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Midlife Chronicles Take 2 – Hotflushes….

…sucks more balls than going to the Padda Doctor

…it’s driving me nuts

Feel a bit crazy, do you?

Feel a bit crazy, do you?

(singing)

…you’re hot then you’re cold….thank you Katy, but I’m just frikkin’ HOT

…I’m on fire…fireball…yeah, Pitbull, that I am.

I'm on fire

I’m on fire

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Die Padda Dokter

I do not expect anyone to know what this refers to, so I will give you the literal translation: “The Vagina Doctor”. This is my name for a gynecologist. Apt name imo.

(Padda is pronounced pah-dah, Dokter = doctor, edit: the literal translation for padda is “frog”,  but in my culture it’s used to refer to one’s vagina)

I have yet to meet a woman who doesn’t dread these visits. Every year from the day you hit puberty, until you reach 40 your vagina and co is subjected to some unwanted and intense scrutiny (and vandalism imo). After 40 it becomes every 6 months. “Spare me the mortification and humiliation please” I ask.

The only time ANY woman would willingly submit to this ordeal is because they
1. are having a baby
2. are planning a baby
3. want to have one but the gearbox (uterus) isn’t working as designed (or the design is screwed up)
4. want to have said gearbox removed.
5. are having some serious issues with gearbox and co

I hate these visits like a passion. In the past, I would often skip a year or two in-between visits – at my peril I know, because these visits are useful to prevent and detect some nasty things happening to gearbox and gear-shift (vagina).

Clearly it’s just one of those things we have to do. The only consolation to me is this: men have to subject their own ball(s)-and-tackle to unwanted scrutiny and violations. But what fills me with greater satisfaction – their plumbing has to be checked (i.e. backdoor) out too. The horror on my husband’s face the first time he was subjected to this was reward enough (is it wrong that I am smiling with glee at the thought of guys going through that shit?).

At this point you must be wondering if there is a point to all this. Yes there is.

Now going to a PD here, in Germany, is much of the same, but much of it isn’t.

If you are a prissy cherrie (pronounced: cherry, aka woman), the PD procedures here would have your delicate sensibilities deeply shocked. And leave you feeling even more violated than normal.

Now I can only speak for myself and my experiences with PDs in South Africa. And what I remember about my visits is this – utter deference to you as a woman, sensitivity and understanding that what you are being subjected to is utterly embarassing, and highly sensitive. You come in, have a chat with PD, who listens intently, making the right (sympathetic) noises, who puts you at ease, and then gently points you to the dressing room where a pleasantly pink gown awaits you. You strip, but at least you have the protective armour of that gentle piece of pink fabric around you.

When you go into the exam room, PD has thougtfully left the room, giving you enough space to get comfortable (as you possibly can) and relax (well as much as you possibly can). The entire exam proceed with deference (that word again) and sensitivity to the whole unpleasant business which you are subjected to. No way will he/she directly look at your wooha without checking if you’re ok with whatever it is he/she is doing. Apologies abound for the cold instruments and the discomfort you feel. After all is done, you can pick up your pride and get dressed feeling relieved, with a measure of your dignity and delicacies intact.

Will the Germans be that sensitive? Hell NO!!! They won WW2 man, why should they approach this with anything other than German precision?!?!

They approach a vagina the same way they would a war: with clever tactics, the right tools, military precision and NO bullshit at all.

You are interrogated (not gently prodded and encouraged to share) about how, when, how many times, how long, why????! Interruptions during your explanations are common – but clearly they need to understand a few things (even though you had explained the whole wooha situation a dozen times) so they can plot and plan the next step in the mission as expediently as possible.

And then the examination.

There is no private room to get undressed in, just a little corner with a screen where you can get on with business, and no fluffy pink robe to hide behind. No sir, you have strip bare to the bottom (I kid you not), walk a mile from where you undressed to the exam chair (all the while trying to protect your delicacies) and hoping to God that no one else comes into the room (happened once before).

And then the dilemma – barefoot or with socks? I tried it once barefoot, and well, I felt even more exposed than I already was. I know this seems stupid, but somehow the socks gave me a sense of security. But the picture….there is NOTHING sexy about this.

Finally, you have to climb onto The Chair Chair Of Horrors
that leaves you more exposed than the day you were born. Your legs are spread and on eye-level, feeling like the proverbial turkey being readied for stuffing. The doc comes, and starts cranking the chair up until, well, until your wooha is eye-to-eye with her. ShockHow rude. How mortifying. At this point I am literally counting the seconds until she’s done, trying to keep my pose, not letting on how absolutely humiliating this whole shebang is. And she continues about her business asif she’s browsing through a catalog!!! (ok granted, this is their business, but this is MY wooha, dammit!!)

