I’m in menopause. Full blown menopause. I’m 44 so it’s early onset from a prior medical incident following emergency surgery for Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disease that not a lot of people know about or understand but lemme tell you, it affects A LOT of women. Roughly 10-20% of women in North America suffer from Endometriosis which affects everything menstrual cycles, mood swings, pain. So much pain. You see get these cysts that develop from hormone levels; environmental things like the foods we eat, or the chemicals we are exposed to as fetuses and young developing women. These cysts over time multiply and multiply. They sometimes rupture which, depending on the size and location of the cyst can result in not only toxic material flowing in to your body which can cause sepsis. It can result in many emergency room visits, and Ladies, don’t you dare think this isn’t ambulance worthy- it is. It will be the most excruciating thing you will ever experience next to childbirth. Truth, and I don’t have children, but fuck me- that looks mighty painful. These cysts then go on to form colonies of cysts that can fuse your organs together. My ENTIRE endocrine system is fused in these cysts. That means my ovaries, well I only had one partially working one anyway, my bladder, bowel and uterus are fused. I was unable to carry children. I got pregnant once and I had miscarriage. After an emergency surgery, as my body was in sepsis I was placed on a drug called Lupron which medically induced menopause. After that, I was prescribed Depo Provera for 6 months before getting the Mirena IUD which completely stopped my periods for 7 years. I started experiencing the premenopausal symptoms around age 39 then full blown Menopause this year. It’s been well over a year and a half since my last period.
I don’t have anyone to talk about this with. I mean, you don’t talk about menopause, it’s something old ladies get. Right? So we often suffer in silence with all these symptoms because, it’s embarassing. Why? I’m not sure. I don’t have a mom or a step mom to talk to, and I seem to be the first one of my friends going through this, that I know of anyway. While I am recovering from pneumonia (I’m so hopped up on meds and this relentless cough) I decided to write a blog post about this.
First thing you need to understand ladies: You’re NOT GOING CRAZY. It’s a fact of life and the end of a natural cycle in a woman’s life. Some of us will have it sooner than later, some of us will have it harder than others. It’s not gross. Periods were gross. I won’t get in to the gory details, men can’t handle this talk, and it’s my hope a few men will read this so they can understand their partners a little better.
Your hormones are battling it out for sheer dominance at every given moment of the day. Your emotions will become hijacked, your mind will race with thoughts of anger, frustration, sadness, hunger, remorse, guilt, fatigue. This can take place over the course of an hour. It’s kind of like developing Borderline Personality Disorder.
My food tastes have changed dramatically. I don’t crave the sugar and the salt like I once did. Because of other health issues, immune system disorders, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) Fibromyalgia & Osteoarthritis) I eat a fairly clean diet. I reduced my animal proteins and increased plant proteins, I avoid gluten and dairy as much as I can. I eat as organic as I can, I don’t consume alcohol* so this combined with fairly regular low impact exercise I have kept my weight down but it’s not uncommon that women gain weight during this time.
The Crying. Oh God, the crying. Unless you’re a stern, or staunch woman, you will experience bouts of tears that appear out of nowhere. You will cry from anything ranging to past memories, to things you are grateful for. My friend bought me a book that I wanted – BOOM- crying. Someone letting you cut in a line when you’re in a hurry- BOOM- crying. An elderly person wins the big prize on The Price is Right- BOOM-crying. So help you God if they win BOTH showcases! It’s an emotional roller coaster. I recommend maybe a COSTCO membership just to save on Kleenex and chocolate.
WHY AM I ON FIRE? Is this what spontaneous human combustion feels like? I think this is what spontaneous human combustion feels like. I NEED TO GET THIS BLOODY SHIRT OFF!!!! All that needed to be bolded because this is how it will go through your mind when a hot flash kicks in. BUY HANDHELD FANS IN BULK. Those bitches break. Mine just broke this past week and I tell you what.. scream .. I need that fucking thing and they are APPARENTLY fucking seasonal so you can’t find one goddamn hand held and/or power fan in this Godless city. Sorry for the cursing. THAT’S gonna happen a lot more too. Thanks to the rage of a hundred angry, hungry, fighting dogs that has now set up pit in your head, frequent shows, all access, anyone can view for free! Be sure to include children because Lord are they little shits now. It’s not their fault. I blame the internet and handheld devices. It’s commercialism’s fault. They’ve fried your brain a bit as a parent and as developing youth because…. what’s on Facebook/Pinterest/ Twitter/YouTube/Netflix……?” It’s not your fault, society has changed us for the worse. We’re all just slightly bigger dicks for it.
