The other day I was in my bedroom when I heard my husband warn my youngest son, “I wouldn’t go in there.” “Oh, is Mom having one of her moods?” Is mom having one of her moods? I wanted to scream just because my hormones are raging, my personal thermostat is out of sync and my memory is fading does not mean my hearing has been jeopardized and just what do you mean by ‘one of her moods?’
I recently spied a video available on the internet that reaches out to children in an effort to educate them on how to deal with their mom’s menopause symptoms. The video prepares the child for a storm of activity that he or she will not necessarily understand, but attempts to assure them that this is just a phase their mother is going through and it is not their fault. Between seeing this video and over hearing the recent warning from my spouse to our own child, I realized that perhaps there really is a need for a warning system for peri-menopausal women and all the various relationships in their lives from children to spouses, coworkers to neighbors. Maybe we should bring back those public service announcements from the days of our youth that would question, “It’s 10 o’clock; do you know where your hormones are?” In fact, why stop there? I think there is a need for a new and improved Emergency BROAD-Cast System. Now, let’s not get too offended. The word broad after all was originated in the 1930’s meaning woman and it was derived from the fact that the most defining characteristic of all females are their hips, which are proportionally wider than the hips of their male counterparts, thus the term broad. I don’t know about you, but my hips are becoming proportionally wider than a lot of things these days, but that’s a story for another day.
In an effort to not be offensive, because after all I am trying to be of public service, the new system could be called The Emergency Mood Swing System and the script would be something like this…..This is a test of the Emergency Mood Swing System…this is only a test. If this had been an actual mood swing, the attention getting signal you just heard (door slamming, foot stomping or pan clanking) would have been followed by irrational information, news or instructions such as walk the dog, is the laundry just supposed to wash itself or fix your own damn dinner. We advise you to stay prepared for additional outbursts as well as plans for evacuation. Stay tuned to this channel for further instructions. This concludes this test of The Emergency Mood Swing System.
Perhaps a system similar to those used to identify the severity of an approaching hurricane could be a useful indicator for those by-standers who find themselves suddenly in the location of a woman experiencing her first storm of peri-menopausal activity. Each category would be defined by the actual severity of the symptom as well as probable events associated with each category.
A Category One: Increased pressure with a swell of activity around the waist line.
A Category Two: A tropical depression. A combination of unexpected warm conditions at night leading to increased mood swings with day time highs of irritability.
A Category Three: Record breaking periods of heat followed by high amounts of perspiration and increasing amounts of tear fall. Expect one to two inches.
A Category Four: Extended periods of irritability, increased dryness in the Southern regions and a high pressure of instability. A dramatic rise in heat to be followed by gusting winds and frigid temperatures during the overnight hours as the thermostat on the ac plummets. Prepare for possible mandatory evacuation to sofa for those directly located in the storm’s path or one foolish enough to interfere with operation of the ceiling fan or air conditioning.
To further implement this useful and beneficial system all categories would be color coordinated with a flag system similar to the flags in use along the coast line that warn swimmers of dangerous surf conditions. Simply posting a flag outside one’s home or work cubicle would alleviate the need to explain existing conditions or cause a rapid change in them with the simple, yet dangerous question of, “So what’s your problem?” If by chance conditions were ignored and one finds themselves having just asked the above mentioned question; skip all previous instructions and head directly to planned evacuation route to avoid serious injury.
With a little preparation and a lot of humor, everyone can weather the storm of peri-menopause with minimal risk.