Sunday, February 24, 2013

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Post-Menopausal

Hi! I'm not Menopausal Mother (click the link for her blog); I'm Postmenopausal Grandmother. I begged Meno Mom to be a guest blogger, but the woman is so popular, she has a waiting list of people who want to blog for her. So because you might be going through peri-menopause or menopause now, and because Meno Mom might not post my valuable information while you're still going through menopause, I'm posting this blog NOW, because I understand the urgency of valuable information.

Who better to learn about menopause than from a woman who has experienced menopause. I am, quite honestly – and quite humbly, I might add – an expert on menopause. And by expert I mean that I am a pro at being – and acting – menopausal. I also know LOTS of menopausal women. 

One time, for example, before she knew she was menopausal (she was actually peri-menopausal), one peri-menopausal mama told management of the area where she lived that one less child would live on Plum Lane if somebody didn't fix her back door NOW!

Everybody, including management, was afraid of the maniacal woman whose meno-moments caused blind fury to erupt from the bottoms of her soles and from the depth of her soul. For the first time ever, they sent home one of their valued employees to save the children from the crazed psycho-mom who lived on Plum Lane.

Menopause does that to women. Take a seemingly gentle human being, rip the blood out of her each and every month for YEARS, thereby depriving her brain from that necessary component – oxygen, while also jumpstarting hormonal outbursts, and then STOP the hormones and watch delirium take over. At least when a man's blood rushes to his pelvic region, he experiences pleasure. For women, the experience is pain, sheer pain, and dementia, and loss of control, and panic, and well, blood loss!

 I don't remember making threats to management about removing my child from the block, but because I couldn't close my back door on the hottest of all days, I think the synapses in my brain melted in the heat. I think the heat burned holes in my hormones because, though I couldn't remember making the call, the ranting raving lunatic who lived on Plum Lane turned out to be me. And that valued employee? My sister. 

And that poor child? My youngest daughter. From what her one and only brother had told me, she had decided to take the door by the knobs, hang on them, and then swing back and forth during one of the hottest summers on record (1988), pulling my back door away from the frame in the process. 

Sadly (for her) I found out years later that she was not the only culprit. Helping her was her brother, one of her sisters, her cousins, and some neighbor kids.

Menopause is funny if you think about it. Peri-menopause is even funnier. It sneaks up on you and plays with your emotions, your mind, and your family. My sister and I were in our 30s when we discussed the possibility of being in peri-menopause. We decided that though we were showing symptoms of the, for lack of a better word, disease, we reasoned that we couldn't possibly be in peri-menopause, because we were too young.

But we weren't – too young, that is.

Fortunately for me (and for you) menopause is just a phase – you know, like the "phase" you went through when you bled month after month after month, year after year after year like someone who'd just been shot through the aorta? Well, that's how mine were anyway. 

TMI? Sorry, but my periods were (what's a word that's worse than grotesquely awful – I don't know, but I had cramps that felt – at least for the first two days – EVERY MONTH – as if deranged psychopaths repeatedly clamped my uterus with vice grips over and over and over and...) – anyway, after my fourth child was born, I went for several years with cycles that included a pre-period, an actual period, a post-period, and a mid-period. Rarely did I experience a month without more than a few days when I didn't have some form of a period. So, yes, I DESERVE to be postmenopausal.

But of all the menopauses, post-menopause is the funniest of all. I remember waking up one night completely drenched in sweat. I'd heard that peri-menopause and menopause caused night sweats. I thought I was too young for that, though, because I was in my early 40s on what I affectionately term, "the night of the sweats." 

And that was it – one night. I kept waiting for more night sweats to occur, but they didn't. Then, when I turned 48, after not having had a period for several months, I went to the gyne and found out that I was postmenopausal. I remember asking, "That's it? One night of sweating and that's it?" WOW! Menopause is a breeze. 

And then (this is the hilarious part about peri-menopause, menopause, and post menopause), without warning (remember I was POST menopausal) the hot flashes began. NOT FAIR, I screamed to nobody! I'm supposed to be done with all that!!!!!!! I'd be sitting somewhere wishing I was naked one minute and then grabbing my soft warm blanket to wrap around me the next.

Yes, funny things happen when you're postmenopausal. You experience a feeling close to how you felt after giving birth (if you've ever given birth). Immediately after having a child, you vow to NEVER have another child – EVER – but something magical happens the next day and you think (erroneously), that giving birth wasn't so bad and you decide to get pregnant again. I had four children and every time I gave birth, I told myself, "REMEMBER THE PAIN – REMEMBER THE PAIN!" But I never did.

