Menopause

Drinking as Life Sails On

Cliff and I returned last week from a Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette. We sprang for a room with a veranda.Talk about heaven on Earth water.

I was delighted when our cabin steward delivered a bottle of champagne. How festive and romantic! One afternoon, we popped the cork and settled into our veranda lounge chairs.

I adore champagne. It’s delicious and celebratory, and I love watching the bubbles dance in the glass. And boy, did this champagne have bubbles. Lots and lot of tiny, adorable bubbles.

I’ve noticed in the last year or so that if I drink champagne, I’m awake in the middle of the night. I can feel the bubbles in my veins shouting (not whispering as bubbles should),”We’re gonna get you now. We’re not as cute as you thought we were.”

But somehow, on that veranda overlooking the blue, blue Caribbean, I forgot. It slipped my vacation mind that champagne and I aren’t the buddies we once were.

I drank one glass. Then another.

In my youth, two glasses wouldn’t have been much champagne.

But no matter how bouncy a cruise makes you feel, I’m not a young duck.

That night, hours later, I woke up with a start at 4 AM, dehydrated and physically agitated. We’d booked our first shore excursion the next day. The alarm was set for seven. Bring on the mental agitation. I never did get back to sleep. Ugh.

In general, I can’t drink as much as I used to. That’s good, in a way, since women aren’t supposed to have more than one drink a day. It sure is frustrating though on special occasions.

What about you champagne lovers out there? Anyone else discovered that your bubbly days are over? Any other types of alcohol you can’t tolerate that you once enjoyed?

Here are several articles on alcohol and aging:

FACTS ABOUT ALCOHOL AND AGING–The National Institute on Aging

ALCOHOL AND THE AGING BRAIN–National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

AGE AND ALCOHOL: UNDERSTAND THE EFFECTS OF DRINKING AS YOU GET OLDERDrinkwise

Turns out, Cliff and I were booked Concierge Class. One of the perks was more bottles of free champagne. I said no to all of them. So sad, but at least it made room for more of the ship’s fabulous bread.

Bread

14 thoughts on “Drinking as Life Sails On”

  1. I purely hate this for you. Champagne is a blessing! How are you with mimosas? I used to be fond of them for the morning after, but age and diabetes have other ideas – I talk about drinking far more than I actually do it.

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    1. I have a feeling I’m okay with them if I have them for breakfast. I told Cliff I’ll have to start drinking champagne in the morning. Now that will make for an interesting, effusive life. Might help my painting!

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  2. I can not drink ANY alcohol! Wine, Beer, Spirits, Mixed drinks, and Champagne are all off limits because of their side effects.The last time I had a normal yet still cautious, sip of the bubbly for a toast at a wedding I went into a total body sweat with a migraine looming. I was wearing a vintage gorgeous silk dress and told my husband we had to leave because I was sweating through the lining of the dress. Luckily I had my migraine pill in my purse but…

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  3. I feel your pain. I love a glass of very cold white wine some evenings while I’m cooking dinner. I also typically order a glass when we go out to dinner. Tragically there seems to be a direct correlation to my glass of wine and the quality of sleep I have that night. I have been tracking my sleep with an app for the past few years and have learned a lot from the data that provides. The worst of my hot flashes occur in the wee hours and alcohol seems to fuel that particular fire as well. All this to say it makes me very sad that my small glass of wine comes with lousy side effects. I am planning to try a type of wine called Fit Vine that has less sugar and fewer sulfites. I’m hoping maybe that will allow me to enjoy some wine without paying for it later. Fingers crossed 🙂

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  4. It’s so sad that can’t consume as much champagne as we once could!!!! I love it. At the non-profit I worked for at UNC, the organization provided mimosas every time we got a grant or gift of more than one million dollars (it happened fairly frequently!). I could drink 2 or 3 first thing in the morning and still conduct my usual 10-hour day of work with no problems. I was 52-62 years old then. No more. I’m 73 now and drink only a few sips on special occasions…

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  5. Yeah, it stinks and is unfair that the one a day rule for women doesn’t apply to men. My husband will open a bottle of wine and I get one glass; he’ll have several. I hardly ever have a mixed drink. I find an aspirin/tylenol with lots of water before bed helps with both the headache and dehydration.

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  6. Interesting post! Here’s my story- I enjoyed wine for years. Once my husband retired, we “invented” a daily happy hour. We started liking vodka. My children taught me about bourbon, scotch, and other interesting spirits. It was all delicious and so much fun. Then one day I got to thinking…am I drinking too much? Yes. So I stopped on September 1, 2018. I always enjoyed drinking, no bad effects, and now having stopped, I don’t notice any drastic changes either, except it’s a lot easier to keep the weight off. I just thought that overall, it couldn’t be good for me. I will read the articles you shared. Thanks, Barbara

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      1. Excellent point! And from what I’ve learned- some people can handle occasional drinking just fine and prefer that to abstinence. Other people are like me, I decided it would be too stressful to pick and choose. If I decided to drink once a week/month- which day should it be? What event would be wonderful enough? So, much easier for me to stop- but as I said, for other people, the idea of “never” is stressful. I don’t even think about drinking any more, and I was an enthusiastic and frequent drinker. And we still have a full and splendid bar in our house and I still go to happy hours with friends. People really don’t notice if you are drinking or not. I’ve moved on to other hobbies.

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  7. I’ve been having fun with mocktails, which they say are appearing more and more on bar menus. If I want to go low calorie, I ask for seltzer with a splash of grenadine. Usually, they just charge you a dollar or two.

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