Tuesday, April 29, 2008


You may ask yourself what are menopausal writing moments?
A. Men pause over your shoulder as you write.
B. A pause or frequent pauses in writing.
C. Sudden hot flashes designed to pause your ability to think clearly and write cohesively.
D. Answers B & C.
E. All of the above.

A year and a half ago my doctor stated I had gone through menopause. I sat a little taller and carried a smug smile on the inside. My body had slipped through the gates of menopause without fuss or fanfare.

Two months ago I discover my doctor lied to me. I’ve always been a late bloomer and I should have known better than to believe the words of a male doctor, who at best may try and force his imagination to wiggle through the porthole into the world of hot flashes, brain fog, sharp personality shifts and restless nights of sleep. In reality, I question if he could ignore the tidal wave of heat rushing through his body; endure the dense haze infused into every crevasse of his brain; overcome the frantic, manic and split personalities so quick to emerge and take over, and still march through his days in perfect pitch and beat.

I am humbled to join the ranks of the women who have gone before me into the world of menopause and have come out survivors.

From my vast experience of eight weeks, writing through a menopausal moment equals a walk down death row and no amount of premium quality chocolate will halt the mission. I’m not here to give you advice on writing and menopause. I’m here to gather all I can from others and hope my brain can collect said information into a cohesive, understandable formula I can recall at will or at least within a twenty-four hour period.

This menopause gig started out as a silent assailant. What once claimed a firm stage on my frame now sags, droops or has moved south permanently. The exchange of smooth, tight skin is being replaced with loose wrinkles and flab. Once youthful freckles are now age spots. My hair has begun to turn white in areas on my body I didn't realize changed color. (If necessary I can draw a diagram.) I’ve also located wild hairs growing in frightening places. The other day I pulled a curly black hair out of my left ear. I don’t believe God intended for a black fur patch to develop in the female auditory vestibule. If I start growing more wild hairs than men, I’ll be forced to dive into a vat of estrogen and buy stock in the company.

A few years before our dog’s death the vet told us she was going through menopause. Today, through new eyes, I find myself better understanding that difficult time in her life and embraced a new bond in her memory. I even adopted a kindred spirit with her until I remembered she began lifting her leg on occasion to relieve herself. I’ve decided it’s not wise to attempt to compare yourself with a member of the animal kingdom. Yet, there are times when the desire to claw at someone grows strong.

If today’s blog has left you feeling heated and cheated of learning anything valuable in the realm of writing please join me in a menopausal moment. I’ll not elaborate further, except to say, where is the pause in menopause?


Anonymous said...

ROTFLOL--Oh Lori, (wiping tears from eyes) that was AWESOME!! Some of the most eloquent prose I've read in a long time. (still holding sides and laughing)

Have you ever heard of Progesterone cream? It's a very helpful thing if you're going through menopause. Call me and I'll hook you up with some good stuff girlfriend.

Hang in there. Oh, and try and stay away from sharp, pointy weapons and people who are just too stupid to live. I promise you'll love them again, someday. LOL

Paty Jager said...

Oh Lori! I have tears from laughing and knowing what you're talking about! ROFL!

Just last week I mentioned the clenching jaw and biting my dh's head off. I'm calmer this week. A little. I do use the progesterone cream and it works, I think- when I remember to use it. I'm bad about taking pills and using creams. I'd never make a good hypochondriac. LOL The first time around I also took St, John's Wort. This time I'm taking Vit B with the cream. Yes, I had this same problem about four years ago and it's back with a vengeance again!

Between you and the grandmother in the Pickles cartoon(she's been testy due to Men-o-pause) I don't feel alone!

I think the being angry all the time and the fact I can't remember the easiest word when I'm writing- those two things bug me the worst about this fated condition. The bursts of heat I can live with. Of course one of these days the UPS man will show up when I'm standing naked in front of the door I'm fanning and then we'll see what I think of the hot flashes! LOL

I'm feeling your aggravation!
Fun blog!

Alice Sharpe said...

Oh, this is too, too funny! Lori, my heart goes out to you.

I am older and thus I should have wise words of advice but alas, I do not. I went into a premature menopause when I was 42 brought on by medical treatment. The treatment itself was so awful, any menopausal moments shrank in comparison and other than hot flashes (which were also a byproduct of the treatment) I didn't even notice any of it happening.

