Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Good Doctor West is In: Change of Life

It's best we sit outside in our old age. The vapours will kill us in a closed room

I thought I'd skip the hysteria discussion for a while and move to Dr. West's views on "Incidents Attending Change of Life" Something for you young 'uns to look forward to. So put your teeth back in, tie up that babushka and let's go.

He starts off on a very up beat note:

"Most women at the change of life are often in feeble health. They are not infrequently stout (so what!) with flabby muscles (what's it to you). There is incapacity for exertion with palpitation on effort. The nervous system is often debilitated, self control is impaired (pass me that Snickers bar, please) and the sufferer becomes pettish (what?)fretful or nervous (only if they read this book).


A widow or spinster who hitherto has led a decorous life, suddenly develops strong erratic tendencies....and forms immoral and disreputable ties at the bidding of the recondicence (I haven't a clue either) of the sexual instinct. The annals of asylums, the dates on the tombstones in the church yard tell us of the severe strain put upon the system of the woman during the change of life.

(Women who are not looking for their car keys so they can go jump off a bridge may read on.)

Among the recurrent troubles he lists are: irregularity, flatulence, flux, palpitation, insomnia, alarming stoppage of the heart (that would be pretty disturbing), and (whatever the heck this is) griping.

The misery of womankind is, to a very great extent, the result of the reckless violation of physical law. Those who suffer lived to a very great extent in open rebellion to many, if not all the well established principles of physical life."

But take heart -put those smelling salts away -he does offer encouragement!

" To many who have been suffering invalids for many years and who have been battling with the terrors of nervous irritability or the rackings of disease resulting from physical derangement the lighthouse of restored health may be seen from the mast top (is my ship coming in??) and with these directions for a pilot, and prudence and common sense as a helm, (GET TO THE POINT) they will be able to land their fragile bark in the long-looked for haven, where they may pass the evening of life ( I'm gonna die???) in the enjoyment of almost perfect health. (oh)

No matter what your debility and suffering you may have many years to live in the enjoyment of reasonable health, Your latter days will be crowned with peace and pleasure. " (He obviously hasn't seen what's happened to my 401K during the last month)

Well, my heart's been stopped for about an hour now, but I'm sure I can get it working again if you just smack me on the back a couple of times.

That's enough out of him. He offers no explanation for this miraculous cure. The inference I get is he is encouraging the delicate women of money to take to their beds at a young age and stay there. Once the kids are gown, the Mister has learned how to do all of the housework and your trusty lifelong nurse is ready to retire you may jump out of bed and scream "I'm cured, I'm cured! Let's go out to dinner to celebrate - because if I have to cook or do dishes I shall hitherto have a flux and have to take to my bed again."


willow said...

At least I know that my deranged ship is heading towards shore.

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

I am not edgy, I AM NOT EDGY (pass me that hormone would you dear so I can get out of bed). HA HA I enjoy your posts the mostest. ((Hugs)) ♥ ∞

MuseSwings said...

I am so happy for you and your flagship Willow! Mine is caught on the reef somewhere.

Thank you so much, Sparky!
I'd give you a hormone, but my Dr. (not West) made me stop taking them. Now if I would just quit swinging from the ceiling fans I might get something sone around here!

Lavinia said...

I wonder whatever happened to the good doctors widow, after his female patients formed an angry seething mob, stormed his office and made quick work of him with their pitchforks.

His poor widow, and the poor doctor, he never saw the rampaging stampeded coming, did he now! Physician, after all, could *not* heal thyself!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

This is so funny! I didn't realize menopause would be so much fun. When I was a young woman I had no idea this time of life would be so challenging. It's just one big laugh a day. Between hot flashes and mood swings and the bloating it is just hysterical. Hysteria yes that's it.

MuseSwings said...

Lavinia, His poor widow probably took to her bed with nervous exhaustion at age 27 and after he was strung from the clock tower in the town square by the local suffagettes she made a miraculous recovery and led a life of glorious immorality - or was it immortality. Whichever.

Trish - hysterical, yes! I find the Doctor West's Laudunum Tonic to be highly effective if taken with a teensy weensy glass of raspberry cordial.

Karla @ Ramblin' Roads said...

LOL! I am enjoying these posts so much! I really wish I had that book!

MuseSwings said...

Thank you Karla - and I enjoy your posts very much as well! The poor book is on it's last legs. It is on the verge of disintigration!

A Cuban In London said...

A very humourous post indeed, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It's funny that we're reading completely opposite books. 'The Second Sex' has proved to be difficult, especially the first chapter (which deals with biological differences and similarities between males and females) but I am starting to see the break-through now. Your article caught my attention also because once again it's a bloke discussing women. Hmmm... as they say in French, plus ca change, plus la meme chose (sorry for the absence of accents).

Greetings from London.

soulbrush said...

i fell off my chair laughing so hard at this post, and that woman's face! OMG!
okay, calm down all you ladies, the 'meenie menos' are awful, but when they're over (can take 1anything from 1-10 years)...LIFE STARTS AGAIN, even better than before. so smile, throw away the HRT, drink lotsa water, fruit, veg, sleep, cut down on stress
( like how?) and pray! and e mail me if you wanna rant!

Bibi said...

Great post! I really laughed hard, all the more because I think I just kind of breezed through the big M without too many side effects. At least that's what I think. Feel free to ask those around me.