‘Cronage’ (krone-ej): The physiological process by which a woman enters her third stage in life—that of the Crone, representing wisdom and repose. Okay, so cronage isn’t a real word. It’s one I made up to describe my personal journey through menopause. Interesting, amusing, and absurdly unpredictable, cronage is a wild ride. Just about the time I think I’m almost through the process, Mother Nature reminds me: “It ain’t over ’till it’s over.”
July has been particularly brutal. After having gone 6 months without a period, I’ve had two already this month both with excruciating cramps that turned me into a whimpering mass of misery that even Ibuprofen couldn’t quite tame. I can take and laugh at the night sweats, hot flashes, and hard to come by sleep. I can even deal with the unpredictable periods. But those sadistic cramps I could do without.
Yesterday was day three of said cramps and I’d had enough. I had a couple of books to pick up at the library and even though all I wanted to do was curl up in a fetal position and wait out the cramps, I decided to hop on my bike and ride to the library. Seven and a half strong miles later, I felt great. My cramps were nonexistent during the ride and while they did show again a little later, I was still on an emotional high from the ride. I used to have a male gynecologist whose only answer for cramps was to exercise. He was unsympathetic and unapologetic. I didn’t like him much for it but he was right to a point—exercise does help. I had a few hours respite after my ride, felt better for it, and had a new book to read.