January 22, 2010


I am beginning menopause.  When I would hear other women talk about menopause I always heard horror stories.  It is reminiscent of women talking about birthing their children.  Seems like the stories always make it worse than it actually is. 

I have had hot flashes.  They are not that bad.  I have had mood swings.  No different than some days of PMS. 

Growing older (notice I didn't say old) has never bothered me.  My mother is 80 years old and is very active.  She enjoys her life.  My mother-in-law is 71 years old and is still working, travels a lot (internationally) and she enjoys life also.  Both of these women always dress very nice, wear nice makeup and look younger than their years.  When you have women that are close relatives that age gracefully, then you yourself do not fear getting old.

As women we put others before ourselves.  Perhaps it is that nurturing thing that we do so well.  I had been putting off going to the doctor for several reasons, none of which are good.  Now that I am on my thyroid medication I have noticed a major difference in how I feel.  I have to eat my words - I must have been sluggish as I am now feeling pretty good.  Honestly I don't know when I have felt this good - perhaps it was last summer when we were on vacation or most likely it has been years.

Staying home at this time in my life is turning into an ideal situation for me.  Going through menopause for some women can be a rough time.  Being able to be home in order to take care of myself is perfect.  I can sleep in, if I need more rest.  If I am having a "moody" day, I can take a bubble bath.  If I feel blue, I can go for a walk.

I know there are women that follow my blog that are young moms and I know that you don't have the luxury of going for a walk when you want to nor to take a bubble bath without little ones knocking at the door.  It is hard for you to envision a time when they will be teens or young adults. 

Don't wait until you are 50 years old and start to take care of yourself.  I am embarrassed as to how I put myself and my health second to everything else.  I got caught up in keeping house, cooking and baking and laundry and I wore myself out.  At least I have a doctor who recognized fatigue, anemia and suspected a problem with my thyroid.  It makes me laugh to think that I sat there after my exam and said how much I love being home (and I do) and that my life is so much better than a year ago (and it is). 

The long work hours at the law firm transferred into trying to do too much at home.  My life of not being rested and packing too much into one day was a normal life to me.  Now that I am on my thyroid medication, iron pills and a special vitamin pill I honestly and truly feel the best I have felt in a long time, possibly years.

Take care of yourselves ladies.  And if you haven't had your annual exam, make that appointment. 


Moderate Means said...

I'm one of those moms that can't even imagine the joy of an uninterrupted bath :)

I'll admit that I have been lax about yearly visits. With the exception of a baseline mammogram 2 or 3 years ago, I haven't seen my gynecologist since Sparkle was little. And she's 6. Eek. To be honest, once I was done having kids, I quit thinking about it.

For me, that changed when my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. With a maternal aunt that died from breast cancer and a mom with ovarian cancer (which, thank God, she has beaten!), I was suddenly filled with fear. I knew I needed to go but always found excuses to not go. I finally made an appointment and it's actually coming up soon. You are so right - taking care of ourselves is important. It may be hard to find the time, but we really need to stay healthy.


Martha said...

I still need to schedule my mammogram and will be doing that on Monday.

Truth be told no one looks forward to an annual exam but it does bring peace of mind and in my case it has made me feel so much better. I really never thought I felt in any way "sluggish" or tired but now I do notice the difference and I have energy.

Even if the tests would have revealed cancer it is better to know and face it and be treated than to live in ignorance.

Now I have quite a task ahead of me. I will be pushing my husband to go for a physical. This will take some time.