HRT Diaries – Day Five

Welp, I got my period yesterday.  This is the first time my period has been on time in MONTHS, possibly a year.

Woke up this morning at four with a pain in my lower left side on the front.  I thought it was gas so I got up and went to the bathroom but I didn’t have any gas.  I fell back asleep and when I woke up again with my alarm I felt the pain a bit, but not that bad.

As I was doing my workout, certain moves would aggravate it so I went easy on those.  One move in particular caused and sharp stabbing pain so I stopped doing that all together.

When I laid down to do floor work, I pressed down on the area with my hands and it was definitely tender.  Like, if this had all been on my right side, I would have gone to Urgent Care because it was checking all the boxes for appendicitis.

So I’m pretty sure I have an ovarian cyst.

Do I think that the hormones could have caused one in five days?  Who can say for sure, but I doubt it.  Either way, I’ll watch it and see.

I’m not sleeping great.  I’m having a harder time falling asleep than normal, but once I get there I’m usually okay until three.  That’s been the time I wake up for no reason, but that’s nothing new.  That’s been happening for about a year now.

It’s hard to judge anything right now because of my period.  Once that goes away I’ll evaluate again and post more, but I wanted to just make an update.

HRT Diaries – Day Three

Welp, I was an emotional wreck this morning at the slightest inconvenience at work.

I had two unexpected things fall into my lap that would have disrupted what I had on my schedule today and they were fairly urgent things so I would have been rushed on them(something I despise on a good day).

I panicked and dissolved into tears, berating myself for starting the hormones when I would need to keep my wits about me and clearly couldn’t.

About ten minutes later, both issues resolved themselves without my help and I was mortified at how severely I had overreacted and fell apart.

Again, I’m still not 100 percent sure this isn’t just PMS because that is how bad it gets in peri menopause for me, but it could be a bit of both.

I took some Theanine and I was better the rest of the day but I wasn’t faced with anymore challenges either.

Again, my workout was amazingly good today. Felt great doing it and would have kept going if I had time.

I have not been sleeping well. Well, I sleep okay when I get there, but it seems falling asleep isn’t as easy as it has been.

For reference, I am taking estrogen and progesterone at night before bed and then DHEA in the morning as I get out of bed.

HRT – The Journey Begins

I know it’s been a minute since I updated with anything of substance.  This could pretty much just be a travel blog at this point, and not a very good one as I never seem to finish my trip reports.

However, I think this is the appropriate place to track my progress on my Hormone Replacement Therapy journal.  I debated putting this on my weight loss blog, because I talk a lot about my menopause struggles on my Youtube channel, but it just didn’t seem to fit there so here we are.

Besides, I journaled about by withdrawal from anti-depressants here so this seems to follow in that theme.

So I’ve been struggling with Peri-menopause for quite some time.  Longer than I think I knew about because no one tells you this shit when you hit your mid 30’s into your 40’s and you  just think you are slowly losing your mind.

I shudder to think about how women got by 20 or even 10 years ago with no real knowledge of what was happening to their own bodies and minds.  At least now we have social media that, despite all of it’s shortcomings, has been a great help to me as far as identifying what is going on with me.

I fought hormone therapy for a very long time because my old boss (a holistic type doctor) had nothing but bad things to say about it, but now I feel the time has come to at least give it a shot.

A couple months ago I googled bioidentical hormones and I was brought to a website where they provide you with essentially a teledoc visit in the form of a questionnaire and then prescribe you some bioidentical hormones from there.

I got those hormones two months ago and have been too scared to try them until now.

Mostly because everything I have been reading says they will cause major bloating and I had two vacations I wanted to go on where I wanted to wear a bathing suit and I’m vain as fuck so there’s that.

I took my first dose on Friday night and it is now Sunday afternoon.

Too soon to tell I’m sure but I *did* notice that my workouts both yesterday and today went REALLY well.  Like, I felt fantastic during and after the exercise (I’m paying for it now as I’m sore as hell).

I was thinking that I felt slightly less moody yesterday.  Definitely more productive as I cleaned my house (had to, the nephews are coming) and got a lot of shit done that I’ve been putting off.  Moreover, I didn’t have that feeling of being overwhelmed by the thought of doing those said things when they would pop into my brain.

