13 March 2007

Women's Day, take two

Last year, for International Women's Day, I tried to celebrate some wonderful, well-known women who have made a difference in our world. People weren't overly enthusiastic about it.

This year, I was too busy with an event with AI to really mark the occasion here, but it's still been on my mind.

Today, CBC (in the form of their daily new highlights) gave me a launching pad.

In their article titled "Where the equality gaps still exist" they talk about what women have gained over the last 100 years (when the first International Women's Day was celebrated), and they also talk about where we lag. Some of the gaps are pretty disgusting.

So, while you might not want to call yourself a feminist (I'm oh, so tired of that discussion), don't think that we have anything that even approaches equality. When the majority sex is considered a minority group, we have problems.

12 March 2007

March Break

I am celebrating March break for the 1st time in 10 years. The last time I celebrated, I went to the Dominican Republic with my parents. This time, I'm not so lucky; I have sinus issues, a sore throat, and moderately severe menstrual cramps. Not even prescription-strength ibuprofen is working. That's 600 mg, people!

I have always had a battle with menstrual cramps. Except for most of the last 7 years. In fact, I've really gone much longer in my life without than with. But they are that bad. The memory of them is enough to make me want to cry.

Years ago, my doctor put me on Depo-Provera. I was a lover from the start. It didn't take long for my periods to become a not-so-beautiful memory. And I have enjoyed it. At the end of January, my relationship with Depo ended. It was abusive, it turned out. I was gaining weight, and gaining it fast. 25 pounds in 12 months, 15 of that in only 5 months. That's a lot. It's not healthy.

There were other factors in the weight gain. My job (when I worked for my dad) was mostly sedentary, my car accident left me doing virtually no physical activity, and living on one ground floor of a moderately-sized condo has meant a lot less up and down.

But when I talked to my doctor, and other people who were on Depo, it seemed that all that previous stuff may have contributed to the gain, but the Depo is what was holding on to it. Depo makes your body think that it's pregnant. That's good if you don't want to have babies or periods. But part of being pregnant is a natural weight gain. Depo accomplishes this in part by storing the hormones in your fat cells. In actuality, you can't successfully lose all the fat without it affecting how the Depo works, and your body won't let you. You will lose muscle mass and bone density before you shed the fat.

Teaching means I move more, which is good. I have a stationary bike now (which I actually use!), and the weather is improving so I'll start going outside more. But what really had to change was the Depo. I tried this once before. It didn't go well. But, I'm more concerned about my long-term health this time, so I'm going to try to tough it out somehow.

My first switch is to NuvaRing. It's different. And it's okay. I don't think it's a long-term solution for me because I don't think I'm using it properly. When I talked to my GP about all this she gave me two prescriptions at the same time; the ring, and the patch. OrthoEvra (patch) is my next attempt.

Neither of these things is going to make the pain going away. It seems that Depo and hysterectomy are the only two things that could accomplish that. I'm hoping that I won't have to resort to the latter, but right now, I'm not ruling anything out.

04 March 2007

Blog Hiatus

I guess I took a bit of a break from blogging. Okay, truth be told, I haven't really been into it for a while. I got out of the habit when my computer fell down go boom.

Also, I hate February. If there's a time of year that I'm absolutely uninspired and blasé about everything, it's February. The only redeeming quality that February has is that it is the shortest month of the year. I wonder if February is as hated in other climates as it is here. Even November can't touch February.

So, what now that it's no longer February? Well, nothing. Life is pretty even-keeled lately and I guess I should be happy about that. The only abberation is that my sleep is so rare and unsatisfying that I broke down and asked the doctor for sleeping pills. She gave me Imovane. We're hoping that it's something less serious like my brain forgetting how to stay asleep, as opposed to the more dangerous problems.

My big problem is that I'm always tired. I've always been on the lethargic side, but I don't think I've ever wanted to spend so much time in bed. Asleep. "Could it be anemia?" you may ask. It's unlikely, because I would probably sleeping more than anyone could imagine and still feeling tired. I wake up 2, 3, 6, 7 times a night. Sleep apnea has been bandied about (mostly by me), and so my GP has thoughtfully refered me to a ororhino-laryngologist, aka an Ear-Nose-Throat doctor. Said specialist will look around for loose pieces of whatever that shouldn't be there and (hopefully) refer me to a sleep clinic where they will determine what kind of sleeper I am, what my problems actually are, and what fixes there may be. My biggest fear is that it will be nothing with an easy fix like "Get out of your sometimes-mouldy condo" or "switch to latex bedsheets", but rather something biological or chemical that will require long-term medication. If there's anything I find frightening in a very real sense, it's the idea (or reality) of becoming dependent on pharmaceuticals for a good 8 hours. What would happen if/when I get pregnant and then am nursing? Not sleep for the better part of two years? That doesn't sound like a good way to start motherhood. I mean, I know that having a baby intrudes on regular sleep patterns, but not being able to sleep at all sounds like a gourmet recipe for post-partum depression and Brittney Spears-esque antics. (It's my belief that she's suffering from severe PPD and if people would stop making fun of her long enough for her to have some privacy, someone might be able to figure that out. And it is possible that she would be driven to go commando or stay out all night partying -- remember the mother who killed her 5 children?)

Anyway, that's a little large to be worrying about. After two nights of pills, I've had one great sleep and one not-so-great sleep. The not-so-great sleep was due to being cold. Unfortunately I was too doped up to be aware of what was wrong, so it wasn't until about 7:30 am when the drug wore off and I thought, "Gee, I'm cold." I'm planning some fail-safes for tonight.

The good news is that it's March. I only have 5 teaching days left until March Break and, although I'm not going to the Mayan Riviera like some people (I hate you), I do get to sit around and do nothing (except clean) and relax (and do lesson planning). I'd like to do something more exciting (and warmer) but I can't afford it this year. And probably not next year. But I will at some point.

And then I will write a blog to gloat.