Musings on Menopause & Naked Hiking

An essay about hormones, grief, and defiance

Tracy Willis
The Narrative Arc

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Photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash

I have to say that I’ve had quite enough of menopause; that would be putting it mildly.

The other day, a friend and I were discussing the supplements we take and their cost. Thus far, I have been lucky with my health. I even hesitate to write that because it feels like I am poking Fate with a stick, as if the Universe will awaken from a nap and say:

“What’s that you say? Well, let me teach you a lesson!”

And zap! I’ll be struck with lumbago, plantar warts, high blood pressure, or worse. I have been lucky — no high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. But menopause? It feels biblical, like one of the seven plagues of Egypt. And because I haven’t been lucky enough to find a doctor who will take my time-of-life symptoms seriously, I invest a small fortune in supplements and some prescription medication every month in order to address depression, anxiety, a cranky digestive tract, insomnia, and wrinkly skin. Half of the supplements address my job-induced stress. If things don’t improve, it might be more economical to just retire.

I’m not a medical professional, but life is too short to be miserable, so I use every tool I can.

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Tracy Willis
The Narrative Arc

I'm a teacher who woke up one day and asked, “How the hell did I get here?” Writing compels me, and I've learned to listen when the universe speaks. Finally.