My hormones called – they want to set an appointment to rip your head off…
Ahhh, MENOPAUSE – the very word conjures up images of The Exorcist but the reality is that Menopause is only the destination. It’s what happens before (perimenopause) that nightmares are made of.
Menopause is not a disease but rather the point in a woman’s life when she is no longer fertile and her menstrual periods have ceased. (the destination)
The journey to the “ultimate destination” is fraught with a dizzying array of symptoms that makes it impossible to celebrate the moment when we exchange what was once deemed The Mecca For All Things Miraculous for a dry and barren wasteland. If you are lucky enough to have survived with your libido intact, you will need copious amounts of lube just so that it doesn’t feel like you are having sex using a sandpaper condom.
Through this journey, you will trade in your once svelte figure which cost you hour upon hour at the gym for the middle age spread. You will gain weight simply by breathing and without the pleasure of overindulgence. You’d think that little extra weight would add a certain fullness to your sagging breasts but now you look more like Jabba the Hutt than Barbie. Your skin will be devoid of moisture no matter how much lotion you apply and it feels like there are a hundred cockroaches crawling over it.
There are no words that can actually describe a Hot Flash to someone who has never experienced it. Some women politely describe them as “Power Surges” but it really feels more like being possessed by a demon and incinerated alive. Your partner will need to take a flotation device to bed to keep him from drowning in the tidal wave of sweat caused by your hot flash/night sweats which incidentally ruin your sleep for the rest of the night. No matter, 3 AM has become the most productive part of your day.
Your once sharp mind turns to mush…you can’t remember what you did 5 minutes ago never mind last week or month. You will find yourself in the middle of a conversation struggling to find the word you’re looking for leaving an uncomfortable, gaping silence. Your home and office will be decorated in Post It notes – but with the new colours inspired by cities around the world, there is a Post It note to match any decor. When you are finished with the notes, you can make a fleet Origami Taxis.
Your mild mannered, even keeled demeanor has been replaced by what some might describe as the devil incarnate. You used to be so tolerant of other people’s stupidity but now, you just want to smash their face in. The smallest thing, like finding out that someone has eaten the last cookie (which you didn’t need anyway – see: loss of svelte figure), the one you have been coveting all day, throws you in to a fit of uncontrollable rage.
And then there’s the unwarranted tears – you’ve always been emotional; crying at weddings, funerals and the movies – you know, appropriate places. But now, you feel the tears prickle behind your eyes when the barista at Starbucks offers you a pour over because there is no brewed coffee. WTF??? It’s coffee! To people who used to think you were the strongest woman on earth, you now appear fragile and unstable.
But as I travel the road toward the “ultimate destination”, I will endeavour to do so with the grace and style of Jackie O, while fending off the urge to rip your face off. And as you start your journey and manage to make it through this day, take heart – you only have on average, another 1459 to go….