Well, let me tell you – the same thing happens with your period. After years of tampons, pads, and cramps, believe me when I tell you that you will FORGET you ever had a period. Forgetting kind of comes with the territory. Apparently blood flows throughout the body and the brain benefits from blood, i.e., having periods. Now, while you are in the throes of menopause, your brain will act as if it has never had a thought in your life. All the things you're supposed to remember get shelved somewhere in that 90% of the brain you don't use and can't access, unless, of course, you go through regression therapy, but that's another blog. The words on the tip of your tongue get crowded out by all the other words on the tip of your tongue, and you can't make a coherent sentence if you try.

It's God's way of being compassionate. He doesn't want you to have to think about such silly things as tampons, when you can't even form words to relate what you're thinking. Imagine walking into a drug store to pick up your monthly supply and not being able to ask for them by name, because the words on the tip of your tongue are tripping over each other as they attempt to speak. Well, now you never have to ask where they're hiding the tampons again. I don't even think about tampons anymore unless I'm watching a commercial about them. That part of my life is O-V-E-R. 

Today I don't have to remember to buy sanitary supplies anymore or freak out if one of my daughters used the last product and forgot to tell me. I'm DONE with all that. Ha ha ha ha ha ha! But if I ever have bladder problems, don't expect to find me in the diaper aisle. I'll be buying pads again. Life truly is a cycle.

For more on menopause, read Menopausal Hot Flash Ladies. And don't forget to visit Menopausal Mother.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

A Day in the Life of a 17-Month Old

OK, let's see. I've had my diaper changed, I've had my breakfast, and (as she looks around the house) now what?

I know, I'll take all the videos out from around and under the TV. After I finish that, I'll take all the clothes out of my drawers and throw them around the room. While Grandma is putting the DVDs and wii games back, I'll throw all the folded laundry on the floor. 

When she's finished re-folding all the clothes that were in my drawers and all the laundry that was folded on top of the table (silly Grandma, she put it way too close to the edge), I'll go to the pantry and take out all the food. I might even pour out all the cereal. That sounds like so much fun. Except for one thing – the vacuum – it scares me. What to do? What to do? What the heck, I love seeing all the cereal fall out of the box.

OK, what else? Ah, I see that Grandma has a headache, so this might be a good time to pull all the pots and pans out from the cabinets and bash them into each other and onto the floor.

What's happening? Grandma is limping over to me holding a ball. YAY! I love playing ball. OK, two minutes is way too long. I'm bored already. Time to make another mess somewhere.

OK, while Grandma is cleaning that up, I'm going to sneak into my Mom and Dad's room and see what havoc I can wreak in there. Just LOOK at all the supplies they keep under the sink! This could keep me busy for hours.

Oh, no, here comes Grandma again. Will that woman EVER leave me alone?

PROTEST! PROTEST! Grandma's trying to put me down for a nap – in the middle of the day! I am kind of tired though. Nigh Nigh! (yawn) I'll have the whole afternoon and evening to finish my day!

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A Day in the Life of an 11 Year Old Boy

Oh, gee, what shall I do today? I know. I'll watch TV. I might even make a marathon of watching as many episodes of American Dad, The Cleveland Show, or Family Guy that I can fit into a day. I wonder which one would annoy my grandmother the most. 

Probably doesn't matter. Listening to the theme for The Cleveland Show over and over and over and over and over and over…ad nauseum should be enough to send her over the edge. 

Then I'll make myself something to eat. I won't pay attention to crumbs or spaghetti sauce that plops all over the stove, the microwave, or the counter. I'm sure somebody will clean that up. 

Mom and Grandma should be grateful that I throw stuff in the garbage at all. Of course, I don't notice that the garbage is already overflowing with other garbage, so I'll just throw it in the general direction of the garbage and somebody else will pick up whatever makes it onto the floor.

After I see Grandma twitching from over stimulation because of my endless repetitive TV choices and after I watch her aggravation at having to experience what she refers to as endless torture, I'll play with the new wii she got. You know, to give her a break. After she calms down, I'll have another marathon so she can listen to another theme song over and over and over and over… .

And tomorrow? Another day – another marathon. And when I complete all the series of all my favorite TV shows that Netflix offers, I'll start from the beginning and watch them all over again.