And do you know that they do the backdoor without even asking permission? The first time she did that I almost jumped off the chair!! OMG!!! Horrors“Ehhhh!!!! Why?!?!” I asked, the bloody woman told me that they normally check the backdoor at this age, since it’s another way to detect abnormalities, etc. Fine, but I felt like screaming “I will tell you what is abnormal – me shoving my hand up your ass without permission!!!” I felt so violated, it took me weeks to recover from that. Thank God I’m not the only one this happens to.

Then I’m told I have to come back in 2 month’s time… Are you fucking kidding me?!?! I almost said that to her.

I walked out of there feeling that I needed a stiff bloody drink, and a therapist.

Men, it is any wonder we withhold sex, become raving lunatics during PMS and go mental on your asses when you don’t dance to our tunes? It’s because of all this bullshit we have to go through!

It bloody sucks balls to be a woman.

My Spotty Memory

I wish I could say that my spotty memory is due to middle age, but alas, that would be the easy way out, and hell, will I EVER admit to something like that?? NO!!! ;p.

I noticed over a decade ago that I was starting to “miss” a few details in my dreary life. Heck, sometimes I think I’m missing days if not weeks in my dizzy existence.

People – friends, family, even colleagues – would be sharing anecdotes about this-that-or-the-other, and I will be like “Nah, don’t remember it“. Some of the stories they would share, would get reactions of “What?!?! I would never….!!!!” from me, because it just sounded like something that I would never do or say. And the looks of sheer perplexion on these loved one’s faces that I could ever forget such details…..how should I feel, eh??

Of course, the family – being Boo and Boys – just completely take advantage of my cagey memory, and definitely take as many chances as they can in order to
1. get away with murder
2. make me feel bad
3. get something out of me
4. get away with murder
Opportunists. I like it.

Admittedly, my memory is hazy, but I hate anyone trying to take me for a ride because of it. Hence I don’t let on that I have absolutely no freaking clue what people are on about. If I’m not sure about what they are talking about (i.e. have no cookin’ clue), I would just make non-committal noises, e.g “Oh…yes…hmm…ya…” or whenever I can, try to get more details to jog the brain, such as “I don’t exactly recall, can you refresh….” That works like a charm. Most of the time. Other times I just get the evil eye from people, you know that “She’s missing the whole box of screws…” -look. Yeah, I’m crazy alright.

But, it is embarrassing at times too. When I can’t remember people who I met last week. Or what I said to someone-or-another at a party. Or if I can’t remember what I did a few days ago, after breakfast. I sometimes miss hours of my day. Horrible, isn’t it??

On the flip side, there are things that I remember as clearly as the day it happened. Go figure. I can’t say if it’s something about the event, the person, or my state of mind at the time. There is just absolutely no pattern there. If there was a pattern, I would cling to it like a lifeline, and use that in order to hold on to memories, to details. Alas. No such luck.

I just worry that I will forget completely. Forget the wonder of the boys growing up – the first time they really looked and recognized me as their mom, their first smiles, their first hugs and kisses, the first day at school, losing their first teeth. It’s already starting to get foggier.
That fills me with dread. That I may be left with nothing to remind me of the best times in my life

I think I should write this in a memoir.

To make sure that I have something to remember.

Rather the Devil You Know?

I have just come from my umpteenth blood test.

I am filled with so many emotions right now…anger, disappointment, futility….but the most overwhelming is…I am just plain fucking pissed off. On a scale of 1 – 10, I am at 12. That’s how angry I am

I might have told you that something was wrong with me in this post. And that was weeks ago.  At that point I was already humungously angry since no one was able to tell me what the hell’s the cause of my anemia. I have seen different doctors –  internists, gastroenterologists, gynaecologist – just about every single ~ist you can think of. All that’s missing is a fucking psychologist – because…maybe it’s all in my head, hey?

And through it all I keep telling myself “It will be better as soon as I know“….As soon as I know what? That it’s incurable? That it’s all in my head? That I’ve basically lost 3 months of my life AGAIN???? That I can deal with it AS SOON AS I KNOW?

I dunno anymore. I think this is just the start. Once they find out it won’t stop there. Unless I just have a few screws loose of course. Then the real fun starts 😉

At the moment I honestly don’t care about anyone but myself. I can’t deal with work, I can’t deal with my kids’ issues, I can’t deal with hubby’s issues. I just can’t deal. Because it is all about me. If I am not well, no one will be well. And I will continue alternately moping, then swearing then dancing around like a madwoman. So I have to focus on sorting me out first. Is that wrong?

So my question – is it really better if you know…whether your husband/wife is cheating on you, whether your mother has an incurable disease, whether you have an incurable disease…

Do you think you can fight the devil as long as he has a face? Can we really deal with “it” once we know what and who it is we have to fight with/against? Will knowing make it any more bearable or “dealable”????

I am hanging on….but by a thread. This needs to come to an end.

