Category Archives: Menopause

Making Your Bladder Gladder

As you get older, do you find that it’s tinkle time all the time?

As I wrote in an article for Hot Flash Daily, thanks to menopause and aging, I now pee more than my father with his enlarged prostate and my five-year-old granddaughter after drinking three glasses of apple juice.

Toilet 3In other words, suddenly I’m the old lady who never turns down a bathroom.

If you’re getting older – whether you’re a man or woman – you may be facing this issue as well.

Remember that line in the funny movie, Paper Moon? Addie (played by a young Tatum O’Neal) is trying to break up the romance between her father (Ryan O’Neal) and good-time gal Trixie Delight (Madeline Kahn) who says, “She always has to go to the bathroom! She must have a bladder the size of a peanut!”

Yup, that’s me. Even so, God forbid I utter that line that made my Mom cringe every time someone said it: Gotta pee.

According to the proper etiquette I was taught – and often shamefully ignore – even saying, “I must use the toilet” is way too vulgar. Toilet and pee should NEVER enter the conversation if you are a true lady. “I gotta tinkle,” is not even allowed.

ToiletEven worse? “Where is the john?” or “Where is the head?” or “I need to take a leak,” or “I’m going to take a whiz.” Any of those phrases may have made my Mom faint.

Or once again to quote the movie, Paper Moon, “This little girl has to winky-tink!” Nope, none of that.

By the way, have you ever wondered why we say, “I gotta pee like a racehorse?”

Turns out that poor racehorses are sometimes given diuretics so they get rid of all their pee and weigh less thus can run faster. That’s why before a race, you may see a bunch of horses peeing their brains out. Which is kind of cruel, right?

So, I say we put some diuretics in the tea of those in charge at the Kentucky Derby and see how THEY like peeing like a racehorse! Tee, hee. Did I mention that menopause makes me feel mean sometimes?

Anyhow, back to the subject at hand. Since the phrase, “peeing like a racehorse,” is not allowed either, the following were my mother’s suggestions for polite ways to say you need to expel urine from your bladder:

Toilet 4Tolerable options: “Can you please tell me where the restrooms are?” “I’m off to the loo.” “Can you direct me to the nearest water closet?” “I must visit the lady’s room.”

Better options: Vague terminology such as “May I ask, where are the facilities?” or “Nature is calling.”

Best options: “Excuse me, I need to wash my hands.” “I must excuse myself for a moment.” “I need to freshen up.” Or the ever-popular polite terminology: “Excuse me while I powder my nose.”

As you can tell, my Mom took after eloquent European women who only talk about Eau de Toilette when they’re referring to perfume they dab on pulse points.

My Mom sadly died a year ago and sometimes I miss hearing her chiding voice in my head, “Didn’t I teach you, it is never polite to refer directly to any excretory function, my dear.” God bless her.

But now that I’m in my 50s and my Mom is no longer here to control my rebellious ways, here are five of my favorite creative and fun ways of saying, “Gotta pee.”

Number One: “I gotta give my pee ration at the urination station.” (Love creative poetry.)

Number Two: “I must go oui oui.” (French style).

Number Three: “I need to squirt the dirt.” (Although this applies more to men, who says we women can’t accomplish it as well?)

Number Four: “Gotta shake the dew off the daffodil.” (Doesn’t hurt to throw some floral imagery in there.)

And drum roll – my favorite phrase I used for the title of this blog: “Gotta make the bladder gladder.”

If we have to pee more as we get older, we may as well have a sense of humor about it. So there you go. Sorry, Mom. A menopausal woman has to do what a menopausal woman has to do.

For more humorous and informational articles, be sure and check out Hot Flash Daily.

Images courtesy of artur84, nuttakit, and SweetCrisis at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

My Menopausal Middle: Menopausal Weight Gain

The following is from a humorous article I wrote about menopausal weight gain – more specifically menopausal belly fat – for Hot Flash Daily. The article was inspired by a photo my hubby posted on Facebook of me.

Body FatMind you, normally I try to avoid things that make me plump like mirrors, shop windows, other people’s sunglasses, large puddles, aluminum foil, or any other reflective surface.

Then, hubby posted that darn photo without my Facebook approval.

Don’t you love it when you see a picture and don’t recognize yourself?

I mean, how did I get SO wide? And what’s with that huge bulge around my waist? As the joke goes, my muffin top became a pound cake. When did that happen?”

