I’m all about the HRT at the moment. As part of what appeared to be a demonised majority of women who are hovering around 50, I am finding the hot flushes and the mood swings little different from PMS and pregnancy – in other words a busy life on a reproductive landscape.
As an experienced PMS sufferer, I have learned to balance my life around the way any deviation from the norm of Stepford Wives robot-like compliance is not acceptable to other people who, although they fail to realise it, act exactly the same way. Over the years I have learned to do my own thing and ignore people who are keeping a calendar for me and assume that every time I disagree with them it’s ‘that time of the month’.
As as expert on women’s health I am also appalled that hardly any meaningful research has been done to find out what PMS is and why this normal part of women’s lives had been pathologised.
But on to the biggie. The menopause. I’ve been a devotee of the ‘I will never have HRT’ school of thought. But like ‘my child will never grow up to disrespect me in any way’ and ‘people only get married once’ and ‘whilst other people often don’t I will keep the honeymoon period of my relationship alive FOREVER’ this thinking is often done by those with little experience in real life. Now I have reached a time where I have started to think hard about elasticated waists and flat sandals, I am also having to think about the balance of my hormones.
Yet, look at me! I’m don’t look 50, or even 48, even though I say so myself. I’m running around being more productive than I ever was before and I still feel about 21! Isn’t HRT for ‘older women’ who are ‘past it’? I’ve been looking around for role models who are on ‘the change’ and since my study into media representations of perimenopausal women where I found Barbara from The Royale Family and Patsy and Edina from Ab Fab I haven’t found many. Then, along came Samantha.
Her character in SATC is massively exaggerated, yet I do know older similar like her character who don’t give a crap about what people think of them. Like those people who ask me if I’m on my period if I so much as wince, Samantha’s critics are the raised eyebrow brigade who’ve probably never had sex with the light on. But these women have learned that people WILL judge and mock and whatever you do you can never be right. The investment in ‘unconditional love’ as a womanly virtue is the psychological equivalent of painting a traget on your back. It’s all part of feminism; some women get older, realise that they haven’t changed the world then become a doormat and give up, becoming invisible; and others do what they do best and give even less of a damn than they did when they were younger. They are enjoying their lives, doing what they want to do with what they’ve got left. The sight of Samantha rubbing a Yam into her face in the film gave me a glimpse into my own hormonal future.
It’s not all about the looking young and keeping your lady-bits tight, its more about how you feel about yourself. Hormone imbalance, be it PMS or menopause, isn’t pretty, and because it isn’t male/unaffected female either, it doesn’t really fit in with everyday life. Instead of locking myself away for a couple of years and runing around like a headless chicken to please others I think I’m going to continue not giving a damn about what other people think and rub in some Yam!
The choices for hormone replacement products on the market is staggering; I have researched my own case and made my own decisions but there should be some definitive guide for women who are poorly informed and assume that they must do what the doctors tell them to. One thing’s for sure, a by-product of SATC2 is that yam sales will rise!
Off to the Arndale Market to test my theory…