I’ve had it with menopause! OK, I’ve said it. I’ve gone through the hot flashes, the mood swings, — oh boy, were those fun — the weight gain, and the fuzzy thinking. Now, as I’m reaching the end of this sweaty, teary menopausal road and into my postmenopausal years, I wonder if there is a silver (besides my hair) lining waiting for me. After all, article upon article state that women over 50 enjoy this or that more because they’ve reached their “best years”. Uh huh. I suppose I’ll have to wait a few years to find out. In the mean time, here’s my experience, thus far, with the menopausal cycle, or as I prefer to call it: my life on the evil roller coaster from hell.
First, Comes the Fire From Within
I remember the day so clearly. To celebrate our first anniversary, my honey and I decided to dine at our favorite restaurant. It was a special occasion, so I dressed up; hair and makeup was perfect. Within seconds of the server seating us, I caught on fire — literally. Frightening the server, she ran to get me a tall glass of ice water. Dousing me with the icy water would have been an improvement. My dress and hair were drenched, and my makeup slid off my face. This, my first hot flash, was 20 years ago.
It’s Official; I’m Going Crazy
Over the next decade, the calm, perpetually happy person I was turned into that crazy person on the street you don’t make eye contact with. I cried, just because. I became incensed, just because. I couldn’t think straight. I gained and lost the same 10 pounds. (Those darn pounds kept finding their way home.) And, if that wasn’t bad enough, no more caffeine! Coffee began to cause my heart to dance to the swinging 80s. Heart pounding, angry, forgetful — except that I was angry about something — and always in tears, was my new normal.
My poor hubby, quite adeptly, learned how to say, “Yes, dear” and really mean it during those days. Of course, he also learned what all good husbands learn: Chocolate and wine — not together unless the wine is red — can save a marriage.
Post menopause? Is it really you?
Supposedly, as we approach the end of our menopausal years, it is normal to lose attributes associated with youthfulness, like skin elasticity. Clearly, it is true. My menopausal years are grinding (referring to my teeth as well) down. Yes, I can think clearly again; I’m no longer going through an entire wardrobe each day; and my moods are in check. However, now my skin is bone dry–everywhere. Honestly, it seems that my entire body is shriveling up into a dust mote.
The Last Rant of the Day
Now, is any of this really fair? I mean really. Women endure years of menstrual cycles — erg — childbirth, skin related issues involved with hormonal strife, just to end up a dust mote. It’s just not fair. Not at all. It seems that women should receive some sort of metal of hormone…I mean honor. Jeez, I thought the fuzzy brain issues were behind me.
How Did That Relationship Thing Work Out?
Menopause has overshadowed our entire marriage. Surprisingly, I feel the experience has strengthened our relationship. Through our sense of humor and open dialogue, we’ve adapted to my changes each step of the way. This also includes those difficult intimacy discussions and options for enjoying each other fully. Yes, it’s possible.
Now, on to my post menopausal years.
More by this writer:
The Monkees Changed My Life, But Are They Relavant Today?
How We Saved 50 % on Our Mid-Week 2-Day Escape
What Makes for a Great Wine Tasting Experience?