by Belinda Brady
She knew something wasn’t right around six months ago. It was a gradual change, but she knew something was off. She had changed; her moods were all over the place. Happy one minute, biting someone’s head off the next. A naturally upbeat, positive person, this new ‘her’ was a total stranger, and she didn’t know how to deal with this unwanted, unexpected guest.
Her friends looked at her with strange expressions whenever she brought up what was going on, so she simply stopped bringing it up. They weren’t even close to experiencing what she was going through.
Her husband, her wonderfully supportive husband, was the one that copped it the most. He never said a word though, not one, but he was suffering too. You could see it in his eyes; in the careful way he chose his words whenever he spoke to her. The eggshells were there for all to see. She felt so sorry for him – this was simply no way to live.
It was on one of her early morning walks, a result of her infuriatingly sleepless nights, where she bumped into him. At first it was a quick hello, but after running into each other a few more times they would walk and talk. The conversation between them was easy, and she opened up to him about the troubles she’d been having. He was supportive and seemed to know what she was going through. It wasn’t uncommon he assured her. In fact, lots of women went through this experience. He could help her.
It was one afternoon after work where she finally relented and went to see him. She had been denying it for so long, but she couldn’t any longer. Driving home afterwards, she felt relieved but scared. There was no going back now. Her last visit with him confirmed what she already knew. She had to tell her husband the truth.
She stood in the doorway of their home; a home they had hoped to fill with children, not knowing where to start, so she just blurted it out. The truth poured out of her and she struggled to stop talking. It felt so good to finally speak the truth. Of course he took the news pretty hard.
‘Early Menopause’ was the official diagnosis. It was her family doctor she had bumped into on her morning walks, and he soon asked why she was out and about so early. Concerned on hearing her symptoms, he urged her to come and see him so he could run some tests. These tests confirmed her new ‘normal’.
As she sat there, surrounded by information brochures on the help available for infertile couples, he turned around from the balcony and met her gaze. He smiled. In that instant she knew they would be all right. As long as they had each other, they’d be all right.
And for the first time in a long time, she smiled back.