Saturday, April 16, 2005

Life timelines

I’ve had an odd week. Actually, it’s been a typical week, in the sense that family life has been rolling along and I’ve been doing what I usually do: a bit of legal work, lots of family stuff, playing with Caroline, ferrying her to and from various activities, hanging out with Roger at home, trying to find time to get to my studio for art time...that sort of thing.

But this week, a particular confluence of events has caused me to think about life schedules and where my life is, right now. And, I have to say, it’s sort of comical.

First, I’ll admit to you all that I’m beginning to feel signs of menopause...or, as my doctor friend Laura (who is the same age, and feeling the same symptoms, always reminds, me) PERI-menopause. That sounds nicer, somehow. So, although I’m generally a non-sweaty, person, I’m suddenly finding myself waking up at night with a wave of heat washing over me, feeling quite sweaty. This has caused me to abandon the stack of blankets I usually favor, and replace it with a poofy and light down comforter. It’s an odd thing, this feeling of heat just rolling over me so suddenly. Some of you know what I mean, I’m sure.

Second, over the past year or more I’ve been on a program with my dentist to do some major restoration with my teeth...It’s sort of a long story, but I’ve had a rather extreme phobia of dentists for many years. That, plus the fact that in my full-time trial lawyer days, I clenched my jaw and ground my teeth constantly all night from the stress, and that caused my teeth to move around a lot in my mouth and put a lot of stress on old fillings, etc. I’ve come a HUGE way in conquering the fear of dentistry (thanks to a great dentist and his use of drugs to keep me relaxed and happy in the dentist chair). But last weekend, I bit into a raw carrot and managed to crack off the side of a tooth, where the old filling had given way. Yuck. I rushed into the dentist, and found myself having to make all sort of decisions about options to deal with this broken tooth. That situation has resulted in my shifting the overall plan of attack on my teeth around, so that within the next week or two I’ll be getting braces on my teeth. Strangely enough, I’m feeling like that’s a very good thing.

Third, I’ve talked about my daughter Caroline on this blog, and some of you know that Caroline is from China. We traveled to China to adopt her when she was 6 months old. In the past, Roger and I have wavered a bit about whether to adopt a second child from China, but we decided a while ago that we’re definitely going ahead... so we’ve been working diligently on preparing our paperwork to go to China, so that our agency can process them and we can have a child assigned to us. It’s nerve-wracking, now that Caroline is old enough and independent enough to allow Roger and me a bit more of our "own" time... we know adding a toddler to the mix at this stage will change our lives pretty significantly. But we really want to do it.

So, there I was, lying in the chair at the orthodontist’s office, gazing up at the kid-friendly decorations, and thinking how weird it is that I’m starting menopause with braces on my teeth and a new baby in the house. I was joking with my friend Rita that they ought to make braces impregnated with hormones for us menopausal orthodontic patients.

The unexpected turns in life are amazing, aren’t they?


  1. Oh, this is ineresting: the mouth of a preteen, the body of a premenopausal woman and the joy of a new mom - all at the same time! Lets call Ripley's
    Believe it or Not. The rest of us (Pat, Rita and I) will get to continue our Grandma role and Janet will get to be a surrogate Grandma. Pat will just have to share the way back of your car, now. I'm sure she will love the company! I also think it will be a wonderful thing for Caroline to travel to China with you and see her homeland.

  2. Anonymous6:38 PM

    Well, I can certainly relate to the PERI-menopause....I've been in it since shortly after Joey was 1991. The hot flashes are finally calming down tho I am not sure if it's because I am almost menopausal (no sign of it, if you know what I mean) or if it's because of the soy.

    As for adopting hat is off to you. I often wish I had done of our teachers at school adopted 2 from the Ukraine in the last couple of years and they are wonderful kids. But, after 2 of my own 7.5 years apart, I will just have to enjoy my 2 plus the 5 great- nieces and nephew and another on the way and, someday (no hurry) grandchildren....But make sure to post pics of Caroline and the new baby!! I know Luana Rubin's little one is just adorable!!


  3. Wonderful news and insights! There is nothing like experiencing new love as your family grows. Now... the dentist part, Good for you!

  4. Did you have to mention the dentist? I've not been in a couple of years. They wanted to replace 2 more crowns and give me another one as well. I've been avoiding them since then, sigh.

    And no hot flashes here yet, but I've got plenty of other symptoms. Actually I can't wait for menopause to be over so I don't get these horrific headaches every month.

    And congrats on the little one! Please post pictures when you get her/him. As you can tell, we're all very happy for you!