On both sides of the globe women find that menopause is an uncomfortable and under discussed topic. Writing her story from New Zealand, Robyn has found that women often find it easier to joke about menopause rather than have a frank discussion. Lack of information can lead to confusion and fear.
The Night I Said Good Bye To My Ovaries!
I have to say for an educated, fairly worldly wise person, I was quite shocked and a little bit devastated. Having experienced days of strange feelings, thundering heart beats and aches and pains where I shouldn’t have them, at least now I had an answer. In a way I was relieved. At least I am not dying but I did officially acknowledge to my ovaries that their work here was done. They had given me 4 beautiful children who I fully intend driving nuts in my old age! I was so frightened though. I really thought something very ominous was happening and as I have more than once before sought out an explanation, I say again, thank god for Wikipedia!
Menopause! It’s a natural process and once I embrace it, I will be fine.
What is strange though, is the fact that women don't talk about it.....really..............They talk about everything else but women do not generally like discussing this event even though it occurs over a 2 to 3-year period. If anything, it’s a topic that generates laughter rather than frank discussion. It’s not something they want to admit to each other and it surprises me that being such an information junkie that I know so little about it.
It’s a process that happens over a period of time and can affect women in various ways. For me, the aches and pains, weight gain along with the mood swings was a dead giveaway. Despite being told by the GP that I was a little young, I went on the sage advice of my mother who told me that she had started around the same age. I was tempted to try HRT to see if that would help but not being too fond of artificial drug therapy I resisted the urge.
And as for my libido, well that's gone down the pan now. When I was thirty something, having a husband seven years younger than me was fantastic but now, not being on the same hymn sheet so to speak can cause some inevitable problems!
I just needed to make some small lifestyle changes like cutting down on the carbs and increasing my vegetable and fruit intake. It’s hard to know whether I am getting the hot flush symptom as living in New Zealand, the weather here is quite warm and having worked with a friend who suffered from hot flushes, it’s a symptom I am glad that I do not have.
I am hoping with time; I grow more relaxed with my new self. However, I find that I just can't stand looking at my reflection or pictures of myself and at times, I grieve for the person that seems to have disappeared fairly suddenly. Surely there is an upside? I will have to wait and see!
AND I AM NOT GIVING UP MY COFFEE IN THE MORNING!
Robyn Cunningham, New Zealand
Sent 29 Jan 2016 My Second Spring