I like to tell people I’m in transition these days. My egg factory has shut down, I’m all hot flashy and sweaty, my mood swings more than a monkey at the zoo, and my estrogen hasn’t been this low since … well … never. As if dealing with my own menopausal issues weren’t enough, according to a recent study by Northwestern University, now my husband is apparently losing critical hormones faster than me. And the irony of it all? It’s not because nature is playing a cruel joke, as it is with me, but instead, apparently he has been losing hormones simply because he procreated.
I debated whether to tell my husband what I had heard on the news. After nineteen years of marriage, I knew him well. The chances of this backfiring were immense. Regardless of my misgivings, I naively decided to take a chance. At the breakfast table last weekend, I opened the newspaper and saw an article that detailed the study. I endured another hot flash, took a deep breath despite my heart palpitations, and blurted with great exaggeration, “So I just read here,” I pointed to the paper for emphasis, “that apparently when you just look at our children or drive them in a car pool, your testosterone drops to dangerous levels.”
“What?” he said as he dropped the Sports section next to his cereal bowl and stared at me. Suddenly, the hair on his chest seemed to shrink. His eyes glassed over. “I have no testosterone left?” It was a travesty in his very manly world.
I continued, “When you were out carousing for a mate, you had very high levels of testosterone. It’s what helped you find me.” I smiled. He looked nauseous. “But when you became a father and began changing diapers and helping with other parenting tasks, your testosterone levels began dropping.”
He swallowed hard. I realized this was all hard to take in. The cold hard facts were right there in front of me. It appeared that we were just two parents wallowing in a serious lack of hormones. “No wonder I’ve been so tired for the past seventeen years,” my husband said as he pushed his chair back and put his cereal bowl in the sink. He turned to me, patted his stomach a little too hard, and added, “And now I know the reason for this.”
It was a tough dose of reality for a guy who had virtually sailed through mid-life thinking his hormones were still in tact. “I’m having trouble concentrating,” my husband said as he felt his forehead. “I think I just had a hot flash.” He leaned on the counter. “The hair I’ve lost on top of my head is reappearing inside my ears, I’m having trouble sleeping, and I think my muscles are shriveling.” And then he said it. I knew he would. “I don’t think I should help with the car pool anymore. Or discipline the children. It’s obviously making me age way too fast.”
After a weak sigh, my husband headed into the living room and flipped on the television. “What are you doing?” I asked from the kitchen doorway. I couldn’t help but notice the lack of hormones hadn’t affected his ability to rapidly change channels.
“I’m trying to find a football game to watch,” he answered, “I’m hoping it elevates my testosterone levels.” He closed his eyes and then immediately opened them again. “Oh, I forgot, I’m supposed to pick up our daughter from her sleepover in an hour. I just don’t think I’m up to it. It’s my low hormones, you know. It really affects everything.” He closed his eyes again.
I’m told the noise from the backfire could be heard all the way to Northwestern University.
By Vicky DeCoster – All Rights Reserved