Monday, December 04, 2006

She goes running for the shelter of her mothers little helper.

I went to the doctor today. Nothing is wrong, i had thought it was time for my yearly fill-up-my-love-cup-with-KY exam. But no, the insurance company won’t let me get my exam until after exactly one year has elapsed since my last exam. Not 11.5 months, not 11 months and 29 days. One year.

The only reason i’m kinda pissed is because i shaved my legs and did some weed whacking for the event.

So the doctor and i just sat and chatted. She didn’t even want to peek at the temple of my womanhood. All tidied up and no place to go. I feel rejected. Maybe i’ll take advantage of it later tonight.

She asked about menopause symptoms, like hot flashes. Which yes, i get during the week that i am off the birth control pills, so i can enjoy them AND cramps at the same time.

But this is America, and there is a pill for everything. I was told that as soon as i get off the BC pills i can start hormone therapy if i so wish. I was surprised as both my mother and grandmother have had breast cancer. But she explained it all in a way that made sense (which of course i can’t recall exactly.) Lower doses, different drugs, shorter time frame, etc.

The pioneer woman in me says “screw that.” I can take a few moments of warmth at night. For a few years. And some sleeplessness. And a mustache. And a dry gulch.

But should i? Should i accept all that modern medicine has to offer so that i never experience any discomfort? If i am anxious, should i just take a pill? If i can’t sleep should i take another pill?

Full disclosure: I do have sleeping pills that i take when i am traveling. I can NOT sleep in strange places and after a night or two of that i am nauseous and dizzy and a raging whiny ass bitch. So i take my pills and i am a happy traveler.

So why should i be hesitant to accept medication for a natural life process if it can help? It just feels wrong. Maybe i’ll be singing a different tune in a few years. "THE DRUGS, GIVE THEM TO ME NOW!"


Anonymous said...

I don't know about the drugs in this instance... Quite a few women in my entourage have had really bad experiences with the hormonotherapy. Keep on blogging, hiking, drinking the red wine and try getting a nice massage ever so often, to flush out the toxins!

Mrs. Chili said...

Oh, GOD! I'm always worried about stuff like that, particularly since two of my nearest friends are all crunchy-granola types who hassled me about getting my freaking flu shot.

I'm not so sure I'm against better living through chemestry, if you want to know the truth of it.

My approach is this: let me try to tough it out without the drugs. Then, if I decide it's worth a shot, let's start with the least I can get and work my way up from there. I mean, really - why suffer if you don't HAVE to? But, then again, I am a major wuss, so you may not want to take any of my advice on subjects such as this...

thailandchani said...

Meno, I went through menopause without drugs. It's really not so much worse than suffering through a hot summer. The hot flashes are more annoying than anything. Truly. Women have gone through it for generations and generations. No one needed drugs.



Bob said...

I can heartily recommend the DR lawn and garden whacker for all of your "weed" whacking needs. Watch it just mow them suckers down. Just 10 easy payments of ......

She didn't even offer you a conciliatory cup of coffee?

I have heard that there is no real reason for the 7 day hiatus in the pill cycle. I understand that some women skip the placebos and continue on with the real ones - and have done so for several years straight with no ill effects. Apparently the reason for the placebos is something to the effect that when the pill was put on the market the 7 day break was, without any prior studies to back this up, deemed a requirement so that women could continue their menses.

You have to understand, this is anecdotal and I have no direct knowledge of this that I can refer to. But thought it might be something you might be interested in looking into. maybe a way to stave off hormone therapy.

meno said...

caro, i will try and do that. Especially the red wine.

mrs. chili, yeah, i worry about us doing things to ourselves that we don't really understand. I'm not against drugs at all, but i only want to take them if i need them, you know? That will be my approach too.

chani, what bothered me, but i was unable to articulate in my post, was that she offered me the drugs without me really having a problem. I can't say if no woman needs drugs, but to just assume that i will want them struck me as wrong.

bob, thanks for the endorsement! I've heard that about the pill too. But really, the pill is in itself a form of hormone therapy, hence the hot flashes when i'm not taking them.

Lucia said...

I am delusional. I'm convinced that I will sail through menopause symptomless. (Hey, I said I was delusional. But don't try to pry this delusion from my clammy hands.)

It does seem wrong that you're not going in to talk with the doctor about menopausal symptoms, and then she brings them up and offers the drugs.

Anonymous said...

my family doctor is one of those good old boys who's always ready to hand me some drugs. I go to the dr. maybe once a year, when I get bronchitis for the second time; and when I go, I make a list of the little things that have been bothering me, so I won't have to go again for a while.

and while this quality can sometimes be good in a doctor - who wouldn't love to be able to say "I heard about this great new drug" and get some - it makes me a little uncomfortable that he just offers without really asking more in-depth questions.

