In my thirties, I never thought about aging. I took for granted that I’d be youthful, toned and moist my entire life. Before I officially entered menopause, I thought the most I had to look forward to was, you know, vaginal dryness. That’s enough to cheer up any gal! Little did I know the other symptoms would be life-altering, to say the least.
My mother never complained about menopause. She also had a child on Halloween and went back to work before even eaten all of our Halloween candy! I come from strong/crazy stock. I am not one of those women who suffer in silence. I’ve been known to yell “Hot Flash!” the very moment I start to swelter. This could be at work, church or grocery shopping. I have fanned myself with gossip magazines, church bulletins, and ads for the big blue pill. If it’s nearby, I will confiscate it and turn it into a fan.
The memory loss has been most debilitating for me. I now carry a notebook in my bra to write things down. It works well unless I have a hot flash. Then I end up with a bunch of smeared papers and blue ink on my breasts.
I have no memory of a single important fact. I can, however, tell you that peanut butter is on sale and I know the names of my dogs. Last week my husband walked in and I told him he looked vaguely familiar. He offered to re-introduce himself to me. I told him I didn’t like fresh men. He said, “Oh yes you do!” I couldn’t remember. He did have a nice smile though.
Passwords are a nightmare for me. I had to get very basic, yet creative.
My bank account is now “Where’s my damn money?”
My physician’s office is, “Eat More. Be Happy.”
Gynecologist office: “Get out of there NOW.”
My pin numbers for my debit card is 5678 because it sounds like a dance routine. I even do a little dance when I punch in 5678. If you snap your fingers it has a real nice beat to it. This is also my idea of exercise.
Sleeping has been a challenge. I sleep under a ceiling fan with the A/C cranked real low. At precisely 2 a.m. my husband rolls over yelling, “For the love! You’re burning my skin again.” Big sissy!
At precisely 2:30 a.m. I go into a deep chill freeze. I have condensation all over this poor body of mine. With all the shivering, you’d think I’d shake off a few pounds. That has yet to happen, but I am ever hopeful.
Which bring me to my biggest malady. Where did this belly come from? I never had a belly. I had hip bones that stuck out like fish bones. Now it looks like I swallowed a fishing boat.
I have tried being nice to it, “Good morning, Big Belly. I love you.” I do some effleurage and stroke it calmly. It knows I’m lying. It seems I have a big intelligent belly with a high emotional IQ. She weeps until I feed her cinnamon buns. Poor Belly!
I am convinced there will be a new miracle treatment for women in this stage soon. I suggest it be in the form of a chocolate martini with some ginko sprinkled on top, a splash of fiber and a mild sedative. I want to keep my emotionally intelligent belly sedated for as long as possible.
To all my fellow late bloomers…. Happy Hot Flash, Big Belly, No Memory Day! Did I forget anything?