Lucky me? Well, maybe. Who knows? But as far as the claw your eyes out syndrome, I kind of missed it and would hang my head in regret if I wasn't actually thrilled to death to have at least been dealt that wild card!

Anyway, this, too, shall pass and shame on that doctor for misleading you! You outdid yourself describing the details -- it seems some magazine somewhere should print this in their humor section. I mean, half the world goes through it and yet hardly anyone addresses it and seldom with the side splitting prose you used. This was obviously NOT written during a menopausal moment!

Thanks for the laugh, Lori!

Alice Sharpe said...

Oh, and Paty, you be sure to report any encounters with the UPS man. That is a perfect image!

Genene Valleau said...

Lori, whatever menopause is doing to you, it has not affected your wonderful sense of humor and ability to write! Suzanne McPherson also did a funny take on this at the Portland Readers' Luncheon.

I have not experienced the extremes of menopause, which I attribute to a total change in my diet and attitude, along with learning energy healing. Some people consider me the crazy woo-woo woman, but it works for me in all areas of my life, not just the journey through what's labeled as menopause.

By the way, my changes were triggered by male doctors shrugging their shoulders and saying I was just getting older when I asked how I could feel better. It's nice to be liberated from their limitations and feeling better than I've ever felt. So please know this can also be the beginning of another beautiful phase of your life.

Hugs and positive energy to you. And keep writing these wonderful blogs/articles/opinion pieces -- whatever you want to call them. They're great!

Lori Barber said...

Piper, Oh my, I'm red faced and not from a hot flash, but from your generous compliment. I tapped my blog out yesterday between several interruptions. Then, last night I almost didn't send it knowing it was too thin on the topic of writing. Tired and over analyzing, I held my breath and sent the piece anyway.

Yes, I've heard of progesterone cream. With my mother battling re-occurring breast cancer, this time terminal, I'm cautious and concerned about taking any hormones.

Paty, I'll have to pay closer attention to Opal in the Pickles cartoon and follow any advice she may offer. It's also nice to know I'm in good company with you since your body has decided to step it up again. Ack! I didn't know this menopause thing could slack off for a time and then re-establish new ground again. Not comforting new...thanks a lot for sharing that tidbit. LOL

I definitely hear you in reference to the easiest word getting lost in a dense fog when writing or talking too. I wonder what my Mennonite mail carrier would do if she rang my doorbell and I swung it open wearing nothing and clutching a fan. Words may escape her too.

Alice, thank you for your wonderful compliment. You are right on target...my blog was not written during menopausal moments, if it had it may have read more like a disconnected suicide note. LOL

Your premature menopause sound right up there with induced labor...a fast paced and elevated rush of the natural processes. I hope they supplied you with lots of chocolate to help you endure the treatment.

Genene, Thanks also for the kind words. I prefer to ride this wave all natural too. I'm clinging to your words, "So please know this can also be the beginning of another beautiful phase of your life." As long as it includes chocolate count me in!

Karen Duvall said...




(Wipes tear from eye) Okay, I'm better now.

You know, werewolves have nothing on us when it comes to the change.

I was an early bloomer (started my period when I was barely 11) so I got blessed early with the "pause." Men have nothing to do with it. I've been suffering the symptoms on and off for about 4 years, but finally said ta-ta to my last period close to a year ago. So I'm officially menopaused.

I don't have mood swings or night sweats, but I do have some award-winning hot flashes at the most inopportune moments during the day. I hate those things with a passion! So if I'm ever crabby, that's usually why.

I wasn't planning to partake in Hormone Therapy, however I've started taking bioidentical hormones. They're made from plants, not horse pee like the traditional HRT. The very thought of using equine urine on or in my body makes me want to faint. I'll take plants any day. They work! But western doctors won't prescribe them, you have to go to a naturopath, and not all insurance companies will cover it. Mine won't. But it's worth it to feel like a normal human being again.

Great blog, Lori! And I agree with Alice that you should submit it to a woman's magazine or online zine. Too funny! 8^)

Lori Barber said...

Karen, Thanks for the compliment. I've heard a little about plant hormones but at this point I'm going cold turkey. I'm glad to hear they are working for you, that's encouraging news.