What Fresh Hell Is This?: Perimenopause, Menopause, Other Indignities, and You

What Fresh Hell Is This?: Perimenopause, Menopause, Other Indignities, and You

by Heather Corinna

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Overview

What to Expect When You’re Not Expected to Expect Anything Anymore
 
Did you see the title and flame-filled cover of this book, and did your weary, sweaty, confused, and exasperated soul scream, That one! That is the book for me!!? If so, I’d first like to extend my deepest sympathies, an ice pack, and some of these very helpful edibles. If it’s three in the morning as you’re reading this, as it may well be, you likely want those more than a book. But since I can’t really give you the other stuff, I can at least offer you this book. . . .
 
Perimenopause and menopause experiences are as unique as all of us who move through them. While there’s no one-size-fits-all, Heather Corinna tells you what can happen and what you can do to take care of yourself, all the while busting pernicious myths, offering real self-care tips—the kind that won’t break the bank or your soul—and running the gamut from hot flashes to hormone therapy. With big-tent, practical, clear information and support, and inclusive of so many who have long been left out of the discussion—people with disabilities; queer, transgender, nonbinary, and other gender-diverse people; BIPOC; working class and other folks—What Fresh Hell Is This? is the cooling pillow and empathetic best friend to help you through the fire.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306874765
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 06/01/2021
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 39,467
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Heather Corinna is a dedicated queer feminist activist, author, educator, artist, teacher, organizer and innovator. They are the founder and director of Scarleteen (www.scarleteen.com), the first inclusive and comprehensive sex, sexuality and relationships education online clearinghouse for young people, founded in 1998. Heather is also the author of S.E.X: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties, now in its second edition, Wait, What? A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies and Growing Up with Isabella Rotman, and was a contributing editor for the last edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Their award-winning work in sex and health education has received acclaim from The Woodhull Foundation, Ms. Magazine, BUST, Bitch, On Our Backs, The New York Times, The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and the ACLU, and has appeared in publications ranging from Teen Vogue to Rewire News Group to The Guardian.

Heather is navigating middle age with as much grace as they can muster (spoiler: not much), and currently lives and works in their hometown of Chicago.

Archie Bongiovanni is a cartoonist and illustrator living in Minneapolis who has been featured in The New Yorker, The Nib, Vice and Autostraddle. They're the co-creator of A Quick And Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns and their graphic novel, Grease Bats is an ongoing monthly comic on Autostraddle.com and was released as a printed collection in 2019. Archie's newest graphic novel, Mimosa is slated for publication in 2022 along with History Comics: Stonewall, their collaboration with A. Andrews. While their sex toy review podcast is dead (RIP), they've worked in the sex industry as a trained sexual health educator for five years through Minneapolis' favorite sex shop, The Smitten Kitten.

Table of Contents

Part 1 And in the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was "Dammit"

1 Are You Kidding Me? A Perimenopause Story 3

Choose Your Own Misadventure: Managing Your Menopause 11

Postmenopausal Punk 15

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden: Menopause and Puberty 18

Some Menopause Lingo 19

2 What Were They Thinking? 23

Bienvenue à la Fuckerie! A Brief History of Western Medicine and la Ménépausie 23

Along Came Hormones 30

3 The Menopausal Transition: When, Why, How, Where, and What the Literal Hell 37

Prelude to a Perimenopause: Periods and More 37

Perimenopause: Ride the Estrogenic Ricochet! 40

Menopause 45

Why Are Estrogen and Progesterone Causing Such a Ruckus, Anyway? 45

When Does Perimenopause Start and End? 48

How Do You Know if You're in Perimenopause? 50

How Long Does This Whole Thing Last? 51

Other Routes to Menopause 52

"Premature" Menopause or Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) 53