Oh, I pretend to be puzzled but maybe I do know how it happened. Read, “Confessions of a Menopausal Chocoholic Crack Head” and you get the idea. 

But wait a minute, I take that back. Of course, I don’t accept those as the REAL reasons for this newly acquired belly fat. Like everything that goes wrong in my life, I blame menopause.

Which isn’t all malarkey, you know. Science actually agrees with me. Get ready for some real technical, fancy, savvy language to explain why I can’t lose this pooch.

According to the American Chemical Society, “estrogen receptors…serve as a master switch.” When estrogen levels in the brain dip during menopause, this master switch increases hunger, slows metabolism, and encourages fat gain around the waist.

Oh, great! In non-technical lingo, that means I’m so hungry I’d steal the chip from a monk, my metabolism called it quits, and all that extra fat now makes a beeline to my menopausal middle.

OverwieghtWhew, this menopausal belly fat SO isn’t my fault. But, after the Facebook incident, I decided it was time to face the music anyway.

I reluctantly decided to give up “mirror fasting.” Have you heard of this marvelous trend? People are refusing to look at their reflections for days, weeks, months, or even years so they can quit focusing on their looks and concentrate on more important stuff.

I wholeheartedly embraced this fabulous idea as soon as menopause gifted me with this Buddha belly.

I mean, look what happened to Narcissus who fell in love with his reflection and stared at it until he died. Yes, died! And who wants to be like the evil queen in Snow White who was a compulsive mirror gazer? Or what about the evil magic mirror in Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen that distorted the good and beautiful aspects of people and magnified their bad and ugly qualities? People just couldn’t quit looking at it. The evil mirror eventually broke into a million pieces; the fragments got into people’s eyes and turned hearts cold like a lump of ice.

There’s clearly a pattern here.

So, I quickly abandoned mirrors and felt very self-righteous about the whole thing.

But now things were different. Since hubby went and destroyed my blissful ignorance with the photo, I took a deep breath and looked in the mirror. Just for one second, but the damage was done. Then, I knew it was true: “Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle.” No denying it. Depressing, but I survived it.

Okay. Next step. I thought about a measuring tape, but couldn’t find one (okay, I didn’t even look, leave me alone!) So, It was time for that scornful scale I broke up with long ago.

I waited for the morning, peed, and removed every item of clothing and jewelry – even my wedding ring. Then I plucked my eyebrows, shaved my legs, removed my nail polish, cleaned my ears, blew my nose, clipped my toenails, and checked for lint in my navel. Heck, I would have temporarily donated a kidney if I knew how.

And still…the scales read a whopping 167. By far, the most I’ve ever weighed in my life – even counting pregnancy. Deep sigh. It was like that poem, “When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but ten extra pounds on hips, thighs, and rear.”

So once again, I’m on a diet which stands for Did I Eat That? Time to play Hunger Games. Which is the sure ticket to failure, by the way, but I’m desperate.

Before I got started, the experts say to throw out all your junk food. Since I paid a lot of money for all those goodies, some pre-action was in order. So I diligently ate all the chips and chocolate chip cookies so they wouldn’t tempt me anymore. I worked day and night on this project as I pondered on the universal wisdom of the joke, if we’re not supposed to have midnight snacks, why is there a light in the refrigerator that makes it so easy?

Now I needed to lose 20 pounds instead of 15. Did I mention that menopause makes you extra hungry?

As you can tell, the whole dieting thing wasn’t going so well. After one week, I was obsessively examining myself in the mirror (I forgot all about Narcissus) to see if I looked any thinner. Yup, the low fat diet was working. My fat was definitely hanging lower.

If only losing weight was as easy as losing my menopausal temper!

On second thought, maybe it’d just be simpler to bake some cookies for my menopausal lady friends and look thinner by comparison.

Yup, that’s my plan. I’m forbidding any more pictures of me from my waist down on Facebook, breaking up with my bathroom scales once again, and I’m definitely going back to mirror fasting!

Image courtesy of jk1991 and AKARAKINGDOMS at FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Be sure and check out Hot Flash Daily for more informative and fun articles on menopause.

Menopause Misery: Cry Me a River

Okay, my menopausal madams. Time for a little menopause humor. Because it’s either laugh or cry. And let’s face it. We do way too much crying, right? In fact, when I’m not busy being irritable, irrational, and ill-tempered, I’m enjoying my brand new hobby, thanks to menopause: filling up buckets with tears.

