Saturday, August 27, 2011

First menopausal moment

     The dictionary defines menopause as "The period of cessation of menstruation, occurring usually between the ages of 45 and 50. Also called "change of life."
     The problem with this definition is that it doesn't define the meaning of "change of life." No one tells you how long menopause lasts---doctors politely tell you that if you're experiencing some of the symptoms, you are merely pre-menopausal. Nor do they tell you how long this period of hell can last.
     My so-called symptoms started a week after my 40th birthday when I woke five pounds heavier. No, I did not binge on Krispy Kreme donuts or Papa John's pizza. I ate normally and excercised regularly, but over the years the weight kept piling on.
     There were other little signs of a mid-life invasion: waking more frequently at night to pee, body aches, irregular periods, constipation, fatigue and general crabbiness (just ask my family).
     Rather than calling it a "change of life" (this sounds like a gentle transition from one happy place to another, which it is NOT ), the experts should call it the SUCKY PHASE of your life that you just have to tough out until you're too old to notice or care.
     Who came up with the name menopause in the first place? Men? They have nothing to do with this---except maybe the part about dealing with their wife's rapid hormone changes. Sort of like living with a Jekyl and Hyde spouse.  Men-o-pause is not a happy word like barrel-o-beer or bucket-o-shrimp. Men do not "pause" for anything. This awful phase in life should be called "womenopause", because every woman deserves a big pause from life  when they are going through these symptoms. If younger women can get away with irratic behavior due to PMSing, then we older women deserve a break for sudden, verbal outbursts and tears, high electric bills (is it warm in here or is the earth suddenly closer to the sun?) and a monthly budget blown on diet aids and gym memberships.
     What about increased dental bills? The doctors didn't warn me about that when they told me I was premenopausal. The surfaces of my teeth began eroding in my early forties. Don't get me wrong---I have nice teeth (thanks mom and dad for all that dental work in the 1970's) and am religious about their upkeep. But sometime in my forties, things in my mouth started going South. Next thing I knew, I needed crowns, gum work, a few root canals and God forbid, a mouth guard. Now there's something for my husband to see every night. Nothing like going to bed with a linebacker. I always thought I was the lone wolf sporting a clear appliance across my teeth after the sun went down. But lo and behold, there are others out there who share my pain. Middle-aged women going through menopause and the stress of everyday life. We suppress the hormones raging inside us by clamping our jaws tight, thus causing teeth to crack. We even grind our teeth in our sleep, which wears down the enamel. Dentist see it in middle-aged women all of the time, which explains why there are so many female linebackers crawling into bed each night next to befuddled husbands.
     This is our way of life. Welcome to menopause!


  1. Oh, Marcia - how true this is. Especially about the body temperature surges, which are making me CRAZY! But yes, mood swings suck, although I haven't had the dental issues. I have struggled with the weight issue, though. Keep sharing - I love this!

  2. Thank you os much. Please share with your friends. There is a lot more to come.

  3. Men pause just long enough to have a midlife crisis and hang out with 25 year old women. Then they won't shut up, so we go back to comfort food. If they will have us.

    As I get older I have noticed how hotter some of my teenage daugters' friends MOTHERS have gotten.

    As I think it through - it isnt fair women have all these raging and subsiding hormones that fuel their emotions. Men only have two emotional states: 1. Hungry 2. Horny

    I have a motto that the simplifies things for the women in my life - "if I don't have an erection, get me a sandwich!"

    See - I'm willing to be reasonable...

  4. Every woman goes through this phase of life called menopause. It's important for her to handle her emotions properly every time she feels her temper rising up or when she feels down. The people around her should also understand the changes she is going through. It's about accepting and understanding her.

  5. Right on, Jennifer! Menopause is another big change in a woman’s life, when we they reached a certain age. A lot of changes are going on in their bodies, like bloating, hormonal changes that lead to irritation and sleepiness, and body transformation. It would be best if the people around would be kind and sympathetic enough on what these women have to go through. But I wonder what if the term “womenopause” would be use for this phase? Well, I think this term will give this phase a whole new lot of meaning!

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