Sudden Menopause 53

Oophorectomy and Hysterectomy 54

Temporary Menopause 55

Testosterone Use 56

Systemic Estrogen Withdrawal 56

4 Ya Basics 59

"Reduce and Manage Stress" 61

"Improve Your Sleep" 65

"Get Active" 73

"Hydrate" 77

"Quit Smoking" 79

"Get Social Support" 82

5 Doctor! Doctor! (Or ARNP! Or Midwife! Or TCM Practitioner! Or Not) 89

To Doctor or Not to Doctor? It Is a Question. And if You Do, How? 89

Hormone Therapies 95

An Everything I Thought I Knew About Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) Was Wrong/Hormone Therapy Today Mashup 96

Hella Basic MHT Literacy 104

Placebo Power 112

The Menopause Market (That's Us) 114

Part 2 Brace for Impacts

6 Vasomotor Chaos: Hot Flashes and Night Sweats 121

Flashdance. Oh. What a Feeling. 122

What Are Hot Flashes and Night Sweats? 122

What Is Their Deal? 123

What Can You Do About Them? 124

How Long Will They Last? 127

7 Moods, Feelings, Mental Health Impacts, and Trauma 129

Why Does All This Happen? 133

What Can You Do About It? 134

When It's More Than a Big Mood 135

Mental Healthcare and More 135

You Will Survive (but It Might Not Always Feel Like It) 138

Anger, Resentment, and Other Kinds of Big Growly Pain 139

Sadness, Loss, and Grief 141

Shame 142

The Great Unknown 143

Yikes to Watch Out For 144

Menopause and Trauma 147

Will Mood and Mental Health Issues in Menopause End? 150

A Victorian Menopause Psychoanalysis Case Study (Mad Lib) 153

8 Brain! (Cognitive Impacts) 155

What Can Happen? 157

Why? 157

What Can You Do? 159

Will Cognitive Changes End? 162

9 Pain! (and Other Neurological Impacts) 165

What Kinds of Neurological or Pain Impacts or Intersections Can Be Part of Menopaust 166

What Can Help? 167

10 Guts to Gonads: Digestive, Urinary, and Genital Impacts 171

Digestive Impacts 171

What Can Happen? 172

Why? 172

What Can Help? 173

How to Eat 174

Will Digestive Problems Get Better? 176

The Uterus and Ovaries 177

Periods and Menstrual Cycles 177

What Changes? 177

What Can Help? 180

La Grande Finale (Ooh La La) 181

Genitals and the Urinary System 182

Potential (and Some Certain) Genitourinary Impacts with Menopause Oy, Why? 184

Oy, Why? 185

What Can Help? 185

"Use It or Lose It" 190

11 Bodies, Skin, and Looks 193

Your Changing Body … Yep, Again 196

Why Do These Changes Happen? 197

Lose Weight Loss: Dumping Diet Culture 198

What's Good Advice About Weight? 203

Skin, Hair, and Nails 207

Pretty Privilege 213

12 Sex and Sexuality 217

What Can Change? 218

What Can You Do? 222

A Few Words About the Clitoris 227

Ghosts of Sex Life Past 228

Sex and Drugs (and Maybe Midnight Nachos, Too)? 231

Toys! 232

This Is Not the End (Unless You Want It to Be) 234

13 Other People at Home, at Work, on Dates, and Other Places. How to Avoid Them When You Can and How to Deal with Them When You Can't (or Don't Want To) 237

Fire Escape 239

The Inner Circle 240

Accommodations and Adjustments 241

Don't Mind Me, I'm Just a Walking Open Wound 241

Kids. Oh God. Kids. 242

Dating in Menopause 244

Men(o) at Work 245

Great Big Menopausal Life 'Splody 250

Cloak of Invisibility 252

Part 3 You Don't Have Togo Home, But You Can't Stay Here

14 Are We There Yet? 259

Loss (or Not) at the Ends 261

15 The Maybe-Great Beyond: Postmenopausal Projections 267

Hello from the Other Side 270

A Menopausal (Very) Mini-Herbal 279

Appendix: Menopause for the Rest of Us (aka People Born with Testicular Systems), by Joanne Mason 285

Acknowledgments 293

Resources 297

Notes 301

Index 313

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