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  • a happy, ordinary, middle-aged, suburban woman who paints odd pictures, gardens in a straw hat, lives with the love of her life, is owned by one cat and the ghosts of several others, and walks a little funny 'cause she has a fake leg. She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life.

November 2011

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    sara at saraarts dot com

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Good reads, grownups only

« Raise your hand if this has happened to you or someone you know. | Main | OMG, what was that stuff? (Heh -- wouldn't you like to know?) »


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Have you ever considered using a menstrual cup? They tend to be great for heavy flows, and are of course good for the environment. And comfortable and wonderful and cost-effective, and basically the best thing ever invented!

God, I sound like I'm spamming you. I usually don't comment, but I read all the time, I swear! ;)


Oh that's where my period went. I haven't seen it since April 2006. Menopause at 38. What fun.


Jess: Such things are not for the likes of me, but I'm happy for all the women who can use them, and really happy planet-wise that someone actually thinks of things like that. Also, there are more environmentally sound single-use items I can recommend strongly, but they don't really come in capacities that will meet my current needs. I tend to use them more frequently as sweat-absorbing prosthetic socket liners, an application at which they excel.

Many comediennes have made extended jokes about what it would be like if men had periods. One of the most obvious places to go with that is of course comparative measurements. Ironically, I have to say that between all the different protrusions and orifices with which nature has endowed me, a surprising amount of my life as a woman has seemed to pivot on issues of relative volumetrics. And exactly because I'm not a man, it all just feels like a set-up, yet another way to hear all about how I'm not normal, never going to fit in, won't be able to find convenient tools to serve me because the marketplace of people like me just isn't big enough, blah, blah, blah.

If my true love could at least get improved street cred BS-ing with his buddies about how much huger and more gruesome his girlfriend's periods are than all of theirs put together, you know, if that would actually impress anyone, that would be something -- something small, but something. However, men, including my most excellent true love, really don't even want to think about this stuff, not ever. Major icky-cootie-juju; major. And I don't blame them. I'd rather not have to think about any of this, either.

Laurie: AHA. So all the world's missing periods will ultimately show up between my legs -er- leg-and-a-third, eh? Dammit! Why didn't anyone tell me sooner? I'd have laid in more supplies.


Please may I object to your sexist posting? You didn't have 'Are you male' as one of the alternatives in question 4!
(And yes, my hormones are playing up at the moment!)
P.S. Love the blog. (Did I really write that?)


The reason it's not on the questionnaire is that the hormones? They don't care! Anyone to whom they can offer a dirty trick of any kind? They'll do it! Oh, yes. It's they're very favorite thing.

They will make you grow body parts you don't really want, often to sizes you will find uncomfortable! They will encourage you to experience cancer and other wonderful wastelands! They will make you behave like a complete ass in public for a minimum aggregate of at least 20 years of your life, guaranteed! And your emotions? Forget it! Man or woman, every one of your emotions is slated to become the hormones' bitch.

If they can make you have a period, I'm sure they will gather their nasty little forces and do it. Brace yourself.

Meanwhile, happy to give you a giggle. :)


On second thought, reading my own rantings I realize that you're absolute right, that it totally belongs on the questionnaire. I have amended it accordingly.



And then there's always the roller coaster of being mostly amenorrheic your entire life, told your childbearing capability was nil, then randomly turn up pregnant. That's what happened with me and my mother. (4 months along before she even knew I was there).

Hormones were invented by the powers-that-be for a cheap laugh on the miserable human race, I think.


And of course none of this ever happens to people like me who don't ever want to have any children at all, who would be thrilled to be amenorrheic for even just a couple of months every once in awhile as long as such instances were not then followed by oh, for example, the two straight months of unrelieved hemorrhaging I experienced in the summer of 1987 (ruined a BUNCH of other people's furniture; so pleasant), and who think the whole forced menstruation thing is pure evil and that all menstruation should be strictly optional with zero consequences for opting out.

The only consolation about having to deal with hormones -- and horribly enough it's also one of the biggest flaws in the whole shebang -- is that other people have to deal with them, too. More or less.

Sorry, everyone, but at least we're in it together, right? Sort of?

