Aunt flow pays a visit

Whew – touchdown. We’re finally back from the graduate weekend. Zsolt is officially Dr Zsolt and we now turn, to borrow a phrase from Terri, to a fresh chapter in our lives. He is no longer a student, instead, he is officially unemployed. Ha! I am joking. At the moment our status is “we’re on vacation so leave us alone.” Employment can wait a little longer (though not too much longer).

Oh, big surprise this weekend. With the steady decline of my hot flashes (essentially disappearing with the heat wave some weeks ago) followed by a bout of cramps and what I could have sworn was ‘Ovulation Catherine’ – you know that woman, Ovulation Cindy, Ovulation Grace, Ovulation Anna, Ovulation anyone who is ovulating, craves chocolate, feels emotional and is above all horny. Following these signs (plus a week of absolutely no signs, except perhaps a tender abdomen), last Sunday after a particularly happy weekend where I visited so many friends and had such a good time, well – there she was in the morning: Aunt Flow.

She arrived promptly in the AM with bagfuls of luggage. Heavy luggage. More luggage than I’d ever seen in my life, which frankly was worrying, because after a year of no luggage, to have so much suddenly was quite a shock. I was off to the pharmacy every two minutes buying bulkier and bulkier supplies to deal with the onslaught. It was a very interesting day.

All the while (as we tour the Isle of Wight with Zsolt’s parents, who kindly never asked why the heck I kept disappearing) I’m wondering to myself: “is this normal? Is it menstruation or a sign of ovulary cancer? Am I about to bleed to death?” But then I looked at the obvious: flow with no dizziness, pain or fatigue . . . everything was normal.

Normal! After a year of menopausal mayhem in my twenties, suddenly something normal was happening. It felt weird.

So bye-bye menopause. Except, of course, for yesterday in the plane ride back from England where I was riding successive hot flashs as the plane descended for landing. “Zsolt, is it warm in here or am I having a hot flash?” Apparently my body in currently in limbo between menstruation and menopause.

So – babies, anyone? This is absolutely confusing now. If I have my period, then it must mean something ovulated. Whether it’s a usable egg is unknown . . . actually, the entire thing confuses me, which is why I’ve decided to rely on the words Zsolt’s lovely friend said to me the other day (as we sat on Margaret Island and watched the fountain rise and fall with the Mozart soundtrack). This is what she said, and I found it incredibly touching: “Catherine, you don’t have to worry about having children, because I pray for you everyday.”

Very touching.

And so, for now, I’ve decided not to worry. Her confidence is reassuring, and while everything can be so confusing (test results, my body, menopause, menstruation) I prefer to take refuge in faith . . . even if it isn’t always my own.

So I try not to worry as my body switches and questions come soaring into my mind. It is a constant struggle to stop the anxiety, but then I remember her kind words and suddenly life becomes calm.

Calm like the glassy turquoise ocean round the Isle of Wight, gently peaking with tips of froth and deep in that ‘swim in me now’ color. And I listen as the waves lap against the shore, and a lone seagull in the sky – calling – dives away from sight.

Calm like a moment in the sunlight, with nothing but horizon and quiet and blue.


I love me a little Calm.

And so, my body tumbles forward, changing toward the normal. It’s a good thing.

(And as you can see, gets me going rather lyrically. I can’t help it – really, I can’t. Writing taps into my heart, and my heart is abundantly sentimental. I cannot help the tone. It’s a little cheesy, but then, I do love a strong slice of cheese.)

7 thoughts on “Aunt flow pays a visit

  1. Hi Catherine,

    Those are beautiful words Zsolt’s friend said.

    Good news about Aunt Flow. One word of caution since I’ve been there… if Aunt Flow visits you for more than 3 weeks, see a doctor and get a blood test to make sure you are not becoming anemic (lack of red blood cells). After 2 weeks, my doctor had told me he thought it was signs of me going into menopause, so I didn’t think much of it until week 4 when I passed out. A deathly pale skin, total lack of energy, and a blood test confirmed that I was severely anemic because my auntie had stayed around too long and had depleted my resources.

    But you are not me, so it sounds like your body is healing and feeling more like itself again.

    Take care and enjoy the rest of your holiday to the fullest.

  2. Great news, Catherine! And I am going to Medjugorje next week where all the prayers are even more effective. Of course, I will take you there in my prayers. 🙂

  3. Welcome back to the land of hormones! Mine came back a bit sooner than I had initially anticipated, but hey, you miss Aunt Flow when she is gone. It just seems unusual not to have the traditional monthly surge of hormones. I hope this means the possibility for you to have children as you hoped will happen. I don’t pray, but my fingers and toes are crossed for you.

  4. Pingback: Pressing the panic button | Bumpyboobs

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