I had a complete hysterectomy about 4 years ago, and my gyno has bugged me since then to take hormones. I've never been much of a prescription drug taker; I haven't taken my blood pressure pills in so long, it's a wonder I haven't stroked out. but I like me some ibuprofen, and I get a taste for tylenol pm occasionally.

I don't want to take hormones because they scare me. the symptoms eased up considerably last year sometime. for a few years I was hot all the time, never really had flashes, it was just pretty steady. now, though, I've finally cooled off enough, that I occasionally get cold. it's nice now.

it's kind of weird really, when I think about it...I don't like to put many chemicals into my body, but I don't mind loading it up with calories and carbs and lots of chocolate. where's the logic in that?

Anonymous said...

Sorry you got all dolled up for nuthin'....but who knows maybe there will be a residual benefit later. I've avoided medication if I didn't absolutely require it....actually I've always avoided doctors, which made it easier to avoid medication, but I digress. I don't oppose medication, I just want to make sure I really need it. No harm in wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Run away! Run away! My mom went on hormone therapy and it nearly ruined her marriage AND drove everyone else away. She didn't even realize it while she was taking them. As soon as she went off, she became human again, and felt better physically than she did while on them.

Ok, now, "fill-up-my-love-cup-with-KY" is gonna keep me laughing for days.
You could do like Brittney and go without underwear, since you're all dolled up.

meno said...

lucia, and with that attitude, you may well do it. That's my attitude too. As far as the drugs being offered at the drop of a.... hormone... that's America. we must never be uncomfortable when there is a drug that will "cure" us. Ah, drug companies.

holly. no wonder you hesitate to go. There is no logic sometimes in what we feel we must put into our bodies. You don't take your blood presure pills? Please don't explode.

patches, it's a cryin' shame ain't it? i will wait and see. No need to pump shit into my body (except for calories) unless i need it.

nancy, that's good to know. My mom took that stuff for 20 years, and then when she went off it, because of the breast cancer, that's when she had the hot flashes, i guess you pay now, or you pay later. i would rather just get it over with. am not as...smooth... as Britney, more of a poodle cut. :)

urban-urchin said...

la la la not listening *fingers in ears* . I watched my mother go through this and I am praying that I am able to sail through or at least be unconcious through most of it. For now I'm pulling a Scarlet O'Hara.

Mother of Invention said...

I say, if they're going to make you a happier person and they're not going to increase your chances significantly for breast cancer, go for it if the symptoms really irritate you. If you think the symptoms are no hairy deal, (Ha! HA! Not by the hair on your chinny chin chin!)then don't bother. You can always try them and go off them. I couldn't stand the breast tenderness I got after just 24 hrs on HRT so I just didn't take them. I had been on a low dose Alesse pill for 6 months and was told to go off and let the big M do its own natural thing. My biggest symptom was hot flashes but they've subsided..funnily enough after I had a heart attack, they were scared right out of my body for about 3 months but, alas, they wended their way back "Home"!

Anonymous said...

I think that doing things the natural way is the best way, even while I was in labour I had an epidural offer rammed down my throat every five seconds. I didn't need it or want it, but they still kept asking.. having said that, 50 minutes later I had a very skilled doctor stiching me back up... then a ceaser with my second. I wouldn't have made it through either birth without modern medicine, so i am a go natural if you can girl but there's no harm in modern medicine either if you need it.

Girlplustwo said...

i am all for drugs.

i mean, hey, i am so natural and wonderful and never need help.

oh hell.

i am all for drugs.

SuperP. said...

I haven't used bc in years.. check out luna! Its awesome.

karmic said...

I can't comment much about hormone therapy. But am a believer in not taking pills if I can avoid it. Not sure how long that will last as I get older. The exercise, watching my diet and all are just a way to prolong the "oh please give me a pill for this" phase.

Josephine said...

As with most of everything you put into your body, I think the important thing to remember is how long the drugs have been around and whether or not it is KNOWN what will happen in the long run.

Take aspirin for instance. It really made peoples lives so much easier to live when it first came about. And now, we know that not only does it aleviate pain, it can also help keep people from having heart disease. There are a few other good side effects about it too.

Hormone therapy has been used for a good, what 40 years now? If you've been on birth control, then you've been engaging in hormone therapy for a good long while.

I'm sort of of the school of thought that, if it's time tested, then why not use it?

We take all kinds of stuff into our bodies on a regular basis. If we just let nature do all the talking, we'd all have about 20 children and die by 50.

Lynnea said...

