Buck It Up

“Are you going to grab this bull by the horns or not? Well, are you?”

“Yes,” I said. I looked up from my fumbling fingers on my lap. I see he was unconvinced. Perhaps, if he could look into my eyes, he’d know I meant it. I’ll do my very best. Buck it up.

It wasn’t quite the bedside manner I had hoped for with my doctor, suffice it to say, especially considering our topic was menopause or possible menopause. Since we met in his office and not in the clinic room, he left the white coat behind. He appeared casual in a baby blue jogging outfit, energized as if, in fact, he’d jogged to work or perhaps jogged in the clinic hallways between appointments. Someone got enough shut-eye. Hint: it wasn’t me. No white lab coat meant no awkward, intimate check-up. Just the straight talk.

“If you want to eat a piece of pie with some ice cream you need to run a seven-minute mile to earn that.”

“I can’t do a seven-minute mile. Did I tell you about my aching back?”

“That’s not my department,” he said. “Motrin up.”

I half expected a bird to fly through the window and perch on his bushy eyebrows that were likely to sprout wildflowers at any moment or perhaps something less nurturing. He’d just as easily lead a marching band, swinging a baton, with that happy frown of a grey mustache; or else take part in the generous drinking of ale on a hillside, pausing to twirl an inevitably soaked beer-foamed mustache.

“Are you drinking?” He must have read my mind. “A glass of wine is just empty calories. Two or three of those a week and that’s an extra thousand calories a month. An extra pound a month. Think about that.” A delightful thought. “You decide. The choice is to work out twice as much or eat half as less.”

It occurred to me that my steady fitness regime of dancing, running, swimming, and the boot camping I had endured my whole life had been thwarted in a matter of months. Canceled out. So it goes, in the search for missing estrogen our bodies think they’re helping by producing more fat, gently coaxing the estrogen like it really deserves it. In discovering this fat, the body is fooled into thinking it has found its missing estrogen.

What a load of crap is this? Hormones are wicked and stupid. That’s what they are. And mean. This bears repeating. Hormones are wicked, stupid and mean. And unaccommodating and dishonest and confused. Deep down, they’re tricksters. If I could pull their hairs, I would. Hard. So there. That would probably hurt me though and I suppose they don’t have hair anyway. I’m at their mercy. Dammit, Jim!

Doc went on to tell a rich tale about his stay in Brussels when he was a med student there. I spaced his big reveal, you know, the whole purpose to his story. Having trouble concentrating again? Another point for menopause.

“Seven percent of women hit menopause before the age of forty,” he said, checking something on his computer.

This affects me how? “Before forty, you say?” I’m on the other side of the tracks now, doc, and further down. If I do the basic math and round my number, I get 50 AND 40 ≠ 50. We’re definitely not talking anything before 40. All of a sudden, forty seems so…young.

We agree to a full panel of labs before I hear a light tapping on his door. Our time together was up.

*****************

On an unrelated point, but vital to any conversation, have you heard of the new gene-editing technology called CRIPSR? Here’s the fascinating article all about it. It’s said that it will change medicine forever. I hope they find the cure to cancer because they should definitely concentrate on that. Fingers crossed. Please find the cure to cancer. But after they figure out cancer, they really should figure out a way to rewire women’s hormones. We really got the short end of the stick here. Yeah? I think so. I’m sure it would be a simple task, right?

Note: Please don’t rely on this for medical advice. I’m exaggerating and leaving out whole chunks of our conversation. I’m poking a little fun at my doctor because I can’t help myself. He would get a kick out of it.

photo credit: 077/365 Day After Pills 031809 via photopin (license)

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32 thoughts on “Buck It Up

  1. Ah, menopause. I got mine in my early 30’s. Lasted for almost 10 years. When male doctors tell you that menopause only lasts a few years at most, don’t believe them. LOL This was funny, Amy. I like how you described your doctor. Also, yes we did get the short end of the stick!

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    1. Ah, yes. Looks like you’re in that 7% category he spoke of! Wow, that’s a long time, Jackie. I’m glad you made it through. I think it is one of those times when male doctors really can’t relate. Didn’t we though? We can’t get a break. Thanks, Jackie. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you added that last note about your doctor, otherwise I was going to seriously wonder about his bedside manner. On the other hand, sounds like he’d make a great character in one of your stories!

    Yes, hormones can take their toll, no doubt. As you say, women got the short stick, but men also experience decreased hormone levels as they age, and they face their own issues. They’re more prone to visceral fat (fat around the internal organs) which increases the risk for heart disease much more than the peripheral fat we ladies tend to get (in our thighs and around our hips).

