From Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause

Today’s Forecast: Very Dense

A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.

Elbert Hubbard

It was a foggy Sunday morning. My friend Helen and I sat in the church educational building counting the Sunday morning offering. After we totaled the amount and completed the deposit slip, we sat back for a moment and engaged in girl talk while sipping coffee.

“Foggy?” Helen questioned as she stared at me over her rather large red, yellow, and blue reading glasses. The look in her eye conveyed both understanding and empathy, the kind of understanding only a woman of her fifty-plus years would be able to give.

“Yes, foggy,” I responded with conviction.

As Helen continued to study my face, Thomas and Howard—two men from our church—walked by our table. After hearing only this part of our conversation, they stopped briefly to speak to us.

Thomas lifted a hot cup of coffee to his lips and said, “Yes, it sure is foggy today. It was so foggy this morning I could hardly see the road ahead of me on my way to church.” With this said, Thomas and Howard made their way to the table across the building where others sat waiting to start the adult Sunday School class.

Helen and I silently smiled at one another until they were out of earshot. Then we started giggling. These two men, in all of their male experience, could not possibly know we were not referring to the weather conditions outside. We were discussing my recent cognitive condition; I had been describing to Helen how my thinking had become so confused and unfocused, that it was more than cloudy, it was “foggy.”

I had read that “foggy thinking” was a normal symptom of menopause. It just doesn’t seem fair. As if hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings weren’t enough of an initiation into the “Mature Woman Club,” now I had to also have lapses of memory and unclear thinking!

It seemed to have occurred suddenly. One day I was a fairly sharp and alert person, and the next day I couldn’t even remember the names of people I had known for a lifetime. This forgetfulness is very embarrassing, but I have been told by my post-menopausal women friends that it’s just a phase and will pass. My poor husband certainly is ready for this phase to be over. He has had to come to my rescue three times over the last two months after I somehow locked my keys in the car.

When Sunday school was over, many of us left the building together, locking the door behind us. As we bid each other a good day and a wish for a great week ahead, Howard said to Thomas, “I sure hope this fog lifts soon.”

“Me, too!” I emphatically whispered to Helen, while giving her a hug.

And again, we giggled like two schoolgirls.

Jane Wiatrek

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