First published November 20th, 2017
I’ve been going through perimenopause for the past ten years. Just kidding, it’s only been two years. It only feels like ten. Because the symptoms of perimenopause are SUCKING MY SOUL RIGHT OUT OF MY BODY.
According to the website 34 Menopause Symptoms Dot Com (yes, it’s a real website), there are indeed 34 symptoms. They must have chosen to build a website to warn others that, just when you think you have enough to worry about as a woman, you also get thirty-four gifts at the end of your period.
Kind of like a hormonal Hanukkah.
Being a woman is a glorious thing.
Instead of complaining, I decided to have some fun with the list.
In recognition of my generation’s transition through the change, I’ve paired 80’s music with each symptom.
1- Hot Flashes: It’s hot. Like all the fucking time. I could be in the freezer section of my local Aldi and still feel like I am on the front-end of a feverish flu bug. Flashdance- What a Feeling by Irene Cara
2- Night Sweats: “Did you take a shower before bed? No. Why?” I Melt with You by Modern English or Beds are Burning by Midnight Oil. Who knew the ’80s would be so prophetic?
3- Irregular Periods: I receive my period every two weeks, which means I’ve been suffering from perpetual PMS for the past two years. Who Can it Be Now? by Men at Work or Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper.
4- Loss of libido: Because I’d rather do things like read or water my plants or eat. Sorry honey, sex is what retirement is for. With or Without You by U2.
5- Vaginal dryness: It’s not enjoyable to walk around naked and sound like you’re wearing corduroy pants. And also a major reason for number four. High and Dry by Def Leppard OR Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles
6- Mood swings: I’m all over the place right now. I’m jogging through a field of daisies proclaiming how much I love my life, and the next day, I want to cut a bitch for walking on my favorite treadmill at the gym. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
7- Fatigue: That’s code for I AM SO FUCKING TIRED. All Night Long by Lionel Richie
8- Hair loss or thinning: I’m lucky that I don’t have this, but I guess it’s something to look forward to. Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson
9- Sleep disorders: I’m sleeping like I have a newborn baby in my house. Up every two-three hours, most likely because of my flu-like hot flashes. No Sleep til’ Brooklyn by The Beastie Boys
10- Difficulty concentrating: What were we talking about? I Keep Forgetting by Michael McDonald
11- Memory lapses: No. For real. WHAT WERE WE TALKING ABOUT? Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
12- Dizziness: I had vertigo all summer and blamed it on altitude in Utah. There went that theory. You Spin Me Round by Dead or Alive
13- Weight gain: It looks like my chin ate my face. Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran
14- Incontinence: Put me in the nursing home already and call me leaky. The Rain by Oran “Juice” Jones
WHY DID NO ONE WARN US ABOUT ALL THIS BULL#%$#
15- Bloating: BEING A FEMALE IS SUCH A JOY. I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross
16- Allergies: I’m taking Zyrtec all year long now. Under Pressure by David Bowie and Queen
17- Brittle nails: They break all the damn time. Push It by Salt and Pepa (as in cuticles)
18- Changes in body odor: We’re only at number 18?? Nasty by Janet Jackson
19- Irregular heartbeat: This symptom was the reason I had to wear an “event monitor” for a month over the last Christmas break. “IT’S FINE, JUST A LADY GOING THROUGH THE CHANGE OF LIFE. NOTHING TO SEE HERE” Heartbeat by Don Johnson
20- Depression: We are only at #20 and I’ve had all but two of the symptoms. This IS depressing.
21- Anxiety- See # 19. Also, I think most of my problems could be solved with weed. Pass the Dutchie by Musical Youth
22- Irritability- I am not tolerant of overly joyful people. Oh wait, I was like this before perimenopause. The Homecoming Queen’s Got a Gun by Julie Brown
I BLAME MEN. JUST. I BLAME MEN.
23- Panic disorder- Well, I didn’t think I had this, but now I’m panicking because I fear I might. Somebody’s Watching Me by Rockwell
24- Breast pain- I don’t have this, but it’s early in the year. Tenderness by General Public
25- Headaches: Have I mentioned I have headaches? (that’s sarcasm) King of Pain by The Police
26- Joint pain- I’m going through menopause, not getting an AARP card. Oh shit, that’s in two years. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me by Culture Club
27- Burning tongue: I don’t have this, but I wish I did. Chariots of Fire by The Vangelis
28- Electric shock sensation: WHAT IN THE ACTUAL HELL? Electric Avenue by Eddy Grant
29- Digestive problems: Every time I poop, it feels like I am giving birth to a two-pound waste baby. Solid (As a Rock) by Ashford and Simpson
I GET WHY NO ONE TOLD US ABOUT THIS BULL&$*%
30- Gum problems: I actually had a gum infection a few years ago that I had treated with gum therapy, which is not at ALL as fun as it sounds. I now realize it was because of perimenopause. Maneater by Hall and Oates
31- Muscle tension- Probably from all the labor pooping and vaginal corduroy walking. Pulling Mussels (From a Shell) by Squeeze
32- Itchy, crawly skin- My skin is always dry and itchy and I feel like I should douse myself in lube or take a flea bath. Can’t Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon
33-Tingling extremities- Am I dying? I’m dying, aren’t I? Broken Wings by Mister Mister
34- Osteoporosis- SUPER. Things Can Only Get Better by Howard Jones
Really, it’s not that bad. Really.
Welcome to the Jungle.
Enjoy this playlist of all of the above songs.
Are you going through “the change?” Let’s commiserate in the comment section.