CryingMind you, I was never the super-sensitive emotional type. I was going through life blissfully pragmatic and practical about life’s events.

Even those sentimental, tear-jerker chick flicks would leave me dry-eyed in a theater full of weepy women. I was kind of proud of that.

So what’s happened? Now, it’s instant drama, at any random moment, for no reason whatsoever.

Some days, I can watch a soppy Hallmark commercial or even those tragic ASPCA of starving children commercials without a tear in sight. Other days, that Amazon Prime commercial about the little horse being ignored by all the big horses with a happy ending due to the purchase of a very large doggy door causes me to burst into tears.

Some days, I can listen to the saddest country song unmoved and other days the cheery song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” sends me over the edge and sprinting for the nearest Kleenex box. Just because I happen to feel worried and happy that day and life is SO not fair.

In fact, nowhere is this whole “cry at the drop of a hat” trait more infuriating than while I’m working. I’m a firm believer in the die-before-you-cry-at-work philosophy. So how could my unreliable tear ducts turn on me at a critical moment during an editorial meeting?

I was simply explaining the logistics of my article in a very Spock- or Sheldon Cooper-like way when suddenly tears filled my eyes and my chin began to quiver. Out of nowhere. Dabbing tears, I explained it was just my allergies while my editor looked supportive but a bit confused and doubtful.

And don’t tell me crying is good for me. Shut up! I hate crying. It makes my eyes red, puffy, and swollen. My face looks like a battle zone and crying gives me an Excedrin headache. By the way, I’m not one of those women whose tears delicately make twinkling paths down their cheeks. Oh no, when I cry it’s a watershed moment complete with snot running down my nose, blotchy skin, and unattractive bunched up facial features. Picture deafening, gasping sobs that make me sound like I’m choking on a chicken bone and you get the picture.

Today, well, it’s a roll of the dice. Maybe I’ll blissfully and happily work on my blog this afternoon in total control of my emotions. Or maybe I’ll become convinced everyone hates me because no one favorit-ed my Tweet five minutes after I posted it. You just never know. That’s the kicker. One moment to the next, I’m not sure if I’m going to feel calm and joyful, flip out, or simply sit in the corner and cry like a baby.

So what’s a menopausal woman do? Keep waterproof mascara and Kleenex packs on hand at all times. As I said before, it’s either laugh or cry. Whenever possible, choose laughter.

For more of my articles on menopause along with plenty of great advice and interesting articles on the big M-word, check out Hot Flash Daily.

Image courtesy of holohololand at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Menopause Music

As readers of my blog know, I write for a fun and informative site to help women who are pre-menopausal or just plain menopausal, Hot Flash Daily. From time to time, I like to share some of the articles with you who may be going through menopausal madness. Because, really, laughter is the best medicine.

So here’s an article I wrote about music seemingly made just for us menopausal madams. Enjoy!

FireThe first time I heard the phrase “Flash Mob,” I thought they were talking about an angry but adorable mob of women hot flashing at the same time. Thought I might join the club. No such luck, though it would be fun to form a hot flash mob and dance to music seemingly written just for us.

You know, we could dance to songs like This Girl Is on Fire by Alicia Keys and She’s On Fire by Train. When I first heard those songs, I thought, whew, thank goodness I’m not all alone!

Or how about Bitch by Meredith Brooks. The lyrics are perfect for us: “I can understand how you’d be so confused. I don’t envy you. I’m a little bit of everything all rolled into one. I’m a bitch, I’m a lover. I’m a child, I’m a mother. I’m a sinner, I’m a saint. I do not feel ashamed. I’m your hell, I’m your dream. I’m nothing in between.”

Amen, sister, right?

CrazyAdd to the list some appropriate song titles for us Menopausal Madwomen: Up All Night by One Direction, Moody Blue by Elvis Presley, Maneater by Hall & Oates, and Losing Your Memory by Ryan Star.

However, I think my favorite menopause song of all just might be Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne when he sings: “Life’s a bitter shame. I’m going off the rails on a crazy train.”

Perfect, right?

