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1 lostlakehiker  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 10:34:16pm

If hardly any women ever reached menopause, menopause would not have evolved. The menopausal woman is freed from breast feeding and its metabolic demands. She can give more attention and resources to older children, and, crucially, grandchildren.

It turned out that at some point it was simply biologically more effective to protect the investments one already had in the future than to attempt to bear and then raise another child.

Grandmothers have been around for a long, long time, because they're good for their grandkids. From a strictly biological perspective, grandfathers too, perhaps, but gramps doesn't have to invest all that much to stay in the breeder game and old men who become fathers can leave it to the mother to raise the tyke. {Who knows? Maybe it will make it, maybe it won't, but gramps hasn't sunk any fortune into the affair.}

That's cynical, but evolution does cynical at every opportunity. Evolution will even do altruism if it pays. :-)

And hence, the phenomenon of fidelity. Set a good example and it just may rub off on the next generation. It may impress possible mates for one's children. Something of the sort must have been the case often enough that a tendency to fidelity was not altogether bred out of us.

2 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 7:38:15am

Ah, but Grandma's of old, were old--at 45.

They weren't working in government and industry.

3 wrenchwench  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 8:10:37am

The link is to page 3, which I didn't figure out until I got to the end of that page. Here's the link to the Single Page version.

Back to reading...

4 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 10:41:51am

re: #3 wrenchwench

The link is to page 3, which I didn't figure out until I got to the end of that page. Here's the link to the Single Page version.

Back to reading...

So, sorry, I actually thought I linked to the single page version. I specifically clicked it to do so. Late night posting . . . is my only excuse.

5 wrenchwench  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 10:42:33am

I hope to get back to this later...

6 wrenchwench  Sat, Oct 1, 2011 12:00:46pm

Hokay, I read it all.

I don't like the title. Might not be the author's doing.


All women are different.

which is presented as "the key", might make any discussion boring and hardly relevant to anyone, which may be why I don't see much discussion about menopause.

The author's description of her own wrangling with menopause seems self-indulgent, but since we're all different, maybe that's all we're left with.

Many of her issues don't apply to me. I never had any kids. I'm not caring for my parents (yet?). But the crucial way we differ might be this. I didn't wait until menopause to start eating right and exercising. I didn't wait until menopause to deal with anger issues and be true to myself. And I didn't wait until menopause to figure out what difference hormonal fluctuations were making in my life.

I dealt with PMS in a serious way. I don't think I had a particularly serious case of it, but I got a serious diagnosis, which requires taking one's temperature every freaking morning before doing anything else, and graphing it. (See Basal body temperature.) That's how you find out exactly when ovulation has occurred. I did it for close to two years. Then I knew when hormonal shifts were happening, so I could tell when "mood swings" were caused by hormones, as opposed to everything else that causes "mood swings".

With this self-knowledge, I can recognize mood shifts that don't relate to what's going on in the world, but have to do with what's going on in the body. So they don't scare me, or mystify me, or depress me. I am bothered by hot flashes and sleep disruption, but not to the extent described in the first sentence of the article:

During menopause, a woman can feel like the only way she can continue to exist for 10 more seconds inside her crawling, burning skin is to walk screaming into the sea—grandly, epically, and terrifyingly, like a 15-foot-tall Greek tragic figure wearing a giant, pop-eyed wooden mask.

I think most of the other symptoms of menopause (memory problems, foggy brain, crankiness, etc.) are the result of sleep deprivation. So I do what I can to get a reasonable amount of sleep, which used to be the easiest thing in the world for me.

The only time I got depressed was when a friend suggested giving up chocolate to reduce hot flashes. The next day, another friend said "Fuck that! Eat soynuts!" So I went back to eating chocolate (after a half day of giving it up), sometimes with soynuts. (Not tofu, not soybeans, gotta be soynuts. Roasted and salted.)

Thanks for posting this, ggt.

7 wrenchwench  Sat, Oct 1, 2011 12:01:30pm

And of course you log out just before I post my comment. Oh well.

8 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Oct 2, 2011 2:09:43am

re: #7 wrenchwench

And of course you log out just before I post my comment. Oh well.

Every Woman is different is the key. I don't do hormones at all. Puberty was hell, Pregnancy was Hell (so much that I only did it once) and this Menapause shit is pure torture.

I can't wait until it is over.

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