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  • Writer's pictureMary Jensen

Alright ladies, let's talk about menopause

How old were you when you first started noticing the change? You know what I mean. MENOPAUSE! Maybe at first you started jumping for joy thinking no more periods. You would finally be free of buying pads and tampons, and taking pills to reduce bloating or relieve cramps and headaches. But what I've come to realize over the last couple of years is that it's simply a trade-off one evil spirit for another.

Did anyone tell you about menopause? Did your mom or aunts or older sisters tell you what you were in for? We've all heard about it. We have heard about night sweats, hot flashes, weight gain, emotional outbursts, fatigue, and sadly, losing our hair. But what does all of that really mean?

No one warned me

Nobody told me the dirty details of what menopause really does to you and to your body. No one warned me. I had to figure this out on my own. In the last couple of years I've put on some weight which I'm not too happy about. My doctor told me it's due to a significant drop in my estrogen and my slowing metabolism. He suggested exercising more.

My friends told me to drink more water, drink less coffee (yeah right), exercise, and find ways to relieve stress, as if that were even possible. I've been told to eat more vegetables, eat fewer carbohydrates, and cut out sugar. At the rate I'm going I'll be able to have water. That's it, just water not even with a lemon. I learned that my diet should consist of 1200 calories a day. I have never been one to go on strict diets or count calories. This should be fun, NOT!

I downloaded an app that helps you count calories. You log in EVERYTHING you eat. Well, if that isn’t an eye opener I don't know what is. This lasted about two weeks. It wasn't the app's fault. I became annoyed because everything I liked would put me over the daily calorie count. Instead I bought some new clothes in a bigger size.

Did any of your friends tell you what menopause does to your emotions? If you thought PMS was bad, just wait. I can become a raging bitch at the drop of a hat just because my hormones are out of whack. I get really REALLY tired, then I can't sleep because my brain is on overdrive thinking about all of the things that I should be doing instead of trying to get some rest.

Oh and there are night sweats. I am calling bullshit on this. Night sweats don't only happen at night. Night sweats can happen anytime day or night. I am fine one minute, and then BAM! My body has ignited some kind of internal blowtorch and set me on fire. I break out into a sweat all over. And I'm not used to that because I'm not one who perspires excessively. It’s extremely uncomfortable. And I don't understand why the worst night sweats happen when I'm lying in bed trying to sleep. It makes no sense to me. My body is so confused.

A complete emotional breakdown

As we get older and we go through all of these changes we probably wonder if we're still attractive, well at least I know I do. When I look in the mirror I see some other older version of myself. Recently I had a complete emotional breakdown. I was getting ready for work. I showered and got dressed. I washed my face and brushed my teeth. Up until this point, I was feeling good. I put some makeup on and took the towel off my wet hair and brushed it through. As I was blow drying my hair, I looked in the mirror and thought, “who is this person staring back at me?” And the menopause mind tricks begin.

Next thing I know I feel flush then hot, like the sun was ten feet above me in the middle of summer. I stood there getting frustrated because I'm sweating and my hair is getting sweaty. Of course neither the dry nor the flat iron is going to help fix that. I feel overheated. I walked over to the window A/C and stick my head in front of the vent trying to cool off. I stood there for a few minutes watching my dogs looking at me like I was crazy.

After a few minutes of cool air blowing on my head, I decided to try again. I went back into the bathroom and tried to finish my hair. Nothing is working. It’s definitely going to be a bad hair day. All of this hot flashing going on is getting me more upset. The humidity outside is about 1000%! Did I mention I live in Florida? I look at the clock and realize that I really need to get going. I tried putting my hair up and that doesn't work. I took it back down and that doesn't work. The more I try, the more aggravated I get. Now I am hot again. Why is this happening? I am so irritated with my body for not cooperating.

Thank goodness no one was home

Night sweats, hot flashes, whatever you want to call them, are awful. The instant massive perspiration makes me feel like I have sprung a leak. I decided to change my clothes. So now I'm standing there in my underwear trying to finish my hair and stay cool long enough to get myself together and go to work. I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, big mistake! Full body shot. Thank goodness no one was home. I started to cry, not just tears welling up in my eyes but a real cry, a sobbing from dee

p within. Where the hell did that come from? I wasn't really feeling sad. Jeez, my hormones are in overdrive today. Nobody warned me menopause would turn me into an emotional lunatic.

Not every day do I become an emotional train wreck. But this is what you have to look forward to. This is what nobody prepares you for. Right on cue, a hot flash… where is my fan?

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