It’s a whole new world. Menopause is even out of the closet and into the musical videosphere. If you don’t believe me, just check out “Menopause to Blame” or the menopause rap song “Don’t Touch Me.” Pretty funny stuff. Although, I admit, not exactly “mainstream”…

And last but not least, we now have the classic, Menopause The Musical. I haven’t seen this play but it sounds like a lot of fun with parodies of songs from the Boomer era. The music pays tribute to hot flashes, memory lapses, weight gain, insomnia, night sweats, cellulite, the lure of cosmetic surgery, and the frightening necessity of exercise. Sound familiar?

I looked up a few of the songs with their lyrics:

I’m Flashing: I’m flashing, just flashing and the glow is not my jewels. I didn’t know that the change could be so cruel. They tell me, feeling flushed is part of passing through, but I just soaked another blouse that’s new.”

Sign of the Times: ”It’s a sign of the times. When your roots are gray and your memory’s shorter. It’s a sign of the times. When your hourglass shape becomes a glass of water.”

The Fat Gram Song: The lumps don’t move. How can I stop where the fat grams go?

This Is Your Day: No girl does it all by herself. No, friend, put your pride on the shelf.

Yup, we’re in this together, ladies. Let’s not be shy or vain. Let’s listen to our menopause music, proudly lay it all out there, and we can help each other through this ride on the crazy train.

Image courtesy of xedos4 and Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

What Not to Say to a Menopausal Woman

I wrote a humorous article for Hot Flash Daily that was inspired by a funny cartoon I saw. By the way, this great site has recently undergone some great updates, so if you haven’t visited for awhile, check it out.

Menopausal WomanAnyhow, in the cartoon, a husband is reading the paper and telling his wife: “If you feel like shouting, just close your eyes and count to ten.” The enraged (and rightly so!) woman is holding a frying pan directly over his head. The caption reads: Mood Swings Caused by Menopause Aren’t Helped by Suggestions.

Just goes to show that a mad menopausal woman deserves a gold star for each day she goes without physically injuring someone. Because it seems like someone is always giving us lame advice to help with our symptoms, right? So that got me to thinking.

What are five of the worst things you can tell a woman enduring menopausal madness?

Here’s what I came up with:

  1. You should think before you speak.” You should run for your life. NOW. Hello, lack of control over what I say comes with the territory and, in fact, is in my menopausal bill of rights. Why is it that the people who are always telling you to calm down, hold your tongue, and be rational are the ones that make you mad in the first place?
  2. If you just go to the bed at the same time each night you can beat insomnia.” Careful, because that little piece of advice makes me want to beat you like pancake batter. Don’t you think I’ve tried that a million times already? Ditto drinking warm milk, eating a banana, avoiding alcohol and large meals, and watching TV before bedtime. My insane insomnia is not caused by bad sleeping habits. I’m in hormonal hell, thank-you very much!
  3. Just concentrate.” That’s not my fault either. This continuous mental fog is caused by…well, I forget what causes it. Something to do with hormones. Anyways, IT’S NOT MY FAULT. That’s all I know.
  4. Wine triggers hot flashes, you know.” Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a d*** if wine causes hot flashes. When perimenopause hit, I found that I couldn’t function without my glasses – especially when they’re empty.  If there was ever an excuse to drink, menopause is it.
  5. You’re putting on a little weight; you may want to cut down on chocolate.” You mess with my chocolate and you better have a good look at your insurance policy. Didn’t I mention that I’m a certified menopausal chocolate crackhead? Look out! You’ve been warned.
  6. If you keep scratching, you’ll only itch more.” Really? You know that itchy rhymes with bitchy, right? You’re about to get a dose of the latter symptom if you don’t leave me alone.
  7. A good diet and a little exercise will make you feel better.” As Fred Allen said, “I like long walks, especially when they’re taken by people who annoy me.” Besides, I’m already in shape. Round is a shape. And haven’t you noticed that diet is ‘die’ with a ‘t’ at the end?

All right, I forgot that I promised to list five things and came up with seven. Didn’t you read Number 3? Shut up!

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Menopause and Bad Eggs

Time to lighten things up around here. So, this week’s blog comes courtesy of an article I wrote on menopause for Hot Flash Daily. If you’ve never checked out this site, be sure and take a visit.

Hope this article gives you menopausal women a few chuckles:

Menopause Bad EggWhat do you call a hen who can no longer lay eggs? Henopause.

Okay, that was bad, sorry.

I might be joking about it, but at the risk of sounding weird, this whole egg thing really bugs me.

