The first one I have had to check off my list is hot flashes. Yes, I'm having FREAKING HOT FLASHES. Okay, they're not that bad, actually. They are, at worst, annoying, sometimes requiring me to fan myself furiously for a minute or two. The ones at night are the worst, but, really, I set myself up for failure by turning on my electric mattress pad. And why do I do that? Because my inner thermostat is so completely whacked that I go from freezing to sweating and back again in the blink of an eye.
The weepiness is much better, although I still fall apart occasionally. For the record, I don't like falling apart.
The slight achiness I began noticing a month or so ago? Still with me and increasing. First, my hands, specifically, my thumbs and the backs of my hands. It's most noticeable when I hold my hands in one position for an extended period of time, like when driving (bet THAT instills you with confidence when you see me driving down the street!) or trying to carry something heavy, like a crock pot stuffed to the brim with (completely delicious) mashed potatoes (with bacon, sour cream, chives and cheese - see? delicious!). Or when holding a book. Or trying to open a jar.
The bones in the tops of my feet were the next ones to act up, going from a little awareness that I HAVE bones in the tops of my feet to having my feet and ankles stiffen so that I walk like Herman Munster when I get up in the morning. It also occurs when I've been sitting for an extended period of time, like when I'm
playing working on the computer or when driving (really, I'm a safe driver. REALLY.).
The pain crept under my kneecaps next, hiding there and sneaking out only occasionally. Now it has set up what appears to be a permanent encampment, spending much of its time jabbing at my kneecaps with a railroad spike. (It only hurts when I move, Doc.) It's there during the Good Morning Song at preschool, there after plain ol' sitting for more than a few minutes at a time, and there while doing Zumba. Okay, and driving. Kind of bothers me then, too. And, more noticeably, when getting OUT of the car.
That pain in my left hip that I thought was my IT band? Still could be, but in addition, my left hip is quite tender, the right one less so. I stiffen up when sitting, like in the car, for example.
And the most disturbing side effect of all? My muscle tone has gone to complete and utter mush. I feel like a neutered cat. And let me tell you, I spent the winter and part of the spring working hard on muscle definition, and my legs, if I do say so myself, looked pretty darn fine. Hah! Not any more! I walk regularly. And when I say I walk, I don't just walk on flat ground, I walk on hills. And I Zumba like a boss. And what do I have to show for it? DOUGHY LEGS! And arms. And other places. And, no, I haven't gained weight, for those of you who are wondering and don't want to ask. I did some research, and a loss of muscle tone is, indeed, a possible side effect. A REALLY SUCKY side effect.
Don't think I'm complaining, because I'm not. I'm just reporting. A little pain? Puh! I spit in the face of pain! But if you see me lurching about, remember that I AM NOT OLD AND DECREPIT. And if you say I am, I will kick you in the shins. Just give me a few minutes to work the kinks out first. And a head start. Give me a head start.