country. It’s great.
But for all the pro’s there are some definite draw backs. Not the least of which seems to be the effect that age has on your ability to adjust to a new place, a new climate, and a new schedule over and over again. I’m finding myself struggling with the beginnings of menopause, which I personally believe I am much to young for of course. I remember thinking that my Mother had to be exaggerating when she talked about how miserable the hot flashes she was having were. Now, I realize that my mother must have been understating their effects in an effort not to terrorize me because it’s MUCH worse than she let on. As a matter of fact, this is the most agonizing thing I have ever dealt with. To make it worse, I am in a new place, where no one knows me and I’m not comfortable sharing my physical status. So, I am certain that they are looking at my dripping wet hair and thinking that I am either about to have a massive heart attack or that I have some disgusting personal hygiene problem.
Add to the hot flashes and the night sweats the fact that my body is irritatingly less firm, and my skin has these interesting little brown spots popping up all over it. I suppose I should be grateful. They’re just age spots and not carcinoma’s. My period, which for decades was as regular as clockwork and little more than a slight irritation in my day to day life, is now a dreaded week long struggle to find time to run to the bathroom every hour and wonder if it is actually possible to bleed to death during your period.
It would at least be some comfort to be going through this at home, where I have friends and family that know me, and will understand. Where my partner can offer me the pity that only someone ten years your junior can offer you, because they don’t yet understand that what they are seeing is an inevitability that is racing towards them like a freight train. Where I can spend my days off snuggled up on the couch with my pets, who truly understand my need for unconditional love, and don’t seem to be staring at the age spots on my arms. Lastly, where my Mother is right down the street and I can ream her out for not warning that this was coming so that I could have had a complete hysterectomy, started on hormones long before this all started! Now, where’s that G-D bottle of advil?