Monday, May 12, 2014

Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do

It's no secret. I have had a long standing love affair with "the pill". I love the pill. I do!  We have been the best of friends for 32 years, since I was 18 years old. The only times I have been off the pill were the two times I planned to get pregnant. Both times I literally kissed the empty package goodbye. That is a true story.

I mean, what's not to love?  Let's just toss aside the fact that it is highly effective in preventing pregnancy, and look at the other benefits. You know exactly when to expect your period, which is helpful in a multitude of ways, from vacation planning to scheduling doctors appointments and bikini waxes. You know your period is going to be light and mostly uneventful. Less cramps, shorter duration. Long term use of the pill significantly reduces your risk of endometrial, uterine, and ovarian cancer.  It's a flippin' wonder drug!

So it's no wonder I was on the verge of hyperventilating when my gynecologist suggested I may want to stop taking it, "just to see what happens". 

In my 32 years of "womanhood" I have had three gynecologists. The first one retired. The second one died of lymphoma, and my current one--a delightful woman who is younger than me. You remember, the one who recommended I see a psychiatrist after I melted down in her office during my yearly exam three years ago. All three doctors agree that it's fine to stay on the pill throughout menopause as long as it agrees with you, you don't smoke, or have high blood pressure. Well it's agreed with me just fine....up til now. The abundance of estrogen is suddenly having an ill effect on me. I'll spare the details. Also, my blood pressure is sneaking into a very naughty place. Thank you, excess 50 lbs!

So long story short, I'm giving it a try. My doctor has warned me that in addition to needing a new form of contraception, I may begin to experience a myriad of delightful menopause related delights, such as (and I quote) "extreme vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, heavy, unpredictable periods, hot flashes, and mood swings". I can hardly wait!

Obviously I'm not shy about talking about my body, or women's health issues. But I tell you this information tonight, because it is a significant life change for me. An incredible milestone. I'm not sure how I will embrace it. But as Kitty says, I have a "take back". If it doesn't work out for me, the doctor says I can reunite with my beloved.  Hopefully by then I will have some weight off and my blood pressure under control. 

As Bernie Mac would say, "Pray for me, America". 

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