Oryoki's House

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Oryoki Bowl

Oryoki Bowl
February 03
Quaker buddhist, kinda quirky, loves cooking and knitting and movies. Dr Who fan, Scandinavian-aquarian and cat lover. Would love to be paid to travel around the world and write about local healing cultures. While eating and drinking and dancing. One day I will have a health cruise in the fjords.


MAY 3, 2012 11:43AM

Why can't they declare a war on menopause instead?

Rate: 27 Flag

If the GOP really wanted to ally itself with women's interests- and, let's be honest, their husband's- they'd forget all this birth control shenanigans and focus on ending menopause.  You heard me right.  Guaranteed slam dunk in the election. 

Menopause is that "middle period" of life for women.  Some say it lasts for a year or two, but women in the know will tell you it lasts for 5, 10, sometimes 15 years.  The slow agony of decline that not only has the power to take down any reasonable woman, but slay those all around her.  Women's troubles are not over when they stop popping out eggs every month.  NOOOOOOO.  That would be too easy.  Was this also god's plan?

It starts with that unrelenting feeling of unease, maybe around the mid 30s, when suddenly everything that annoyed you all day follows you to bed and keeps you from going to sleep.  Click click click, like a reel tape, playing back what you didn't do.  This signals the slow decline of progesterone, as the eggs don't always make it into orbit, and stop sending their precious mind soothing hormone.  PMS gets PMSSier.  Wine looks like an appropriate alternative to prozac.  Chocolate is the cure.

But, we get used to this, just as we get used to the slow but certain spread of thickness in the middle.  Not too much at first, but it only takes one Disney Cruise vacation to pack on 15 pounds.  There is photographic evidence, which must then be destroyed.  How can a family have family values on display when mom won't get in the picture, and dresses like a depressed teenager in an oversize T?   

Still, we relent and move forward, fighting as best we can, watching what we eat even though we have lost most hormonal capacity to burn fat.  Our fat storing hormones are in the permanent on switch because we have lost a signal from the sex central.  I'd like to want to have sex.  My libido went out with "the Rachel".   Hair, now much thinner and stragglier, can no longer be manipulated to poof a suggestion of curvy backside onto someone's mind.  It gets lopped, as it would be just another thankless chore to maintain.  

A late game spurt of activity calls the fighting ovaries back into the ring.  A zing of estradiol hits our brain and makes us red hot mad.  Waves of uncontrollable heat surge through our bodies, we would take down everything around us if only we could move without dripping everywhere.  The bathroom calls, to towel off and check for sweat stains.  A woman resembling our mother stares back at us from the mirror, smirking.  Did you really think you'd stay young and beautiful forever?  

We look out at the sea of options before us.  Work is crushing us with longer hours and more responsibility.  Children are crushing us with more demands and no reciprocity.  Our parents are leaning on us to help them maintain their lifestyles.  Our husbands, if we still have them, have drifted into two camps.  They are either begging us to see the doctor "about those hormones of yours" or they are experiencing andropause- the middle period when men grow hips and boobs and start to look like women.  Unrelenting pressure from all sides slowly forces in and makes us into diamonds.  Crystal clear and hard as a rock. 

Why is this not top priority?  Nothing screams louder than an angry, menopausal woman.  She can't sleep anyway, why not organize this mega force into backing the cause with all they already manage?  These women are already taking care of the nation's elderly, the middle aged, and their grown children who have moved back in after college, or who have had a child or two they can't pay for.   What's one more job?  

Declare the war on Menopause, and win the election!!  Whose in? 

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Good post.

I've been spared (so far) from personally-witnessing this from my 51 year old wife.

Something to look forward to, I guess.
Sign me up! And draft the rest!
Linda Seccaspina just published her book ‘Menopausal Woman From the Corn.’ I don’t know what else to tell you lady's about this condition, in spite of what anyone may try to tell you (probably even some of your colleagues) it is not anything men go through.
Maybe I'm sick but ... I've had it with this popping out eggs thing. I'm sitting here at 50 waiting/hoping for menopause.

Funny post, Oryoki. I wish the women of your country much success with this campaign!
Great idea expressed with great wit.
It'd have my vote, OB.
Still ... laughing ... my ... menopausal ... ass ... off ...
Holy cow, Oryoki.
I *like* menopause. I did have some of these symptoms and I get the satire here, but come on, women. Why is it always a fight against one's own???? We call periods a curse, we rip each others looks, minds, and attitudes to shreds, we freak out at a belly roll as if it were a fanged Black Widow because we are not gaunt with a six-pack at mid-forties....
I'm not ranting at you, Oryoki, I just don't get why we women are so mad all the time at our own bodies, our own processes.
I liked having periods, I called them 'my moon'.
I like menopause -- there's no pausing for birth control.
My white hair is wavy! I love it. (My reddish hair was straight.)
My boobs are bigger (well, so is my stomach, but...my boobs are nice and juicy)!
I'm not raging with hormones that made me furious.and excited. and sobbing. and depressed. and excited. and furious.
I laugh more.
I like myself more.
The hot flashes got me to quit drinking wine. The hot flashes stopped then.
Sake is yummy too. No hot flashes for some reason.

