Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Face the Strange Changes

Dear Diary,

I finally made that call to the OB/GYN practice today to schedule the appointment I’ve been putting off for several months. In so doing I’m beginning to accept the fact that Nature has a plan for me over which I have no control. It’s just – I’m not ready. Seriously – not ready!. So I’ll rattle off my concerns – fatigue, can’t remember stuff, emotional blubber house (more than usual), the obvious missed periods, someone else’s boobs have wound up on my chest, extreme crankiness (more than usual), can’t remember stuff. Nice lady doctor will be compassionate and we’ll discuss all of these with care and concern. We’ll come up with a plan. She’ll give me that same stupid booklet again, the one with the gray-haired couple who look as if they should be checking in to Happy Acres Retirement Home, happily walking arm in-arm, that describes all of these things. I’ve purposely never read the booklet before because -THAT LADY IS OLD AND I’M NOT OLD! I have a twelve-year old daughter. I’m a school mom. I’m not old yet. I just cannot get over tying this whole process to “being old”.

When Kathryn begins this whole journey, in weeks, months or years from now, it saddens me just a bit to know that her whole experience of it will be without me along for the ride. How stupid does that sound? It’s just I always imagined us giggling in the bathroom or running back and forth asking: “Hey – do you have a ….?” All the while driving Jon crazy with our “period talk”!

I’ve talked with Jon. I’ve explained what I think is going on and how I feel and why I’m acting the way I am. He is, of course, so terrifically wonderful. He says the right things and does the right things and hugs me and use words like “It must feel strange to blah blah blah.” And every time he does, I secretly yell inside “He deserves somebody much younger and newer and not old and on the downward slide!” Yes, I know this is silly thinking; see above list of symptoms.

The girlfriends are what girlfriends are supposed to be. You can tell them everything; they tell you everything back. Even the things you don’t want to hear. Nothing is off limits. We talk about how everyone’s experience is different from the next but that we all share the common experience. Like childbirth. Books are recommended. Some are specifically NOT recommended. Tears are shared as readily as laughter. With them, I suddenly don’t feel old. I don’t feel like pitching The Red Tent with them, but I feel a bond that I know will sustain me.

Still, NOT READY! When I turned 50 I told myself, and anyone who would listen to me, that it was the best time of my life. I felt the best I ever had – physically, emotionally, mentally. I was at peace with myself and the world around me. That was only 18 months ago. Now this? I feel like crap? I don’t know the person living in this body? Or, more likely, I don’t know the body this person currently inhabits? Yes, I am fully aware that I am wallowing, wallowing in self-pity. But damn – it took me 50 YEARS to get to the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and only 5 months to tumble back down to the bottom of the triangle! Couldn't the hierarchy have been an inverted triangle? Just a little more space at the top would have been really nice.

So Diary, I made the call. I accept what’s going on. I know that all of this will pass. I’m assuming that I’ll be back to my somewhat same-but-different self at some point. I will try to be graceful and at peace with all of this. After I press the “PUBLISH POST” button. But until then, I just really hate this.