Family, Humor, Life, Menopause

The Day I Found Out I Was in Menopause

First published May 11, 2015

I’ve always been loud, even obnoxious at times; it’s just how I was created.
I move with purpose, I laugh boisterously, and a snort occasionally sneaks out.
That is why I am perfectly suited to writing a blog because I can edit and edit and edit numerous times before releasing the final draft.
I’m not a first draft type of gal.
Meeting me in person is a risky thing.
If you’ve met me in person, you’re catching the live show where anything can happen.

You’ve been on this road with me since last fall, so it is no surprise that I haven’t been “myself.”
But I kept telling myself that it was too early.
My mother told me, my friends told me, everyone told me.
I’m only in my mid-forties, so menopause is still a long way off.
I joked about it in my Listen to Your Mother piece, never really expecting that it was imminent.

But by the fall, it wasn’t so much amusing as it was puzzling.
Why am I such an asshole?
I mean, I’ve been a raging jerk one week every month since 1983 LIKE CLOCKWORK, but this was assholery on a scale I’d never seen before.

Then there was the melancholy.
Then I decided I needed a dog.
Then I decided I needed both a job AND a dog.
Then there were the migraines.
Then there were the meds.
Then there were the mood swings.
Then I was eating ice cream.
For breakfast.
Then I decided to pain my front door at seven in the morning.

Yes, seven in the morning. 

I even wrote a post advocating the necessity for a John Hughes Museum.
But, despite the fact that a fellow blogger provided me with a lead, I failed to form a strategy or establish a starting place.

Because of googling teddy bear dogs, painting front doors, eating ice cream for breakfast, and being an asshole to my family.


Meanwhile, I have children who live at home as I go through this change of life.
I literally said the other day to my husband and kids the other day, “I QUIT! I AM PUTTING IN MY TWO WEEKS NOTICE! LOOK AT ME!  I AM TAKING OFF MY NAME TAG! PUNCHING OUT AT THE TIME CLOCK! BYE.”

I said it, but I don’t think anyone heard me.
Because no one pays attention anymore.
Because of assholery.

When I went in for my gynecologist appointment recently, she listened to my symptoms and said, “Well, your numbers in the fall showed you were in the pre-menopause range, so you are most like in it now.”
Apparently, you can still get your period while “in” menopause, ladies.
This I did not know.

I didn’t know ANYTHING. At all.
It takes us YEARS to jump off the metaphorical hormone cliff.
The joy will keep going on and on and on.

She performed an ultrasound, saw some “things,” and said, “yep looks like we are starting the perimenopause process.”
I might have said to her, “We???? There’s no “we” in menopause!!”
Because of assholery.
It’s fine, she understands.

grandma, loss, death, family, hummingbird, motherhood, daughters, grief, support
Three generations: My mother, grandmother, and me. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be rid of the old witch, Flo.
I don’t think I’m going to miss her, but just, really? Is it already that time?
My gynecologist did say, “you are a little young to be starting, when did your mother start menopause?”

The day I found out I was entering into menopause, it was 70 degrees and sunny.
I drove home with the sunroof open, blasting Siouxie and The Banshees, and crying loudly.
The day I found out I was entering into menopause, I registered my youngest daughter for second grade, made the best spaghetti of my life, and wrote a really hard email to her teacher.
The day I found out I was entering into menopause, I didn’t go to my oldest daughter’s soccer game because I was upset at her; the first time in her life I have ever done that. Because of assholery.
And then I went to bed at 7:30, but I didn’t actually fall asleep until 9. Because I felt awful about not going to that soccer game.

I now know this is from a movie I have never seen with Denzel Washington. I can’t remember the name of the movie because menopause robs my brain.

I’ve been quite a joy to live with this year.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I avoided social media for the most part because it was simply too much.
I still have my mommy thankfully, and I called her first thing in the morning.

We had a nice conversation, long distance of course. I hate that we have to do that, but thankfully I still have her on this planet.
We talked about the old days, how it’s been a good ten years since we’ve lived near each other on a Mother’s Day.
I miss her every day, but it hurts more on certain days.

After I got off the phone, I got to introduce the movie, Pretty in Pink to Ellie, who, by the way, now loves Duckie.

I got to sit with my 15-year-old on the couch, legs interlocked, as she asked me questions about clothing and dating.

My husband baked his famous chocolate chip cookies while the girls and I giggled in the family room about how Ellie “never having kids!” And then I listened to my girls, who normally squabble all the time, actually get along?

Then, just before dinner, which I didn’t have to prepare or set the table for, Ellie remarked, “you know what, when we are grown up, I’m bringing my kids over to your house for Mothers Day” and we all laughed because she was caught.

“You said you weren’t going to have kids, remember!”

She then laughed and said, ” Oh yes! No, I am not! I will just drag my husband to your house mom, because I will always want to spend Mother’s Day with you!”
Then my teenager, who never shows that she needs us, said: “Well, I do want to have kids, so I will always bring mine.”

I soaked it all in.

I don’t care what Anne Lamott says; I enjoy having my kids bring me flowers on Mother’s Day, and I love that they love to love me.
I needed this damn day.
And someday, it’s okay if they don’t and they have their own families.
I will go to them.
But this perimenopausal mommy needed the hell out of this day.

I love you, my beautiful girls.
Know that.
I am really sorry for this year.
Thank you for yesterday.
I will cherish it for the rest of my every days.

15 thoughts on “The Day I Found Out I Was in Menopause”

  1. I love those kinds of days with my daughter. The ones where you’re doing nothing special, but just being together, easily. It’s hard for me to even imagine what life will look like next Mother’s Day, but I know she’ll be half the world away, and if I can’t see my mom it will mean that we’ve gone more than a year of not seeing each other. So, yeah on appreciating the ordinary and the ability to just be together.

    Liked by 1 person

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