Okay, I’m 52-years-old. And it seems as if everywhere I look, there are articles and books and commercials about menopause. I’m starting to feel left out! So many of my friends, even the ones that are younger than me, are already in some stage of it. Pre-menopausal, full blown menopause, post-menopausal. And somewhere I know there’s a term called peri-menopause. I’m not quite sure what that’s all about.
I have hypothyroidism, meaning that I have a low or slow thyroid. It also means that I routinely get blood tests. I change doctors pretty regularly because I’m trying to outrun cholesterol medicine that they all seem to keep pushing at me. I hate medication and really feel like a lot of it is not only unhealthy, but unnecessary. My biggest confession is that I have what they call “White Coat Phobia,” meaning I’m terrified to go to the doctor. Any doctor and all doctors. Rationally, I know good and well that it is something I must do. But I truly do hate everything about it.
At a recent visit, the doctor casually looked at my newest blood test results and made a surprised comment that I was not yet in any phase of the big M. Then he looked at me speculatively for what seemed like an awkwardly long time. I was just about to blurt out an apology when he shrugged and changed the subject.
On the drive home, I was wondering why I had almost felt a need to apologize, again – for not having menopause yet. It wasn’t the first time. Anytime I’m with a group of women lately, the subject seems to come up in some way. If and when I’m forced to say that I don’t have anything to say about it, and then explain why, it feels as if people look at me rather accusingly. I’m starting to get embarrassed about it. I mean, I’ve always jokingly said that I’m immature, but I don’t think that would have anything to do with it. My husband is three and a half years younger than me. We’ve been happily married for more than 24 years and have three sons. One of my very best and closest friends is 17 years younger than me. But most of my other friends are around the same age as I am.
I’m wondering how common this is: Are there very many other women out there going through this weird twist in life? Does it make you feel like a late bloomer, or left out? Do you find yourself having to always drag along a sweater or warmer item of clothing just to be able to stay in the same room with your friends? I almost thought of naming this article “Peer pressure at 52.” Maybe this is such a concern for me because I’m the youngest of six kids and, once again, I feel like I’m just waiting to catch up with everyone else.
Next time we visit, maybe we can find out why I don’t have gray hair yet (grin).