Archive for April, 2011

By Shannon Penrod

My whole life I have wondered why we have not already had a female president, now at the age of 48, in between hot flashes, I suddenly get it.  I wouldn’t put me in charge of the free world right now either.  I thought PMS was bad.  No one told me that menopause comes with UMS – Ugly Mood Swings.  Thank goodness I’m too tired to yell at all the people I would like to yell at.  My exhaustion is God’s little gift to humanity.

Everybody tells me it will be over before I know it.  This is not helpful.  The truth is, I started perimenopause over a decade ago.  Then I gave birth to my son at 40.  I remember the doctor handing me my baby and congratulating me on the fact that I had just set my menopause back 10 years.  Did I mention he was a man? He smiled at me in that patronising way that says, “I have no idea what I’m talking about but I’m still going to charge you as much as if I did.”

I don’t even like the word menopause.  Pause? There’s no pause!  The meno is supposed to stop!  That’s supposed to be the good thing that comes out of this, RIGHT?  Now if they wanted to call it MENTALpause, that would make sense!  All of a sudden I can’t remember anything.  Now I know why my mother walked into rooms and said, “I don’t remember what I came in here for.”  It was MENTALpause!

I feel like I’m on that ride at the amusement park that your friend talks you into getting on even though you can’t visually see what the ride actually does…I have no idea whether I’m about to flipped upside down or if I’ve already survived the worst of it.

My ancient cardiologist doesn’t refer to it as menopause…he calls it “The Seasons”.  He says to me, “Oh, you’re experiencing the seasons.”  This makes more sense to me.  It is a change of seasons.  Some days the weather is hot, some days it’s cold while it figures out what season it truly is.  This explains why I keep taking clothes off and on like I’m a stripper looking for work in a recession. It also give me peace that even though I am always sad to see one season go there is always something about the new season to look forward to.  I’ve never been great at transitions, but I’ve survived a lot of season changes.  Chances are I’ll survive this too, let’s hope the same can be said for my poor husband!

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