Sugared Harpy

May I suggest you stop being so polite and kind to your hormones? Maybe you are making it too pleasant around there and your period is just too damn comfy.

I think your body has had quite enough amusement at your expense!


Hmmm, my period brings many words to mind, but "comfy" has never been one of them. Never. So do you think I am encouraging its bad behavior by giving in so easily to its demands, e.g., drinking however much hot cocoa it tells me it must have before it will release the hostage and guarantee the safety of all upholstered furniture I may use in public?

All these years I thought I was self-medicating, but no! I have been negotiating with a terrorist! For shame!


Snort! Unfortunately, spending time recently with a friend who had an oophorectomy (which I only know from recent projects writing about the horrors of menopausal, no doubt written by Hormones who don't like being shut off, is the removal of one's ovaries and consequently estrogen) has made it clear to me that hot flashes start out amusing but get old real fast. Although it's worse when it happens suddenly like that. Anyway, yeah, it all sucks. I used to have painful periods - we all called it PE when I was in college ("penis envy").


omg now you made me want Abuelita hot cocoa :( The tablets, of course, not the powdered abomination.

kathy a.

i thought, after umpety-ump years of perimenopausality, that i was finally, finally done! 2 free months! but i'm all hormone-hating again.

don't think i've actually ruined furniture belonging to other people. but i sleep with a pillow between my legs to help my back. you see where this is going? the worst time was in this fancy hotel that my work was paying for, when i left a soaked pillow in the closet for some poor soul to find. so far as i know, i wasn't investigated for any crimes in connection with the incident.


Leslee: TMI time.

In my family, on my mother's side all the way down to me and my sister, even without cancer so-called "peri-menopause" can last as long as 15 years. In that time we experience all the symptoms of menopause with tons and tons of irregular and really just horrible menstruation. Of five women in the last two generations whose stories I know, three couldn't take it and had hysterectomies. (And I don't blame them.)

Now, I was hoping to have one, too, but it turns out crazily enough that there is absolutely nothing medically wrong with my uterus as of this summer. I was also definitely, for sure going to have an oophorectomy (and gad, I do love that word a lot) this summer, but it turns out I have lots of other as yet incurable abdominal cancer (metastatic melanoma mets) of various shapes, sizes and locations. The God of Gyneaecological Oncological Surgery ("GoGOS") at the POOI/SFTH consulted over a CT scan taken in March with the Most High Lord of Vascular Surgery there and was told even his serene highness didn't feel he could take out the 6cm tumor on a lymph node right next to my aorta without killing me. When I had all kinds of MRIs taken in June or maybe July, no one called to tell me, "Oh, you know, now that we can see it better, things don't look so bad," and I also looked at those scans, and although it's way easier for me to see things in MRIs of the brain, I've got to tell you they looked pretty lumpy.

The GoGOS told me that taking out the one ovary could involve bowel resection and colostomy, and that removing it would not affect my hormone production because the remaining ovary would simply amp up its efforts to compensate. (The hormones, they refuse to be diminished by my paltry strategies.) So I would have to rehab from major abdominal surgery of unknown complication, and yet I would still be loaded with mets afterward, including that one near the aorta, and I would still have lots and lots of crazy hormones to help it grow as they set off inflammations every time they change their balance in my body. So, alas, no oophorectomy for me. And no, I apparently can't have menopause, either, unless I somehow manage to live with all this for a long, long time. (sigh)

But periods. Oh, joy, I get to keep having periods. Whoopie, I'm still a woman.

I've never had penis envy, though. Penises come with their own sets of problems, and guess what? They're still all about the hormones, the evil, evil hormones. Gah.

Oh, and that reminds me: I'm sorry but I accidentally deleted your second comment in which you wondered if the spam filter would block the "P-word." Happy to say it didn't. We do not frown on medical names for body parts at Moving Right Along. And as for this site remaining accessible to younger readers subject to the whims of their parents' choice of filtering software, well alas, that ship has sailed long ago. I may have said so elsewhere, so please forgive me for possibly repeating myself, but I've been told that some parental control software will even block this website because I've used the word "feminism." I've even read people elsewhere complaining that they can't get on sites that use the words "feminism" from work.

