We were having a bit of a catch up, a friend and I, over lunch the other day. It had been a long time. The emails, birthday and christmas cards and occasional phone call allowed us to keep in touch in a superficial way, this time we got down to the nitty gritty of our life changes. And it's not always pretty. My friend described how she can change into a "shrew" at the drop of a hat, or a glance. Her temper can flare up like a light switch, without a dimmer. One of my greatest fears was that my moodiness, depressive periods and irritability would only increase. And would I notice? Instead, I find they have decreased. I am much less irritable and way more placid than I believe I've ever been. Perhaps too calm. Maybe the depression hasn't vanished...
What I have found, is a new understanding of why women of a certain age suddenly have short hair. Who knew your head could sweat so much? And at so many inopportune moments?
I can no longer drink wine without getting a hot flash. So far, caffeine is okay, though I notice I don't crave coffee nearly as much as I used to. Chocolate, of any kind - even a chocolate chip cookie - can give me a headache. It has been about 15 years since I used to get migraines from chocolate, red wine and cheese. This isn't nearly as bad, but it is there, a dull ache and stuffy head.
And whenever I eat spicy foods I discover I get the hiccups. That is new. It doesn't even have to be very spicy, the mildest mango curry, or a hint of chipotle, and the hiccuping starts. Or the indigestion. That one isn't so new.
After lunch we went to the market, where I bought some wonderful bread (basil and parsley sourdough) and some peameal bacon. Because that's what you do when you go to the market.
Now, I've always been more of a "sour" type of person than a "sweet" type. Cut a lemon in half and I will suck the juice out of it like an orange. Yum! Put an eclair in front of me, and I'll eat it out of politeness, but I would never actually ask for anything so rich and sweet. My cravings generally run towards the salt over sugar.
I knocked on my neighbour's door the next night and offered her the rest of the bacon and the luscious sourdough bread that was topped with boulders of rock salt.
Seems I have now developed an oversensitivity to salt. I noticed it with the ready made dinners, and certainly on frozen pizzas, so I stopped buying them, assuming that there was just too much sodium. But I hadn't realized just how sensitive I had become. I could not taste anything of the bacon sandwich except salt.
No more Indian food with a beer to wash it down with (no, really, I haven't had too much to drink). No more side orders of french fries topped with lots of salt and vinegar. And that expensive bag of Mayan Hot Chocolate - the one with chilies - from Soma
? Well, I can't give up everything. Mmm, what a warm up potion after a long walk outside.
Meanwhile, I am entertained with these commercials as companies scramble to make their foods sodium reduced and healthier. You can now order these little 'sidekicks', Salty and Pep (if you live in Canada), presumably in case you want to add, say 10% more salt from the 25% reduced.
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