- Women's Health
How To Handle The Years of Menopause
A Proof Of My Real Age
I have always wondered through the last two decades of my life, what I am going to feel like when I reach menopause. What will I experience, what symptoms will I have? How will the "change of life"effect my life, and my family? When will perimenopause end and menopause begin?
Being a nurse, I had learned the physiology of the changes in women. I understood it quite well from a clinical point of view. But the personal experiences of all the bodily changes through the last 12 years of my life made me hope for relief. And as I write this hub, I can say I have reached that wonderful milestone!
Is It Hot In Here, Or is it Just Me?
All the magazine articles and all the medical literature states that a woman will experience changes in body temperature, aka, hot flashes, changes in menstrual flow, changes in skin, and changes in energy levels, and somnolence for a period of ten years. That time is called peri menopause. These symptoms were aggravating, I kept on praying to God, to please, finally relieve these symptoms.
Every woman is different, and no one can really compare their experiences. I will be just so glad when I will be through with those hot flashes. They are so unpredictable. I hate to be cold, and I really hate to feel hot! The drinking of soy milk and eating soy products do cut down on these symptoms, but too much could cause an alteration in the progesterone/ estrogen balance. I did not know about this fact about soy milk until last year. As soon as I stopped drinking soymilk, the heavy menstrual cycles stopped.
The Diagnosis of Fibroids
The concern with heavy periods caused a medical attention to fibroids. In 2002, the first time it was diagnosed, I had to go to the hospital for a surgical scraping of the uterine lining (called a D and C- that stands for dilatation and curatage). I was home the same day but spent several days at home in bed. When the gynecological surgeon did the procedure, he also did a biopsy to check for cancerous cells. The biopsy result was Negative! The next time fibroids were diagnosed was last year, in 2010. In the emergency room of the hospital, after having a sonogram of my uterus through my cervix, the doctor determined that the fibroids were small, and the injection of medicine called Toradol in my intravenous line was given. I found out later that the medication would slow down the prostaglandin production in the uterus which is the hormone that can cause the heavy bleeding from the uterus. After dealing with the side effects of this intravenous medication, such as diarrhea, nausea and sleepiness, six days later, my menstrual bleeding stopped! Within a week, after taking iron and multivitamins and increasing my protein and grains in my diet, I started feeling better.
I kept a calendar of my monthly cycles after that experience. About three months after the end of my cycle (that was a coincidental occurance of the administration of the medicine Toradol), I may have only spotted for a few days. But in the long run of a year, I have reached the pinnacle time in my life! Menopausal years have begun.
I May Look Young, But My Body Doesn't Feel It.
I call it heredity. The fact that I look younger than I am makes me mentally feel young. The body has more aches and pains than usual. It only lasts for a few moments upon awaking in the morning. My hair is feeling thinner than it used to. There is more hair on the floor these days, and I can't believe I am not bald! My skin is drier in places I won't even talk about. My energy level comes in bursts, and then I feel tired. But as soon as my head hits the pillow, I feel wide awake. Or, I will wake up two hours later, headed to the bathroom, and then two hours later after that! The kidneys don't know when to sleep. I thought that marrying a younger man would keep me feeling young. That didn't really improve my situation either.
The nutritional changes I have made in the last six years of my life really has helped a lot in keeping me feel pretty healthy. The physician reminded me to take a calcium supplement even with a balanced diet, because the changes in the hormonal balance will cause the bones to become more brittle. I have taken care of many many older ladies over the years with calcium supplements added to their diet. Omega three supplements as well as olive oil in the diet will keep the arteries from clogging up with plaque. The advice of the physician about supplements in this time will be crucial. So I am going to definitely be getting a hormonal level check very soon.
What Is A Change of Life Baby?
During the years of perimenopause and early menopause, there is a chance of getting pregnant. I met some people that are my age whose parents are much older than mine. I calculated that they were change of life babies. My children are in their twenties now, so I have no interest of going through pregnancy again, and all those stages of childrearing again. I admire those women who keep their babies and raise them even when they have grandchildren already!
Physical Exercise is A Must!
I always want to keep moving. Regardless of what stage my body is in, I look forward to being active. Put on a good song! I will always be dancing. Put me in a dirty kitchen! I will be cleaning it. Do I have dirty laundry? I prefer to spend three hours in the laundromat to do it all at once as opposed to taking all week to do three or four loads. My exercise routine is incorporated into my work day and my everyday. I don't have the money to throw into a gym membership. So I don't mind daily movement in a daily routine. Physical exercise will also keep the female hormones balanced.
The Fifth Decade of Life Can Be Awesome
As I turn fifty two this year, I will truly enjoy my youthful attitude along with my trials to wisdom. My convictions as a Christian keep me hopeful for good health. Even though the physical maintenance of the body takes longer to do, the years of experienced life brings a wonderful sense to me. Awakened creativity is what I like to call it. To all the ladies that are reading this and who can relate, I congratulate you to a new age. It is how you apply yourself. Self confidence comes with Gratitude. I am Thankful to the Lord for my life as each day comes.