Genetics, Podiatry and Menopause

Every day I realize I am becoming more like my mother.  The things I say are her words repeated to me too many times to count.  Even the things she said that I detested – “Can’t cook it cold!” “The camera never lies!” – comes flying out of my mouth to my own children.  I have always looked like her so that is not so much of a realization.    What I am realizing is that I am physically becoming my mother and I have to tell ya, I am NOT pleased.

Mama came from the generation of you smoked to lose weight, you didn’t exercise, you starved yourself.  That of course only works for so many years until the lovely metabolism and menopause kicks in and then you are basically screwed.  Worse, my mama had terrible feet.  She ran barefoot from the day she could walk until her early 20s growing up in Orland, CA.  She would refer to me running around barefoot, “Your Orland is showing.”  Her callouses could carry her through a bed of fire.  She had terrible toes, a chronic ingrown toenail that finally resulted in its permanent removal.  She had the toenail gungus.  We would go to get pedicures and I felt bad for the help.  The pedicures did wonders for her feet, she just didn’t start getting them until later in life.  She always had great legs.  I got those, too.

As she began to age and put on weight, she struggled (as most women do).  Take it off, put it back on.  Lose it, gain it.  As she got heavier, her gait changed and she kind of waddled.  I thought maybe it was just from big thighs.  Well, I’m here to tell you that I WAS WRONG.   It’s not big thighs, its stiff hips, a sore back and bad feet.   After being diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency, and taking 1000 IUs of D per day, things are better, but my feet still hurt and my lower back pain flares up at the slightest exertion. All of these ailments even WHEN I do happen to exercise 6-7 days a week.

So today I visited the podiatrist.  I knew the news wouldn’t be good.  Sure enough, my feet are a mess.  What I historically professed as being my best attributes are now marred with bunions, hammertoes, bone spurs and apparently a short Achilles tendon.   Conservative cure = custom orthotics, Aggressive and/or second to the failing of the conservative cure = surgery which includes a screw in my big toe, the shaving of the bunion, a pin put into my second toe that sticks out and remains for 4 weeks wherein the doctor will then simply just pull it out.  Not for the weak, is it?  I’ll be able to wear some kind of shoe at approximately 8 weeks.  My feet are casted for the orthotics and after my $600 co-insuranceaintpayingforit,  I hobble back to my car and head to my second appointment of the day.  The Gynecologist.

My gynecologist is actually a very lovely man.  You have to love a male OB/GYN who sits you down across from his solid wood desk and gets to know you before being a foot away from your fully exposed who-who telling you to scoot your bottom down and spread your knees farther apart.

I was relieved that we were back to the desk today and that there was no butt scooting to be had.  The mission of my appointment – to discuss my hot flashes and night sweats that occur 24 hours a day (or as I refer to them as The Vapors).

The Vapors have been coming know for about two months.  Dear Flo hasn’t been coming for a little over 5 months.  We discuss the hormone therapy – pill, patch, gel – doesn’t matter says doctor.  They are all the same.  I didn’t disagree with him.  However, I remember my girlfriend who went on the topical hormone therapy a few years back.  Her poor dog slept in their bed and it took them several months to figure out why the dog had bald spots all over her body (Poor pup was rolling in the sheets that the topical hormones had rubbed off on).  I couldn’t imagine my John with a completely mutilated pelt (the nickname for his chest hair), patchy and bald like when he had his last EKG, nor my aussie shepherd mix with patch gap.  The good news is that I have been told I am no longer fertile.  I am O K with that.  Really.

Next stop is to the Sports shop to pick up hockey tape for Aaron for his Lacrosse stick.  While I’m there I consider getting new, sturdier shoes.  Can you believe the podiatrist suggested those Sketcher quasi-platform, rocking walking shoes and Birkenstocks.   I can totally rock a pair of Birks, but the rocking walking shoes – OH HELL NO.  Anyways, this stop was a complete goat rodeo.  The store was in the middle of inventory at 11:00 in the morning on a weekday.  Who the hell schedules THAT?  If I’m going to fork out my usual $100+ for shoes, I expect SOME kind of level headed customer service.  I leave shoeless and hit the Target for new workout clothes.  Please note that I am getting new workout clothes not because I am going to walk/run in them because that is now not even part of my life equation.  I am buying them because if I wear anything more than shorts and a tshirt, I’m bound to get the Vapors and am likely to start removing clothing I shouldn’t just to cool down.  THAT was another $100 smackeroos.

I should go home and make my lunch, but I’m a bit over the top.  I’m depressed about my feet.  They have let me down.  I drop off my hormone therapy prescription at the pharmacy and hit the drive through Panera where I order their Chicken Thai Flatbread.  They asked if I wanted a whole or a half.  I wanted a whole.  If I’m going to have a pity party and eat myself down from the ceiling, I want the whole damn thing PLUS the chips.  Turns out a WHOLE is two flatbreads.  So, while I’m parked in a parking space in my own little personal space in my VW SUV, I’m sucking down soda, chips and one flatbread.  The second is calling to me, but I resist long enough to get home, place it in the fridge and dive for the closest quality chocolate.  John listens intently as I continue my little melt down (at least we know it is not PMS).

So now I off to my one of two remaining exercises I can do – today is a swim day.  This is the one sport that I can continue to do that doesn’t make any part of my body ache.  I then get the luxury of the steam room which is devine.  I will then go pick up my hormone therapy prescription of which I’m sure my co-insurancedoesntpayfornamebrands is going to be sticker shocking.

Meanwhile, on the job front, lots of up front activity, but still no offer.   This too will pass, probably right around the time of my freaking bunionectomy and to be perfectly honest, it I’m going to be off my feet for 6-8 weeks, I’m getting my boob lift at the same time.  Misery loves company and then I’ll be back to my almost perfect self.

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