Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I hate being female.

When I was, what, 12? I thought I was bleeding to death for a couple minutes when I first got my period. Then the realization kicked in, sort of. What I didn't quite realize was that the crappy way I felt--the feeling that my gut was being twisted to shreds with a pair of pliers--would last far into my adulthood without any real relief (though I did develop a taste for bourbon, which was way more effective than an aspirin). Yes, it's true, I was not one of the brighter or more sophisticated adolescents ever. In spite of having watched a couple years worth of film strips about the wonders of womanhood, I was mentally unprepared.

And now middle age.

I think I'm getting hot flashes. I'm not really sure, but then, I'm not a much more bright or sophisticated adult than I was an adolescent. Still, it's super cold here, and I'm all tucked in warm in my bed sleeping last night, and suddenly, I'm either dying of a fever or having a hot flash. So I throw off the covers, wait, and then I'm freezing. I couldn't find a reasonably comfortable medium for what seemed like forever (because even three seconds freezing is too long). In reality, it was long enough to really wake me up so I couldn't get back to sleep easily. And since I didn't die of whatever (though that seemed like a fine alternative at the time), I'm guessing hot flash. I'm still mentally unprepared.

What I want to know, why can't I get a hot flash when I'm walking across campus and it's minus 8 wind chill? Then it would be delightful. My face wouldn't hurt! I hate being cold!

Seriously, I figure one thing out and get on with my life, and blam, my body comes up with some other misery.


  1. You know, I so agree with that opening statement. Please identify the "joy of womanhood" to be found in anything related to my reproductive system.

    I'm not menopausal yet but my mom likes to remind me that it starts early in my family. Joy. I'm already dealing with the irregularity of my internal temperature: burning up one minute, icy cold hands the next. Mom says it's the first sign.

  2. Anonymous8:19 PM

    How nice to be having your own personal summer during one of those cold midwest winters. Try wicking pajamas at night they work well for
    hot flashes and night sweats.

  3. I'm right there with you, B.

    I was dismayed last month when I went for my physical and was told by the GP, "You've used up your free 40 years."

  4. I bleed so much that I'm constantly fighting anemia and I have trouble keeping warm, so when my menopausal friends are peeling off their sweaters, I'm piling 'em on. Too bad misery isn't fungible...I would gladly trade.

  5. Oh, I was even more clueless than you were at 11. As for hot flashes, no wisdome, but I figured out why older women wore short sleeved shirts and jackets or cardigans all the time. I basically gave up on pullover sweaters :)

  6. My parents and school were really good about making sure I had LOTS of information about my first period and what would happen and how I'd feel and what I should do. Honestly, I was the total expert. What no one told me and I somehow missed was that it KEPT HAPPENING. I thought it was like a rite of puberty, signalling you could now have babies and that was it. When I discovered that it would return on ce a month for the next 30 freaking years, I was a wreck.

  7. There are things that could ameliorate either problem. And on the bright side, the new problem signals the end of the old?

    Seriously, I can see where that whole adam and eve story came from, and all the pain women go through for the "privilege" of childbearing.

  8. PhDMe, More to worry about, eh?

    Thoroughly Educated, What does the 40 free years mean? free of what?

    Bev, Ugh, that sounds worse.

    Susan, OMG, that explains cardigans! I've never understood them.

    StyleyGeek, I think I would have killed myself as a teenager if I'd realized I was going to have pms and cramps for 30+ years. I guess my own ignorance saved me.

    MWWAK, I finally got the first solved :) 30 years later than I would have liked. Thank goodness for the internet! The other, well, I'm hoping it's only the occasional issue. So far, I don't think it's a huge problem, just big enough to blog.

    OMG, just thinking about childbirth makes me squirm.

  9. MWWAK -- When does this menopause bit END? Seriously? (Sorry to hijack your blog, Bard!)

  10. It can't end soon enough! (no, really, hijack away! Though I think the answer's probably pretty individualized)

  11. this post is gold. i was the last person in my class to get her period, age 15, and was i prepared? nooooo.

    but we don't even get film strips about menopause. this freeze/burn thing during the night is making me nuts.

  12. I went to the MD today because flu and cold symptoms. "Have you had a fever?" she asked. How the hell would I know? The hot/cold chills are a daily occurrence even when I don't have the current bug of the month.