My husband is a hugger. (I’ve known this since I met him.) I am not a hugger, though with my children, I am. Those children seem to be the exception, and what I’ve noticed over the last several years especially—as I approach menopause and all the delights that go with it—is that I have very little tolerance for long, drawn-out hugs. Summer hugs? Awful. Since the heat of the skin contact makes my nerves jump and twitch. And snuggling? That’s almost entirely out of the question unless you catch me in a particularly weepy mood.
It’s a true problem, one that I’m working on right now. Mostly because of that husband who likes to hug. You see, this husband (as if I have others hidden away somewhere) is also a spooner. He usually comes to bed far later than I do (after having fallen asleep on the couch in front of the television), but when he does, he loves to spoon (me in particular, of course). That behavior used to be welcomed, provided his arm wasn’t too heavy as it draped over my shoulder, but ever since I got rid of my grapefruit-sized ovarian cyst, it’s not okay.
Let me explain. The surgery went well, the recovery too. Two weeks after the procedure, I was back to running, and my scars healed up nicely. With one functioning ovary, life should move on pretty much as before. And it has, sort of. I still ovulate (on one side); I still have my period (TMI? I’m not sorry); I still have PMS (and eat every piece of chocolate I can find within my home the night before my period arrives); I’m still cold almost all the time (I’ve often said my temperature gauge is way off). Except when I’m not. Which seems to be around the time of the day when my husband comes to bed. He’s always been one to radiate heat, which I used to relish. Now? Not so much. In fact, I’ve been pushing the poor man away more than not, and that’s just sad.
It’s hard to describe what I feel when that temperature goes up (or at least it feels like it is), but I’m pretty certain all menopausal women know what I’m talking about. “Having only one ovary really shouldn’t push you into earlier menopause,” the pamphlet said. Maybe it hasn’t according to the criteria by which medical professionals measure menopause, but I’m pretty certain I’ll be seeing that sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, I’ll be the one trying to take off my skin at four in the morning every day as I try to adjust the temperature gauge. The things women go through . . .