Well I can only really contribute two things. First, my mother went through menopause without any hormones. She refused to take them and pretty much sailed through save for a few hot flashes. She is happy she did it that way. One instance where I applaud my mother. Second, I know this probably doesn't compare much, but I was put on some very strong drugs to simulate menopause in order to abate endometriosis. I had hot flashes. They were annoying and yet oddly comforting for a girl who is always colder than everyone around, I kinda liked em. Anyways, I think if you feel ok without them and don't really want to take them, don't.

QT said...

Meno - I hate it when a person goes through the trouble to get prettied up for the doc only to be shunned. Sorry to hear that.

My mother just said no to the hormones as well after her hysterectomy (hate that word, BTW). I don't know if they still do this, but Premarin got its name because it used to be made out of the urine of pregnant horses. I will spare you the animal rights propaganda and just say that you DONT want to know more than that unless you are a strong person.

My two cents -don't take that shit unless you really have to. My mom used acupuncture (hello, is kiki in the house?)and herbs. Of course, she started going to a naturopath, so no one was recommending drugs.

meno said...

u-u, denial will work just fine for a while. Keep it up, Scarlet.

MOI, and there's always waxing!

lauren, welcome. Exactly! Don't unless you need to, and then be glad it's there if you do.

jen, i am all for natural, unless it like, you know, hurts or something.

penny, i won't be using it much longer as the husband is snipped. Yay!

sanjay, that's what i try to do too. Plus a lot of red wine, for my health.

josephine, one thing i have learned over the years, is that doctors do not always know the answer, and sometimes they don't want to admit that. I will do lots of research if i have to take the drugs.

maggie, that's how i want to do it too. We'll see. I'm always cold too, so sometimes they are nice. :)

qt, I do know where the drugs come from, unfortunately. I don't know what i'll do, but i won't take anything unless i really need to.

Anonymous said...

I've been doing it without drugs. The early phases were the hardest. I think there are benefits to a low-estrogen economy that include increased creativity and a kind of nice detachment. In other words, if you go through it instead of trying to prevent it, it does seem to feel pretty good at the end (I believe I'm nearing the end). But I haven't had too bad of a time of it, except for some major crazies. No drenching hot flashes. No hot flashes at all, and I'm 55. I eat lots of soy products and take black cohosh. Exercise. The usual....

Bobealia... said...

Um, is gulch another word for punani?
If I were you I would try to go sans drugs and change your mind if necessary (like if you become a raving lunatic). That is just what I would do. Oh, and buy fancy lube for women. It will have a picture of two women getting it on on the front and it will cost three times more than the regular stuff, but it's worth it.

Anonymous said...

This is why:

"The pioneer woman in me says “screw that.” I can take a few moments of warmth at night. For a few years. And some sleeplessness. And a mustache. And a dry gulch."

Yep, that is why you should be a professional writer. You've got the chops.

Karen Jacobs said...

View from the other side of the fence... they don't tell you that you are only postponing the night sweats, etc. After ten years the new doc sed I'd had enough so I happily quit the HT... then the fun began! We ladies are of a wide variety and all react differently to menopause and it's varied symptoms... probably react differently to HT pills as well. I suggest you don't go on it unless it's called for, and hope it doesn't bite you ten years down the road. My system went haywire and I never knew when I would embarrass myself, which is why I signed on. Would have worked through it without pills otherwise. KJ

Anonymous said...

I heard an interview yesterday on NPR with an author who wrote a book on taking the natural process of death out of the hands of the well meaning medical professionals. He was talking about the cases where extreme measures are taken to keep a body legally and medically alive, even though there is little, if any, life. His take on it was very nearly profound.

I have no idea why this felt an appropriate response to your post, but it struck me as common ground somehow.

Give me the drugs now and pull the plug later. I guess that's my philosophy in a nutshell.

meno said...

marian, sounds good. I do a lot of exercise, so that should help. It's nice to hear from a non-drug taker that it won't be so bad.

bo, it's another word for one half of the punani equipment, sometimes. And that lube from the lesbian sex shop is the best. I heard. From someone else. Naw, i've been there.

holly, coming from you, a writer, that is a really nice compliment. I've never written anything before this blog though so am quizzical as to my talent or lack thereof. And my punctuation is atrocious. I've been thinking about the fake poet thing. Thinking......

kj, that's what happened to my mom. 20 years on the shit and then she's having hot flashes at 73. No thanks.

jennifer, i heard that too, (NPR junkie). And it does tie in because in both cases we are taking a perfectly natural process and medicalizing it (is that a word?)

Anonymous said...

Punctuation? Write professionally and copy editors will add your commas.

Poetry is good. You don't need to make money and poetry won't make you money. I started out as a poet and was published in various journals and soon realized, "Hey. I can't pay the rent."

Poetry's a fine form.

Do it.

Bob said...

poodle cut. HAHAHAHAHAH. Now there's a picture I'll see in my head for a few days.

Andrea Frazer said...

That's a tough one... let us know what you decide.