Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Giving the husband the brush-off

This from BearNaked:

One morning as I was brushing my teeth, I looked up in the bathroom mirror. What I saw was that I was using my husband's toothbrush. His is blue and mine is green; no reason whatsoever for the confusion.

I blamed it on my early morning rising and convinced myself that was the cause. I went out shopping that afternoon and bought new green and blue toothbrushes for the two of us.

Three days later I did the same thing all over again.

I now have a large stock of green and blue toothbrushes (just in case.)

And this is our little secret because I never told him about it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

There's an awful latte coffee on your desk...

Thank heavens for drug reps and their coffee budgets. A few lattes from the local coffee shop is a great way to get past the front desk in my office, but I do promise you that I don't base my prescribing habits on free coffee.

That said, I was pretty pleased to see a full-leaded latte in the hands of a drug rep this morning. My medical partner got one too although, on average, she's not as prone to listen to their patter as I am. She spirited hers away to the bookshelf where we review prescription requests, and I carried mine off to the counter where we chart.

Several hours later, we are still carrying our cups from place to place. I finally land with my leftover dregs in my back office so I can polish it off while returning phone calls. Shortly thereafter, partner appears in office door.

"Did you take my latte?" she asks, surveying my desk.

"No," I answer without looking up, "This one's mine."

"What about the other one?" she demands.

I glance over by my left elbow where her latte and mine sit inches from one another right where I (who else could it be?) must have carried them in on two separate trips.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Imagine me and you...lost

Two women, one menopausal moment.

My friend R and I went to see The Turtles last night. A young fellow beckoned us left ("Easy in, easy out"), and we parked in a near empty lot cordoned off from a public lot by yellow string. Was it legal? Was it necessary to pay $10? Who cares, it's the Turtles! He pointed waaay up the hill to a distant traffic light. "Walk up to the light, then turn right to the concert." Good thing we were in high spirits and sensible shoes.

After two opening acts --we never did figure out who they were-- and Melanie (as in "I've got a brand new pair of roller skates") who might have been drunk or stoned and who definitely could no longer carry a tune, the old guys formerly known as The Turtles bounded onto the stage. Fabulous! We were giddy and singing at the top of our lungs.

Alas, the walk, the singing, the excitement, we were too tuckered to sit through more than one song from Jack Bruce of former Cream fame. R turned to me. "Did he really just say "I'll be with you 'til my seeds are dried up?" Yes he did and indeed, the old goat is here just as he promised.

We headed straight down the hill, renewed despite the oppressive heat by singing "Imagine me and you, I do, I dream about you day and night, it's only right." On and on through the gathering gloom, through the now dark office park...that we didn't walk through on our way into the concert.

"Uh, I think we're lost."

"No way."

"Yes, we are, don't you tell anyone about this."

"My feet are killing me, and my orthotics are all sweaty."

We collaborated on deciding which way was west, then turned east. A group of municipal dog catchers were gathered in a darkened lot--now what do you think that was about--and R got directions from them. "See that traffic light waaay up the hill there? Turn right when you get there, and the theater you parked at is about a half mile down the road."

Off we went. So happy together.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tuesday, Tuesday, can't trust that day

E-mail exchange:

Re: RE: Lunch and learn - Dr. Paley - rescheduled for September 2, 11:30-12:30pm we will cancel the Lunch & Learn that Dr. Paley was going to speak at (July 22) and reschedule Dr. Paley for Tuesday September 4 from 11:30-12:30.

Re: RE: Lunch and learn - Dr. Paley - rescheduled for September 2, 11:30-12:30pm

...I assume it's Tuesday the 2nd because the 4th, as mentioned in Menopausebrain's e-mail, is a Thursday...

Re: RE: Lunch and learn - Dr. Paley - rescheduled for September 2, 11:30-12:30pm

Tuesday Sept 2nd is the date.

Re: RE: Lunch and learn - Dr. Paley - rescheduled for September 2, 11:30-12:30pm

Oh yes, tuesday the 4th - so sorry!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Listen, dear, who's playing our song?

Another momentary lapse from Wendy who proves that menopause moments are not just an American phenomenon:

I pulled into the gas station to fill up the car. Already late and impatient, I jumped out to fill it myself. The place was very busy - everyone wanted gas, and it was a Self-Serve - but I don't want to wait for the busy Attendant to get to me. So I squashed the hose, filled up my tank, and gave my money to the Attendant. Jumped back in the car and started negotiating my way around cars that were waiting for their turn.

Geez - this place is too full - let me outta here.
O.K. relax, go get a coffee.
"Please don't stop the music......." sang Rhianna or somebody, over the radio.
"Please don't stop the music..... the music.... the music......."
Oh, I like that song, I thought to myself as I waited for a break in the traffic to pull away from this busy place.

I turned the knob of my radio, so I could hear the song better. Nothing.
Meanwhile, I saw a break and focused my attention on pulling into the traffic. No time to glance down at the radio.
Hey - where did the music go? I turned the knob again - a little louder this time.

Oops - that wasn't my radio - my radio was turned off!! Somebody else must have pulled away from the station, taking my song with them!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I goofed, so Sioux me!

Occasionally, I note a slip so rich and humorous that I will post them here even if the slipper is not a menopausal woman. This fellow may as well be one so ditzy his deed.