Unlike men, who somehow continuously make sperm throughout most of their life, women are unable to make more eggs after the two million that they are born with are gone. Now, does that seem fair to you?

Just wait, there’s more. By the time a girl has her first period, she has an average of about 400,000 eggs. Only 400 to 500 mature fully to be released during the menstrual cycle. What happens to the rest? The crazy eggs die off, degenerate, and are reabsorbed into our bodies.

Am I the only one that thinks that sounds gross and a bit disturbing?

By the time we’re nearing menopause, we’re no longer producing enough of the hormones we need in order to release eggs, which doesn’t really matter, because we’re running out of eggs anyway. The eggs get really fragile and fall apart easily so any eggs that are left are unusable.

In other words, we have bad eggs.

Cut to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I was an impressionable 11 years old when that film came out. Okay, picture Veruca’s final scene in the Golden Egg Room, where she wants her father to buy her one of Wonka’s golden egg-laying geese. After Wonka refuses, Veruca has a grand fit and breaks into the song, “I Want it Now,” trashing the room and disturbing the Oompa Loompas’ work. Although Veruca deserved it, I still cringe when she climbs onto an Eggdicator and is promptly dropped down the chute after being rejected as a “bad egg,” Her father is also classified as a bad egg and joins her when he attempts to rescue his daughter.

That’s what I think of when I think of bad eggs.

Or the quote by C.S. Lewis comes to mind: “No clever arrangement of bad eggs ever made a good omelet.”

At menopause we might have a few thousand or so of those bad eggs – stragglers like the people who hang out long after the party is over. What happens to them? Just like the other unused eggs, these bad eggs are absorbed into our bodies.

Yuck! That idea almost freaks me out as bad as the possibility of a shrinking hoo-hoo. To my horror, I discovered that during menopause, our vaginas can actually become shorter and narrower. We’re lucky that our lady bits don’t just up and disappear, my friends. What happens to our ovaries ain’t pretty either. Prepare yourself. Our ovaries shrink and atrophy – oh, how I hate that word that means waste away. How lovely. Or as Auntie Mame (one of my favorite funny movies) would say, “How vivid.”

All this just isn’t very flattering.

The good news?

Once our eggs are all gone, at least we don’t have to absorb bad eggs into our bodies anymore.

The more I think about it, the more I like that. After menopause, we’re done with those disgusting bad eggs. That just might be cause for a celebration. I feel better now. So to quote Auntie Mame again: “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! So, live! Live! LIVE!”

Eggs or no eggs, we can still do that! Heck, yeah.

If you enjoyed this article, you may want to check out a new series I’m writing for Hot Flash Daily sharing what famous Hollywood stars have to say about menopause. First up, hot flash heroine, Whoopi Goldberg.

Image courtesy of mapichai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Maddening Menopausal Nails

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared an article about meandering down menopausal madness, so I’m republishing one of my articles I wrote for Hot Flash Daily. Be sure and check out this site for useful information on menopause, menopausal humor, and shared experiences of this bizarre life experience.

This article has to do with Mother Nature’s cruelty when it comes to our fingernails during menopause. Enjoy!

Nails 1EVEN YOUR NAILS, DANGIT!

Just when awesome and fun nail art for every occasion – ranging from stripes, bow ties, and even funny sock monkeys – becomes all the rage, I hit menopause.

I mean, who doesn’t want beautiful nails during this time in our life to distract people from noticing our unflattering weight gain, sweaty foreheads, and five-inch long chin hairs? But, NOOO… menopause has other evil plans.

If you’ve noticed that your nails constantly break, split, and chip since perimenopause started, it’s no coincidence. Fluctuations in estrogen along with dehydration can lead to weak and brittle nails. Yup, it’s that darn lack of moisture causing more problems again. On top of that, we suffer from extra stress and anxiety due to menopausal madness that makes us want to mangle our fingernails into mannish stumps. As a result, nail biting can reach new heights.

So while other women are busy admiring each other’s manicures, I’m self-consciously hiding my ugly, brittle fingernails behind my ever-growing behind. Often tardy on trends, I wanted to be in on this one, darn it!

So some research was in order to do something about my ragged, dreadful nails. Here’s what the experts recommend:

Drink More Water

Really? Again? I’m drinking more water than I ever have in my life – and it hasn’t been the cure-all for all my menopausal woes like bloating, hot flashes, and dry skin like these experts have promised. In fact, if I hear this piece of advice one more time, I am personally going to hunt down these know-it-alls and help them to a glass of water – down their pants.

