It’s October. And if I’d expected to have run my 3rd marathon of 2020 this month, well, we all know what happened. The year 2020 will forever be known as the year of Covid-19. The year of cancelations and lockdowns, of conspiracies theories and zoom meetings.
350 BC: Aristotel concludes Menopause starts at age 40 and he notes women can’t bear children after age 50.
The world is at a stand still. Traveling can’t be done on a whim, if we can travel at all. We work mostly from home and a night out has to end at 10pm, at the latest. One thing hasn’t paused though: the decline of our body. My hotflashes are not on a break, my mood swings were never so energetic and hormonal depression is lurking around the corner. Continue reading
Tears were streaming down my cheek. My husband desperately tries to get an answer out between my hickups. I see his doubt and then his understanding: “Hormones again? ” . Up to now the peri-menopause was a breeze. Maybe I’m still at the beginning, but my night sweats are bearable. My weight is still under control. My breathing exercises help me with my palpitations. Physically I really can’t complain. Mentally though. A completely different story. The dark clouds hanging over my head, every time right before my period, those are less easy to deal with.
Has it ever happened to you? Walking to the fridge, but as soon as you open the door you’ve forgotten what you needed. Opening Google, but your eye catches a quick Facebook update and you completely forget the question you wanted answers to. You know a 100% sure you put your glasses on the table, but now you need it, you can’t find it anywhere. You desperately get your spare glasses, the ones that don’t fit well, because you sat on them. When you put them on, you notice your regular ones are on your head. Sounds familiar? Lucky me! This means I’m not the only one questioning my wits.
The source for hot flashes, depression and night sweats can be found in our brain.
It’s not going well. I have trouble concentrating. I’ve lost every wish to take on new stuff. I can’t hold my thought even for a second. My whole body is prickly. If ants are partying under my skin. I’m forgetful. Other small aches are troubling me, not alarming enough to go to a doctor. But it makes it hard to function normally. “Don’t forget your moodyness”, my husband calls helpfully from the couch.
It’s a mess, isn’t it, the menopause. It feels like there will be no end to it. After my battle with the Mirena I gave my body 1,5 year to clean itself of added hormones. Mentally I felt great during that time. But physically? Every period again I had enormous abdominal pains. They only lasted two days, so it was manageable, but the pain! Continue reading
Oh man, what have I done? Listen, no need to be shy about it. If you’re hitting 50 your hormones will have you do weird stuff. (YES. It’s the hormones! Don’t you dare suggest otherwise!). You’ve got more yesterdays than tomorrows. You’ll get the feeling now or never. Men have an easy solution for that. They buy a motorcycle. Or car they’ve been dreaming about since they were 16. Some exchange their wife for a younger model. Women tend to do it differently.They take a hiking trip through the country. Or make a trek through any of the desserts. Me? Continue reading
Of all the articles I’ve written this past year, there is one that still attracts the most readers: the article about the Mirena. It is not exactly the article I had in mind when I started this blog. Meisjes van vijftig had to be a light read. Bring a bit of distraction in the busy life of a menopausing woman. Some with raging hormones share the house with teenagers. Talking about a generation clash! So, this blog was meant to be light hearted. And then I posted that Mirena blog. A bit on the heavy side. But no less honest. And very indicative of the fases I go through during the menopause. Continue reading
Dr Jerilynn C. Prior, MD and founder of The Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR), has identified 5 phases of perimenopause. Very instructive if you want to know where you’re at with the menopausal hickups. I mean, my doctor just asked me one question: are you still regular. On my yes, he stated: “Then you’re not in menopause just yet!”. Okay. Thank you for that quick assessment, doctor, but haven’t you seen the list of complaints that accompany the perimenopause. Isn’t it just plausible I’m in peri? If you’re curious about the phases or like to know which one you’re at, please read on. Dr. Prior work did clarify more than my own doctor could. Continue reading
There are some days you just want to let go. Like Gemma did in season 1 of Sons of Anarchy. I mean, some days just work against you. I’m not talking about oversleeping and finding out you’ve got a flat tire. It goes deeper than that. Like walking under the awning at work and just that moment the water lodged there chooses to run free. Right into your neck. While you’re talking to your mom on your new mobile. And when you arrive at work the new intern is right there. In the same dress you’re wearing, just two sizes smaller. And less drenched of course. Do you REALLY think I’d feel like Bridget Jones at such a moment? Hell no! Those are the days I want to let my inner-Gemma out. Continue reading
Okay, ladies, I think it is a problem that bothers all of us. And we really can’t always blame the hot flashes. Of course it’s a bother to wake up because of them. Every time I think about the time I slept, seconds before my head hit the pillow, I’m getting nostalgic. Those were the days! But isn’t it true it is also our own fault? If I look at myself I have to confess: I worried too much. I moved too little. And I refused to adjust my food pattern to the changes in my body. So, for whatever it’s worth, here are my two cents on it. Or three actually. Three tips that helped me sleep better. Even now the menopause is trying to ruin my good night sleep. Because the days, I mean years, leading up to menopause, can seem endless if we can’t get a decent night sleep. Continue reading