How I feel about menopause…read at your own risk

Click for original source
Click for original source

Yep, dear reader I am going to write about menopause. If you would rather not know or read about the cessation of menstrual cycles stop now and move on to the next thing you need to do in your day. Really, if you don’t want to know stop reading.

You are still reading, are you sure? Okay, here it goes.

If you are right in the throes of menopause with me, then maybe just maybe you can chime in or help navigate the way. If you have not reached menopause you might want to just take a peek so you know what is coming…no one told me what was coming. Granted I might not have wanted to hear it either; thinking there was more time before I had to learn about all that jazz. Well there is such a thing as premature ovarian failure and that means that menopause can hit you at the ripe young age of 36. I didn’t see that coming and I see just about everything coming. I just thought it would be a quick fix and I would be back on my way to regular young womanhood…nope….no dice.

Anyway, I digress if you don’t want to read this, I don’t blame you and if you do want to read it, thanks for taking the time to read my soap box rant about menopause.

So my number one thing I thought about menopause – YAY – no more periods, period. Like seriously when menopause came I thought I would make up a cheer for it and prance around like queen of the world. Well now I know why we don’t see that happening.

Menopause is not cheerleader worthy, not even a little bit. Why? Well, your estrogen level drops, your metabolic cycle slows to where you should only have a caloric intake of 1200 calories (btw when I lost the 22 lbs. I had a caloric intake of 1300 – 1400 calories a day) and the mood swings, oh the mother living mood swings. And finally, the hot flashes – that is by far the absolute stupidest function of the female body ever. EVER; and I don’t say stupid.

So let me break these four things down for you…

1. No periods. That is kind of nice, except that sometimes in the beginning, out of the blue you have one right in the middle of an amusement park with your little kids in tow with you in the bathroom. Yup; I now know why those little machines are in the bathroom. As a young, regularly menstruating girl I used to think what idiot doesn’t know when their period is going to start – well I am now that idiot. Those things are invaluable and should always be stocked and free of charge – really free of charge. All we go through as women and they want me to pay .50 for that?! It is just a wicked cruel joke some very vindictive business owner thought up. None the less, I was and have been grateful on more than one occasion.

2. Metabolism slows to nothing. Again stupidest most idiotic thing on the planet. I just learned how to eat normal meals again because I had to keep growing babies alive and nourished inside my body. Every day, I was eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with healthy choices and then I had these said babies and got hooked on the coffee bean – I AM NOW A STARBUCKS JUNKIE and really…really…I have to cut back on everything that actually tastes good. And maybe even become a vegetarian with a small side of grilled chicken and water. What the hell? If I am going through this wicked joke called menopause and I feel like crap and my hormones are all out of whack and I can’t even binge eat ice cream from the container without gaining 5 lbs by the next morning. You have got to be kidding me?!

Go ahead and laugh if you think I am exaggerating. Are you done? Okay, get it all out.

Without changing my diet and just cutting back on my exercise – because again you feel like crap – I can gain 5 lbs in a week. Doing NOTHING!!!! Really, and men what… lose their hair? I am not seeing an equal trade-off here. No offensive to the men that are reading this, but we put up with periods for years, grew babies, put up with mood swings (I know, I know you are on the other side of that) gave birth – maybe more than once, dealt with the jumbo period that comes after you have the baby – the whole 9 months worth all at once right after the baby is born, and then to have it all stop just so you can gain weight you have to starve to lose. I am kind of thinking we should just be able to eat all the ice cream we want and wash that down with all the wine we want. That seems cosmically fair to me. Am I wrong? (By the way don’t tell a menopausal woman that she is wrong – please keep that comment to yourself and do not put that in the comments section; I can’t promise that my hormonal response will be one that we both can live with).

3. HORMONES. I had no idea. When I was a teenager; I thought I had hormone issues…then I got pregnant. Being pregnant was a roller coaster of hormones and emotions and I could deal because there was a sweet baby at the end of the roller coaster ride. Of course if you are like me the roller coaster ride of emotions called postpartum depression keeps you on the ride at least 6 months after your bundle of joy arrives. But I thought that was it; you are done. No more crazy hormonal emotions. Well, menopause there is only one way I can think to adequately describe it – Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction – she was going through menopause. The poor woman had no control of her actions. All hormonal – all menopause. Enough said.

4. Hot flashes are disgusting. These days I am sweating more than I am not. I literally don’t know how I don’t look like a raisin. You wake up in the middle of the night with a pond in your bed and you are like what the hell – that wasn’t here when I went to bed. What is happening to me and am I going to turn into a gremlin? Did I have a bad dream and my husband tried to wake me by throwing a bucket of water on me? Really where did all this come from? Then it happens again and again and you realize it isn’t some fluke; your body has completely forgotten how to regulate its own temperature. The other day I was in a sun dress, thinking how cute and nice it was to have a little  dress on and wham hot flash in the middle of the doctor’s office with me praying people could tell the liquid rapidly running down my legs was not pee, but just sweat. Both disgusting, one just a little less embarrassing.

Want another example? Had my friends sitting around the table with me last Saturday and in the middle of me ranting about something I literally started burning up and the sweat just began pouring down my face. You feel like you will spontaneously combust; like there is no possible way that the human body can contain that much heat and that you will burst at any second. Then it’s over and you are cold; freezing your butt off cold. Lovely, just lovely this menopause.

So that about sums up my feelings about my newly diagnosed menopause. I don’t think we are going to be friends menopause and me. Menopause helped my weight come back with little effort, and she makes me snappy, and uncomfortable. I get the Athleta catalogue and want to buy everything so that I can dress in comfort every day, but it is just cruel because someone my size can’t wear their wonderfully comfortable clothing. If any of you out there have fashion friendly comfortable go to clothes please tell me because jeans and pants with buttons make me want to lose my freaking mind.

Plus she makes me feel really old, this menopause. Like today, this song came on the radio and I am turning it up thinking I love this song. As I look down, the song came out in 2007 – first thought, “that wasn’t that long ago.” I do that math – seven years ago – SEVEN YEARS AGO! What?! How does this time fly by so fast. Ever since this menopause thing came along – I use “you have got to be kidding me?!” way too many times in one day, but really there are no better words that are appropriate for young children’s ears. Probably more than you needed to know, but that about sums up the wonderful gift called menopause.

Sorry for the sloppy picture - trying to take it quickly at a stop light.
Sorry for the sloppy picture – trying to take it quickly at a stop light.

Too young for this rant,


4 thoughts on “How I feel about menopause…read at your own risk

  1. You make me laugh and cry all at the same time. I am in year number five of this mysterious thing called menopause. It is everything you say it is. I think the worst was the early years of hot flashes. I felt like my body was being microwaved from the inside out. I guess that’s redundant since that’s the way microwaves cook! Anyway, I just want you to know things get better…but it takes years! I’d love to keep chatting, but I’ve gotta go take my hormone replacement pills!
    I’ll be in touch soon. Carol

  2. I finally had enough time to read this. You hit it right on! I totally agree with Carol. This made me laugh and cry. Menopause…it’s been thirteen years and I still have the sweats, not as frequently as five years ago, yea, but they are still here. Dang! The heat flashes make me second guess myself. A lot! Is it hot or am I having a heat flash? And if you looked in one of my jackets or my purse or would find a tampon. It has been years, but I am ready…just in case. With always have to be ready! Thanks for continuing to tell it like it is, and for living out loud! Love you!

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