Teaser 173: I Can’t Say Tryptophan Is the Miracle Cure for Menopause, But...

“How have you been feeling so far today?”

“I'm starting to feel warm.” Serena frowned mightily. “I can feel some pressure building in my head. I'm going to have a headache soon. I know it.”

“Could it be the coffee?”

“It might. I don't know.”

“Well, let's try it tomorrow. No coffee. See what happens. Do you want to lie down?”

“I think so.”

“Let's go to your bedroom and lie down together for a while. And put the coffee down.”

“Sofia will be up soon.”

“I'll get up and be with her for a while. She has Carla, and Jana will help. We'll all help. Let me help you feel better, see what I can do to help.”

I put my right arm around Serena's waist after she rose and she slipped her left around my waist and we walked to her bedroom while I held Jana's hand in mine as she walked slightly behind us. When we reached her bedroom, Jana said, “I'll just-”

“No you won't,” I interrupted and pulled her arm away from the bedroom. She walked with us and we all laid together on Serena's bed. I held on to Serena as I laid on my side facing her and Jana snuggled up next to me, tight against me, her arm across my stomach.

What is this?!” we next heard, not quite an hour later and shouted between the lips of the youngest in the household. She stood, diminutive in stature but over-bearing in posture, one step inside Serena's bedroom door.

Serena didn't move. “Oh, sweetie, come here and kiss me and make me feel better, please.”

Sofia's bearing relaxed. “Are you not feeling well, Mama?” She took tentative steps toward the bed.

“Pretend we're not here with your mother, Sofia,” I suggested, “climb into bed and hold her because she would like that. It would really help her.”

Sofia had reached the bed. “But you are here, Gregory. I can't just pretend you're not. What's wrong with you?”

“That settles it, Serena. Your daughter has no acting prowess whatsoever, so you can toss those dreams away.”

“Gregory!” Serena warned.

“What is he doing in your bed, Mother? And, for that matter, what is she doing in your bed?”

“Come here and snuggle with me, my love, please,” Serena beckoned, turning to her daughter.

“Okay, although this is really weird,” Sofia commented, but she climbed on the bed and crawled to Serena's far side and laid down next to her, facing her, and smoothed her face. Serena let out umms as Sofia stroked her face like only a child would.

We all lay on Serena's bed together for quite some time, a long time, especially for a child with such energy and enthusiasm as Sofia, but all were quiet, the only sounds coming from Serena and her soft moans induced by a child stroking her face diligently, endlessly. I broke the silence. “Did you have much of a breakfast before I arrived, Serena?”

“I couldn't eat anything. My stomach didn't feel well this morning.”

“We need to get you something to eat!” I sat up, once Jana rolled slightly away and I patted Jana's thigh. “Come. Let's rise and get our hostess something good for her, and we'll enlist Serena's very competent and excellent chef, Luisa.”

As the two of us slid off the bed, Serena asked, “What do you have in mind?” She was less than enthusiastic.

I was thinking turkey soup, like chicken soup, only better.”

“I like chicken soup!” Sofia exclaimed.

“Only better, with noodles, vegetables, like small, cut potatoes, carrots, celery, maybe onions, with a nice stock. Turkey soup, and it comes with tryptophan, although no more, really, than other poultry, but if it has a good effect on you, Serena, we'll dig up your chocolate stash and load you up, because chocolate has a lot of tryptophan.” I paused for a moment to gauge Serena's interest. Out came Lord Pacifico. “Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, one of twenty-two. Do not ignore amino acids, the building blocks of life.”

“You make my head spin, Gregory,” Serena complained, and buried her head in her pillow.

I turned to Jana, with Lord Pacifico at the helm, and advised, “We have our work cut out for us, my faithful assistant. Follow me.”

“It is a daunting task, Lord Pacifico, is it not?”

“Such as, perhaps, never been faced in all of humankind.”

“Will you two just leave so I can have some peace.”

“Me, too, Mama. Jeesh!”

Luisa, as I expected, was thrilled. She only had chicken stock. “It's hard to find turkey stock, except maybe around Thanksgiving, Senor Gregory.”

“It will have to do, and why not add chickpeas. They have lots of tryptophan, and barley, too. Oats have lots. Barley is close to oats.” I turned to my competent, lovely and invitingly beautiful assistant. “I love tryptophan. I don't care what they say about turkey being so much like other poultry. After a hearty meal of turkey and all which goes with it, I feel absolutely great, so much that I must loosen my belt and take a wonderful nap, and who doesn't?” Jana shook her head but Luisa laughed as she gathered ingredients.

After looking in the pantry Luisa announced, “We have barley, Senor!”

“That settles the matter! Turkey soup for all! Bring on the tryptophan!”

“How can you be so sure turkey soup, or, more appropriately, the miracle amino acid, tryptophan, will help Serena?” my endearing assistant inquired.

“I can't, dear Jana, but...Serena doesn't know that,” I replied and glanced to Luisa as she started assembling things on the counter, “and she won't, will she, Luisa?”

Without a pause in her action, Luisa stated, “I heard nothing, Senor Gregory.”

“You are shameless, Gregory,” Jana implored.

“Lord Pacifico will do, madam,” I advised and Jana punched me lightly on my shoulder.

I cannot state, in all good conscience, that turkey soup, and by extension, the miracle amino acid, tryptophan, is the antidote for the debilitating effects of menopause on women, or any woman, but once Serena had indulged on the turkey soup concoction which Luisa stirred up, she felt better than she had felt for weeks. No hot flashes the rest of the day, no headaches, and, of course, no period. That was, mercifully for Serena, over. No more periods for her and good riddance. Cumon! You seriously wouldn't want me to reverse that, do you? No woman in all of human history has ever enjoyed her menstrual period! Are you that inhumane? Although, to be completely honest, there are times when a woman is relieved to have her period. I don't have to be explicit about when, do I? And those of you on the male side of the equation never have to experience that, do you, you fucking dogs?

Serena felt so well in the afternoon we all indulged in her chocolate stash. In fact, once I realized exactly how much chocolate she had stashed all over her house, I was stunned, but not to the point of inaction. “This will do, and this, too. That's nice. Let's try some of it. This, too. Sofia, you would love this, wouldn't you? Oh, I can see myself slipping this between your lips, Jana.”

“I believe you, Gregory, when you tell me you don't like chocolate all that much,” Serena remarked, but it didn't stop us. We all ate far too much chocolate this afternoon, but we all survived the ordeal. I recall no complaints.

- Just Desserts, Segment Twenty-OnePrepare For Entry” by Gregory R. Schussele, © 2021

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