July 15, 2019
“Hmmm,” she said, with a look of unhurried but oh so professional concern, “it looks like we have some atrophy down here.” First of all what’s this “we” bullshit? I’m the one who has assumed the position, disrobed and shed all dignity and placed my legs into the medical pony stirrups, not you, sister! And, secondly, and, OH SO IMPORTANT, why the hell are you using the word “atrophy” while you’re looking at my nether regions, you perky little sycophant??? I know you have student loans, but please don’t try to impress me with your body of work. I took a shower for this? Get your face out of my lady parts and let’s just move on, shall we? Don’t insult the body part that has proudly produced two outstanding human beings, one without benefit of pain meds. It’s been around awhile so maybe it’s not as youthful as it once was. Neither is the rest of me. Do not insult it or me by using that awful word or various derivations. Atrophy implies it’s dying a slow death. I refuse to accept that.
So, my point is it’s hard enough losing your spouse after years of marriage. It’s a terrible adjustment on so many levels, but when you are hit in the face with your “new normal” (another modern cliché I absolutely abhor) when you’re just minding your own business and a perky little 30 year old catches you in a vulnerable position where you can’t simply run away, you know, because you’re naked and all that, it’s a royal pain in the ass. Well, to be anatomically correct, it’s a royal pain in the va-jay-jay, the hoo-ha, the whatever you choose to call it. (Please feel free to provide me with additional synonyms) I warned you early on, this was going to be a “don’t get your panties in a wad” blog, so if you are offended by my choice of words, please move on. Actually, in this case, my panties were actually in a wad with the rest of my clothing during the exam. I’m pretty snarky today. Must be the booze.
After I left the gynecologist’s office, a uro-gynecologist at that (any men reading this, for your information, women our age have special gynecologists, because we have special needs.) making sure to give extra care to my sure-to-die-at-any-moment womanly region, I began to understand that while the declaration by that adorable, but annoying nurse practitioner barely out of puberty, that an important part of my sexuality was getting dusty, stiff and could disintegrate at any moment hit me hard, but it also brought back some great memories, memories that will sustain me as I and my “thing” continue to age, but NOT atrophy. Perhaps the memories, and they were great memories that continue to sustain me, will breathe some life back into the old girl. My lady parts have served me well. Perhaps I have premature atrophy as a result of overuse. My daughters are reading this now and probably saying “OMG, Mom, you are so disgusting.” Don’t care. I know certain friends are cheering me on.
The atrophy diagnosis made me revisit the last six months. I relocated to be closer to my kids and grandkids which meant divesting myself of a lot of “stuff.” In essence the stuff had atrophied my existence and was a metaphor for what I no longer needed or wanted. With the help of my daughters and their husbands, I was able to get rid of so many unnecessary objects and things that were simply weighing me down. I was no longer using them and therefore I stepped away from them and never looked back. It was exceedingly freeing. I am not equating furniture, clothing, kitchen gadgets and other dust catchers with the very precious womanly parts my sister friends and I all possess, but it’s a reminder to all of us to appreciate what is really important in life. It’s not the designer handbags, the expensive shoes or the $600 bottle of wine. It’s that vintage part of you that still works like a charm – your brain and your heart. The rest is just an added bonus. My lady parts are fine, thank you very much. And I, for one, refuse to use the word, atrophied. I prefer to use the words aged to perfection.