Menopause Mondays: The Power of the Sisterhood! - Ellen Dolgen
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Menopause Mondays: The Power of the Sisterhood!

power of the sisterhood

As I have mentioned previously in my blog, I was in the San Diego production of Eve Ensler’s hit show the Vagina Monologues on April 7th at the 700+ seat Birch North Park Theatre. When I was first approached to be in the show, I very quickly and emphatically declined as I have never acted before. Well, maybe I have faked a smile once or twice, but never with rehearsed lines! But, as I thought about it more, I realized, it was a new opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up!

And so it was, that my acting career commenced as I arrived at our rehearsal hall, the wonderful Celebration Center. By now, most of you know that I love to “celebrate” all of life’s joys and gifts, so with a name like that I knew I would love my time there.  Every Friday night, for four months, you could find me and twenty actresses, a fab director, and several other extremely experienced production people at the Celebration Center.

This process threw me completely out of my comfort zone.  The play’s incredible director put us through our paces: eking out animal sounds, singing crazy high notes and then dropping down to low ones (neither of which I can reach – oh did I mention I am tone deaf and have never sung a song in front of an audience of any kind (unless you count the shampoo bottles and shower gels in my shower as an audience). We rehearsed, giggled, shared our feelings, thoughts, and emotions and then it happened! You guessed it, everyone began cycling together! This is not a bit like the kind of cycling that involves two tires. I mean everyone started menstruating at the same time.  Everyone except me that is, as I am in menopause!   The Tampax was flying around and I was thrilled I didn’t need one!

We all looked forward to our Vagina Monologue Fridays. The week before the show we rehearsed every night.  At dress rehearsal, which was the night before the show, everyone was complaining that they had all gotten their period. No one was happy except the Tampax manufacture’s association.  I joked about being the oldest of the group. I was sure that not even all their collective pheromones could bring on my period. It’s been gone far too long for that to happen! We all laughed and I was secretly thrilled that I didn’t have to bring along all that period paraphernalia on show night.

The next day, the day of the show, I woke up, went to the bathroom, and there it was!  No I am not kidding! I checked out the toilet seat thinking for sure there must have been a sharp edge or something sticking up from it that had cut my ass.   That would have accounted for the bleeding, but no such luck! Yikes – it was back!! I was officially having my period and “in cycle” with my fellow castmates.

The power of the sisterhood!! Don’t ever underestimate it!  Together we can gain the right to vote, demand equality in the work place, demand to have the right to choose, and demand equal protections of all kinds under and by the law.  We can insist on more medical studies of woman’s health needs and risks.  We have the power to do almost anything. There are virtually no limits to what we can achieve together – including menstrual synchronicity – a symphony of periods!

Of course, I called my menopause specialist.  I found out that roughly 40% of women in menopause who are on hormone therapy experience break through bleeding. If this happens to you, be sure to consult with your doctor.  My doctor took the necessary steps to make sure all was well.  You can read these for more info: http://www.ehow.com/way_5637843_solution-bleeding-hormone-replacement-therapy.html or: http://www.aafp.org/afp/991001ap/1371.html.

As the night of the show arrived, the theatre at North Park was completely sold out, but apparently there was room for one more: my period was in attendance!

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