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  • Brooke Campbell

Yo-yos, Migrations, and Flashes, Oh, My


(Contains ramblings about peri-menopause. You have been warned.)



I'm just gonna say it: Peri-menopause sucks. It’s not that I didn’t think it would. But truthfully, I never gave this transition phase any real thought. I guess in a naive way, I just thought around age 50 my period would stop, I’d have crazy hot flashes and dry skin. Woohoo! Done! No problem, right? Ahem.


I was in my late 30s when I started having wild mood swings like I did as a teen, but in some ways worse. I don’t remember the rage that hit me happening in my teens. My wife was ready to move out or throttle me at more than one point. Tawanda indeed.


If that were all that revisited me, it certainly would have been enough, right? But no. I also redeveloped acne, and had a (thankfully) milder version of the debilitating cramps that used to cause me to pass out. Geez. Wan't once enough?


And it wasn’t on any particular schedule, either. I’d spend 2 weeks of each month yo-yoing from tears to slamming doors, and I won’t even get into the wild unpredictability of my bleeding. Good times. I thought I was losing my mind.


When I hit 40, things started to change again, though not necessarily for the better. Thanks to hormone replacement therapy in the guise of an extremely low dose birth control pill, my period dried up and the cramps and acne disappeared. Whew. To me, that little gift is worth any risk from that little blue pill. After 12 years of perfect vision thanks to Lasik surgery, I got my first pair of not just prescription glasses for distance, but bifocals. Not to mention, hair that had been on my legs migrated north...to my chin. Oh, yeah. Sex-yyyy.


And hot flashes. Oh. My. God. I’ve started to drink my morning brew iced. I frequently stand with my head and arms in the freezer. I have a fan set up near any place I hang out for long: my desk at work, in front of my chair in the living room, by the bed.

I hate to be hot. I mean, I despise it. Like, even living in the mountains, during the summer I dream of snow-capped Rockies. Hot flashes are a real treat.


But if I'm honest, it hasn’t all been bad. My baby fine hair that would not hold a curl without major chemical assistance? It curled. Like spiral curly. For real. And I had no idea what to do with it. So, being, well, who I am, I did a lot of research and came across how to take care of it.


Let me tell you, I may be femme, but I’m pretty low maintenance. Other than mascara, I don’t wear make-up and my previous hair regimen was essentially wash and go. This? This is a whole new drama. Products, procedures, and hair science. Geez. Too many days I just can’t be bothered. Admittedly, more often than not, it looks more like a 90s stringy perm, but I’m not complaining. Thankfully, due to COVID-19 meaning my hair grew out, pony tails conceal all sorts of bad hair days.

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