Doctors, an odd bunch. And I know of what I speak, I used to be one. Oh sure, we’re great at detecting the salient and subtle signs and symptoms in other people, but when it comes to ourselves, well, blinder eyes have never been turned. I finally sat face to face with my new physician, a jovial man who seemed to respond well to my profound sense of entitlement and demanding diva nature. Of course we haven’t gotten down to any real nitty gritty yet, so we’ll have to see how much he likes me when we meet face to exposed body part du jour.

Anyway, what led me to his office was a constellation of complaints suggesting some exotic malady. Like any reputable MD, I had been ignoring the signs for far too long: silvering of the hair coupled with sagging of the derrière; skin resembling vast swaths of parched desert; hands and feet reminiscent of wizened vulture claws; intolerance of blaring music in clothing stores; a nagging and persistent distaste for all trousers of the “skinny” variety; intense cravings for a NASA endorsed mattress that promises relief from insomnia and lower back pain; phrases like “back in my day” falling from my mouth without warning.

The good doctor sent me off for a battery of blood tests and therein was the dreaded diagnosis we had both suspected. His lovely office manager called me with the results. Yes, I have OBS—Old Bag Syndrome (low estrogen levels being the hallmark). I suppose looking through the retrospectoscope, it all adds up. But there’s something quite special about receiving official word that you are on the backside of things.

Naturally, I’m far too young to be this old. I took it all in stride I’d say, choosing to reframe it as a tribute to my love of efficiency. Of course there are more tests to be done to flesh out the treatment plan. At the rate the Canadian health care system moves I’ll be residing at the Sunshine Home for Seniors before any final decisions are made. One possibility will be hormone replacement therapy. And I’ve given that some serious thought. Most ladies are satisfied with the estrogen option, but as you know I like to live on the edge.

In keeping with my taste for adventure, I’m thinking about going for the testosterone patch. A middle-aged man I know says it’s all the rage. I imagine it’ll be the reverse of a Tampax ad. Instead of being able to swim and bike wearing a white bikini, dancing about celebrating the bliss of womanhood, I’ll have bulging biceps and abs/arse of steel, expel copious amounts of gas at will, and smash through villages, pillaging, marauding, and declaring war on anyone who gets in my way.

I’m also expecting to suddenly know how to whip up a creamy parmesan and asparagus risotto and bake a sticky tarte tatin—the sure sign of testosterone in my house. No doubt the monsieur is secretly thanking the universe for the end of PMS. No doubt I’m secretly laughing at his ignorance of what will replace it (sadly, OBS can cause an inability to tolerate even the smallest amount of bullshit, no need to bother him with all these pesky details).

In the meantime, I’m not one to sit idly by wallowing in self pity. I’m going to tackle this thing head on. I’m looking into starting a foundation for those of us living with OBS. I’ll be organizing a series of events to raise awareness. First up will be the knit-a-thon, followed by hot flash mobs at local malls and The Nap for the Cure. Then on to the global campaign. All I need is one A-list celebrity to wear the trademark grey ribbon to the Oscars and there’ll be no stopping it. Helen Mirren, call me.

 

 

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