M&M’s

Sorry, not the ones you know covered in candy, but as in “Menopause & Midlife (crises)”

When I looked at my last post (no, I didn’t cringe) I see it for what it was. A woman who had completely lost her marbles. Someone whose mind had been taken over by aliens. For a split second I almost believed that. A girl can try, can’t she?

Today, I felt more lucid. Calm, controlled. And angry. Myself. Watch out world!!!

But with the lucidity came the questions – why did/do I feel like that? When did I first notice the crazy (ok, ignore that part). Is it normal to get so crazy (PMS excluded)? And I started thinking about a whole lot of things, bits and bobs of experiences shared by my cuzzins came back to me…slowly, I admit, but I can’t claim always being fast on the draw…

It hit me square in the middle of my frazzled brain – this is not just me, being my normal crazy – there’s a whole lot more going on. And the M&M’s might just be the start (and finale) of it all. This is my story and I am sticking to it…

So I took some time out to read up on some M&M’s. I only read a few articles (never mind that I spent almost half a day on this) which were enough to equip me with dazzling clarity – that I am truly having the M&M’s. Did I mention I am sticking to this story like superglue?

It would appear that I am not fortunate enough to experience the M&M’s in phases (like other normal women I suppose) and in the sequence I would have preferred (i.e. Serie, not Parallel ….remember: organised and controlled??). No, it seems I am lucky enough to get the double whammy in one fell swoop. FCUK.

I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry. I mean, is it too much to ask that a girl only gets hit by one wave at one time?

….and think about it for a second – if you could choose, what would you prefer to have first – Menopause or The Crises? To be honest, my choice would be Menopause first – I could make up for all the crap I went through afterwards by completely immersing myself in The Crises (did you notice I dubbed it “The Crises” now? Damn I’m good…). After the emotional turmoil of Menopause, anyone would be dying for The Crises – it’s almost like an affirmation of life and womanhood, right? That you are ok, and sane and still attractive (hopefully). No jokes. I actually believe this shit.

Me-No (getit????) is like one of those farts – no one hears it, no one sees it, no one smells it. But boy, do you know you let rip. Even at home. They see no outward change, no stray hairs, don’t hear you having complete conversations with yourself. Nor do they wonder what you are really doing in the bathroom for hours on end (with the make-up mirror in hand no less). It’s only the occasional screech-fest which alerts the boys something may be awry. Poor hubs. I do rather feel sorry for him. He deserves better, but there’s no way in hell I’m telling him that!!

This is what I really look like

The Crises is everything but. Anyone with 20/20 vision can spot it a mile away. Probably because you act and dress completely opposite to your normal self. What gives it away….the sudden fixation on
• hooker heels (check),
• the daring outfits (sigh…check)
• (more) make-up (chee-eeck)
• flirting (furtively) inappropriately with young(er) men (CHECK),
• depression (CHECK)
• getting a tattoo (can’t decide which one and where to put it…)
• (insane) interest in obtaining THE physique (triple check).
• generally being shameless whenever you find the chance (CHEEECKKKKK!!).

Sound familiar? If it doesn’t you are probably in denial. Take the first step – admit it, then embrace it….

There are people who really know about this stuff, who can tell you a whole lot more than I can about the true face of the M&M’s. I was bored to tears by some of it, and I will not repeat, but will be kind enough to leave you to read one yourself. You can thank me later. Warning: explicit sex and nudity cannot be expected here

What I found interesting from some articles were – that many women publish memoirs of their lives – post M&M’s of course. Writing about how tortured they were and how they survived the horrors, to finally transcend into lucidity and inner peace. Seriously?! I am more interested in milking The Crises for all it’s worth, thank you very much.…

What does piss me off though – men get to use this excuse longer than we do…The Crises lasts about 3–10 years with men and 2–5 years with women…..That’s just wrong – why do men get to have this much (guilt-free?) fun????? And did you know, The Crises itself could last way into your 60’s?? (don’t quote me on that, Wikipedia is not that trustworthy) I have to admit, that’s way too much excitement, even for me

In any case (now to the crux of the matter) – I have decided …. seeing that I can only get away with this excuse for max 5 years, I ‘d better go for it with all I’ve got. To hell with what’s written and with all the judgment. Enough of the Jammer Sannie shit. I will embrace this new chapter in my life. And irritate the crap out of you with all my dizzy interpretations.

So bring on the bling, and the short skirts, and the leather pants (ok, maybe I’ll pass on that) and the inappropriate flirting with the young(er) men. This is me now, and I think I might just like it.

I will no longer look at other women in their 40’s and think they are pathetic, with their big do’s, toy boys and tight skirts. I will think “Yeah, mama, you go get ‘em girl, it’s your turn”

…in the meantime, I can dream….sigh

Channing “GI Joe” Tatum

I may feel differently next week, but honey (yes you, reading this post), I love the idea that I can use M&M’s as an excuse. And I am delirious it’s not just the guys who are privileged to use The Crises either. Yay for (a bit of) gender equality!!!

Until the next dizzying time

D

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