The Pause That Refreshes

Before going any further, I would like to warn my readers of the gentlemen persuasion that this post will deal with Lady Issues.  Don’t be ashamed;  trust me, Boyfriend runs away screaming whenever I bring them up.

When I was ten years old, I received a gift.  A surprise, to be more accurate.  At first I didn’t know what it was;  I knew, however, that it was unwelcome, rather awful, embarrassing and really, what the hell was going on anyway.

My parents were out of town, so mother was not available to clear things up for me.  I was staying with my aunt and uncle, so it was left to my aunt to  explain this ugly onset to me.  When she had paused, I did the only thing a ten-year old girl would do under the circumstances.  I burst into tears.  And for the next 45 years, every month, I’ve done the same thing.

Then, for the past 12 months, things seemed to have stopped.  It was delightful.    But clearly this was something my Lady-Issues Doctor – or my G-Man as I call him – should know.  And this past November, after a blood test, he called me in to inform me that my hormones – those little messengers of hysteria – had basically dried up.  The well was officially empty.

So now I’m taking pills for Hormone Replacement Therapy, because I don’t want to be all brittle and stuff.  I always knew that I would age ungracefully, and with Extreme Prejudice, but this would be the delightful á la mode on life’s dessert tray.  So it’s HRT for me.

So is this Age’s red flag?  Am I enjoying the ironical use of the bloodiest of colors?  Perhaps.  Hence one must take care.  The body has accumulated many epochs, and is therefore tempted to flutter a regretful handkerchief at youth, as our ship slips through the waves, and the child we embraced for so long remains on the dock, waving goodbye.

Oh, twaddle.

The physicality of Age cannot be denied.  It manifests itself in a legion of unwanted ways…and in one way that is welcome.  Hi, Menopause.  I’ve been waiting four decades to make your acquaintance. Want to play fast and loose with my hormone levels?  I have a little pink pill and a little brown one that will set that right.

However, my age does not determine my behavior.  It never has; and it definitely never will.  I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I think it bears repeating, that I will give you my burgundy lipstick when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Because it is called Change of Life; not end of life.





13 responses to “The Pause That Refreshes

  1. I won’t presume to comment on the Lady Issues, but the adverts at the end reminded me of this, which might tickle you. From 1944, it’s Harry ‘Hipster’ Gibson with ‘Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs Murphy’s Ovaltine?”

    (whether Mrs Murphy was having Lady Issues is unstated)

    All the best from the Shoreline

  2. I was ever so delighted to say goodbye to my uterus and ovaries 10 years ago. Bubye suckahs!!! Never to plague me again. Bahaha. I said I would have a sanitary napkin bonfire to celebrate, but, alas, never got around to it.

    I, too, take HRT, having the good fortune to have a doc who says it won’t hurt me, and he believes to be actually be beneficial.

    Welcome to this age, Aubrey. It’s a wonderful one!

    • I find that all the “creative” energy that my body channeled into my cycles is now freed up and available for other things. HRT scares me a bit, even though I’d like to go back on it. My preferred method (Estring) is no longer covered by insurance, and it’s all I really need. (Those of us with missing parts have it easier, on the whole.)

      I do understand the relief, Aubrey! Enjoy your new freedom from the whole reproductive cycle, but do make sure to get that calcium into your system.

  3. Congratulations! I am on the other side as well (passed the one-year milestone within the past couple of weeks), and wondering what to do with my residual tampon supply.

    • Those were going in the bonfire I never had, too. I guess my daughter and DIL must have used them. lol.

      • There’s something very right about them getting used by the next generation! I’m wondering if they could be repurposed, remembering an episode of Sex and the City when a tampon was used to staunch a man’s bleeding nose.

  4. I can’t wait for menopause but infortunately it doesn’t appear to be on the near horizon for me – my body seems to think that even in my 50’s I might like another baby. Hopefully – surely by 55 it’ll give up hope.

    I was home alone when my first period arrived – my parents were overseas and we lived out on a farm so no shops around so I went rummaging through my mothers drawers and all I could find were some pads that looked to be the size of surfboards and a packet of super tampons. Ouch!!

  5. It is a HUGE relief to be done with the Red Tide, isn’t it? In the years prior to menopause, my periods became so heavy I couldn’t control them with even an ultra-strong tampon and a pad. My doctor put me on iron pills during that time after I complained of feeling dizzy and faint when my period started. When it suddenly stopped one month, I was delighted. And suspicious: are you really gone, Red Tide? You aren’t trying to pull something on me, eh?

    But like Homebody, I’m now trying to decide what to do with the leftover tampons in my bathroom cabinet. My son mentioned that homeless shelters for women will take them, so I may try that.

  6. It would be interesting to compare facts of life experiences with other gals, right? I was under the impression, at 10 or 11 years old, that girls started their “womanhood” at exactly 16 years old. When mine began at 12, I was pissed. And yeah, I wasn’t stocked with the right stuff in the medicine cabinet!

  7. It was surgery that finished things off for me, perhaps twenty years ago. Give or take. I was blessed to have a surgeon who was into laser surgery – total hysterectomy with an overnight stay in hospital was terrific. I had the surgery on Thursday and was back at work on Monday with these post-op instructions: If it weighs more than ten pounds, don’t lift it, and if it hurts, don’t do it.

    I took hormones for about a year and then grew nervous about them. I stopped on my own advice, and haven’t noticed any issues at all. When I get truly, truly grumpy and irritable, it’s usually because of something that hormones wouldn’t help, anyway.

  8. And for some of us, a welcomed change, indeed!

  9. Not so for me! Menopause ten years ago and I went kicking and screaming. HRT expensive so I tried to tough it out, the hot flashes so frequent and intense I would cry in frustration — skin blotchy red, clothing wet, thermostat busted. But the worst of it was, well, what nature does to those no longer able to reproduce — she reclaims the drive and then starts to break your face.

    I’m on HRT now and keep trying to wean off, but when the nightmare returns I’m popping those things on schedule. I’m a miss, damn it, not a ma’am–get that straight, Mr. Grocery Bagger Guy!

    This is my first visit here–wonderful read.

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