Those people who know me well are aware that about eight weeks ago, I underwent some fairly major surgery. Now, despite the fact that I write a public blog, and also am fortunate enough to interview some seriously cool people who in themselves have very high profiles, I don't generally put much about my personal, personal stuff on here.
Oh, I know I talk about bits and pieces, but the deep down stuff is carefully worded so that I only reveal as much - or for the most part, as little - as I choose.
I think this piece of personal info, however, deserves full disclosure. Why? Because, much like many aspects of so-called 'middle age' (dry heave), it is a part of life which is still not really openly discussed - and is seen as something to just get on and cope with. At times it feels like we are stuck on endless rewind; it's England, 1944, in the middle of the Blitz, and we are all eating whale meat and wearing patched-up parachutes and singing tearily along to Vera Lynn as she tells us we'll meet again, meanwhile keeping a stiff upper lip for Britain, it's so readily apparent that we should just shut up and not whinge about it.
OK, that's a bit extreme, but my point is this; I want to talk about a craptacular thing that happens when chicks hit a point in the space time continuum called - you guessed it - menopause.
It isn't a pause when it is thrust upon you with the removal of several major organs, I can tell you that.
It's more like an exclamation point, followed by several asterisks, a few ampersands, a colon or two (only partially removed), and a bloody great big whatever the symbol is for WTF was that.
Sometimes this so-called pause is much earlier than expected, and I stress that this early bird is full of worms, and that goes for every person within a ten-mile radius of said alarm clock beater, who has been well and truly - er, plucked.
I thought I had a bad temper prior to the onset of what shall, from this point on, be known as the Great Hell Of 2015.
I was incorrect in this assumption.
I had a frivolous, lighthearted, slightly barbed wit that could, at times, be misconstrued as a tantrum.
What I now had was the equivalent of Hurricane Katrina wrapped in the desire to do stabby things with stabby implements to anyone who;
a. annoyed me
b. looked at me
c. spoke to me
f. breathed in and out
g. was a Federal politician
Actually, come to think of it, (g) was prior to the GHO15, but that's irrelevant. The stabby stabby stabbiness was seriously becoming an issue. As was the meltdown into flaming fever every fifteen minutes, which only added to the stabby desires. Which brings me back to the wormy problem for the peeps around me, in particular The Man Who Vaguely Resembles David Tennant, my co-inhabitants at the world's most awesome working establishment, and close friends like the Fastest Cupcake In The West, who were dealing with the following:
THE INFERNO; OR, A HALF-HOUR WITH KATE
TMWVRDT: Hey, baby, would you like to go for a walk?
EVIL SATAN COW (me): No. How can you even ask me that?
TMWVRDT: Uh - I'm sorry... what?
ESC: You know how I feel about walks! Oh my GOD! You are such an insensitive pig!! (Cries, storms out of room, tries to eat own bodyweight in KFC, storms back into room, blames The Man for that, storms out again)
The Man carefully reaches under sofa for bottle of wine and proceeds to nurse sorrows. (NB: Absolutely justified - Evil Satan Cow)
This is not an exaggeration. I was a complete and utter shambles. And the worst part was that nobody had really prepared me for what the hell was going to happen. This is not because I have a horrible, neglectful mother, or an ignorant oncologist, or am a stupid person who can't do research. It is due to the fact that talking about menopause is left out of the equation when it comes to thinking about 'things that might happen to you at 43, or 45, or even 50'.
I think that we are so focused on the now, and the new, that we forget about the need to express the nasty. Because it is nasty. It's a part of every female's life, and therefore a part of every man's life - and mateys, you are going to know about it, believe me, so start taking an interest prior to being hit over the head with a blunt instrument, and I do mean that literally.
If the Devil is a woman, as several high-up members of organised religion seem to believe, then I don't blame her for being a bit of a naughty boots. If she's faced this pile of poo, then by crikey, she's bound to feel like taking it out on a few billion idiots who decide to sell their souls for a shekel or two. I say 'go for it, ducks - let them have it with both Beelzebarrels'.
Thankfully, for the wider populace, and specifically for the greater metropolitan area of Perth, I have been able to find a large measure of relief from the symptoms of menopause. This is thanks to the intervention of said oncologist, and his brave and brilliant colleague, who did a great deal of research into what a medical wreck like myself can imbibe, inhale and/or insolate.
I have now achieved what could reasonably be called a meh-nopause, and after briefly losing the plot once again during the week, but managing to talk it out (thank you to the Cupcake), may even eventually get to a Zenopause.
That doesn't get Tony Abbott off the hook, strangely enough.