The 'editorial obituaries' in the morning paper often include an amusing anecdote from the dearly departed's life. This fellow was billed as a 'kind and caring lawyer,' but the author notes that sometimes 'his mind whirled...too fast.'

Mr. T. was on his way to join his wife in Sioux Falls, S.D. for a family visit. He arrived at the airport way before flight time back in the days when those minutes to spare were not spent in security lines. He went up to the ticket counter to see if he could catch an earlier flight, then hurried off to board the plane.

While passing time during a layover in Lincoln, Neb., he wandered about the airport humming Sioux City Sue. That's when he realized that he would soon end up in Sioux City, Iowa per his newly purchased itinerary. When he landed in Iowa, he called his wife to hum her the wrong city/wrong state blues.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Don't send me packing!

My husband asked me to bundle up some unwanted purchases for mailing back to the store. That's our unspoken deal; he finds good deals on the Internet, I package them up for return.

I took extra care today, filling out the return slips complete with reasons for return ('color is gross,' 'this denim looks stupid') and making copies for our files. I had a devil of a time with the cheap packing tape; I had to slice through it with a razor to get an end to unwind. By the time I was done, I'd taped my scissors shut and lost my fresh cut end twice. The kitchen where I worked was 82 degrees, hot flash city!

My husband strolled in as I was ready to put the return label on the box. He held the flap down as I applied the label, then I pulled my fresh strip of tape across the top. Across the top crookedly, alas, so that only a small portion of the top was secured.

"Oh, let me do that," he exploded impatiently, and he proceeded to expertly apply tape to box without securing his fingers underneath it nor sticking the tape to itself.

I was biting my tongue so as not to note aloud that he should've done the entire job himself when I noticed the return slip sitting on the counter. My husband is not fond of menopause moments, and I am not fond of conflict, so I slipped that errant slip into a drawer with plans to redo the operation later when he left the house in search of a good deal on motor oil.

Part II: A Package Deal

Two menopause moments for the price of one!

As soon as the house was quiet, I hauled the box back on the kitchen counter and expertly slit open the previous tape job. No problems with packing tape this time, I easily picked the cut end free and rolled it smoothly across the flaps. All done quickly, easily, with time to spare before my spouse came home.

I was sitting and reading awhile later when it occurred to me that I had--once again--failed to insert the return slip into the box prior to sealing it shut!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Don't forget your blood pressure meds...

Because evidence suggests that you may then be at risk for forgetting just about everything.

Hypertension is a known risk factor for dementia and is associated with some of the same gummed-up brain changes also found in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Researchers evaluated the beleaguered brains of hypertensives and AD patients using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (don't ask, I have no idea). When compared to normal subjects, both those with dementia and the tension-filled had the same abnormalities in their brain composition. Furthermore, hypertension contributes to the changes in small blood vessels in the brain that lead to vascular dementia, another degenerative brain disease which can be indistinguishable from AD.

Research has shown that successful treatment of hypertension can decrease the risk of memory loss. A study of nearly 2,000 aging souls in Indiana over five years confirmed that the use of anti-hypertensive medication reduced the risk of dementia by 38%. Another trial known as the Systolic Hypertension in Europe (Syst-Eur) study was originally designed to investigate the protective effects of blood pressure treatment on risk of stroke. This portion of the trial was terminated early because the benefits of intervention were so clear with respect to decreasing incidence of stroke that researchers were compelled to offer the active-treatment to all participants. After that point, nearly 3,000 subjects, all now on medication, were followed for the occurrence of dementia. Blood pressure lowering therapy with a specific class of medications called dihydropyridines--Norvasc (amlodopine) and Plendil) reduced the incidence of such memory loss by 55%!

Syst-Eur investigators note that these drugs (also known as calcium channel blockers) seem to provide better protection against stroke compared to diuretics (Dyazide, HCTZ, Lasix) and beta-blockers (Toprol, atenolol, and others), and this advantage may also prevail in dementia prevention. Their results suggest that treating 1,000 hypertensive patients for five years with such meds can prevent 20 cases of dementia.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Hot flashes and verbal memory

Interesting research from the University of Illinois in an upcoming issue of Menopause. Investigators there observed 29 hot, flashy women and determined that: 1) Women have more hot flashes than they think they do, and 2) The more hot flashes you have, the more addled your brain in a 'find the right word at the right time and use it in the right way' sort of way.

These long-suffering women agreed to wear skin conductance monitors that recorded when they broke out in a menopausal sort of sweat (do you think they got paid or did they just take one for the team?). The number of objective flashes averaged 19.5 per day per woman, but the number they reported was less than 40% of the actual episodes. Let's see, that means they perceived less than 11.7 flashes in 24 hours. I'd like to say I did that in my head, but mental arithmetic makes me sweat these days.

Then the group was invited down to the [hopefully] air-conditioned lab to perform verbal memory tests. The higher the flashes, the lower their scores. Wow, no surprise there. Dr. Pauline Maki sums it up for those of us too hot to put it in our own words: "In other words, the hot flash-memory relationship is not all in a woman's head. It's actually a physiological relationship that you can pick up on, if you measure hot flashes objectively with a monitor."

The researchers also found a relationship between hours slept, or rather hours tossed and turned, and defects in verbal memory. Certainly flashing by moonlight does not enhance sleep quality, but the Illinois doctors did not address whether it was the night sweats or night frets that caused the memory lapse.