The exciting part about turning 50 is that I get to experience the joy of getting older called menopause, or more accurately, perimenopause. And by joy I mean, rage, and by exciting I mean rage-inducing.
Top 15 Symptoms of Menopause or Perimenopause
There are numbered top lists for everything, and this includes the symptoms of menopause. Sure, I could list them, but where would the therapy be in that? Instead, I will list them and tell you what the doctors really mean when they tell you ‘that is normal.’
When I was pregnant with Daphne, I would initially go with a list of weird symptoms scribbled on the side of a Gaviscon bottle (because I always had that in one hand), and the doctor would be patient enough to hear the list and always say, “That is all normal.” Apparently everything but spontaneously losing a limb is normal during pregnancy. Let’s just lay it out there… the same is true for perimenopause. The difference is that you are not seeing your doctor every two weeks to ask about your weird new growth or he would put out a restraining order. So, call me Dr. K, I’m gonna answer all your questions because I went to school with Dr. Google, and I got an A. Technically, an A-, but when you get to number 8, you will understand that joke a bit more. (Go on, skip ahead, I’ll wait.)
Since WebMD was basically useless on this one, I’m here to help.
How Will I Know if I’m Perimenopausal?
- Sleep Problems. If you count THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH SLEEP as a sleep problem, then, yeah, I’ve got that one.
- Mood Changes – Luckily, “if you’ve had anxiety or depression in the past, your mood swings might be more severe.” That is an understatement! Oh, and the recommended course of action for this, get better sleep. Fucking genius. Did you hear that? FUCKING GENIUS GOOGLE. YEAH, I’M YELLING. WANNA SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THAT?
- Irregular Periods. This one is obvious and if you were planning on asking your doctor this, you might think about number 2 first. I don’t want you going all Jackie Chan on a medical professional. Heavy, light, today, tomorrow, it is Russian Roulette with your ovulation and menstruation. I’d bet on red.
- Dry Skin Everywhere. Touchy subject. Or no touchy, depending on your proclivity. When you have dry skin, what happens? You itch, right? When you have dry skin inside your body (think vagina. Yeah, I said it), same goes. I’ve never been an S&M girl, but the idea of sandpaper toilet tissue has crossed my mind.
- Thinning Hair. I have never been one to lose a lot of hair. Maybe it is the permanent messy bun, but I just didn’t have a problem. Now if I type “solutions for” into my google search bar the following results show up…
- Solutions for unclogging drains
- Solutions for clogged drains
- Solutions for drainage issues
- Solutions for deforestation (this one is a stumper)
- Solutions for brain drain (see number 11)
- Home remedies for hair clogged drains
Since Mister shaves his head, I’m suspecting I am the problem here. But that is just a guess. Thinning hair–check.
- Hot Flashes and Night Sweats. Dr. Google’s fucking brilliant solution? Stop consuming caffeine. I’m not fucking kidding. So how am I to control my rage without coffee? They don’t tell you that. Here’s what I recommend. Invest in a fucking fan, and start a pot of coffee. This is going to be a bumpy ride! Good news is that night sweats remind you to change the linens more often, like every day instead of once a week. And boy, do I love laundry and changing a fitted sheet. It’s like God himself chose all the best of things for women. Misogynist!
- Chills. Delightful. I’m walking around with a blanket and ski socks in the hottest part of summer just in time for my night sweats. Thanks, body. You’re an asshole.
- Loss of Breast Fullness. Get it now? I went from an A to an A-. Loss of sense of humour is not on any list by the way.
- Weight Gain and Slow Metabolism. Charming. Just when you have your period for 12 days straight and want nothing but all the chocolate and chips, you remember you shouldn’t be eating all the chocolate and chips unless you want your nickname to be Heifer. It does have a ring, but I’ll stick with Wacko Laco. You know, for sentimental reasons and eat more crunchy delicious vegetables for comfort.* (*Code for all the chocolate and chips.)
- Forgetfulness. That one deserves a comedy break while I figure out what I wanted to say. (No idea why this video isn’t working… this is supposed to be Sandra Shamas talking about losing nouns. I think she forgot to press “post.” This shit is real! Instead, you get a Schitt’s Creek gif. Still good.)
- Dizziness. I don’t get up from a chair with reckless abandon anymore. It is more of a grunt, hoist, and head-down neanderthal evolution-of-woman-chart event. It is a sight.
- Vaginal change in elasticity. When I walk, my tampon falls out. Is that enough information or do you want more?
- Urinary Tract Infections and Incontinence. This one I am crossing my fingers that I can avoid and drinking cranberry juice like a bear who had access to a juicer. Urinary incontinence, sure. But that one I had already mastered after our kids.
- Bone and Joint Problems. Ha! I’ve broken so many bones in my life that everything aches and has for years. Beat you to it menopause, you bitch.
- Loss of Libido. No shit Sherlock, with all this going on, who wants to get on?
Enjoy the ride. If you are the better half of a woman going through this hell, have some sympathy and get a thicker skin. It can’t last forever. Just 1-10 years is all. Be thankful it is not you. YOU HEAR ME? I SAID BE THANKFUL!