Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Autism vs. Menopause

I can’t help but notice some similarities between autism and menopause lately.  Of course if you haven’t experienced any form of menopause (pre, peri or post) or never will (the male species) you may not be able to relate to my newest “DOT” (definition: D’s personal theory).  To keep this posting from dragging on and on, I’m only going to comment from my perspective as a person with menopause. 

#1 - Preference for routine…less flexibility:  I was going to have a shower the other morning and noticed that G had cleaned the tub.  Whoa…whoa ladies…I’m sure some of you are thinking how wonderful G must be to be cleaning bathrooms.  Trust me when I say there is not enough space on the World Wide Web so don’t get me started on the topic of G! 

Anyways, I started to wash my hair.  For some reason I was unable to get any kind lather happening.  I was very confused?!?  Thoughts went through my mind… I did wash my hair yesterday; it shouldn’t be that dirty…I don’t think I used a lot of product.   It took me a couple of minutes before I realized I had grabbed the wrong bottle…yes, I was trying to wash my hair with conditioner.  Obviously G had overlooked the fact that the shampoo bottle should be ON THE LEFT!!!  Geeezzz!

#2 – Decrease in ability to multi-task when performing less desirable activities:  I don’t know how many times I go up and down the stairs and it’s not because I want the exercise.  I seem to have the attention span of a gnat and memory capacity of a pea.  Why I can’t remember to put in the laundry AND bring up R’s cheerios is beyond me.  I now have a strategy to lessen the frustration.  I just keep repeating “cheerios…cheerios…cheerios” the entire time.  Unfortunately if the mantra is interrupted…lucky me gets to add another set of stairs to the tally for the day.

#3 – Extreme difficulty processing verbal information:  When my girlfriends and I used to get together back in our 20’s and 30’s, we usually had at least 3 or 4 conversations going on at the same time.  Not all that unusual for a group of women.  We would sometimes cut each other off; we would talk over one another and occasionally even complete each others’ sentences to keep the conversation moving at warp speed.  This is all due to a condition I think most women suffer from, coined by my niece Rebecca, known as “FOMO” aka Fear of Missing Out.  In the last 2 or 3 years, this is no longer possible.  Think gnat and pea.  We have reverted back to preschool days and take turns talking using our good listening ears.  No one interrupts and if you have something to say you basically stop listening to the conversation so as not to forget your comment which will be totally unrelated by the time you get to share it with everyone.  If more than one conversation occurs, this will lead to anxiety and confusion down the road. 

#4 - Sleep Deprivation:  Sleeping patterns have now become a topic of conversation amongst my “maturing” friends.  I have never been a particularly good sleeper so was shocked to hear that some people actually sleep through an entire night without waking up!  For them, waking up just once is considered sleep deprivation.  Give me a break (I’m rolling my eyes here)…moving on.  Waking up 2-3 times a night is not that unusual for me.  However now it’s because my core temperature has risen to over 110 degrees; my eyeballs are floating because I had that sip of water just after dinner or I’m now freezing to death because the sweat from previously waking up has now formed ice crystals all over my body!  I guess I should consider myself lucky as some of my friends have reported having to change the sheets in the middle of the night and it’s not because of leaky Depends.  I’ll leave it at that.       

I guess the one consolation about all of this is at my age…I really don’t care any more.  ;P  D

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