I paid $300 for an appointment with the menopause doctor. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I was also sick of hearing my family doctor tell me I was too young to be going through “the change” and did I want some anti-depressants? No thanks, but maybe my hot flashes would be interested.
I paid the appointment entry fee, let her assistant probe my nether regions with an invasive wand, and then sat down in her visitor chair to list out my symptoms.
“Of course you’re not too young for night sweats and low libido! Menopause doesn’t happen overnight, you’re on the slope down.”
And then she informed me that I didn’t have to feel crappy, I could take hormone supplements. Not too many, a teeny bit of estrogen to top up my pill and a dash of testosterone every other day. I was in. Hook me up. Sign me up. All of it.
I had to go to three pharmacies to find someone with hormones in stock. The central city “young people” locations all shook their head no. Finally one remembered the tiny pharmacy in the back of a haberdashery that catered to an older demographic. They had everything in stock.
I started the estrogen right away. After all, I’d been on the pill for ages, this cream format was simply a different vehicle for delivering the drug I already knew. My bladder stopped leaking within a couple of weeks. Score!
The testosterone though… I made the mistake of reading the instruction leaflet.
“FOR MEN ONLY”
“SERIOUSLY ONLY MEN”
“DO NOT TOUCH ANYONE FOR FOUR HOURS AFTER APPLYING THIS. “
“DID WE MENTION MEN AND ONLY MEN?”
“NO WOMEN. MEEEHHHHNNN”
I tried not to freak out. After all, a doctor I paid a small fortune to visit prescribed this medicine for me. I didn’t send in my husband as a decoy. The label on the box had my name on it.
But I was freaked out so I let it languish in the corner of my bedside table drawer for days and eventually weeks.
Finally one day I got up the courage to give it a try. And by that I mean I rubbed half a teeny tiny dot of testosterone onto my abdomen and then washed my hands four times to make sure I wouldn’t cross-contaminate anyone else with my bottled manliness.
I’d like to say that the teeny smear of gel I put on made no difference. Oh, but it did. It really did. I wasn’t tired. I was awake. And energetic. And powerful. And my kneecaps naturally manspread to occupy as much space as possible. At night I slept. Like for the whole night. Actual sleep with dreams. And if my bladder woke me up, I fell back asleep again.
Let me repeat that for the people in the back.
I, a woman in her 40’s slept, woke up, walked around and then FELL ASLEEP AGAIN.
I left messages in my Facebook groups. “Is this what white men feel like all the time? If so, I get it now. I really get it.”
I tried testosterone supplements. I’m still trying them. You’ll have to pry them out of my hands. I don’t even care if my chin hairs grow. There’s a lot of them anyway. Who will notice a few more?
As I rub that smidge of gel on my inner thighs and belly, I imagine I’m painting myself in privilege. I feel that pseudo sense of entitlement rush through my veins and laser out of my eyeballs. Perimenopause gave me an extra 20lbs around the middle. Testosterone turned them from bikini bulge to hot dad bod. Or at least that’s what the white man confidence tells me. Whatever, I’ll take it.