The better mood didn’t stick however as I’ve been cranky as fuck today, but I’m also due to start my period (meaning I SHOULD start my period in less than a week but I’ll actually start it anywhere from two weeks later while still have the raging PMS the whole time until it starts).  Like, I went to start this post only to see that I never finished my England Trip Report so I started to do that only to get so incredibly pissed off at my slow ass internet that I wanted to chuck my laptop out the window.  *Sigh*

One other thing to note is that I have a slightly upset stomach currently and I rarely get those…

Anyhoo, we will see how it goes, but I wanted to set this up as a place to chronicle my journey and see how it goes.  Wish me luck.

ETA 6:52 pm

Felt uncomfortable all afternoon. Both physically and mentally. Had mild stomach pains and anxiety for the first time in a while.

Total opposite of how I felt yesterday. Not productive and feeling pretty ick.

Dreading going into work tomorrow and all I can think of is my vacation that’s almost two months away.

Feel bloated but I can’t tell if that’s real, the food I ate, or psychosomatic.

Day Seven England Trip Report

Thursday we woke up in time to catch the tube to Kings Cross again as we had a Harry Potter themed walking tour to meet there at Platform 9 3/4.

When we booked this trip I had originally wanted to do the HP Warner Brothers thing but like an idiot I slept on getting the tickets.

I have this thing with travel plans where I get very gung ho at first and then anxiety sets in and I kind of shut down and don’t want to do any planning anymore until a certain point when the trip is almost upon us and then I get into high gear planning mode again. It’s stupid and I hate it, but I haven’t figured out how to fix my brain about it yet.

At any rate that’s what happened with the Warner Brothers thing. I figured it would kind of be like Disney and tickets would always be available but by the time I tried to get some, they were completely sold out for the entire time we were going to be there.

I was really bummed about it but only had myself to blame. The walking tour was a poor man’s substitute for that but it did save us a couple hundred bucks at least.

It was run by a very nice fellow named Richard who led us all around the city looking at filming locations and spots that were inspirations for places in the books.

It was all very enjoyable and I really liked the tour guide. He was super into it and made it all fun and interactive for the whole group.


The tour that I booked came with vouchers for a “magical afternoon tea” but we had to tube it across town to get there and because the tour ran a bit long we ended up being late.

It was still very cute and enjoyable, but we didn’t get the whole experience. However it was honestly geared more towards children so I don’t think we missed too much. The tea treats were all quite yummy at any rate.



It had been a very busy day so we were glad to get back to the hotel.

Rob started to feel crummy again so I offered to go get some take out for us for dinner.

We had both been wanting to try the pub across the street, and with all the walking we had done that day we felt justified in some pub food so I headed over to see if I could get some take out. I checked in the pub but they didn’t do take out.

I searched up and down the block for pubs and found some but when I checked their google pages before going in, none seemed to offer takeaway so I texted Rob who sensed my frustration and said he wanted Chinese from that place down from our hotel again so I went back and picked it up.

That place had been super sweet to him the night we had picked up the food before and they were again to me when I got this round of take out. We ended up eating from there again the next morning when Rob wanted fried rice just because they are the type of really friendly small business we like to show our appreciation to and the food was really yummy. If you happen to be near Kilburn Street, I highly recommend them: Flaming Wok & Grill.

After eating my weight in noodles, rice and chicken it was time to call it a night.

Day Six – London Zoo and Palladium Show

Wednesday morning we had tickets to the London Zoo but Rob couldn’t shake a headache and was generally feeling a bit run down. We figured it was from all the activity yesterday and the fact that the weather couldn’t decide if it wanted to be rainy and humid or sunny and frigid since we had arrived.

We had already talked the previous night and had determined that since it had been such a full day the day before that we wouldn’t be heartbroken if we skipped the zoo in favor of sleeping in.

I decided to go solo because I didn’t want to waste both the tickets and I was feeling fine. Plus we had been together 24/7 for several days so a little time to ourselves might not be such a bad thing really. Rob was all for it because as I mentioned before, he is reasonable and frugal and me going without him appealed to both of those aspects of his personality.










I enjoyed it as it was cute but it was a lot of ground to cover. I didn’t get to see all of it but I got to see most of the things I had wanted to before I had to get back because that night was the second Europe concert of the trip.

