Ask Johanna: Menopause Woes

Dear Johanna, I seem to have no memory any more.  I forget things all the time.  The other day my daughter called me to give me the telephone number at her new job, so that I could call her later that afternoon about something important.  She told me to write down the number, but I was sure I could remember it.  The next minute, it was gone!  What can I do?

Forgetful in Florida

Dear Forgetful,

I am just happy to say that I don’t have this problem any more, and I’m as old as the hills.  My children praise me all the time for remembering stuff.  In fact, I even keep track of my husband’s meetings.  And when I go out with my girlfriends, I’m the one who remembers where we parked the car.  It’s amazing, isn’t it, how some people get memory loss with menopause and some just don’t?  Now, tell me again, what was your question?

Dear Johanna,

What can I do about my “chicken fat” arms?  I’ve lost weight recently, and I look fairly good in every place except the very flabby undersides of my arms.  They flap in the breeze and make me feel totally unattractive.  I can’t stand to wear short-sleeved shirts any more.  Help me, Johanna!

Flabby in Forest City

Dear Flabby,

I’ve heard this complaint from lots of people, and I, for one, am tired of women worrying about their flabby arms.  When I see a woman with flabby arms, I just think to myself, “There is a woman who has lived through a lot, experienced a lot, probably picked up a lot of babies with those arms or carried a lot of some man’s dirty clothes up and down stairs. She is certainly not someone who had time to go work out at the gym all the time and keep her arms looking trim.”  I think we should start a movement to protest people’s prejudice against flabby arms.  I say wear those no-sleeve shirts with pride!  You could even get a t-shirt printed that says, “I’m no spring chicken!  I’ve got chicken-fat arms!  Watch out! I might knock you out with one of them!”

Dear Johanna,

I am always tired and have very little energy.  I don’t have hot flashes, but I seem to have every other symptom of menopause, and I’m really tired of the whole deal.  To top it all off, my husband still thinks I’m beautiful and wishes I were interested in sex more often, but the thought of it doesn’t do wonders for me.  In fact, it’s the opposite: I’d almost rather do anything else!  Will I ever feel normal again?

Droopy in Detroit

Dear Droopy in Detroit,

Honey, you need to tell that man the truth:  unless they invent a drug that reverses menopause, he won’t be getting back the hot young thing he married any time soon, so he needs to either get used to living like a monk or come up with some new strategies.  Here are some time-honored ones that have been found to work well with women over 50 (and I actually recommend doing them all, in order):  HE SHOULD 1) cook dinner for the family; 2) clean up the dishes; 3) scrub the toilets in the bathrooms; 4) fold all the laundry; 5) plan the family vacation without any input from you; 6) tell you he loves that one little hair on your chin–it turns him on–and he especially loves your adorable, flabby arms; and 7) promise you that you can sleep late the following morning and he’ll get up and let the dogs out!

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