Menopausal Snow Fall

A few years ago, Theresa Venus and I spent a girls day cross-country skiing on what Tahoe locals affectionately call "Sierra Cement". This cement is a stage well past fluffy light powder, when sunny days cause the snow to melt and freezing nights turn the meltwater to a crust of ice. Skiing on it is challenging. Stopping is almost impossible, especially on a decline.

After we had "yard saled" at the bottom of yet another hill. Theresa looked up from her butt plant and said "You know, we have to be careful. When we were younger, we just bounced; now we could break."

Ah yes, Menopause, the Big M, gives birth to a lot of little m’s like mortality, midlife, maladies, more changes. One of those changes is that we are more susceptible to injury. So it is that I find myself with a mild tear in my rotator cuff – a common enough sports ailment that makes it painful to move my shoulder or even to let my arm hang from it normally.

The snow was to blame for my breakage, as predicted by Theresa. Except I wasn’t skiing; I just went down the steps when a light dusting of snow made them slick as snot. I caught myself falling backwards with my arms and the rest is history. Except I didn’t really pay attention to the injury until it got so bad I couldn’t sleep at night. (Denial – it ain’t just a river in Egypt!)

So I am getting massage to loosen tightened muscles around the joint and I received an immobilizer from my MD. When she gave it to me, she admonished me to be sure and keep moving my shoulder so it doesn’t "freeze".

"You’re kidding, right?" I looked at her. "I’ll wear this thing at night so I don’t over rotate it, but I’m a WOMAN! I still have laundry to do, cleaning, meals to prepare, blogging and writing commitments. Believe me when I say – that will never be the problem; that I won’t move my shoulder!" Then I followed with, "Just think of what you would do in my place." A menopausal goddess herself, she laughed, "You’re right, what was I thinking? Let me rephrase that to don’t overdo."

And I’ll surely try not to. The biggest challenge, besides the immutable fact that we heal more slowly as we age, is that we feel YOUNG inside. I still feel like I could paddle a canoe through whitewater or windsurf 20 knot winds or hike through quicksand in the hot stinkin’ desert to camp at the base of a Navajo ruin. Maybe I can still do these things, but certainly not with the aplomb of my 30’s. And some things I may not need or wish to try again.

My husband was talking with one of his compadres about things his friend could no longer do and how sad that was. Dewitt rejoined with, "Yes but I look at the gnarly ski hill with the black diamond and realize with gratitude that I don’t ever have to ski those moguls again." Yep, there’s a snow white pony in there somewhere. I think I’ll name it "Acceptance."

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5 Responses to Menopausal Snow Fall

  1. Anne Wheeler September 23, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    I love "the white pony of acceptance"!! You have joined what I call the "rotator cuff club". My husband and I are both members, having had bike accidents. You will get better w/ time and physical therapy and ibuprofen, but it will never let you forget entirely! We start to wear out our joints and tendons and cartilage etc, but we still have to keep moving. Good for us! (and thank god for orthopedic surgery, when the time comes).

  2. Patti September 23, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    It is so true how the mind still thinks we are so young and can do anything we set out to do. Of course I am still not listening to my body telling me I am getting to old to keep up with the young so I still getting my butt to the gym every day and up early on Saturday mornings to meet the group for a long run. Last Saturday it seems I did not lift my feet up enough and clip a small rock. Down I went and completed a full sommersault bounce back up and continued on my run. I manage to complete 8 miles that morning and have the purpleist bruise on my butt as another trophy of my accomplishments. So it is a matter of how you look at your injuries it could be a sign of getting old or a sign of what you can accomplish. Come to think of it I never could run a mile when I was young. Take care of yourself

  3. Theresa September 23, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    You know, as I read your blog, I realized something. Once upon a time, a good deal of the adventures I took on were truthfully, not because I had a hankering to do so, but because I felt I had to prove that I could do so. Does that make sense? I remember the day when, upon finishing a day of downhill skiing, I realized that the best part of the day was the telling of the story – not the actual doing. It was then and there that I realized I truly did not enjoy downhill skiing and would not be doing it again, ever – because I didn’t care to do it ever again. And you know what – this realization makes me smile. And smile no broke the face.

  4. Betty Zahler September 23, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    So glad Lynette, you are on the road to recovery. Really amazing, how we believe that mentally we are still young and invincible! As always, my mind says yes, while the body says …. are you kidding?! Actually, i have found that if i go at a snail,s pace, can manage difficult endeavors. Yay, for patience and fortitude for us old Venuses.

  5. anita September 23, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    Oh…I so agree. We have so much freedom and nothing to prove:)

    Anita from Cool-jams

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