Rob was feeling much better when I got back so we got ready and headed out. We were a little early for the soundcheck so we walked around a bit. The show that night was at the Palladium and that was right next to Carnaby Street which Rob said used to be really big in the punk rock scene in the 80’s. It had definitely changed a bit since then. It was like the low end of high end shops and just trying to hard to be trendy in my opinion, but it was a cool place to walk around to kill some time.










We spotted the Europe truck at the back of the venue and Rob was fascinated by it because he is big into RC Cars and apparently he and his dad had just built one very similar for his pops. He said now that he might make one of his own and design the outside like this truck (which was his way of saying that since it had a Europe theme, I couldn’t really argue with it right?).



We stopped at a Costa coffee shop for a couple of lattes and then it was off to the soundcheck.







This soundcheck had a different vibe. First of all it was a rowdier crowd. There was nothing wrong with that, except I felt that they were trying way too hard to get the bands attention and it came off as kind of obnoxious.

We were told to sit in our assigned seats instead of being allowed to crowd the stage like in Manchester.

I understand why because the front row seats were practically right next to the stage but it just created a different vibe. I felt like the band wasn’t trying as hard to talk to us and that might well be because a lot of the people were more outgoing than the last batch and were already engaging them.

Either way it was a different energy and no real singing with the band. It was still very enjoyable though and I had a good time watching them.

After we grabbed some really good curry udon and a little shop near the venue before coming back from the concert.

The show was amazing and I was so happy I chose that show as it was John Leven’s (bass player) 60th birthday that night (didn’t realize that when I booked the tickets) and they wheeled a cake and champagne out and we all sang happy birthday to him. It was really cool and I was thrilled to be a part of it even in the tiniest capacity.

I had so much fun and was really sad when it was over. It hit me that night as I was trying to get to sleep that the Europe portion of the trip was now over. I had been anticipating it for so long, I gotta admit I got a little teary eyed knowing it was all done and I no longer had it to look forward to.

Don’t get me wrong, I am 100% over the moon glad that I had the opportunity and the means to pull off this trip to see not just one but two shows. I had the moment of a lifetime in my opinion to get to sing with the band, however short lived it was, and I will be forever grateful for that. It’s just a little bit of a letdown when I put so much of myself into the expectation of this trip and the concerts, to have them be over and know that I may not ever see the band live again.

But I knew that I couldn’t dwell on that because we had two more full days left and more fun was still to be had.

Concert pics in the next post.

England Trip Report Day Five – Tourist Day!

The next day was our planned tourist day. Remember earlier in the report when I mentioned our friend that used to live in Manchester? Well her daughter still lived in the UK (Reading, I believe).

The last time either of us had seen Jodie she was a sassy 13 year old. She was now a sassy full grown adult. We’ve been friends on facebook for years though we hadn’t really kept in touch so it was nice that when we reached out about seeing her that she was all for it.

She and her wife Claire met us at the King’s Cross Station and we were off on the tube for adventures.

We hit Camden Market and had a Yorkshire Burrito which I had seen online and had to try.

Where Rob and I each picked up a pair of Docs.

Before heading out to find the aforementioned Yorkshire Burrito.

Then it was on to Borough Market, where we all regretted filling up on the burritos because there were so many yummy food options.

And then on to London Bridge.

And then even more walking until …

It was time to take an Uber boat up the Thames!

They also took us to Harrods which was impressive but depressing if you aren’t rich. 


At that point the Yorkshire Burrito had worn off with all our travels and we were feeling pretty hungry. Jodie remembered a little Italian place nearby that she had eaten at once that had carbonara that brought tears to her eyes it was so good. She could not undersell this point. She wanted that carbonara again, very badly. We were agreeable so we set off in search of this restaurant that she couldn’t remember the name of nor the coordinates.

We walked and talked and walked and walked some more. It was not unenjoyable because Jodie and Claire were really great people and I’m so glad that we were able to reconnect with Jodes and meet her lovely wife. If they lived closer we would definitely hang out on a regular basis and have already started making plans for their visit to the US (they want to visit San Fran and Vegas for sure). However, as we walked on, it became dark and when we hit a part of town that didn’t appear to have any kind of restaurants at all I started to get a bit cranky.

It was getting late and we had tickets for the London Zoo at ten the next morning that would no doubt involve a lot more walking. My watch told me that we had already walked almost nine miles that day so I was feeling like we were never going to find food or be able to go home.

