Sunday, April 17, 2016

"The Talk" we Never Got - Menopause #AtoZChallenge

I still remember way back in grade school when they split the girls off into a class to give us "The Talk" about what to expect when we got our periods.

I like how Ovulation is depicted here, LOL

Later (or perhaps earlier) we got "The Talk" about where babies come from.

(I haven't read this book, but I liked the picture)

But, I realized about nine years ago, no one ever gives us "The Talk" about Menopause. Instead one day your head catches on fire, you're in a crappy mood, depressed for no reason and realize you haven't had a period in far too long.

Welcome to Menopause!

I've actually done it twice; here's my favorite menopause story... I had started chemo for breast cancer and lost all of my hair. Then one day I realized that sometimes my head would just start SWEATING, for no reason. I wondered if maybe this had always happened, but I didn't notice it when I had hair. So I asked my bald, male friends. "Does your head just start to... sweat... for no reason?"

Yeah, they looked at me like you're looking at me now... "Uh... no...?"

So I mentioned it to my chemo nurse, who laughed and said "Oh honey, that's a hot flash."

Who knew?

If you haven't had a hot flash this is what it's like... normal, normal, norm- HOT, OMG IT'S 1,000 DEGREES IN HERE! OM... normal, normal.

Yes, out of the blue you suddenly feel like you're on fire. You break into a sweat at night, regardless of the temperature of the room, and are moody and depressed. You put on weight, especially around your waist, lose your libido and forget stuff.

My body recovered from the chemo-inducted menopause for a few years, and then I got to do it all over again. Yippee!

However, now that I'm on the other side, I have to say that menopause is one of the best things ever.

No periods, period!

Sure, I have a crappy memory and have to attach my keys to my wallet so I don't leave home without both. I'm moody with an annoying spare tire and a ton of anxiety, but those are all normal side effects that I can manage with attitude, True Focus (an herbal supplement), Essential Oils, Google and putting my phone to work for me.

It's possible that I am "a lean thinker" because of menopause; it really changes everything. But don't fear it, it's natural and happens to all of us. Embrace the perks - no periods, no birth control!

I found ways to manage the symptoms naturally, like Black Cohosh for hot flashes, St. John's Word for mood and exercise. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, as some of them may affect other medication you take.

I am often surprised by women I talk to who feel something akin to shame or depression about menopause - it's nothing to be ashamed of. It's the start of the next phase in our lives, just like getting our period so many years ago was the first step into that phase of our lives. Embrace the change, because you can't avoid it.


  1. One reason menopause can be so rough is that part of your life has a lot of complications. I had menopausal problems and family problems. Not the sort that get you on Dr. Phil, just those where I had to start telling people to back off. I guess the impetus of menopause can help that too. lol

    1. Good point, maybe the bitchiness helps, but not the paunch.... never the paunch :)

  2. You are right, it is the fact that nobody tell you about it that makes it hard. You get all that preparation for the arrival of puberty but nobody mentions the other end. There is a lot of misinformation as well when you go looking. I am finding however that it is hard to distinguish menopausal symptoms from the ones that are just me getting old:-(
    thanks for sharing
    martine @ silencing the bell