Thursday, March 7, 2013

Riding the Red Roller Coaster - a bloody beat poem

True peri-menopause is upon me. It has been 15 days since my last ride on the red roller coaster.  17 before that.  23 before that.  Desperately seeking the silver lining while my body is reeking of blood...  Perhaps this portends the end?  Blessedly sooner than my worry of 60?  It does explain my cravings for salt, chocolate and fetal positioning.  I thought I was developing yet further symptoms of thyroid failure when in actuality, the cause isn't so rare.

My mother, who also began her journey towards menopause early (at the age of 37), gave me her PollyAnna take on the menstrual legend.  "If you're irregular now - it could be a good thing.  I was spotting and spotting before I had the Period from Hell.  It was the DELUGE to end all deluges but it ended my time tied to Tampax and pads with wings."

I'd been worried, see?  Figuring that the bleeding and the hormonal imbalances would leave me unbalanced, prey to the pain and inconvenience more frequently, until I could flash my senior card for discounts on Tuesdays.

"How old were you Mom?" I ask.  "When the bloody roller coaster stopped?"  And my mother, who charts time in postings from my father's career in the Air Force, easily replies: "Colorado."  Which then has her doing the mental math, equating that location with actual dates.  Her eyebrows dip down towards the bridge of her nose as she subtracts from today - or maybe adds from her birthday.  "I wasn't 50 yet," she states.  "I think 48."

48?!?  48?!?  With me turning 45 this summer, the possibility of less than half a decade of this nonsense throws the silver lining at my feet.  I thought this rapidly unravelling cycle would have me under its thumb for another 15 years.  The glimmer that this lunacy could now disappear?  It has me smiling... hugging that silver lining...

And then my mother, soon to be 68, says, "I'm still prone to the occasional hot flash."  But her PollyAnna quickly pipes up. "Winters in Canada can be rough.  Being your own mattress warmer can be a feminine perk.  And when you really think about it?  A hot flash doesn't actually hurt."

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