Sunday, February 24, 2013

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Post-Menopausal

Hi! I'm not Menopausal Mother (click the link for her blog); I'm Postmenopausal Grandmother. I begged Meno Mom to be a guest blogger, but the woman is so popular, she has a waiting list of people who want to blog for her. So because you might be going through peri-menopause or menopause now, and because Meno Mom might not post my valuable information while you're still going through menopause, I'm posting this blog NOW, because I understand the urgency of valuable information.

Who better to learn about menopause than from a woman who has experienced menopause. I am, quite honestly – and quite humbly, I might add – an expert on menopause. And by expert I mean that I am a pro at being – and acting – menopausal. I also know LOTS of menopausal women. 

One time, for example, before she knew she was menopausal (she was actually peri-menopausal), one peri-menopausal mama told management of the area where she lived that one less child would live on Plum Lane if somebody didn't fix her back door NOW!

Everybody, including management, was afraid of the maniacal woman whose meno-moments caused blind fury to erupt from the bottoms of her soles and from the depth of her soul. For the first time ever, they sent home one of their valued employees to save the children from the crazed psycho-mom who lived on Plum Lane.

Menopause does that to women. Take a seemingly gentle human being, rip the blood out of her each and every month for YEARS, thereby depriving her brain from that necessary component – oxygen, while also jumpstarting hormonal outbursts, and then STOP the hormones and watch delirium take over. At least when a man's blood rushes to his pelvic region, he experiences pleasure. For women, the experience is pain, sheer pain, and dementia, and loss of control, and panic, and well, blood loss!

 I don't remember making threats to management about removing my child from the block, but because I couldn't close my back door on the hottest of all days, I think the synapses in my brain melted in the heat. I think the heat burned holes in my hormones because, though I couldn't remember making the call, the ranting raving lunatic who lived on Plum Lane turned out to be me. And that valued employee? My sister. 

And that poor child? My youngest daughter. From what her one and only brother had told me, she had decided to take the door by the knobs, hang on them, and then swing back and forth during one of the hottest summers on record (1988), pulling my back door away from the frame in the process. 

Sadly (for her) I found out years later that she was not the only culprit. Helping her was her brother, one of her sisters, her cousins, and some neighbor kids.

Menopause is funny if you think about it. Peri-menopause is even funnier. It sneaks up on you and plays with your emotions, your mind, and your family. My sister and I were in our 30s when we discussed the possibility of being in peri-menopause. We decided that though we were showing symptoms of the, for lack of a better word, disease, we reasoned that we couldn't possibly be in peri-menopause, because we were too young.

But we weren't – too young, that is.

Fortunately for me (and for you) menopause is just a phase – you know, like the "phase" you went through when you bled month after month after month, year after year after year like someone who'd just been shot through the aorta? Well, that's how mine were anyway. 

TMI? Sorry, but my periods were (what's a word that's worse than grotesquely awful – I don't know, but I had cramps that felt – at least for the first two days – EVERY MONTH – as if deranged psychopaths repeatedly clamped my uterus with vice grips over and over and over and...) – anyway, after my fourth child was born, I went for several years with cycles that included a pre-period, an actual period, a post-period, and a mid-period. Rarely did I experience a month without more than a few days when I didn't have some form of a period. So, yes, I DESERVE to be postmenopausal.

But of all the menopauses, post-menopause is the funniest of all. I remember waking up one night completely drenched in sweat. I'd heard that peri-menopause and menopause caused night sweats. I thought I was too young for that, though, because I was in my early 40s on what I affectionately term, "the night of the sweats." 

And that was it – one night. I kept waiting for more night sweats to occur, but they didn't. Then, when I turned 48, after not having had a period for several months, I went to the gyne and found out that I was postmenopausal. I remember asking, "That's it? One night of sweating and that's it?" WOW! Menopause is a breeze. 

And then (this is the hilarious part about peri-menopause, menopause, and post menopause), without warning (remember I was POST menopausal) the hot flashes began. NOT FAIR, I screamed to nobody! I'm supposed to be done with all that!!!!!!! I'd be sitting somewhere wishing I was naked one minute and then grabbing my soft warm blanket to wrap around me the next.

Yes, funny things happen when you're postmenopausal. You experience a feeling close to how you felt after giving birth (if you've ever given birth). Immediately after having a child, you vow to NEVER have another child – EVER – but something magical happens the next day and you think (erroneously), that giving birth wasn't so bad and you decide to get pregnant again. I had four children and every time I gave birth, I told myself, "REMEMBER THE PAIN – REMEMBER THE PAIN!" But I never did.

Well, let me tell you – the same thing happens with your period. After years of tampons, pads, and cramps, believe me when I tell you that you will FORGET you ever had a period. Forgetting kind of comes with the territory. Apparently blood flows throughout the body and the brain benefits from blood, i.e., having periods. Now, while you are in the throes of menopause, your brain will act as if it has never had a thought in your life. All the things you're supposed to remember get shelved somewhere in that 90% of the brain you don't use and can't access, unless, of course, you go through regression therapy, but that's another blog. The words on the tip of your tongue get crowded out by all the other words on the tip of your tongue, and you can't make a coherent sentence if you try.

It's God's way of being compassionate. He doesn't want you to have to think about such silly things as tampons, when you can't even form words to relate what you're thinking. Imagine walking into a drug store to pick up your monthly supply and not being able to ask for them by name, because the words on the tip of your tongue are tripping over each other as they attempt to speak. Well, now you never have to ask where they're hiding the tampons again. I don't even think about tampons anymore unless I'm watching a commercial about them. That part of my life is O-V-E-R. 

Today I don't have to remember to buy sanitary supplies anymore or freak out if one of my daughters used the last product and forgot to tell me. I'm DONE with all that. Ha ha ha ha ha ha! But if I ever have bladder problems, don't expect to find me in the diaper aisle. I'll be buying pads again. Life truly is a cycle.

For more on menopause, read Menopausal Hot Flash Ladies. And don't forget to visit Menopausal Mother.

Want to read more from this author? Please see the sidebar and THANK YOU for visiting!


  1. Oh God, everything you said here is SO true!! And I love the part about life being a cycle--we start off in diapers and END in diapers!! Sheesh! Not fair! Times like this make me wish I was a man...but then again they're the ones sitting in the passenger seat on this emotional roller coaster through hell, so maybe we are better off just being who we are--strong, capable women!

    1. You are absolutely right! If going through menopause doesn't prove our strength, what does?

  2. Great post; just turned 50 and almost to the day my cycle is now out of wack. No Hirt flashes but I'm guessing they're around the corner. Love your story telling too. Well done.

    1. Thank you, Sandra. I'm STILL experiencing hot flashes from time to time. I pretend they're God's calorie burning system, despite evidence to the contrary. :(

  3. I still have to go through menopause but the worst part of it is over. I had a hysterectomy in June but kept my ovalries, which means hot flashes, craziness, but NO periods! Without the bloating and bleeding, peri-menopause is easy peasy.

    1. Joyce, thank you for the comment. Hope your post-menopausal time is just as easy peasey :)