Grandma's note: I was laughing as I wrote this blog, because when I told Jeremy I was going to write it, he laughed too, as I walked him through his day. Oh, I forgot to mention (because I promised him that I would) that he walks around the house on his toes. I think he was probably a ballerina in a previous life. In this life he is already showing great promise as a brilliant (and creative) writer.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

TAG! I'm It! 25 Questions from Menopausal Mother

The Adventures of the Family Pants tagged Baking In A Tornado, who tagged Menopausal Mother, who tagged My Heart Blogs to You to answer the following questions. From My Heart to yours are my honest answers:

1. Where were you born?
I was born in a hospital that no longer exists. After years of listening to my mother complain that I must be from another planet, I have my suspicions about whether or not that hospital even exists. The hospital was supposedly located in Chicago. At least that's what my birth certificate says.

2. Were you named after someone?
My mother's best friend, Theresa, decided to change her name to Terry, which is what I was called by friends and family until I entered school, at which time my mother told me, "You will now be called by your REAL name, Theresa." I realized then that I had been living a lie. My whole life was a fake. For years I never wanted to be called Terry ever again, but now I kind of like it.

3. If you have children, how many do you have?
Here's a question for which I absolutely know the answer. Four. 

4. How many pets do you have?
Sadly allergies prevent me from having any :(

5. Your worst injury?
Hmm, either all the times I fell up the stairs and injured my shins which now consist of one long scar running down both legs, or the three times I fell down the stairs and landed on my back, or the one time I fell down the stairs and broke my toe. Then again it could be the two times I closed my car door on my head while I was still outside the car and I had to get stitches both times.

6. Do you have a special talent?
My creativity causes me to see patterns other people don't see, but I'm not sure if that's a talent or an affliction. 

7. What's your favorite thing to bake?
Clay. Not for eating, but for jewelry.

8. Favorite fast food?
I'm not a fan of fast food, but if I had to pick, I would say tacos.

9. Would you bungee jump?
Absolutely, but it would have to be over water, because hitting concrete would cause immediate death, whereas drowning might at least allow for someone to save me.

10. What is the first thing you notice about people?
Body shape and then eyes.

11. When was the last time you cried?
I can't remember, but usually horrific stories of child abuse bring tears to my eyes.

12. Any current worries?
Mostly I'm just concerned about my kids, grandkids, great grandkids, parents, siblings, etc., but I am morbidly concerned about money, money, money, money, money, money…

13. Name 3 drinks that you drink regularly:
Water, water with lemon, water with ice.

14. What's your favorite book?
I have too many favorites, so I'll go back to the first book that impacted me so much, I read it 3 times – Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking.

15. Would you like to be a pirate?
Huh? Where did this question come from? One of my grandsons calls his privates his pirate, so no, I don't want to be a pirate.

16. Favorite smells?
Lilacs, hydrangeas, freshly bathed babies (oh no! when I was editing this blog for errors, I read freshly baked babies – hope you didn't read that), Opium (the perfume, not the drug), and holiday dinners.

17. Why do you blog?
Blogging appeals to my short term memory and my attention deficit disorder. I can finish one before I forget I'm working on it.

18. What song do you want played at your funeral?
Greensleeves by Jeff Beck! Over and over and over again, because it's short. 

19. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
The disgusting flab that attached itself to my midsection sometime during midlife. I'm sure it came by way of aliens (perhaps they know what happened to the "hospital" I was born in). But I plan to attack it with my new Zumba Core wii game and by Skypercising

20.  Favorite hobby?
Blogging (obviously – see below), and...

… crocheting and jewelry making and now knitting! 

21. What do you look for in a friend?
Compassion, empathy, a nonjudgmental attitude, a GREAT sense of humor, creativity, the ability to tolerate me, and a touch of WEIRD!

22. Name something you've done that you never thought you'd do:
Well, I never thought I'd live to see 60, but here I am a year and a half beyond 60.

23: Favorite fun things to do?
Laugh, talk with friends and family, laugh, visit friends and family, laugh, and my new fun thing to do – play with the wii, and laugh!

24. Any pet peeves?
Oh, YES! Read 23 Pet Peeves About RUDE PEOPLE. If you find a bunch of ads covering part of the text, it's because Yahoo! is having a problem, but they promised to fix it.

25. What's the last thing that made you laugh?
Usually things that make me laugh include something to do with my grandchildren. I blog about them a LOT in My Heart Blogs to You. Last night was no exception. Here is my Facebook post: While choosing a mii for our wii, Jeremy, Audrey, and Nolan (3 of my grandchildren) stood in front of the TV leafing through their options – hair, nose, eyes, etc. During Nolan's turn, Nolan got distracted by Jeremy, and I needed to make dinner, so I shouted out, "Nolan, pick your nose." That got everyone's attention, including mine.

And there you have it, the answers to those 25 questions. For my Tag! You're It! I'll contact some of my blogging friends on Facebook! If I don't contact you, but you want to participate, just email me :)

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