Yesterday I had conversation that led to an interesting thought process. She is someone with whom I have a blow-hot-blow-cold relationship. I do not know why she has taken a liking to me (must have something to do with the fact that I can’t say no) but yes I rarely can refuse her. To make matters worse she is an erstwhile psychologist so more often than not she sees through my excuses.
She is closer to 50 than to 40 and is quite worried about menopause. Her health, not always being stellar, is now experiencing symptoms she can’t fathom. So she did what any journalist(or any half-curious person does)–research. And she said a strange thing.
She came back with more half knowledge than needed and is now wondering what course of action to take. So she asks me–how will I deal with hot flashes and extreme mood swings etc?I, of course, don’t have an idea.. so I tell her from what I have seen–my mother and two of my aunts.
I tell her.. avoid Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) if you can. The side effects are worse than the benefits. And I know so from seeing my mother’s slightly deformed knees. She recoiled and vehemently told me, “Dont tell me! Just because it happened to your mother does not mean it will happen to everyone.” Of course I knew that and this was only as a warning. But I was rattled! Doesn’t one always base opinions on what is our own experience? Yes you do know its not how it would be for everyone but that does serve as a base opinion. Is that not the way?
Then she cooled down some and went on to explain how its different for different people and she, as person, would not mind.. an eventual bad health condition, if it mean quality of life did not suffer today. I did not get that. I thought everyone did everything in their power to stretch each day .. each moment to as much as it would give them… stretch life to as long as it can be stretched? Isn’t that why people slowly eat healthy, try living lives better and more fitfully?
I guess not. For her today was more important than worrying about limbs and cancer and hot flashes in the distant future. But I dont get that.. and I was left thinking about do we overgeneralise? Or even if I lose a relative to cancer, I still have to be optimistic.