Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Match, Hatch, Dispatch

Tomorrow I am going to Dog Island with my husband. Jessie and Vergil are there now, having been there since last Saturday. Jessie has called me several times to ask a few questions such as:
1. Where is Oyster Radio on the dial, and
2. How do you make barbecued shrimp?

I wasn't sure about Oyster Radio but I pointed her in the direction of the recipe for barbecued shrimp which I wrote out one night and put on the side of the refrigerator. That shrimp is so good that the recipe had to be written down. It is the sort of dish that makes your chin shiny with butter and oil, and your eyes shiny with delight and satisfaction.

Ah. Dog Island.

For those of you who do not know, Dog Island is a small barrier island off the coast here on the Gulf and there is no bridge to it so you can access it only by boat or small plane or, I suppose, by swimming if you don't mind the 2 1/2 miles of distance. I don't know anyone who ever swum it but I suppose it could be done.

There is nothing on the island but a few houses, a trash depot, a marina and lots of trees and beaches and swamp and nature as Florida has created it. Birds and raccoons, no squirrels. Gators. I hear there was a bear there last year and I suppose he did swim. There is just no other way he could have gotten there because I seriously doubt that a bear could stowaway without someone knowing it. There are snakes and frogs and mosquitoes and every sort of biting fly including the famous no-seeum which is a winged set of teeth, almost microscopic, which comes out at sunset.
And oh, the sunsets.

We have a small house there that we share with a friend and it is funky and plain and has everything you'd need but of course you have to bring water to drink and food and alcohol and books and laundry detergent and light bulbs and all the things which sustain you which you might be able to buy at a store but of course there is no store on Dog Island or restaurant or gas station so you bring whatever you need. It's generally a huge hassle to get ready to go which is one of the reasons I don't go there very often but the main reason is the breakdown I had there three years ago almost and it was so bad that I think I have PTSD and I'm not kidding.

Oh. It's a long story. I won't tell the whole thing here. But in defiance of all common sense I decided that the best cure for the strange and frightening symptoms of depression and panic I was suffering would best be treated by a week at the island by myself. I suppose I thought that walking and doing yoga and breathing and sleeping and eating and resting would get rid of those nasty feelings but oh, my babies, I was SO wrong.
It was SO bad.

Mr. Moon had to come and save me. And then I had to go get serious medication.


Anyway, I have not been back to the island but a few times since then and that's a waste and a sorrow, especially to my husband. But the older I get, the more I know I can only do what I can do and yes, it is good to stretch myself and not be a total pussy ass wimp but...

And but, Jessie and Vergil are there and Jessie wants her mama and her daddy to come out and spend time with them there, that place she has loved since she was a wee tot and so, I am going. We are going to have to borrow a boat because our boat engine is blown, no recovery there. And I need to go grocery shopping and do all the things that need to be done before one goes to Dog Island and I am, to say the least, apprehensive.

Yes. I am on serious medication now but it doesn't make everything better all the time. I still struggle and dammit, I hate that.

But here's another thing- I am going to this nurse practitioner you know, and she has prescribed bio-identical hormones for me, a personal mixture which must be made up by specially trained pharmacists and I'm going to go pick those up today and I wonder if they'll help. I have resisted taking any sort of hormones in the past, believing as I do that Mother Nature will work most things out in the end, especially such naturally occurring passages as menopause and I told the NP this.
She told me that yes, sometimes, but that really, Mother Nature doesn't give a shit about post-menopausal women. (She didn't use that exact phrase but you know what I mean.) That once we women have had our babies, we can go to crazy-hell for all Mother Nature cares. And I have often noted the point that if I had lived even a hundred years ago, I would have died in childbirth with my tenth baby and never had to worry about menopause.
I was discussing this with a friend and she gave me a term I'd never heard before.
It was this:
Match, hatch, dispatch.
I have matched and I have hatched and eventually I will dispatch and there you go. My job here, as outlined by Mother Nature, is essentially done and I accept that. But I am not dispatching quite yet. As far as I know.

So, in order to make this last part of my life the best it can be, I am going to try these yam and soy hormones and I am also taking herbs to support my adrenals and as cynical as I am about all of this stuff, I have been to the land of I-cannot-live-here and if I can take a drug called Lexapro, why shouldn't I try something called a bio-identical?

Who knows? Perhaps these herbs and plant thingees can make me feel good enough that I won't need the Lexapro? One never knows.

And so this morning I am sitting here simmering in a soup of doubt and slight panic at the idea of going to the island where I sat three years ago and contemplated the razor blades in their clever paper packages and I have so much to do and I will not have internet on the island and that in and of itself stresses me the fuck out.
I have magazines and books and oh yes, vodka, though. And we'll play cards and take walks and although it's too early in the year to swim we will be able to look at the water and perhaps see dolphins and we'll make delicious foods to eat and who knows? Maybe we shall dance. There has definitely been dancing at Dog Island before.

