Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Motherhood and Menopause

Paris Hilton has nothing on me. She may think she’s hot, but let me tell you, at 50, I am hot, hot, hot.

A month after I turned 48, I became a grandmother and a Mom Again. Two months later, I went into full, undeniable, merciless menopause. The menopause was chemically induced by gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists. But my break from reproductive fertility was clearly on nature’s horizon because I had been in peri-menopause for years. Boy, was that fun! Now, menopause has arrived with a vengeance. At 50, I occupy two contradictory stages of womanhood, changing diapers and the change of life.

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

Holding and snuggling an infant or toddler is a joy divine, but these little suckers are warm. During a hot flash, which is pretty much constant with me these days, this beautiful bonding experience can be excruciating. It does not matter that we’re in the middle of summer; in any weather, I’m fifteen degrees warmer than everyone else in the room. The little bundles add another ten, squirmy degrees. Most days, I feel like I’ve done a heavy workout at the gym when all I’ve done is be a Mom in Menopause.

Another problem--I no longer know how to dress the children for the weather. When it's hot outside, I blast the air conditioner in the house. Consequently, Sun and Raine wear sweaters in the middle of August. When it's cold outside, I find it nice and comfortable. But I misjudge how many layers the children need. I have to ask BD to pick out the appropriate clothes for the day.


I’ve resisted taking any treatments for hot flashes or other symptoms of menopause in part because with all the conflicting information, I don’t know what’s safe, and in part because I do not have health insurance. If I had the time and energy, I’d read up on homeopathic remedies, but I have neither right now, nor the patience. So I sweat. And Sun and Raine are growing up with the constant whirring sound of my little black fans.

I’m not complaining. There are, of course, wonderful things about being in menopause. Especially since I’ve moved from Georgia to Ohio. And then there is the no-more-period thing. Freedom! But with freedom, comes heat. And from what I’ve been told by other women, the heat does not go away. So, I am truly a hot Mom Again.

Eat your heart out, Paris.

P.S. Does anyone know a good deodorant? Not an antiperspirant. I like to sweat, but I don't want to smell bad.

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