Before I dive right into this, I want to speak directly to my male readers. Gentlemen, I appreciate and respect you, and I’m so pleased that you choose to read what I write. I don’t usually write about gender-specific topics as I see most of our human conditions as equally endured or enjoyed by both sexes. That being said, there are some states as decreed by nature experienced only by one or the other gender. This post is about one of these states and—you guessed it—not one experienced by men.
You may read on if you like, my male friends. My literary door is always open to you. I predict your reading could end in one of two ways. You may squirm with embarrassment and blush like a schoolgirl or, potentially, you might emerge from the words at the end of this post thinking, “Well, that was enlightening if nothing else.” I don’t want to be responsible for imparting information you don’t want or, worse, for mentally scarring you for life.
I feel that now I’ve done my fair and right duty, guys. What you choose to do at this point in the post is entirely up to you and I will not judge you either way. If you want out of the boat, now’s the time to jump. (Isn’t that line also included in marriage ceremonies? It sounds familiar…)
For the past couple of years, once a month or so when Mother Nature would make her call, the pain was nearly unbearable, I couldn’t sleep and, for the first time in my life, I felt the urge to kill people. These were all problems. Between the excruciating pain and the insomnia, some days I found it very difficult to go to work and once I arrived there, disheveled and exhausted, I was constantly restraining my socially-unacceptable homicidal tendency.
It always takes me awhile to decide whether or not my suffering is worth bothering a doctor about. I don’t like to seem as though I’m complaining (thanks in part to my northern European heritage) or that I need someone else’s assistance in solving my problems.
I’m consistently surprised when visiting the doctor that he or she has a medical solution that I was completely unaware of. Not because I think I’m smarter, but because I don’t easily trust others’ expertise, I never quite expect that they’ll know anything that I don’t. When they do, I’m pleasantly surprised. “What a good idea!” I’ll compliment the physician as his or her face visibly betrays annoyance. Honestly, I’m never trying to be condescending. I’m just genuinely happy that they know of a solution I never considered.
The doctor’s good idea this time was a prescription for a low-dose birth control pill for the monthly discomfort and the drive to commit murder. As for the insomnia, the prescription scrawled on the pad read, “Suck it up, buttercup.” It’s okay. These days before bed, I chug enough lemony Neo Citran to knock out a draft horse and call it a night. It’s over-the-counter self-medicating at its finest, and that’s how this buttercup rolls.
So I took my prescription to the pharmacy, handed it in and browsed around the store while my brand new birth control pills were being packaged up. Ten or so minutes later, I headed back on over to the back counter and told the pharmacist my name.
I was very glad to see that the male pharmacist was young and cute, probably about 26-years-old. (I’m in menopause, folks, not in the ground.) I beamed my brightest smile when he returned with the white paper bag that held my medication. He smiled back nervously, looking at me a bit like a sweet mouse might look at a hungry, albeit charming, cat.
But did he give me the bag? Oh, no he didn’t. I felt some alarm when, instead, he opened it up and showed me the contents. “Here it comes,” I thought. “He feels obligated by his job description to explain the purpose of the medication.”
Sure enough, the young man in the white coat smiled weakly and said, “This is a low-dose birth control pill for…” Right here was the world’s most awkward pause, followed by this: “Birth control…?”
Come on! Really, buddy? Was the question mark at the end of that statement really necessary? Well, that shattered any illusions I’d held about my youthful appearance. In a moment of terrifying clarity, I saw myself as the young pharmacist must have seen me: a very confused middle-aged woman trying to avoid magically or miraculously becoming pregnant. Not a sleek, hungry cat, after all. More like a crazy cat lady.
I glared and he blushed. I snatched the bag out of his unwrinkled hand, turned and walked as proudly as I could to the front counter to pay for the medication used for…birth control?
Anyway, the medication has been great. I’d actually say that it’s been life-changing. I am back to being my comfortable, easy-going self and gone is the strong need-to-murder sensation. I don’t miss it or the pain that held down my body and spirit. This form of mild hormone replacement therapy has been the menopausal ticket for me. It’s really eased my path during this stage of life. In fact, for this effectively-medicated buttercup, it’s been a surprisingly enjoyable stage so far.