February 02, 2014

Let's Hear a Yea for Menopause!

I made a promise to myself last fall and that is that January and February were going to be wonderful months for me.  Why?  The last 3 Januarys and Februarys have been horrible for me.  They were filled with depression and anxiety and I found myself spiraling downward each year.  This year was going to be different and it has.

I continue with the drug therapy that I have been on since last April.  Lexapro has been a wonderful drug therapy for me.  It works and best of all it works for me in small doses.  I do experience some anxiety but it is what I call "normal" anxiety.  Normal anxiety to me is the anxiety you feel when you are going to be late for an appointment.  Abnormal anxiety for me was having anxiety caused by a small thing such as our dog barking a little and then it would go from 1 to 10 in seconds leading me to full blown panic attacks.  

Along with the drug therapy I am careful as to what I eat and I get sleep and exercise.  AND I am now into full blown menopause.  Now that I have gone through 1 year without a menses I can now say I made it through to the other side and being in menopause is not so bad.  In fact, it is a blessing!  I don't have to buy tampons or pads anymore or experience cramps and that monthly yuck feeling.

I used to think of menopause as being something an old lady gets.  I don't consider myself as being old at 54.   However, I must say that 54 was old to me when I was in my 20's.  What it all comes down to is am I happy or not?  If I am happy it shows in the way I take care of myself and this reflects in my general health and well being.

I am not the same 50 year old woman that my mom was some 30 years ago.  I work out, I watch what I eat and I am getting involved in volunteer activities in my church and community.  I don't dress like my mom either and I don't dress like a teenager too.  Yep being 50 is not like being your mom's 50.  It is what you make of it and I love it.

If I have a hot flash every now and then, I can deal with it.  In fact, it has been kind of nice to have a hot flash with all of the cold weather we have been having, but I am sure come summer it might not be so nice.

I started my period at the age of 11 and ended it at the age of 53.  That is 42 years of dealing with PMS, cramps and buying tampons.  I'm glad it's over and I'm ready to move on.  


Paula said...

Martha, my last period was twelve years ago. I rarely had hot flashes, but in the perimenopause period before I realized what it was, I had so many spells of unexplained weepiness, for no good reason. The hormonal balance is so off kilter at this time; I have wondered if that might have been part of your depression problem.

I have never minded being older at all. I only mind that it means I'm in the third act.

You are right, it's wonderful to not have to buy supplies. I always thought the mafia must have an interest in them, the prices are so high, and you have to have them. ( My husband thinks the same thing about razors.) Well, actually, there are a very few women who buy or make reusable pads, or use a reusable menstrual cup, but I never wanted to go there.

Anonymous said...

Your post on menopause is timely for me. I am 48 and believe I am perimenopausal. I've got the hot flashes and occasional night sweats (great fun), and generally feel exhausted with 3-4 day headaches when I am about to start my menses every month. The whole time I have these headaches I am also very nauseous. I can't wait for this to be over. It's what, another 5 years or more of this? Ugh. My friend is in menopause and has been taking an anti-depressant like you. She says she is feeling so much better now that she's gotten the correct dosage down.

Martha said...

@Paula: Yep - going through menopause has been the cause of my depression/anxiety. When I started to go to the Behavioral Health clinic at the local hospital for treatment, I was told that I was going through what many women go through in menopause. Imagine all the changes your body goes through to get to menopause, there are physical or in other words, hormonal changes. Yep, it's all chemistry. The doctor told me that the difference between me and the other women is that I came to them for help and treatment. Many women suffer in silence. I can honestly say that I feel better than I have in years. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is a glowing wonderful light.