Wear Gloves

Gloves remind me of painful and humiliating pelvic and rectal exams, dentist offices, and hospitals. Why would I wear them around the house? Do I really want to look like Mickey Mouse? Although it might be a good idea to wear a pair when I visit those experts mentioned above so I don’t leave any fingerprints.

Nails 2Get a Manicure

This advice is meant for nail biters like me. Supposedly, if you pay to get your nails done and your nails look pretty you won’t want to chew on them. The trouble with this advice is that when the manicurist inevitably starts lecturing me on biting my nails, or asks me why my nails are so brittle, or wags her head in disgust, I want to kill her.

Distraction

This one is also for nail-biters. If you have an urge to put something in your mouth, experts suggest chewing a stick of sugarless gum or gnawing on a carrot or celery stick. Forget that. Now, eating chocolate and drinking wine would distract me and make me feel better about this whole ugly nail problem at the same time.

Keep Your Hands Occupied

Does keeping my hands busy by choking irritating people count?

Use a Buddy System

How about forming a “No Nail Nibbling” team to support each other? Seriously? Am I 12? Supposedly sharing the goal of getting your nails back into shape and holding each other accountable is a great way to succeed. Except when my nail buddy nags me about nibbling my nails for the ninth time, I can’t guarantee what will happen.

Stay Hydrated by Avoiding Caffeine and Wine

No and no.

Moisturize Hands and Cuticles

Use a good quality moisturizer and massage a small amount around your cuticle and nails several times a day. Or soak your fingernails in warm oil once a day. Moisturize your hands at night and wear white cotton gloves to sleep to keep moisture in. Stay away from nail polish remover that contains formaldehyde and acetone since they dry out your nails.

All right, all right. Maybe this last one is doable. Because I want those cute little sparkly stars and tiny cupcakes on my nails too! Or maybe I’ll just skip all this annoying advice and get acrylic nails instead.

Images courtesy of stockimages and imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Arrest of Mr. Menopause

Every once in a while, I like to include a blog for those of you going down the road of menopausal madness.

I’m a firm believer in humor and after thinking about how much menopause steals everything near and dear to our hearts – including our sleep, our sanity, and our figure, I came up with an idea for a funny blog I wrote for Hot Flash Daily. By the way, if you’re going through menopause, be sure and check out some of the great and informative articles on this site.

Since I worked as a newspaper reporter for a few years, I envisioned how I would write up a news article about the justifiable arrest of Mr Menopause who preys on innocent women typically in their late 40s and early 50s. And yes, I assume Mr. MENopause is male. Just look at the name and besides, we know that the male population is to blame for all our woes.

So here’s a portion of that article. Hope you enjoy!

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

At approximately 07:00 hours on May 10, 2008, Mrs. Julie A. Gorges, resident at 45 Hormonal Hell Avenue, reported a series of robberies.

During the early morning hours, the victim reported that Mr. Menopause had stolen her sleep. Gorges contends that previously she slept like a baby but was helpless when Menopause brandished the weapons night sweats, anxiety, and frequent urination. Not even Gorges’ friends, Netflix and Candy Crush, could save her from the ensuing misery.

She also reported her figure. was missing. While admitting that her waistline may not have been perfect previously, the robbery took away her ability to zip up her dresses and snap her pants. Thus, Menopause not only stole her shape but her dignity as well.

Around the same time, Gorges noticed all her skin moisture was gone. She asserts that previously she never experienced dry skin but now needs a bottle of lotion in every room in the house as well as the glove box in the car. Living in the desert, this is a serious loss, she lamented.

Gorges added hair loss to the list of alleged robberies. She suggested that perhaps Menopause was conspiring with the moisturizing and wig industry for their mutual benefit.

Finally, Gorges reported that her patience was missing. Once a reasonable woman, the victim stated that she is often annoyed with random people because they are breathing too much. However, it must be noted that when the officer smiled sympathetically, Gorges became agitated and warned him that he was one snarky smile away from a smack. She then promptly burst out in tears, reporting that Mr. Menopause had also heartlessly stolen her sanity.

Officer Tactless requested that they stick to the facts of the case and suggested that Gorges not allow the robberies to make her irrational. Gorges politely informed the officer that she would prefer the term “delightfully difficult” and it was in his best interest if he agreed.