So, real words for real concepts? Use 'em if you've got 'em, with my compliments.

Amorette: Please tell me you have not developed an allergy to chocolate. That would be tragic.

We usually drink Ibarra, because that's what we can find here (and yes, the tablets, of course). It has wildly diminished in quality, however. It's a trifle waxy now, not really chocolaty enough, too sweet, and hard to break into little segments. There's also a local company that makes tablets out of all organic, fair-trade/equal exchange ingredients (can't remember the name), but it's viciously expensive and the resulting product is like a cross between a style of cocoa sold in America as "European" but that I think of as fudge sludge and potting soil.

I need to do a hot cocoa post. But I don't want to if you can't have any.

Kathy: You have my sympathies. That summer with the two months of hemorrhaging? Yeah, I was supporting myself as an underpaid office temp who got around by taking the bus and walking all over a semi-rural area, and I was living in an overpriced residence hotel. Many, many unlovely situations ensued. I can't even think about it without losing my dinner. Maybe next Hallowe'en... ;)


Kay Olson

Just the word "oophorectomy" sounds like a carnival ride.

2. What is your very favorite thing about menstruation?

This question made me laugh and laugh and laugh....

kathy a.

sara, i'm just going to scoot my paltry little whine out the side door here, although i thank you profoundly for noting that perimenopause can last for fucking decades.


Ron Sullivan

This is the funniest thing I've read about menstruation since, since, at least since I quit doing it myself. And I do have one thing to be grateful for: quitting was (knock wood, so far, etc.) easier for me than starting was.

Not that that means much. I swear that part of my adolescence dissolved in a welter of blood and worse, as when I got cramps they occurred simultaneously in every bit of abdominal tissue I had, if you get my drift. I developed phenomenal sphincter control for what it was worth.

Damned hormones did a number on me otherwise, too, and it's written all over my face. I suppose the fact that I spent so much of the preceding years snorting a nebulized solution of epinephrine might have had something to do with it too. I'd like to have a look at my adrenal glands sometime; I bet they have gilded Baroque ornamentation and fucking furbelows on them. And neon lighting in obscene shapes.

You want hormonal weirdness? After I'd been taking The Pill for a year or so, I found that when I took that week's worth of dummy pills (or skipped them, I invariably developed the Raging Snotnose from Hell. I couldn't do anything else with my hands but mop my nose. It was like a busted fire hydrant. I had to lie down with my head inverted over the side of the bed just to slow it down enough to rest. For days. I ended up taking pills without the week off for a year just to get through LVN school and then I got my tubes tied.

Not on the same plane as your Womanly Annoyances, but apparently very very odd; no doc I've asked about it since then has ever heard of that particular effect.

Meanwhile, here's a snort and a sneer at those people who go on about Getting in Touch with their Womanhood. And a whack upside the head with a mickey mouse mattress, as we used to say.

Friend of mine says that if God were a woman, we'd each have one more sphincter.


Kay: Yes, a carnival ride. And there should be tubas. Or is that just what they play when you get a tubal ligation?

Kathy A: Oh, now please let's not get into comparative volumetrics on whining. ;)

Ron: Isn't it amazing how something that is supposed to make it possible for us to have sex without dire consequences (the pill) can at the same time make it almost impossible for us to get laid? I can't say I ever had the snots, and the pill did clear up my skin -- or at least one of my prescriptions, the one that didn't make me temporarily bipolar, did. It gave me other fun gifts though. I'd always had the goriest, most unpredictable of periods, but I never had cramps or PMS 'til I went on the pill. And then I went off it and stayed off it, but those charming effects have remained with me to this day.

I tell you, the day in fourth grade when they took all the boys outside to play volleyball while all the girls sat in the auditorium watching the Disney movie about all this still ranks as one of the biggest betrayals of my childhood, right up there with my first vaccination, both falling in the category of lies I refer to as the "This Won't Hurt a Bit" class. I remember being shocked and horrified at the concept of menstruation and praying that it would never happen to me, that somehow through some fluke it would just pass me by. Really, it would have been just fine.

I tell you, those "happy period" people? If anyone ever said that to my face, I'd be tempted to cut them.

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