Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Menopause: What Your Momma Never Told You

Disclaimer: Mom, This post is not meant to be disrespectful to you in any way, shape, or form. Nothing in it is a reference to you and the talks we shared once upon a time about my changing body and reproduction. Those talks were excellent and you gave me all the information that was appropriate for my 8-year-old me to know. We continued to speak about it as I grew up, and for that, I'm grateful. You always gave me factual and truthful information. At no time did you attempt to convince me that babies were brought into the word via the sacred belly button. Any information you failed to give me, I earnestly believe you did not know. And how could you? It's not as if Nana ever gave you "the birds and the bees" talk. And Lord knows she never spoke to you about The Menopause. Disclaimer Ends.

And now I return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Did your Momma have "the talk" with you when your body started changing? The one about where babies came from? The one about what's happening to your body, why you're changing in ways you never imagined, and why hygiene is now more important than ever? Mine did. I'm sure yours did too.

As useful as that talk was, let's face it, we could have all learned that stuff where God intended - at slumber parties with our girlfriends who passed down the "knowledge" they learned from their older sisters and in the backseat of Jake Ryan's Red Porsche. We'd have been just fine thank you very much.

But, what would have been incredibly useful and what we aren't going to figure out on our own very easily (or in the backseat of Jake's Porsche) is about that fun time in our later years, when our ovaries become senile and when we mourn the loss of our child producing years. That's right, it would have been super helpful if our Mamma's had talked to us about The Menopause.

Fortunately for you, my dear reader, I realize how important this knowledge is for you, your loved ones, and your changing body.

To that end, I've secured this educational video from 1953 that was created to train doctors on treating women experiencing the malady known as The Menopause.  My favorite parts? The ominous music at the beginning left me expecting a knife wielding stranger stabbing me in the shower. I also loved the fact that the movie is narrated by a man because, let's face it, if anyone is an expert on what the female body is doing, it's a man. Finally, I'm really touched by the treatment methods that include sedation for women experiencing The Menopause.

Because the full 22-minute video is so graphic, the video below is the 5-minute highlight reel. It's R rated in a couple places, so be careful if you're watching it at work. If you want to see the full video, click here, but keep in mind that it's NSFW.

I hope this training video makes you more comfortable with your changing body and hormones and that you're now better prepared to experience The Menopause. If it doesn't, may I recommend a stiff drink? I plan to get through The Menopause, when it arrives in a decade or two, by medicating with wine. If you're the loving partner of a woman going through The Menopause, run.

I wish I could say that in the past 60 years, we've come a long way baby, but that would be a lie. Given all the attempts to turn back the clock on women's reproductive health care rights in the Red States, I'm not sure we've progressed at all.

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