Unfortunately, the interview took five hours since Menopause had also stolen Gorges’ memory and all her brain cells. When describing the toll that the robberies had taken on her family, it must be stated that the alleged victim couldn’t remember their names. “You know, that guy I married over 30 years ago and the two sons I gave birth to – their names escape me right now – but I can describe them for you,” she offered.

Gorges’ menstrual cycle was also stolen, but although she alleged Menopause was responsible, Gorges declined to press charges on that particular theft, whispering “good riddance” under her breath.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

After a three-month investigation by the Hotflash Police Department, Menopause was taken into custody on Monday at his home located on Devilish Drive. Menopause was arraigned before Justice Michael Merciful and remanded to the HRT County Jail on one million pounds of chocolate bail for each charge to be dispensed to the millions of menopausal victims.

Why not give the story a happy ending?

As you can see from this article, Mr. Menopause attempted to steal Mrs. Gorges’ sense of humor, but she was able to hold on to that valuable asset.

😉

 

Does Chocolate Really Make Us Happy?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Before I get to the question posed in the title of this blog, I have to vent just a little.

Don’t you wish that experts would quit changing their mind? At first, researchers adamantly told us that dark chocolate had the same type of antioxidants found in red wine and the flavonoids were good for our heart. In fact, they told us that chocolate was good for our blood pressure, lowered cholesterol, prevented cancer and fixed practically everything that’s wrong with us.

Okay, everything except that darn expanding waistline.

Then they went and ruined my day and changed their mind. Now experts claim chocolate isn’t so healthy for us after all.

But I’m not buying it. They change their minds every two minutes, right? Besides, the former studies totally make sense to me. I’m sure you’ve heard this argument before. Chocolate is derived from cocoa bean. Beans are vegetables. Sugar is derived from sugar cane or sugar beets. Both are plants – which correct me if I’m wrong – puts them in the vegetable category. (By the way, I don’t really mean that, you must know that you correct a menopausal woman at your own risk.) In addition, chocolate candy also contains milk which is a healthy dairy product. Enough said.

Of course, keep in mind that you’re listening to someone who owns T-shirts that say, “Will work for chocolate.” I’m a Chocoholics Anonymous dropout. As the joke goes, “My version of the 12-step chocoholics program is as follows: Never find yourself more than 12 steps away from chocolate at any time.”

Image courtesy of ponsuwan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of ponsuwan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As I wrote over at Hot Flash Daily in my article, Confessions of a Menopausal Crack Head, I’ve always been a chocoholic, but with menopause it’s SO much worse now. In fact, menopause has turned me into a bit of a selfish, hoarding, and yes, mean chocolate addict. As I confessed in the article, when my three-year-old granddaughter somehow found the last piece of chocolate hidden deep in the cupboard, I found myself uttering menacingly, “Give me the chocolate and no one gets hurt.” Poor thing couldn’t hand it to me fast enough and run for her little life. Hell hath no fury like a woman whose last piece of chocolate has been stolen.

Oh, of course I’m kidding! Well, sort of.

Anyhow, to get back to the question in the title of this blog, does chocolate really make us happy?

In short, the answer is yes. Chocolate contains a variety of chemicals, some of which make us feel good by boosting our endorphins (the feel-good hormones).  Tryptophan, also found in chocolate, is used by the brain to make serotonin which helps us feel relaxed and happy. Caffeine gives us an extra boost of energy along with a calming effect.  Scientists at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego even suggested that chocolate contained substances that produce a cannabis-like effect on the brain. Who doesn’t want a bit of happy high?

Several years ago, one study surveyed 1,367 men in their 70’s with similar socioeconomic backgrounds and asked questions about their health, satisfaction in life, and emotions like happiness and loneliness. In addition, they also sneaked in a question asking what kind of candy they preferred. Guess what? Those who preferred chocolate showed lower frequencies of depression and loneliness and had a more optimistic outlook on life. 

So there, experts! Even if you take away health benefits, we still have all the mental benefits of this beloved substance.

As the funny Dave Barry said, “My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”

Even Thomas Jefferson agreed. “The superiority of chocolate, both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain,” he said.

What a wise person. Who can argue with Thomas Jefferson?

And if I need more validation, Baron Justus von Liebig said in the 1800s, “Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted power. It is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits.”

