Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Thyroidosaurus vs Perimenopauseratops
WARNING: Female issues will be discussed.
You get to be a certain age of woman and you don't put up with as much shit anymore. You've made it through early parenthood and you're still standing. You've mostly got it down, you know what works and what doesn't. You've developed a rhythm and that rhythm generally lets you get through the day, the week, the year. You are at one with your body, mind and soul... ish.
And then you hit middle age and it all fucks up.
Used to be that women just kept their mouths shut. Female 'issues' were not discussed in polite society. As a result, generation upon generation of women had no one with whom they could commiserate. We all just kept it bottled inside thinking we were going insane as our medical issues became conveniently labelled as 'hormonal'. After you've been living in your body for a few decades, you pretty much know how it works. When things don't seem normal? They aren't.
You should NOT be losing hair in handfuls. Take what ends up on the shower wall and show the doctor exactly how much you lose EVERY time you shower. Offer up that guinea pig-sized example of 'normal' at eye level and then watch them try to dance out of it.
FYI - you should NOT be bleeding through three three pads or tampons in an hour. You should not have to take a towel with you to sit on... anywhere... EVER.
You should NOT want to go to bed at 7:15 p.m.
In the 50s, women coped by drinking. In the 80s, it was Valium. Fast forward to 2015. Most gals attempt to stay 'natural.' HRT with its frenetic dance back and forth between between being a Godsend and causing cancer, scares the shit out of most women. And although the conversation about mental health is becoming more public - often we strive to be self-sufficient women who can 'have it all,' remaining stoic in the face of major shifts in personality and health.
I seek and offer COMMISERATION. My body is one brutal hormonal cocktail. Between thyroid disease and peri-menopause, there are times I want to crawl the 163 feet to the back of my property, cover myself in a blanket of snow and become a cautionary tale for those who make the trek past me. I exercise and exercise and exercise, I eat sensibly and still find myself 30 pounds overweight with back fat that, in my twisted self-image, I am convinced could feed a family of 12 for a week. I pass blood clots the size of toonies through my hooha. FUCKING TOONIES!! I have days mired down in despair, panic, apathy and bone-crushing exhaustion.
I am one 46-year-old woman amongst billions. There are BILLIONS of us. You know what that means? You're not alone. We can be in this together. We should be cognizant of the fact that we're all doing the best we can, treading water with a medical system that pooh-poohs women issues as something to 'get through.'
So here's my suggestion folks: everyone who has a child out there interested in medicine... encourage them become doctors, researchers. Encourage them to specialize in women's health issues. Encourage them to find the solutions - to support women's health, to foster a health care system that makes it easier to move through middle age if you happen to sport a vagina. We exist in a world where our life expectancy allows us to become octogenarians, if not centenarians - wouldn't it be great if the last 30-50 years of ours lives didn't suck??