Writing, Motherhood and Humor

My Body Myself

My Body cover-page-001 (2)Order My Body, Myself here.

Living in a hormonal wasteland isn’t easy, but Carey RavenStar Robin does it with humor in My Body, Myself. Want to know what it’s like to ruin a pubic bone, have strangers ask when your (non-existent) baby is due, and suffer from a rare foot syndrome that only serial killers seem to get? This tell-all reveals the dark truth of living in a woman’s body after 35.
Chapter 1: HormonesI’m sorry to inform you that hormones may take over your life at some point in your 30s, especially if you are a woman and somehow forget to have children. I know you think, not me, not me. I’m going to be just fine. I’m not going to be anything like those moody, chocolate-addicted, tummy pouchy 30-something women that I see wearing baggy shirts and bobbed haircuts in the line at the grocery store. I’m not going to have two cats and frequent knitting goods, bead, or crafting supply stores on Saturday afternoons. And I am most certainly not going to go to some embrace-your-body belly dance event wearing a colorful scarf around my head.

I thought all that too, Dear Reader, and yet here I am, recuperating, as we speak, from one such dance event. I used to think, hey, I’m like a size four and I get my period like once a year. What could go wrong?

Despite all that, something has gone very, very awry. Apparently, if I would have had children, my body would have reset itself. I did not learn this in health class, and I really want to write a letter to my 8th grade health teacher to ask her why she kept this important fact from us. I learned more than I ever needed to know about fallopian tubes and eggs that it turns out I’m never going to use.

But I suppose she assumed we would all remember to have children. It was, after all, before the “you can have it all” feminism of the late 1980s. I learned about the reset button from my gynecologist. But since I didn’t have children, I’m now stuck on freeze, just like your computer but there’s no control, alt + delete for me. I make too much of all the hormones you could possibly have, some I’m sure you don’t even know about. But not to worry, my doctor assured me.

I just have to avoid the following: milk, soy, processed food, corn oil, vegetable oil, chocolate, alcohol, vinegar and coffee. There are plenty of root vegetables that I can eat, and of course, fish oil, some salad greens with lemon juice and olive oil only on them, and grass fed beef or chicken that I should really raise and kill in my own backyard. If I do all that, I’ll be cured in no time flat. Oh yes, and I must work out like seven hours a week. That will help too, my doctor told me.

This inevitably led to me cutting my hair into a bob because, honestly, who can stand to do their long hair twice a day – once in the morning, and once in the evening after the workout? I have grown my hair again, and now it just looks greasy and out of place at some point in the day, because I refuse to wash it twice. I simply cannot spend an hour or more a day on my hair, especially considering the farm animals I need to start raising myself. Speaking of hair.

Be prepared for unsightly hairs that come out of nowhere on places they shouldn’t be. Like your chin. No one warns you about that either, not that having a warning would have helped. You wouldn’t believe it could happen to you.

My recommendation is that you buy several tweezers to put in all your purses, workout bags, and of course, your car. The sun is unforgiving, and when you go to check your eyeliner or lipstick or whatever, one day, you’ll see the wretched little hair where you never, ever though one could grow. But that isn’t the worst yet. The worst is the endless waiting for a period. It’s like waiting for Godot, except there are all sorts of omens to convince it’s really, really almost here. Really! Just one more day, and it’ll be here. . . okay, one more day . . . maybe tomorrow . . . three weeks later, in the middle of a workout, you have to run to the bathroom.

Sometimes something even worse will happen, and you’ll bleed all over your partner, ruining the moment in a way you never thought possible in your 20s. That’s pretty much how your life is going to be in your thirties, so if you’re in your 20s, live it up while you still can. Soon, you’ll be spending your days feeling bloated and moody and eating ridiculous amounts of chocolate that you aren’t supposed to eat, waiting around to get your period while you obsessively check the mirror to make sure a full beard hasn’t grown in while you were sleeping.

I have stabbing pains in my lower sides, especially when lifting heavy groceries. I asked my doctor about this too. She gave me lots of tests, one of them involving drinking 40 ounces of water then waiting and entire hour to pee, during which time a lady rubbed gel all over my stomach and told me to never ever drink that much water again because I have a miniscule bladder. Nothing else has stayed small on me, but apparently my bladder has, wouldn’t you know. I won’t even tell you what else happened during the exam. It’s too shocking for a PG-13 book like this one. She surmised the pains were from scars on my ovaries, the origin of which is unclear. “Don’t worry, it’s completely normal,” she assured me. I suppose the fact that these stabbing pains are normal should make me feel better, but it doesn’t. I just keep thinking one day, they’ll figure out I had a rare disease from the Third World all along and the tests were wrong. But what can you do?

I suppose nothing was more embarrassing than the day I had to have my vagina hooked up to a computer. I know you are going to read that sentence twice. Yes, really. I am not making this up. Something that can happen when you are too flexible, which too many hormones can cause, is joints don’t stay together in the way they should. For me, this led to an inflamed pubic joint. Did you know you even had a pubic joint? I sure didn’t, and wouldn’t you know, it is a very important joint. It pretty much holds your whole body together.

Don’t think because you’re a man this can’t happen to you. It can. It’s called pubis osteitis and soccer players get it. You can Google it if you don’t believe me. The only cure is lying around for a year or two and taken loads of Advil. I’m not a soccer player, but bizarre things seem to happen to my body. My joint disrupted everything, and I had to relearn to use my vagina properly. I didn’t even know I was using those muscles in the first place, but apparently I was using them without even knowing it. This doesn’t surprise me, as I’m the type to ask where my glasses are when they are already on my face.

My doctor presented me with a tiny white thing that looked like a miniature version of a computer mouse. I will not tell you where I put this mouse, but I bet you can guess. The mouse had a sensor in it, which meant I could see everything my vagina was doing on a graph on a laptop computer. I had to learn how to get the numbers on the computer to move up and down if my body was ever going to work correctly again. Eventually, I learned how to do that, and now I just email my vagina every once in a while to check on it.

All in all, I suppose things could be much worse. I only have 15 pounds to lose, and I’m confident that one of these days I’ll be able to survive a few weeks on the root vegetable-freshly killed backyard chicken diet my doctor suggested, and then I’ll finally shed those pounds. I have a full head of hair on my head, and I’ve heard of women who lose their hair. That’s got to be bad, but I supposed if it happened to me, I would just wear the accept-your-body-dance-head-scarf all day long. And if nothing else, I wouldn’t have to worry about washing my hair twice a day or getting a cliché middle-age bob.