FaceOnFire: A Girl's Guide to Perimenopause

{August 7, 2013}   Go ahead. Explore my pelvis.

If  you think shopping for a bathing suit is humiliating, try this on for size.

You’re lying on a hospital examining table with a camera wand thingy stuck way up in your Lady Parts while the technician attempting to photograph the walls of your Va-Jay-Jay searches fruitlessly for a clear image.

Lots of scintillating conversation topics arise while someone is probing your Garden of Eden with a rod masquerading as a medical device. Like for instance, the weather. In Southern California, that can only go so far:

Girl With Wand [staring at ultrasound screen]: How’s the weather out there?

Me: Sunny and 72.

G.W.W.: Cool. Same as it was yesterday.

Awkward silence.

There was a time when lying prone while someone jiggled a device in your Hoo-Ha was actually a lot of fun. Especially if that someone was your boyfriend/partner/hubby/spouse/gigolo. This time, it was tedious and annoying:

[20 LONG minutes after the weather conversation]:

Me: Are you finding what you needed in there?

G.W.W. [mildly panicked]: Uh, I can’t seem to get a clear image [probes frantically].

Me:  Well, since this isn’t working, I would suggest it’s time for Plan B.

Plan B involved G.W.W. disclosing that we were using “an outdated machine.” And that there was a “newer machine” next door. Two minutes later, the bizarre tableau resumed in the adjacent room with a more modern machine, this time with a wand wrapped in plastic. Hmm…wonder why the first one had no protective covering?

[10 minutes into my coupling with said Newer Machine]:

Me: So, how long have you worked in healthcare?

G.W.W. [staring at ultrasound screen]: Six months.

Me [panicked but masking it well]: What did you do before?

G.W.W. [still staring at screen]: I was in sales.

Me: Pharmaceutical sales?

G.W.W. [looking at me sheepishly]: No, I sold tractors.

A vision of her in a John Deere trucker hat was all it took for me to want to wrestle the probe from her hands and self-administer the pelvic ultrasound.  She finished before I could do my best Mrs. Peel and somersault off the table, looking chic but tough wearing nothing but an open-backed hospital gown.

Two days later, I was in the doctor’s office with a bladder infection.

Shopping for bathing suits can be traumatic, no doubt about it. But I would argue that getting your Pleasure Palace photographed by a former tractor salesperson is right up there. So to speak.


{August 1, 2013}   A Menopause Bucket List

It was inevitable.

Last month I touched down in the Kingdom of Menopause. I arrived first class (natch!), a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in one hand, a bottle of herbal hot flash pills in the other.

So what’s a girl to do? Turns out, lots.  With love in my heart and three extra inches around my waist, I present you with my Menopause Bucket List:

1. Lose six pounds (that was a no-brainer).

2. Send out a search-and-rescue team to locate my long-lost libido.

3. Invent melt-proof foundation.

4. Find a creative use for that box of super-jumbo maxi pads in the bathroom cabinet.

4a. Teacup chihuahua daybeds?

5. Find a Kegel app. Anything I can do to avoid becoming Menopausal Pee Lady.

6. Start doing crossword puzzles to stave off Brain Fog Syndrome.

7. Shit. I forgot what number 7 was.

8. Wear a rubber band around my wrist and snap it each time I listen to smooth jazz.

8a. I haven’t yet listened to smooth jazz. That was just a preventive measure.

9. Never, ever publicly announce I’m having a hot flash. Ever.

10. Consider changing the name of this blog, as I’ve permanently vacated the Land of Perimenopause.

So there you have it, darlings. What’s on your Menopause Bucket List?

et cetera