“Exhausted power” = hello, that’s me, a tired woman who needs this beneficent restorer.

“Best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits” = writer = once again, that’s me. No wonder I need so much chocolate!

So the addiction continues. Last night I found an old Tootsie Roll that had rolled under the refrigerator and was so stale, I almost broke my front tooth biting into it. No matter, chocolate was drooling down the front of my shirt and I was in hog heaven enjoying every last morsel.

Chocolate is good for me. It makes me happy. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

As the Partridge Family sang, “Come on, get happy with some chocolate.” Okay, I made up the last part – but so what? It’s true!

(If you’re menopausal like me and need more humor in your life, you can check out my latest articles at Hot Flash Daily: Cry Me a River, Go With the Flow, and Even Your Nails, Dangit.)

Top 10 Reasons to Celebrate Menopause

Image courtesy of stockimages/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We menopausal women face many trials like hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings. But since my own blog is all about keeping a positive attitude and finding happiness despite challenges during this time of our lives, I thought maybe we could find some reasons to celebrate and embrace menopause.

This article was first published over at Hot Flash Daily, but in case you missed it — David Letterman style, here are my top 10 reasons we can celebrate menopause:

Number 10:  Sure, we pack on some extra weight during menopause. But that can be a good thing. We’re lucky, girls! Weight fills out our faces as well as our hips, bellies and thighs. I mean, do you really want to look like those skinny, shriveled up, crinkled women with crow’s feet that resemble the Grand Canyon? As we age, women need to choose between our faces and our rear ends. In other words, if we’re skinny, we may look good from behind, but our face suffers. Roses are red, violets are blue, thanks to menopause, I don’t look wrinkled like you! Yea for fat!

Number 9:  Okay, we have a few panic attacks and anxiety issues. But that gives us the perfect excuse to eat lots of chocolate, drink wine, and shop for shoes. I’m feeling better already, aren’t you?

Number 8:  Once we’re through menopause no more periods, no more babies (just adorable grandbabies if we’re lucky), and no more crazy PMS. Just think of all the money we’re saving on pads, tampons, Midol, ruined underwear, and birth control. Now we can spend more money on shoes! Did I mention that I’m addicted to shoes?

Number 7:  Yes, we’re cranky. But menopause gives us an excuse for flipping off that annoying driver who tailgates us. Okay, so I’m a goody-two-shoes who has never used my middle finger for anything except scratching my nose, but hey, it’s looking tempting to me lately.

Number 6:  I don’t know about you, but insomnia has been invaluable to my Candy Crush skills. And we always have something to talk about at the water cooler since we’re up-to-date on all the late show jokes and can tell everyone about the wide array of products available on infomercials.

Number 5:  True, we may be losing the hair on our head and other places, but that means there’s less hair to style and didn’t you always hate waxing and shaving anyway?

Number 4:  Memory loss allows us to use all those post It notes that took up useful space in our junk drawers. Our fuzzy brains also provide the perfect excuse for missing that dentist appointment for a root canal.

Number 3:  Our wild mood swings that make people run for their lives are useful for keeping away those people we don’t like anyway.

Number 2:  The facial hair we accumulate during menopause allows us to see clearly how much we resemble our beloved fathers, brothers, uncles, and grandfathers.

Drum roll. Here’s my top reason you can feel happy and grateful for menopause. Be prepared, I’m going to get serious for just one moment.

Here’s Number 1 and it’s a big one: Not everyone gets to live long enough to go through menopause. My mother-in-law died from breast cancer in her late 30s. She’s always a reminder that instead of complaining about getting older we should be grateful to be alive.

So hip-hip-hooray! Let’s have a party and celebrate menopause. This is a time in our lives when we can redefine our roles, enjoy our new-found freedom, reflect where we’ve been and how we want to spend the next stage of life, begin new careers or travel to new places. And as I’ve demonstrated in my last several articles, menopause can help us develop our sense of humor and provides plenty of reasons to laugh.

So no more whining (you know I don’t really mean that, we all deserve to complain a little, but let’s just pretend we’ll never whine again). Leave the grumbling and moaning behind and let’s go buy that pair of shoes!

To read more humorous blogs on menopause, check out some of my articles, such as Gotta Pee, Confessions of a Menopausal Chocoholic Crack Head,  and The Legal Case Against Mr. Menopause at Hot Flash Daily.