After another half an hour or so we finally hit another patch of civilization and low and behold the Italian place was just there up ahead like a shining beacon of light. In case anyone is interested and doesn’t want to spend all night searching for a nameless restaurant like we did, it was called Foubert’s. You’re welcome.

Given her recommendation, I’m not sure why I didn’t get the carbonara, but I opted for tortellini instead, but I did try Jodes’ and it was pretty delicious. Rob got Lasagna and Claire got the carbonara as well. No pics because we were absolutely famished and inhaled everything (also my phone was at about 10% due to all the tourist pics I had taken over the course of the day so I was using it as little as possible in case we needed it on the way home).

Fat and happy, we paid the bill and headed back out to find that there was an underground entrance right around the corner. Huzzah!

We rode the tube as far as we could together and then bid them ado with promises to stay in touch and plan their US outing and then Rob and I hopped on our train back to the hotel.

It was a wonderful but absolutely exhausting day and we were so glad to get to the hotel to out our pjs on and get some sleep.

England Trip Report Day Four

Up in the morning we caught the free breakfast buffet at the hotel which was pretty good and then we packed up and headed out, catching the three hour train back to London, after a quick trip to the Pasty Shop.

The scenery in Manchester reminds me a lot of the town I grew up in in Maine.

It was on the train ride home that I reached a decision. I’d been wanting the Europe E logo as a tattoo for quite some time but never really had the occasion. I thought about getting it done at home before the show but I never got around to it and now I’m glad I didn’t. It just made so much sense to get it now, while here in England since the night prior had been so amazing.

Back at our home base hotel I told my husband that was what I wanted to do. He’d never been 100% sold on getting a band tattooed on my body, but he totally understood the significance of it and agreed that this was the best time and opportunity to do it.

We both realized it was pretty late in the day and that we probably couldn’t get it done that right then but we wanted to go in person to get a price quote and make an appointment.

We had seen a tattoo shop down the way in our explorations that Saturday so we did some google research on it and deemed it worthy. When we showed up at the tattoo shop they asked if I wanted it right away because they had an artist available and I didn’t hesitate.

Everyone in the shop was amazing and kind. I couldn’t have asked for a better environment for a tattoo shop that we pretty much picked out of a lineup on the street.

We gave the guy the artwork, he drew up the template and away we went.

It took roughly an hour and I passed the time by watching my Europe videos from the night before on my phone. It made the time go quickly and it helped the pain not feel so bad.

I absolutely love it and I’m so glad I did it. (I may retract that statement shortly as it has just hit the super itchy phase today :haha:)

Satisfied with the my decision, we stopped and got fried chicken take away on the way home and called it an early night. I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before and I was drained from all that had been going on.

I can neither confirm nor deny if it was Britain’s tastiest chicken, but it was pretty yummy when your belly was empty and you wanted something comforting.

England Trip Report Day Two & Three

We intended to be up and running by ten the next morning but we ended up sleeping til eleven. Guess we needed it.

Once we both showered it was unbearably hot and humid in the room and we still couldn’t seem to get the air conditioning to work. It was all made worse by the fact that the temperature control on the shower was broken and seemed to be stuck on “fiery pits of hell”. It was the kind of hot and humid that even after you towel off you are immediately drenched again by your own sweat. Not fun.

We decided to buy a fan in our day’s explorations.

We had no real plans on this day by design. It was Saturday and we didn’t want to have to deal with a lot of tourists or crowds. Our thoughts were to just sort of walk up and down the street that we were staying on, grab some lunch and do a little shopping for stuff for the room.

We headed out and walked quite a distance up and down Kilburn St. finally stopping at an adorable pink themed cafe and had a late lunch before heading back in the direction of the hotel.


Since we had been unable to find a fan, I sent Rob back to the room and tried a couple more places to no avail.

Thankfully by the time I got back to the room Rob had gotten the window open and talked to the staff who said they would send a fan up.

The fan never came but Rob “figured out” the air conditioning (I’m not so certain they didn’t just flip a switch downstairs after he complained) and all was well with the world.

I got my clothing more organized and got my bag partially packed for the next day as we were taking the train up to Manchester for the first Europe concert.

Once we felt more squared away and a bit more rested, we headed out to the opposite direction of Kiburn St, looking for dinner options.

