Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Have Renamed Myself: Bifocals, Oh Hell Bifocals Redux

I am now officially peri-menopausal momma...grumpy, achy, swollen with water-weight, "fat", puffy, with major PMS symptoms but no menstrual period (no not preggers, tested for that even though I'm 51)....thinking of taking a pill to balance out the hormones for now (just 10 days worth)...

You would think if they could land a man on the moon they would have figured out a better way to deal with this crap by now...and no hormone replacement therapy is not the answer, not when you could develop cancer from the treatment (even if it is only a small chance)....

In the meantime while I try to figure out which end is up, read this old post (Bifocals, Oh Hell Bifocals) about turning 50:


Let me start off this post with an announcement. I am old. I just left the ophthalmologist and was prescribed bifocals. Now, I have worn glasses since I was eleven and contacts since I was 15 years old. But bifocals, really! All I can think of is Benjamin Franklin. I don’t even look good in knickers, but I do have shoulder length hair. Oh heavens to betsy, bifocals. Of course the fact that I could actually tell that I could not see well did elicit the visit to the doctor and I expected a higher prescription but this I truly didn’t see coming.

I guess that is what happens when you spend all your time worrying about everyone else. We run our children from place to place and therapy to therapy. We give them lessons and support and every part of our soul. Of course it’s what any parent is supposed to do, but I just never really noticed the total end of an era for me. I mean that in the sense of my decades and not my children’s.

Yes, I have the looser skin and the flabbier tummy, even though I work out regularly. That little bit extra that makes my jeans just so slightly tighter than I would like. But I also have the complete lack of desire to do without chocolate and wine that would take those pounds away. Oh and I started dying my hair, I found some gray in the front so off to the drugstore for some Garnier Nutrisse number 40.

Yes, I have even entered that wonderful part of a woman’s life called true peri-menopause. Now they say menopause is when your period actually stops, the nonsense right before it is called peri-menopause. That of course could be upwards of ten years before menopause hits. Let me tell you, if the reason we have “women problems” every month is because Eve ate that damn apple sometime ago, if I get to the pearly gates she and I are gonna have a heart to heart. Then I heard about this wonderful thing called the menopause diet. It was written by a doctor telling women how to eat so that menopause was not such a burden. First thing to go is chocolate. Then you are to give up coffee and wine. Then any time you eat a carb, it has to be a complex carb or multigrain bread. (I don’t know about you, but some good old fashioned Italian bread is one of my favs.)Oh and you need to eat a lot of soy. So as you enter your senior years, you give up everything that is fun to eat and drink and exchange it for eating slime. So in exchange for living without bloat, cramps, mood swings and back aches you get to eat like a garden snail. How much fun is that?

OMG. Listen pregnancy was terrible for me. I was very sick and high risk with both boys. The only good thing about pregnancy the obstetrician told me was that you end up with a baby. Well the only good thing about peri-menopause is that you end up in menopause and the damn thing stops for good. I personally have had enough. I am turning 50 this year and I so can’t wait to not have to worry about Tampax and Pamprin and making sure that I have taken that water pill so I can fit into my bra. It’s like I am pregnant every month. Woomph goes the boobies. Its’ simply ridiculous. but we are not done, there's another fun boobie occurrence. When you take off that bra, the boobies suddenlty can play knock knock with your bellybutton. I bet you can add tempo and create a new music genre. There's also another fun happening and that is this little menopause belly. What’s with that anyway? I killed myself for decades with sit-ups and eating right and now look I have a permanent pooch just under my navel.

Oh and then there is the neck. What the hell is that all about? Nora Ephron in her book writes about the neck. Why is it that the neck goes first? I can see lines in my neck that I never knew where there. I put cream after cream after cream and the damn thing looks like an ugli fruit. I think the way they are going to be able to tell a woman’s real age is by the rings around her neck, like with a tree. Only with your neck they aren’t cute and school children don’t want to study them. But they do get petrified at some point.

Oh yeah, creams. There are day creams, night creams, wake up creams, under moisturizer creams, hydration creams, special serum creams, eye creams, under eye creams, upper lip creams, lip creams, creams for older women, creams for younger women, creams for extra special older women (of course I hope to be that at some time in my life, but how special I am, I am not quite sure). Then there is the special makeup that takes away your lines (in other words makes you look younger). There is the make-up with pearl dust and vanilla extract. There is the make-up that blends just so over your age spots and smoothes out your mottled skin. There is the lip stick that never comes off even while you eat. (Sorry but there has to be some kind of drug interaction there and I am not sure I want that on my body)Then of course let’s not forget the serum of the ages, the wonderful syringe filled with botulism-botox. What is that all about? Wrinkles are so horrible that you put poison into your body to get rid of them?

Now let’s also not forget all the other tests that you have to start doing. You have been going for mammograms since you were 40, right? You should have even had a base line around 35. (If there is even a hint of cancer in your family your butt had better be going even sooner). But now there are some new even funner tests. Ever had a pelvic ultrasound? Where you drink a gallon of water, can’t go to the bathroom and then they stick an internal ultrasound wand into your vagina? That one is great. They use it if your periods are irregular; you are bloated or have pain in your nether regions. Of course, it’s a heck of a lot better than ovarian cancer, but not really a fun time on the town.

Then of course, there is the wonderful colonoscopy. I happened to have had one already, there is colon cancer in my family, so the doctor sent me at 45. I get to go again this year. It’s really not the colonoscopy that’s so bad. For that you get sedated-Yeah you get to sleep for 30 minutes and no one is bothering you- there is an upside to everything. OK, I have to tell you, I really don’t mind the sedation. It really is a good sleep and no one bothers you while it wears off. Since sedation affects me heavily, I tend to get 24 hours all to myself. It’s the prep for the damn thing that is well, disgusting. You start by eating only white food for 24 hours, and then liquid the day before with stuff that makes you and the bathroom best buds. Of course, having children with finicky eating habits, like an all white diet, most of us are probably well prepared for the prep anyway.

Then another wonderful personal thing to look forward to is that all important, hormonal change that effects your facial hair. Remember your aunt that used to come with the one long hair growing out of her chin. You are now her, only you will use a damn pair of tweezers and rid yourself of the hair. I tell you, every day I awake and if I didn’t use wax or Nair or tweezers, I could have a second job as the bearded lady of the circus. I actually like to compare myself to a Yeti. It does sound a lot more exotic than comparing myself to my Aunt Gertrude.

Shall we talk about the arthritis and the creaky joint? Yes, a lot of us have that for awhile now, especially those of us with fibromyalgia or lupus. But when you hit that 5th decade something happens and you change. It isn’t just creaky and achy in the morning. You have to let out a huge kvetch when you get out of a chair. It’s what propels you forward out of the chair. I swear I sound like a little old Jewish man on Miami Beach. Next thing you know I will be wearing my pants under my armpits, walk around looking for an egg-cream soda, and calling everyone who annoys me a “basterd.”

My bifocals will be ready next week.I threw the AARP card in the garbage.


******

I also like to watch this to remind myself of how hot menopausal mommas can actually look...



Until next time,



Elise