Sorry again-- I guess I'm not getting satire today.
I *like* menopause.
I'm in year two of this biological condition and with any luck I've only how many more years before I dry up and die. ;)
Outstanding. And I see no end or cure in sight yet. Yet.
I'm with Scarlett, at 50, drumming my fingers on the table and waiting for the day when I no longer support the tampon manufacturers. I'm pretty even keel disposition wise, so maybe menopause will add some excitement to my life. I need drama!
asia rein writes "I need drama!"

You're tr ig's current girlfriend, right? (chuckle) Drama is a-comin'. Good luck.
Funny, funny post. They'd still have to be Democrat to get my vote though.
You forgot to mention the hair that sprouts where ever it deems necessary-like on your chin!
A great and worthy cause!!! Loved this post and your great humor around a sometimes miserable topic.

However, we do not necessarily need to experience any or all of the symptoms of menopause...YET! This varies by woman, let's say.

Years ago, in my mid-fifties, I read some books and materials on "Natural Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy." At that time, Western Docs turned their noses up at the notion while they wrote scripts for "Chemical HRT" like vitamins. I stopped taking those dead in my tracks when I read the fine print, did a little research and found that they can damage the brain and even lead to ALZ.

I did, in fact, begin the daily regimen of Natural HRT, which in small and correct doses (simple blood work and "female history) determines the doses, to replace the natural estrogen, progesterone and Testosterone that was depleted from my body. Since my mother had early onset ALZ and passed away rather young (75), I wanted to do anything "natural" to prevent the nasty deterioration of my brain and get the added bonus of permanently stopping my monthly "friend" forever. I was still bleeding monthly at 55. (Thanks, Mom).

Several years later, I feel great and have never experienced a hot flash, sleepless night (better sleep on the natural hormones) and never lost the "urge to merge." That can be annoying at times as the counterpart to that be lack of drive from the other side of the paring. Basically, I have not experienced the menopausal march of madness, either in my body or my moods.

I have sisters and close friends who have also chosen this path and are doing exceptionally well. The best part of this little story is...my very same doc who turned her nose up at it then, is now taking the very same natural HRT that she has long since prescribed to me, as most insurance companies, do cover most of the NHRT with the exception of the compounded Testosterone. That is a cream that is made up fresh each month. I no longer take that one due to the expense, but women do benefit from Testosterone as it also rejuvenates skin and muscle tissue (and not just libido). Libido, I believe, is a balancing act between all the needed hormones that we lose with age (both men an women) along with the #1 factor in health: natural sleep (7-8 hours a night), good nutrition, moderate exercise and a great attitude.

That is how I declared war on Menopause...by nipping it in the bud!
And let's just say...I am not leaving that decision/action up to any politician! Not now...not ever! ;)

If you are interested in the treatment, I am happy to share privately.
It is highly used now (for over 10 years) and female docs of a "certain age" endorse and take it, too. In brief: 1 patch 2 x a week; 1 pill nightly; 1 squirt of cream daily (optional) and you're mostly or completely symptom free. (varies by woman and age, as does the dosage). And for me and others I know, there have been no negative side affects. Of course, you discuss with your doc annually just like you would your blood pressure, cholesterol, etc..
This is a fine post with the wing and wit used in explaining the agony of this period in a woman's life. It is real...not imagined, not only in her head...but real agony, real loss, and for some a n incredible test that no male will ever have to face.
Yup, you are right. I think most fifty-five year old men have more estrogen than fifty-five year old women. rated.
ya, it's rough now. I promise it gets better.

you don't get prettier, but surely clearer and at peace. all at once the big picture is right in front of you. it's almost as if desire obscures the world, makes you myopic. once you move into the next phase, there is a calm, maybe it's realistic resignation, that I wish I could have had, could have turned on and off at will when I was young and so crazy. I could have used it.

but hey. you can't have everything.
This is as close as I'll ever come to understanding the phenomenon Oryoki. Though not so long ago I had the pleasure of sharing the experience of both my ex and my boss going through theirs at the same time. There were days when working late versus going home was a very tough call.
Ehhhh, I'd rather be where I am now than go back to experiencing periods again. Although, those sprouting hairs on my chin...now those I can do without!
At age 47, I was treated to instant chemically induced menopause for cancer treatment. A side effect of the oncology meds were 7-10 hot flashes per hour, for five years. I'd drive around in February with the car windows rolled down. Hot flashing women could be a potential alternative energy source. Someone should explore that!
I left out mention of the chin hairs, because that just isn't funny at all.

Green Heron- alternative energy source, exactly! This could be a self fueled cohort, burning on body fat and hot flashes, getting things done. Some years ago, someone joked that if they wanted to end the war in the middle east, they'd send in the troops' menopausal mothers instead.
Now that I have come all the way through it ( I am currently being weaned from Premarin) I have to agree it is a zany time. However, I'm in the camp that says life is better after menopause, once you grow to accept the the physical changes that come with the gift of a long life. But I sure appreciate you witty suggestion of warring against the "change of life."