Saturday, 19 December 2009

The Lighter Side of "My Change"

The human body is an amazing machine and does what it has to do as we grow and change…or that’s what I keep telling myself as I go through “The change” which will ultimately lead to the “M” word (hallelujah...no more monthly visits from my "little friend")! Years ago no one talked about Menopause but today it seems to be all the rage. It’s not something a woman goes through alone anymore but is now an experience the whole family can enjoy!

Since it’s been playing on my mind lately I decided that I would write an article for Suite 101 on the lighter side of “The Change.” I posted a note on a couple of the groups I’m part of requesting stories and experiences from a humorous point of view (these are writing groups so I thought I would get some great stuff). The silence was deafening. So far, I have received two comments to my post. The first one from a male group member who said he wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole (I asked for the husband/boyfriend/life partner perspective too). The second comment came from a group member who was concerned about my use of the out-moded term “The Change.” She said that it reminded her of how her mother used to refer to this time in a woman’s life with a “whiff of shame.” I think that no matter what century you’re living in, your body is going through changes (just like any other phase in life) and my use of the term “in quotations” is sort of tongue in cheek. Am I the only one who can laugh at it?

I’ll start with my own funny story and maybe trigger some from others who stumble upon my musings just to show that it doesn’t hurt to see the comedy in these scenarios:

So…I was lying in bed one night tossing and turning, having a particularly difficult time falling asleep. My husband reached over and put his hand on my shoulder…and it literally slid off. I grinned, and then started to giggle to myself. I turned over to look at him and we both burst out laughing. As I wiped off the beads of sweat that had formed on my upper lip I thought to myself, “Thank God we live in a climate that’s usually hotter than my hot flashes.” His laughter was a little more tentative than mine – he not knowing when it may turn into tears or anger that he was laughing at my unfortunate physical discomfort and mine a belly laugh fuelled by a just a touch of hysteria. You know the type.

There are a myriad remedies for the symptoms that are too lengthy to list here but the old saying that laughter is the best medicine holds true here more than anywhere. I’d love to hear more funny stories. There are so many sad stories and clinical studies swirling around this topic so I think it’s time to lighten up! I mean no disrespect to women who are having a tough time and are probably experiencing more extreme symptoms than I am (I have friends who had no choice but to go on HRT or someone was going to die). My heart goes out to you but I also believe that the emotional release of a good belly laugh can only help.

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