Hello and greetings from planet no baby house!
So much has happened since you were last here. Since Joy, AKA reader extraordinaire, wanted to know about my experience with sleeping on the floor that is where I shall begin. I started my floor slumber trial back in April and frankly it didn’t last — but not for reasons you’d easily guess. Most people can’t get comfortable. I could. I slept fine. It was like times of the past … sleepovers as a kid. I slept just over a week on the floor.
I embarked upon the floor sleeping before I received my weighted blanket. Sleeping on the floor was cool and refreshing which helped my hot flashes and night sweats — I have since moved on to modern medicine for that problemo. More on that later — one thing at a time Peeps!
Ah floor sleeping … just like the native American, the homeless, those who have passed out, much of Asia, indoor campers and the like. It went down like this: I put my old puffy quilt down as my mattress, covered myself with a sheet and my favorite kitty suckle blanket (the one my little cat loves to make biscuits with and get drooly). I put down 2 pillows: the normal one for my head and a little one for between my knees.
The problem entered when I started using the weighted blanket, and more critically when I discovered a very large black spider traipsing the floor. The weighted blanket became a problem because it’s 15 lbs. (not that I’m a super weakling or anything) and moving it from the bed to the floor back to the bed is a problem. I couldn’t leave the blanket on the floor because of the spider issue and stepping on a weighted blanket is akin to walking on tiny Legos. Ouch ouch and ouch ouch. All I can say about spiders is thankfully those buggers don’t have wings!
The floor sleeping adventure began every night with either sleeping on the bed and then moving to the floor, or the reverse. I would wake up in the middle of the night and switch places — usually during my first night sweat. This required HEAVY blanket moving. I gave this up and starting staying in bed with my weighted blanket. (I adore you my little weighted blanket of love!) NOTHING will get you up faster out of your floor bed than said spider coming to crawl in beside you — unless you have a spider fetish or are unbearably lonely. Yes, I do know that spiders can crawl unto mattress beds — LET’S NOT GO THERE!
I used to be a prisoner to my hormones … or lack of one in particular: Ms. Estrogen!
After continued hot flashes and night sweats, I gave up ALL coffee and alcohol (wine to be exact). I did this incredible stunt for 6 weeks … kind of like Lent and I’m not even Catholic! Giving up said liquids helped, but wasn’t perfect.
I met with a menopause doctor. Yes, really a menopause specialist who started me on an estradiol patch 0.01 mG I change weekly, along with nightly vaginal estrogen cream (yummy, yummy!)
While the vasomotor symptoms of menopause generally improve over time, vaginal symptoms usually worsen and do not improve without treatment. Women may attribute these changes to be a part of normal aging and may not be aware of safe and simple treatments.
Before menopause, estrogen stimulates the exfoliation of vaginal cells. As these cells exfoliate and die, they release large amounts of glycogen. This glycogen is hydrolyzed to glucose and lactobacillus converts the glucose to lactic acid, which helps maintain vaginal pH between 3.5 and 4.5. After menopause, with declining levels of estrogen, this pathway is less active, which may allow postmenopausal pH to increase to the range of 5.0–7.5.
Vaginal atrophy is a chronic condition resulting from a decline in estrogen in the urogenital tissues that affects up to 45% of postmenopausal women.
Source: Reviewing the options for local estrogen treatment of vaginal atrophy The International Journal of Women’s Health: March 2014.
I am now up to 0.05 mG estrogen transdermal patch and also using the vaginal cream 4-5 nights. And I’m sleeping so soundly. Sleep with estrogen is way better than Ambien, Benadryl, Sominex, any alcohol, melatonin, chamomile tea, Kava, passion flower, or anything else I’ve tried!
I need to send that menopause doc some flowers!
As far as the hot flashes and night sweaties, nothing works better than estrogen. I’ve tried Effexor, Gabapentin (neurontin), black cohosh, Kava, evening primose oil, living on a prayer, and wishful thinking — *NONE of these have been scientifically statistical to work for vasomotor symptoms (VMS).
*Disclaimer: if they work for you, woo hoo! Count yourself lucky! But you may want to read more here: Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes The North American Menopause Society.
Vasomotor symptoms (VMS) associated with menopause can cause significant discomfort and decrease the quality of life for women in the peri-menopausal and post-menopausal stages of life. Hormone therapy (HT) is the mainstay of treatment for menopausal symptoms and is currently the only therapy proven effective for VMS. [my emphasis]
VMS are the most commonly experienced effects of the menopausal transition and include both hot flashes and night sweats. Long-term estrogen depletion can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis as well as cause vaginal and vulvar atrophy. … VMS affect an estimated 60% to 80% of post-menopausal women, but may be experienced by up to 90% of women during the peri-menopausal stage.
Source: Transdermal hormone therapy in postmenopausal women Drug Design, Development & Theory: February 2009.
I learned something else by going to the menopause specialist: estrogen replacement therapy may be a good osteoporosis treatment or preventative measure. I had no idea! I’m at high risk for osteoporosis. Are YOU?
Uncontrollable Risk Factors:
- Being over age 50 (almost there!)
- Female sex (last I checked … husband hasn’t told me otherwise!)
- Menopause (yep, I took the dead ovary test .. my FSH is high!)
- Family history of osteoporosis (Thanks a lot MOM!)
- Low body weight / being small or thin (I was thin until perimenopause and I started eating buckets of ice cream … OK pints — quality not quantity)
- Broken bones or height loss (I chipped a tooth when I was 9, does that count?)
- Being white or of Asian or Latino heritage (I’m white and my first boyfriend was from Mexico!)
Controllable Risk Factors:
- Not getting enough calcium and / or Vitamin D
- Not eating enough fruits & veggies
- Getting too much protein, sodium and caffeine (But NOT coffee specifically)
- Having an inactive lifestyle
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Losing weight
- Taking certain medications like steroids
If you’re approaching menopause, your body will likely alert you to the sudden drop in estrogen with physical signs (such as hot flashes) and psychological changes (including mood swings). The effect on your bones won’t be as obvious, but the loss of estrogen will certainly affect them [my emphasis]. If you have a high risk for osteoporosis and are approaching or have already reached menopause, estrogen replacement therapy may be a good osteoporosis treatment or preventative measure.
Source: Estrogen Replacement Therapy for Osteoporosis Endocrine Web: May 2017.
4 thoughts on “I used to be a prisoner!”
Thanks for the update – a spider would totally get me off the floor also! Interesting about the weighted blanket – glad to hear you like it. I appreciated the estrogen info, I’m not there yet, but I’m only – few years behind you so I’ll need it soon enough I’m sure. Tomorrow is my big day – 6 wks post op and back to work I go.
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Ah Joy, thanks for stopping by again! I do wish you well in your hysterectomy healing journey. Sorry about the back to work. But 6 weeks! Hoorah for having time off! I have some posts on that — the return to work … perhaps you’ve already read them? Anyway, don’t be too hard on yourself. You WILL be tired after working no matter what you do. 🙂
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Great the therapy worked on you, Elizabeth and that you can sleep again. That’s so impawtant! Call me if you need some help with the spider 😀 Pawkisses for a Happy Week ahead 🙂 ❤
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I actually love spiders but you still won’t catch me sleeping with one.
As for the hormones, I can never decide what I should do. There is breast and ovarian cancer in my family so I am reluctant. But, oh! How I long for a good sleep.