    So I guess it comes down to: getting older sucks. But at least we grow wiser, calmer, and more laid back the older we get. Or at least that’s the hope, anyway…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, the doctor is in! Yes, he will probably even make it into one of my books. He’s a real character, Carrie.
      I’m sure men have their issues, but I’m just not going to focus on them today! I hope it’s true what you say. We get more laid back or it is shifting of expectations? Its all good! I’m not completely miserable. Thanks for offering your wisdom here today. I appreciate it.

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      1. You’re right–it might be “shifting of expectations.” Or maybe even “Oh, what’s the point? I’ll just sit back and let it happen.” I know some days I sure feel like that!

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  3. Very funny Amy. I could see and hear this guy. Scary! There are two types of people that shouldn’t try to talk about menopause: 1.) men and 2.) Young women who have never experienced it!

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    1. Ha ha!! Thanks. So happy I could make you smile. Mission accomplished!! We have to laugh at these things, right? I wish you well. Take care of yourself. And keep cool as best you can! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Boy Amy…are you channeling my life? I just went on a rant with my husband that was very similar to this. I don’t know what end is up anymore. It is just plain mean. And I am just a plain old mess. Thank you for sharing your day at the docs. Misery does love your company at this particular table.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you too? This is why I write this, Audra. This is only better if we can laugh at it and share it with someone. Those hormones are just plain mean and pathetic. You can talk to me anytime, rant, whatever you need. Stay strong or fall apart. Sometimes we need to do that, too. Take care. I’m glad I’m not alone in this. x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A seven-minute mile?! Is he serious?! I hope to God not. I think I could drive a seven-minute mile.

    A glass of vino might be empty calories, but as far as empty calories go, you can’t do much better than that.

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    1. You know he might serious, seeing him all suited up! He might even be able to do it. I wanted to ask him if he thought I was Wonder Woman? or Quick Silver? Ha ha. Hey, I like your thinking. Let’s be human instead. Whenever I have a glass of vino, I really enjoy it. I mentioned I just experienced my father’s passing when he talked about wine, and that I might have had a few glasses. Nothing from him. Nothing. I’m not even sure he heard me.

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  6. As you can tell, I’m well into my second childhood, Amy. I love making fun of doctors. They make for great characters in short stories. We’re lucky if they can fit us in between rounds of golf and chewing the fat with the pharmaceutical salesmen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you’re into your second childhood. They do make for great characters and even your characters need doctors, right? So, it’s not a stretch. Exactly. This one was in Tahoe when my baby came. Oh, oh well!

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  7. Hormones are a bee-ootch. They keep me up at night! My doc is female so she gets it. I would say this too shall pass but I don’t know if that’s true. Grow older gracefully as they say. Or scream and yell and cry. Either way works I think! ;).

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    1. Well said, Brigitte. Mine wakes me up every night. I’m glad you like your doc. Like you said, we get through it however we need to. It’s hard to make any plans about it. 🙂

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  8. It’s hard to realize you’re getting older, especially, as you said, in losing weight. That’s the biggest change for me, from when I could eat anything as a teenager and not gain weight to now, where, well, I can’t. Very fascinating link to that CRISPR technology.

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    1. I know the weight thing seems to catch up with everybody and then there’s a period when you just shrink! That part doesn’t seem too bad but then everything else starts going wrong then. Let’s not think about it! I’m trying to take care of myself so I can live a long life. Isn’t that CRISPR interesting? You think we’d know more about it, but I think a lot of science is going to happen underneath the radar and then, watch out! Maybe they’ll figure out the aging thing, too.

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  9. There are no easy answers here! Have to face the inevitable armed and ready as best we can, right? I loved the gene-editing article – thank you for the link. I’m really interested in microbes and biologics right now, as well as tissue engineering. (My scientific geeky side) It’s so incredible to see technology being developed where things already in our bodies are used in the fight against viruses and diseases. I hope we see the cure for cancer in our lifetime as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish you could tell me it would be easy, Kelly, but I don’t expect it. It’s okay. Armed and ready is the best approach. Isn’t it a fascinating article? It’s right up your alley then if you’re interested in microbes and biologics. I’m happy I could pass it on to someone who is excited about it! Who knows what will happen in medicine in the next couple of decades. Thanks, Kelly xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes – I read every word! I know you find those things interesting as well. I can’t even think right now because it’s so loud in my house with the Cavs/Bulls playoff game going on -Have a good night dear friend – xoxo

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