Friday, November 11, 2011

Take My Menopause, Please

Henny Youngman and Herman Melville are my muses today.

Henny Youngman, comedian, was famous for his line, “Take my wife… please.” I feel the same way about my menopause.

Without sharing too much, technically, I’m not even in menopause. Not totally. But if this is perimenopause, I’ve been in in for seven years. Seven years.

What else could I have done with the last seven years of my life besides languish in anguish in perimenopause?

If I had gone back to school, I could be a surgeon by now. I could have built my own log cabin, gnawing the logs for it with my teeth.

I could have walked the Appalachian trail at least 3 times, round-trip.

I could have learned to water-ski, trained and run in several marathons, grown hair down to my knees, built a raft and sailed to Tahiti, gotten an engineering degree and gone to work for Microsoft, climbed every mountain in the Alps, driven a Subaru to the southernmost tip of South America, founded a new religion, watched Casablanca 2,433 times, learned to play the piano.

Equipped with only a nail-file, I might have sculpted a block of marble into larger-than-life dolphins leaping from waves.

But nooooo, I’ve been too busy having perimenopausal symptoms: crying, breaking out in acne, having migraines, sleeping, not sleeping, crying, fighting fatigue to the point of nausea, sweating, aching, moisturizing my dry skin, having night sweats, crying, having heart palpitations, fog brain, gaining weight, waving buh-bye to my libido, dragging myself out of bed every morning with my mind screaming NO!, buying Kleenex in bulk at Sam’s Club, crying, and having nightmares. Oh, and being depressed to the point of crying quite a lot.

So this whole perimenopause-menopause never-ending-bundle-of-fun thing? I’ve decided it’s not for me.

 No thanks. Take it, please, like Henny used to say about his wife.

Come to think of it, I’ll add that famous line from Herman Melville’s classic character, “Bartleby the Scrivener,” and say, “I prefer not to.” I have not fully appreciated Bartleby until this moment of clarity. Bartleby was right. (Whenever someone asked Bartleby to do something, his reply was "I prefer not to.")

Are there stages or phases in your life that you’ve wanted to reject? Times you felt like, no, none of that for me, no thanks?


  1. I've been experiencing perimenopause symptoms for the last year. I thought PMS was bad before! Now I feel lucky to have 2-3 days a month without the mood swings, the tears, the fatigue, the anxiety, etc.

    Not only would I prefer not do, I flat out don't wanna. *stamps foot*

  2. Oh, honey. Keep hope alive. After a lot of searching, the best thing I've found to help is blogging (you are way ahead of me there) and the ladies at Blogher. And frankly, major pharmaceuticals. I admire people that can do this without prescription help, but sadly, I am not one of those people. Oh, well, going to work on my post about BACON!

  3. Oh, yuck. It sucks so much that you have to go through this.
    For "I prefer not to" periods in my life, it would have to be the year after I stopped nursing my son and my body did all manner of thoroughly bizarre things that left me sweaty, stinky, be-pimpled, weepy, sleepless, exhausted and thoroughly unpleasant. The worst part was the (thankfully temporary) total loss of my sense of humour. Boo to that!

  4. I'm SO with you. It's actually nice to hear about the symptoms of someone else - makes me feel I'm neither alone nor insane.

  5. You are definitely not alone or insane. I get so sick and tired of these articles and books that tell us to have a happy menopause. While I hoped for the best going in, it's been hell at times. Blogging has really saved me. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Hey Desi! I so don't like the feeling of being run over by hormones. Sorry you had that difficult year-- we do need our sense of humor almost above all else to get through these womanly changes!

  7. Ah jeez, the things we have to look forward too. . . how about HRT? Does that take away all the effects of menopause? I'm thinking I might want to go that way. . .

  8. Here's my opinion as a non-medical professional: try HRT if your symptoms are bad enough they interfere with your life. I take it in a low dose along with some other prescription help. I am anti-drug, so I was disappointed that I had to resort to prescriptions. But really and truly, they have kept me alive and functioning. I had hoped for the best in menopause, but I'm in the minority that has a bad, bad time with it.

    If this happens to you, and I hope it doesn't, don't wait, get to a doctor for help, fast. I lost a lot of months trying to work my way through it on my own. Good luck-- hope your menopause is a breeze!

  9. Perimenopause seems to share a lot of symptoms/side effects of adjusting to my thyroid med. DO. NOT. LIKE!!

  10. Oh, no! My hubs had his thyroid out and he misses it! The docs make it sound like thyroid meds will make a patient feel just as good as having a working thyroid, but we ain't believing. Such a little gland to have so much influence on how we feel.

  11. So true. If you read up on what the thyroid does, then it becomes clear how difficult it is to find the right balance through medication. Many people feel really good, but they have their ups and downs. It's been a year and we are still playing with meds, I'm not done being 'adjusted'. Some people have a really tough time and I'm lucky. I'm also very positive that it is going to balance out soon and allow me to step into my role as World Dominator soon enough. *where's my tiara?*