What was I doing? A 50 something's daily life. & “It suggests that we have a high cultural tolerance for women’s suffering,”
WSG 63 Let's talk about it. Menopause and the trouble with recall.
First, a few words.
I love writing, I do. And I don’t need to get paid to feel like what I do is of value…But, I LIE.
I want to be paid to write. It would make me feel validated to be paid by someone like you who has the incredibly good taste to read what I write. And then I can cover expenses, too.
I will make it worth your while to be behind the “pay wall.” For instance, there will be a weekly essay (instead of bi-weekly) and daily musings on the new “Notes” (It’s a bit like Twitter). And much more. I am preparing to make this feature “live” beginning in JULY. But, if you have an urge…it’s up and running now.
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I regularly hear myself say…”now, what was I doing?” and then I talk myself back to what it was. Or, it’s totally gone and I sigh and move on to something else. For all I know, what I move on to is the thing that I meant to do in the first place. Do I have a lot on my mind? Sure. Who doesn’t? But, lately, I notice my friends experiencing the same thing.
Recalling names, ideas, places, memories, codes, you name it, they’re deep, deep in the recesses of my brain. So deep they might never seen the light of day again. Not long ago, that information was like a happy sun fish, lolling around on the surface of the water. Easily caught.
But now, the information in my brain is more like those things that live several miles down in the ocean, the loneliest, darkest place on earth. While the actual person or place I can’t remember might be one of a positive nature, its place is in the murky deep. It’s dark down there so, I have to wait and hope for the facts to bob to the surface. I’m just afraid they’ll get “the bends” and expire before I see them again.
My friends have mentioned similar fact-retrieving experiences. Well, not so much as mentioned, as displayed. They, like I, wear the expression of anticipation while foraging around for what it is they were about to say. The eyes stare blindly looking for terms “out there” that they will never see. As though searching with the eyes might trigger something in the brain to find the name they were trying to recall. Their face and head stay straight and level, but the eyes…dart all over. Is the information skyward? Eyes look up. Or, over there? Eyes shift to the right. Or maybe the word ran to the left and it’s slinking along the ground. Then, the face sags like the air being let out of a balloon (that’s a whole other story for another edition). It’s gone. They ah… they something themselves to defeat. What’s the word? When you give up? Give me a minute, it’ll come to me.
It turns out there is a totally rational, if unfair, explanation for what we are experiencing amongst our age and sex. Lookee here in the NYTimes from February 2023 in the NYTines Magazine: Women Have Been Misled About Menopause. It mostly talks about hormone therapy, but it touches on many other issues related to menopause, and aging in general.
My husband was the one who mentioned the above article to me…let’s reflect on that moment before we go on.
Me: “….I ran into um, ah. I ran into that guy…you know, that guy the one who um…what did he do. He did something with the kid’s soccer or, um…
Husband: “Hey, did you see the NYTimes Magazine from last Sunday? It says women…um…women around your age (flinch)…(then speedy) they actually loose gray matter during that time? Like, at your age? So, it’s normal you can’t think.”
Me: “Oh, stuff it Mr. Perfect…”
Yup, if memory serves…(but it doesn’t or it won’t for a few minutes or days), that’s how I found out about the article that talks about the super secret biological process that affects 50 percent of the world’s population…and always has…
About 85 percent of women experience menopausal symptoms. Rebecca Thurston, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh who studies menopause, believes that, in general, menopausal women have been underserved — an oversight that she considers one of the great blind spots of medicine. “It suggests that we have a high cultural tolerance for women’s suffering,” Thurston says. “It’s not regarded as important.”
By Susan Dominus Published Feb. 1, 2023 Updated Feb. 15, 2023
Join me in the Comments!
Do you have any helpful information for people with ‘pause side effects? When did you first experience your version of menopause? If you haven’t, do you have any questions for the readers? Men, what are your thoughts? Don’t be scared.
Has anyone read one of Pel’s Picks? Please tell me about it!
Good thing I like Tofu…Do you?
Below is an excerpt from another NYTimes article, Could Certain Foods Help With Hot Flashes, NYTimes By Alisha Haridasani Gupta April 20, 2023
Which foods might help?
Soy products, like tofu and soybeans, contain isoflavones, which are chemicals that can bind to estrogen receptors in the body, said Neal Barnard, an adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington School of Medicine. For that reason, the thinking goes, soy may mimic estrogen. It’s one of the most-studied foods in connection to menopausal symptoms, and there’s some evidence that eating it might be associated with fewer hot flashes. But it’s unclear whether that’s because of the soy itself or another mechanism.
Are there foods to avoid?
There’s some evidence that a diet high in sugar and fat is associated with worse hot flashes. Beyond that, doctors often suggest avoiding certain foods and drinks that seemingly trigger a hot flash, said Dr. Hoosna Haque, an OB-GYN at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, such as “spicy food, caffeine, alcohol and also really high-concentrated sugary foods and highly processed foods.”
Well, that’s just super. We all know alcohol has been tougher to deal with as we age. And processed foods…well, duh. But, spicy foods? Caffeine? Just shoot me why don’t you.
SURRENDER! That was the word I was trying to remember above in the intro…
That wraps up another edition of WSG…
Need a good book? See Pel's Picks for the discerning reader!
Here was the last edition of Pel’s Picks
Hi! I looked at Pel's picks and picked Treacle Walker! What a funny weird book! It is sweet and endearing. Hard to understand at times but it's short so doable.
I have brain fog as they call it. when they say youth wasted on the young they aren't kidding. Going paid at last! good for you.
I wonder has anyone tried the hormone patches? there were scary sorties in the past but doctors seem to think they are ok now?
Good morning! Substack seems to not be online today for comments etc. But when it wakes up, I’ll be here waiting! FYI I did hear via email that men folk feel the brain fog, too. But no night sweats!