Disclaimer: If you are male, a female under the age of 40 or don’t like horror stories, this is a good time to quit reading.
The year I turned 50, my metabolism came to a screeching halt. Seriously and literally!!! I went to bed and overnight I gained 5 pounds. Despite my vigorous dieting, exercising and starving myself I could not shed this extra 5 pounds. Because I had always enjoyed being able to eat what I wanted, whenever I wanted and never gain a pound, this extra weight wasn’t just a shock. It was devastating!! The thought of not being able to order cheeseburgers and french fries or eat my weight in peanut m&m’s was almost more than I could handle. But what was worse than the weight gain, was a bigger change in my body that I seriously wasn’t ready for. The demonic plague of MENOPAUSE!! Yep, that nasty word…that alien creature that eventually inhabits all women’s bodies, because apparently having a menstrual cycle all those years wasn’t enough.
I will admit the effects of menopause are different for everyone. But I can guarantee some of the most common complaints are: weight gain, craziness, brain fog, hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety and forgetfulness.
Craziness: Before I realized what alien creature had invaded my body, I wasted many days drinking coffee and plotting out who I could hurt…physically hurt. Like, cut their arms off, stab their eyes out or just slap someone really hard for no reason at all. I am typically not a violent person and have never even been in a fight…but it seemed rational to think it would be okay to act out on this whim.
Hot flashes/anxiety…boy oh boy, the hot flashes. The best way I can describe hot flashes is to imagine suddenly and unexpectedly walking into a room with a furnace blazing hot and the door getting slammed behind you. Waking up in the middle of the night, clothes drenched with sweat and the bed sheets feeling like someone had thrown a bucket of water on them was “oh so fun”…said no woman ever. I mean, who doesn’t love getting up in the middle of the night, to change pajamas and bed sheets. And once awakened, there was no return of sleep. Because then, I would begin worrying about everything and anything…things that I knew at 4:00 in the morning I had no control over doing anything about. Which led to insomnia. Boy wasn’t I having fun now!!
Brain Fog/Forgetfulness: To do lists became my best friend. Not that I would actually get through the things on the list or actually finish the list…my newly self-diagnosed ADD would set in and while making my to do list, I would start on another kind of list, or start playing on the internet, or… what was I saying?
Since the day I realized what was happening, I have worked like a mad woman to combat the effects of menopause. Initially, I was determined to go through this whole process naturally. But, with the conveniences of modern medicine, I decided it was best for all involved to find medications that could get me through. So with the help of hormones, Prozac, vitamins and hours of running I am able to keep the devilish creature at bay. That’s not to say that it doesn’t rear its ugly head on occasion. But I feel I do have it somewhat under control.
I wouldn’t wish menopause on anyone…well, okay there are a few people…But it truly SUCKS!! IF there is any consolation, I look forward to that one day, when I get to meet Eve face to face. You better believe I will confront her and ask her just what in the HELL was she thinking when she took a bit out of that apple. Because that’s what truly started this all.
What are your experiences with menopause?