Thursday, March 12, 2009

Menopause

A comment on my previous post has caused me to ponder... Why is it menoPAUSE? Does this mean it is coming back? Shouldn't it be menoCEASE? I entered peri-menopause at a fairly young age (mid 30's) and it lasted almost 15 years. That is a long time to be a bitch to everyone. After suffering about 5 years of wild mood swings, weight gain, and just being miserable I went to a new doctor (didn't really have a choice, we moved). When I filled out the requisite paperwork that included questions about my health, etc. One question asked if I ever felt suicidal. I marked through it and wrote in homicidal (I have a bizarre sense of humor, I've been told). I didn't think I would get questioned about it, after all I was there for a pap smear, not a psych evaluation. The doctor sees you before you are put into the flimsy paper gown in this practice, much to my surprise. A tall silver haired gentleman with the biggest hands I had ever seen in my life entered the room and introduced himself ( couldn't stop looking at those hands, given my reason for being there). He began to question my mental state and was curious about who I wanted to kill. I told him that first in line would be my husband, then my kids, then co-workers and I was pretty sure in a few minutes, him. He asked about my mood swings, headaches,etc and how long I had been experiencing these symptoms (symptoms, I think, I just thought I was turning into my mother and that is a whole other story). He ordered some blood work and told me that he was pretty sure that I was experiencing peri-menopause (experiencing, indeed). At this time I informed him that I had decided to bypass all this, wasn't it enough that I had birthed 5 children? He was amused and told me that men also had their cross to bear with aging. "Like what?" I queried. "Well, we will talk after you have endured a prostate exam." was his comeback. "Endured? It lasts maybe a minute. No, we will talk after you have endured some 10-20 hours of labor before you squeeze out a nine lb. baby!" I said. "You win." was his reply. Then he wrote a script for me. Zoloft. It didn't make anything go away, just made it bearable. I have since changed to another drug in the same family. I ran out not long ago and while I was waiting for my mail order pharmacy to fill it, I started taking it every other day to make it last until my new bottle arrived. If I had any doubts that it was helping, they are gone now. I take them at bedtime and on that second day around noon I could really tell that I needed it---so could love of my life, although he chose to wait and share this with me after I was back on my daily dose. All this to say that this had better not be some kind of demented joke and it really is "pause" after all. I don't know of anyone in my family who went through a natural menopause (that word again). In the deep south it seems hysterectomies are quite common. One abnormal pap smear and out with all the child bearing equipment. Just me pondering the absurdities of life.........

2 comments:

CQA said...

I hear you, sister! No one tells you, no one truly preps you for this journey. But fairly enough, would we believe them?
Love the line about becoming your mother....so, so true!

Lover of Life said...

I am so sick of MENOPAUSE! Why can't I just take a ZEN attitude? I wonder - how long does it last? I, mean, really, how LONG does it last? I'm now in my 6th year of hot flashes, mood swings, etc. etc. Arghh

One thing I keep in mind though - if I am still having all the symptoms it means I still have some estrogen - and less wrinkles. Any port in a storm.