We didn’t see a whole lot on that end of the road but there was a cute little Asian place just a few steps from our hotel where we got some Chinese for dinner that night and then I ate waaaaay too many Cadbury chocolates before bed and my heart rate skyrocketed for like two hours (I’m not used to eating sugar like I used to, but damn they were good!).

The next day (Sunday) we were out of the hotel and on the underground a bit earlier than we anticipated thus making us super early for our train to Manchester and I was okay with that. I would rather be early than late.

It was the only full day of sunshine forecasted for our trip and ironically it was the coldest due to the humidity dropping off.

We waited for about an hour and then finally boarded the train where we dozed off and on for about three hours with very little actual sleep.


Milton Keynes, for those in the know is where Europe played in 1989 with some other bands and shocked everyone by having a much heavier sound than they had in the past and also by Joey having straight hair (lol). This was also the first and only (as far as I know) time that Joey and Jon Bon Jovi sang together.

Upon arriving in Manchester it took us a few moments to figure out the Uber situation but once we got it sorted it was a quick ten minute ride to our hotel for the night.

We checked in and I slapped some make up on my face and straightened my hair before we headed out to the venue area to see if we could grab food before the soundcheck. We found a little pizza place and got some very thin crust Burnt Ends pizza. It worked out to be the perfect amount of food. Not too stuffed, but satisfied, we made our way to The Lowry and settled in to wait for the soundcheck.

There was a total of about 25 or so people at the soundcheck so it was very intimate.

The band came out and played four songs. Very low key as they were saving their voices and energy for the concert. They had some light banter with us all and Joey (the lead singer) warned us that he might make us sing.

Sure enough during “More Than Meets The Eye” he made the rounds and would drop down to someone during the chorus and have that person sing two lines.

I started videoing on my phone when I saw him first do this. He stopped in front of this shy girl and she quietly sang her part. I thought it was great fun and he went back to sing another verse. When it came time for the second chorus I saw Joey coming my direction but he has only briefly made eye contact with me so I thought for sure he was going to pass me. In fact he did a sort of fake out move to pass me and then dropped down to one knee directly in front of me and pointed the mic in my face.

I’m not sure how I was able to breathe, let alone sing but I kinda went on auto pilot (thank you community theater training!) and belted my two lines.

He pounded me on the shoulder, smiling, and then he was up and off singing another verse.

I was in shock and trying to act very nonchalant but the reality of it was that a 35 year old dream of mine had just come true. However short of a duration, I had just sung with my favorite band in the world of the last 35+ years!

Joey had looked at me, smiling and encouraging the whole time (all five seconds if it) and I sang to him (at least I think, I pretty much blacked out and don’t remember a thing)!
I realized that I had been videoing the whole time but had dropped my hand when he approached me so all the footage was of his crotch. :haha::kill:

Rob managed to grab a pic at the very end so there is blurry photographic evidence of Joey smiling at me with the mic in my face.

You guys, I cannot express enough how much this meant to me. This may have been the best moment of my life (Just don’t tell my husband, because he thinks that was the day I married him). Like, my inner 14 year old was dying and could never have fathomed that this would ever take place in all her wildest dreams, though she hoped desperately for it. This moment alone made the trip all worthwhile. If we had left right after soundcheck and never even seen the concert or anything else on the trip, I still would have been amazingly happy.

At any rate, Joey did the singing thing for two more people before the song was done and they did one or two more songs after that but I was lost in adrenaline land. I also grabbed a pic that John Norum (guitarist) tossed in my direction when they were all done.

When they were done we were ushered out and told to come back in a a couple hours for the show.

In the lobby one of the other people that sang with the band approached us and he was just as jacked on adrenaline as I was. He caught me dabbing at my eyes with a napkin (which I saved, because shut up!) as I had dissolved into a teary shaking mess as soon as we got out of there.

He told me that I had done a great job and we told him the same. We chatted for a minute and Rob snapped a pic of us together before we headed back to the hotel.

Once there I just kind of sat around in a daze, smiling and laughing randomly as I thought of what had just taken place until it was time to head back to the arena.

The concert was amazing but I knew it would be. I had the best time and our seats were amazing.

Two and a half hours of pure joy and then it was back to the hotel room where I had a very hard time getting to sleep.

I’m going to put the concert pics in the next post as this is getting too long.

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About Me


I am a 50 something married woman living in California.
I enjoy music and traveling, watching crap movies, snuggling with my two adorable dogs and trying to be a good person.

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