Hot flashes will begin in your chest area and sweep up your neck and face until, unless you have a fan, you will literally pour water from your body. You’ll sweat more. It’s gross. I can’t often wear make up because of it. What’s the point without a fan your make up is no match for a hot flash. Oooh! Cosmetic companies: Create makeup for hot flash women. Wait, it would probably include some carcinogen and cause cancer. Fuck. Scrap that. Wear light layers and go with my bulk handheld fan recommendation. Get a small power fan and keep one next to where you sit in the daytime, in the evening time, and next to your bed. Drink LOTS of water. If you don’t you’ll get A LOT of headaches. It’s because of the hot flashes and all the sweating. A good way to tell if you’re dehydrated is the color of your pee. The darker it is, the more water you should pound. It should increasingly get lighter then clear. If it doesn’t, you may have an infection. (bladder, urinary tract, kidney) Go see a doctor for God sake what’s wrong with you?
There are some natural things out there you can take in supplement form you can find at any pharmacy or nutrition store. Black Cohosh, flax seed, Calcium, Vitamin D, Wild Yam, Ginseng, DHEA, Dong Quai, Soy (if you’re not allergic of course) Currently I have no access to these right now so I’m going on nothing.
You’ll want to keep a towel nearby to cover up the sopping wet mess you will constantly leave on your sheets and pillow cases. Trust me, lay that towel down on the wet spot and go to sleep because Girl, you’re tired and you a’int got time to wash sheets in the middle of the damn night what are you doing?? You’re just gonna be in the same boat tomorrow. But you will need to frequent up your sheet changing regime. Keep a change of clothes nearby and change them if you are wet, I think this could be why I got pneumonia.
It’s like going through puberty all over again I’ve noticed my anxiety has kicked up several notches. You’ll probably experience bouts of insomnia simply because you can’t shut your brain off. I also went through some adult acne. I think my voice is even deeper than it was. Keep to a healthy diet and exercise the way you want to, it can help and it’s just common sense. You may get some unexpected unflattering hair growth as well. Tweezers and good depilatory creams will become a must.
Your chances of having a child, or another child is done now. You may need to process this. Cry it out, that is how you process things. You have to allow yourself to feel things in order to move past it. This is true with any traumatic event we encounter. Think about it, cry about it, pray about it, have some inner dialogue about it, eat some dairy free ice cream and you’ll probably move on and feel better.
Your sex drive will probably decrease Our bodies use sex to procreate mainly so once the need to procreate ends you will probably feel the urge a little less. You may have to put in a little more effort with your partner during this time. That effort would include finding things to stimulate your desires, discussing things with them so they don’t think it’s them, which can leave them feeling a little neglected. We should always show love to our partners- when they deserve it. Those assholes.
You should experience some emotional growth as well as some confidence during this time With maturity comes an understanding that shit just is what it is. You can’t control or change everything. You are not Superwoman. You are not a unique snowflake. You don’t have to have the body of a 25 year old because, Surprise Bitch! You’re NOT 25. I for example, am just a broad. Just a broad getting through day by day through the Grace of God.
It’s not all bad. It can be pretty freeing to not give a fuck anymore.
I really hope this post has prepared you a little bit. Maybe you’ll learn what to expect and can prepare. Share this with your lady friends, share this with partners. Because Menopause is a family event. It will affect your loved ones, your friends, your work, your energy levels and it IS a big deal because of all these things.. I often wonder, if men experienced menopause would there be paid leaves and loads of information out there for them. Possibly a national holiday in honor of it. National Men’s Awareness Month. They can have March, no one likes March. Look how much research has gone into extending erections.
Why can’t we just talk about it?
*update: (June 2019) I have begun drinking again. Because fuck menopause, and a little alcohol seems to help with the hot flashes.
Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,
And take care of yourself.
Menopause Your Personal Sauna https://metro.co.uk/2015/08/25/21-things-you-never-knew-about-the-menopause-5341203/
Profile picture taken by me.