The ospreys will be nesting and we shall hear the whistles of the males as they hunt and the tiny peeps of the small terns as they run back and forth in the tide and the chip-chip-chips of the cardinals as they come into the feeder and the bird bath and Mother Nature may not give a shit about me but she dances pretty fancy on Dog Island and at night we'll be able to hear the crashing of the waves on the Gulf if there are waves and the moon shall rise, a sharp silver smile over the bay and the stars, if it is clear, will poke holes in the dark velvet sky and hopefully, I will be at some sort of peace, knowing that I have indeed matched and hatched and that my match is still here with me to hold me and one of my hatchlings will be there to make me laugh and feelings are only feelings and will not dispatch me.

All right. Enough. Things to do. Places to go. Bio-identicals to pick-up. Lists to make. People to see. A journey to be undertaken. A short one, in some regards, but a journey nonetheless.

And when I get back, the dogwoods will be in full bloom, I will get Owen again and perhaps the bamboo will be ready to kick and oh, the fun we will have doing that!

I cannot possibly dispatch quite yet as I have this grandson who needs me. So- take that, Mother Nature! You get most things right but Lord, you have been unkind to the grandmother in some ways and yet, you have given me the greatest gifts of my life, too, so I can't be that angry at you.

Work with me here. As I always think when I contemplate the rosary, "Mother Nature, Love me, for I have not sinned."
Not really. I have done my job and will continue to do so and to that end, I will try these melt-under-your-tongue hormones, these herbs, and make the crossing over the bay to the little house where a poltergeist lives and teases, where my daughter and her boyfriend are waiting, where the sun sets in glory, where I have known both great peace and great fear and where I will try it again and this time, perhaps, get it right.


  1. Oh yes -I remember that breakdown well. It was your birthday...I remember I had a bad feeling about your solo trip. Funny that it was 3 years ago. Wow.

    My mom got on natural hormones and it saved her life -at least her sanity :) But I know they're controversial.

  2. You know, I am generally in favor of the hormones. Funny what all they can do.

  3. SJ- Yes. Will they cause breast cancer? Mother Nature is going to dispatch us one way or another, isn't she?

    DTG- Ain't that the truth? POWERFUL things.

  4. I will be interested to know how this works for you because I am so tired of the way I feel most of the time.

  5. You will get it right. I am certain of it.

    No dispatching. Thank you very much. I need you too!



  6. Wishing you the best in all of these.

  7. I'm hoping with all I've got that Dog Island is all good for you. I'm sure you will collect moments of beauty and love while you are there.
    About the hormones, I hope they let you rest. Mine do that for me. I want to stop taking them, but the hot flashes kick my ass when they do. Most of the risk, as my doc explains it, comes from long term use, and she said in my case the risks were far outweighed by the toll hormone depletion was taking on my body. I decided it was worth the sleep, and mine does help, tho it's different stuff than yours, I'm taking estrace cream and progesterone pills. I feel very much like Mother Nature doesn't give a shit about menopausal women. And modern medicine is still trying to figure it all out.
    Have a lovely time, hope you take some great pictures. We'll miss you and wish you good things while you're away.
    ps wv bilibre - does this mean you're taking two good books with you? :)

  8. Ms. Moon, I have been taking the hormones for many, many years, as I was launched prematurely into menopause by a complete hysterectomy at a young age. I have never worried about any side effects nor experienced any. I imagine the bio-ones are gentler and, it is to be hoped, just as effective. As for the island, how could it be anything but joy with Jessie Moon there, glowing with love? And please do take that Gerald Durrell book, "My Family and Other Animals." It's one of my favorites and will make you laugh out loud and wish you could go on a picnic with that eccentric, wonderful family.

    I love you from afar, dear ladybug.

  9. Lois- You know me- I'll be reporting in on the bio-identicals. Oh yes, I will.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- And don't you dispatch either! We have to meet in the meat world!

    Stephanie- Thank-you, honey!

    Mel- I can't even imagine a world without hot flashes. Or waking up at night ten times with them. Oh my.
    At least two good books!

    Kati- I just love it when you comment, you ladybug, YOU! Okay. I am going to love this book. I know it. And I have great hopes for all the rest of the stuff as well.

  10. So if I continue to avoid the match and hatch ... can I also avoid the dispatch?

  11. Nola- Sadly, I do not think so.

  12. HAve yo unever read my family an other animals? Oh, oh oh, you're going ot love it so much, it's one of my favourite things in the whole world, and good to read on an island!!!

    My mother was very in favour of progon cream, and liked it, I dunno. I do know that your menapause has been far more than a menopause is meant to be, and if something's out of balance, balancing it can be a good thing.

    You have to do something, you know? Just waiting's not a good cure, not after years.

    I hope this is one of these times you have a good time.

  13. rather: match, hatch, and biyaatch!

    finger snap and stick your tongue out.

