Saturday, January 22, 2011

A new stage....let the spotlight shine

Recently my body caused me to cart it to the doctor's office. 

Specifically the OB/GYN. 

I no longer use the OB part, but hoped that the GYN portion would open up secrets my body was keeping from me. 

I am not silly enough to think that this 53 year old body is at all youthful.  The hot flashes I have been experiencing for the better part of a year now have made sure I did not forget my advancing years.  When the blood work came back and the sweet, 12 year old nurse called me with the results, I wasn't exactly stunned and yet I wasn't sure what I was hearing. 

"Well, Mrs. 53 year old," she said in her young, high pitched voice, "the tests show that you are definitely post menopausal."

"Okay," I replied.  "What does that mean?"

"That your done with menopause," she said.  I could actually hear her smiling. 

Probably thinking she would never experience this.  And if she did, she wouldn't sound as confused as I did.

"What else?" I questioned. 

Now she was confused and she offered to return me to the scheduling desk so that I could make an appointment with the doctor.  Apparently my question was too large for her to answer.

So I did what most of us do when faced with a question we need an answer to ~~~

I consulted the oracle.


Post-menopause basically means a cessation of menses.  Well, duh.  I knew that.  But what does that mean for me. 

Obviously, I'm not having any more children.   

I seem to be worth my weight in sweat.

And my belly is almost, but not quite, big enough for it's own zip code.

But I guess being post menopausal means having more freedoms than I thought I had. 

I no longer have to worry about carrying "anti shark" equipment with me for fear that the now non-existent menses would show up at the most inopportune times.

I don't have to worry about getting pregnant.  Actually, I had that taken care of 25 years ago.  But now it's really engraved in stone.

But it is also a jewel in my old age crown.  A sign that there are enough years under my belt, if I actually could wear a belt, that I have some wisdom. 

Wisdom that comes from a longer time on this earth than the sweet 12 year old nurse that called me.  I know some things she doesn't.  In fact, things that can change lives. For example ~

 *  Let a roast rest after coming out of the oven for at least 20 to 30 minutes before cutting it.  Thus keeping
     the juices intact.

*  If you walk into a hospital or courtroom look as if you know what you are doing, more than likely, no one
    will bother you.  You might even get asked for information because you look like you belong there.

*  Too much sun will actually give you brown marks on your face and hands.  No matter how much you
     believe it won't.

*  And best of all,
          That if you manage to stay through the hard times of marriage with your partner, it really is worth it in
           the end.

So, after the diagnosis....which was slightly anti-climatic....I wrote down some of my thoughts and before I knew it, I had a poem of sorts. 

Post-Menopause! what crap is that?
It feels like I should pass around a hat
collecting hormones from passersby
before I absolutely lose my mind.

Sweating and bloating and lack of sleep
is making me think about taking a leap ~
not off a bridge or a third story ledge,
but back to my 20's or 30's instead.

When small children held my
attention and hand.
And when getting my period
didn't feel so grand.

But that was nothing compared
to these hellish night sweats,
and days where there's
nothing I don't seem to forget.

The child bearing days
are behind me now,
and nursing babies until I felt like a cow.

The days ahead glisten
like the sweat on my face.
And I find that I'm running life
at a much slower pace.

So with more yesterdays than tomorrows on the horizon of my life,
I'll do what I can to put away strife,
and focus on my hubby and family and me,
and remember that menopause ~
has allowed me to be free.


  1. ;-) I'm so thankful to know you! I love how you always look for the silver lining and how you can find some light-heartedness in the situations that life brings to us. I love how you are able to write... the words and descriptions and associations you make to paint a picture have always drawn me in!
    Love you!

  2. Nice, Joe. I love how you take a stage of life and add a dash of humor to make it a more pleasurable dish. Words are so freeing and I am glad that it helped you swim through some confusing results.

  3. What a fantastic post! Got here cause you just started following my Beautiful World blog.
    I spend a lot of time telling women about the menopause cause they are freaked out about feeling bonkers and no-one can tell them about it till they've done it. So another thing on your list is being an old enough therapist to now be a wise old crone!

  4. Thanks for the compliment Fire Byrd. Wise old crone indeed. We definitely can be an oracle of sorts to those around us who need to know what the doctors cannot tell us....

  5. I found your site through Lolliegaggin and as a fellow writer, a woman, I enjoyed reading your posts, the humor as well as poignancy. You have a nice way of stating without pulling the reader down into romantic mush. I am not having those sweats yet, but thanks for paving the way- that you can have a whole new focus when those childbearing years are over.