  14. Shrimp, dancing and hormones sound like a great triple-play.
    Here's to an excellent trip.

  15. I hope your time on the island is one more step in your journey away from the crap. Enjoy your trip.

    And, I think the hormones are a good idea. I especially like that they're custom-made.

  16. It sounds like pure heaven to me. I would like to stay at such a place for a few weeks. Just like Skink in a Hiaasen novel.

  17. I hope you have a wonderful time. As for the bio-identical stuff and whatever, I'm glad you're doing what you need to do. I've battled with the drugs for my daughter for so many years, hating every step, every inch of it, but what I have learned is that if it works, it's good. If it doesn't work, you know it and you stop it. And then you get up and try it again. As for the menopausal stuff, it'd be interesting to study what ancient cultures really thought about that time (if women ever reached it) -- I imagine that there were some cultures whose take on it was entirely different than ours --

  18. With the two Moon couples there where "the moon shall rise, a sharp silver smile over the bay and the stars, if it is clear, will poke holes in the dark velvet sky", how can it not be a good and joyous time?! You keep weaving the picture of how it will be with words like these and that should help rub out those nasty old memories.

    Wishing a wonderful weekend. x0x0 N2

  19. You mustn't dispatch. No over and out for you.

    I suffer from almost debilitating depression sometimes - and am currently on nothing but the skin of my teeth. Usually am just slightly neurotic, until a real life thing happens and my boat is rocked and it's awful.

    Have you heard about these hormones from pregnant women's urine-injections that allegedly jump start weight loss? Anyway, hope the hormones help you out! I'm always funny about taking medicine but sometimes - science and chemistry and modern medicine can give us new leases...

  20. Match, hatch, dispatch - pretty much sums up my life!
    If I had been born an Eskimo (and if this tale was true), my offspring would have already put me on an iceberg, with a chicken leg to gnaw on, and really (I hear) freezing to death isn't a bad way to go.
    Thank goodness for global warming, icebergs are getting harder and harder to find!
    Don't fear the bio-identical hormones. I've been on real factory-made-with-pregnant-mare-urine hormones since about 2000 off and on, mostly on. And, every year (Until last year) my PCP sits me down after my annual check up and lectures me on the evils of HRT, and every year until last year I feel guilty and swear to stop. But, last year I talked to my OB/GYN first and she told me that she sees at least twice as many female patients as my PCP does and the risks of HRT are not all that great. And, you know what - I could care less about breast cancer, I go for my mamogram every year, and I wonder why, as I don't even know if I'd bother to treat it if I got it at this point in my life (well, maybe I'd go to a Christian Scientist practitioner and I'd pray about it).
    Anywho... I'm going to see about antidepressants next week. There must be something out there for me. Maybe I'll give Lexapro another try.
    Have fun on Dog Island, you're probably already on your way there.

  21. I hope you have a beautiful time. I think you will. Maybe you will have such a beautiful time that it will relearn your body how great it can be there. I hope so. I loved talking with you today. I adore and love you endlessly.

  22. Jo- Yes. I have waited long enough. I can't wait to start that book. I am holding myself back until I get to the island.

    Magnum- Oh, believe me, dear. There have been been plenty of bi-atch moments. You make me laugh. Thank-you for that.

    Lisa- Thanks honey. I'm going to try.

    Jill- I know. Isn't that cool? I feel like the pharmacists are wizards.

    Syd- I think of Skink often when I am on the Dog.

    Elizabeth- I am sure you are right about the culture thing. And I have tried so hard to incorporate such thinking into my experience. But that has not helped the hot flashes one damn bit! If it works, it works, if it doesn't, yes, I'll try something else. I am at that point.

    N2- I am trying. Yes. I am.

    Chrissy- Oh my goodness! I don't think I would take pregnant woman's urine hormones unless it was to save my life! But honey- if depression is that bad, try some medication. Seriously- life is too short to suffer through it all.

    Lucy- No. I am still here until tomorrow. I don't think your children would have had a chance at setting you adrift. Thanks for the good words. As always, I will ponder them.

    May- I can't ever get off the phone with you because I feel like I have to convey how much I love you before I do and that is impossible.
    So- I love you. Thank-you, my dear, my love. Thank-you.

  23. Dear Ms Moon, I'm sorry to hear what happened to you. I hope you can enjoy being there again, I'm certain you can.

    I'm glad you're trying the bio-identicals. Take it all, it's all worth a try! I have these things yet to come and I know I'll take anything I can get my hands on.

    I am delighted to have found you! You're amazing xx

  24. Mrs. Moon, I don't comment often but I am so glad you write.

    I am so glad you write.

    --The Indextronaute

    P.S. Who knows? Maybe that bear could fly a plane.

  25. Well, I'll-be-go-to-hell, that last comment omitted half my words. That's ok, though, the essentials got left in. I just sounded a tiny bit less glazed in the original version.

  26. Ms Moon you are such a beautiful writer, even and especially when you are scared and muddled and in the middle of life. I hope these bio-identicals do the trick, and that your visit to the island was healing.


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