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.
“Tell me, what can I do for you?”. My GP looks at me expectantly. Again. Since I passed 50, I’ve seen her more times than in the 20 years before. If not for periods that never end, it is for infections that keep flaring up, breasts that are killing me with pain or cramping that can’t be averted with a overdose of Feminax. This time my reason to visit is that my period isn’t coming at all. For once I am glad: could it be that I’m finally released of this monthly returning flood. I wouldn’t mind that all!
No reason to be shy about it: Anything is possible when it comes to menopause.
It’s just, my body doesn’t seem to get it and won’t agree with my ovaries. Continue reading
I close the door behind me and look up. Dark clouds are threatening, but if I’m quick, I’ll stay ahead of the storm. I adjust my earplugs and start the music. Beginning a slow jog I put my watch in running mode. An easy recovery run of 6k, to shake loose the legs after the hill training I did yesterday. My street is mostly quiet, except during rush hour. That explains the many crosswalks and the big words on the road: School zone. I notice drivers that refuse to stop for a crosswalk more often then I like. Even the bicyclists are prone to it. How difficult is it to stop for people that want to cross on a crosswalk? It doesn’t matter how late you are for work. Or how you can’t wait to kiss your girlfriend. You stop at a crosswalk! Continue reading
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
“Let’s just say, this is the last thing I expected. ” My doctor watches me with an understanding look on her face: “Indeed, you tend to think about hot flashes, mood swings or a short fuse. And the skipping of periods. But not this. Still, it is all part of that final stretch into menopause.” “Well,” I try to joke, “that short fuse is getting shorter by the day, let me tell you.” She probably understands my need to keep the conversation light, to prevent the tears from falling, but that doesn’t stop her from warning me: “Don’t forget: if the situation doesn’t change in two weeks time, we have to take other steps! Keep me updated and I expect to see you in two weeks.” 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
It is of course entirely possible that my hormones are wreaking havoc. Or that I’m sleep deprived. Or maybe the answer is much more simple and my fuse has shortened significantly over the years. Whatever the reason, I can’t deny there are situations in daily life of a menopausal woman that can only be handled with a well aimed uppercut. Preferably one that causes a knock out. Take today for instance. Continue reading
Menopause. That is something to do with hot flashes and sweating women, right? Grumpy old women? Sadly for us women, grumpy or not, the menopause transition, or the perimenopause can cause a lot more problems then just being sweaty. Just speaking for myself: I hardly ever notice a hot flash or excessive sweating. Grumpy old woman? Continue reading
Wakker worden met een paar borsten die overnacht gegroeid zijn van een A naar een C? Ha! Daar zou ik twintig jaar geleden een moord voor gedaan hebben. Zeker als er geen narcose voor nodig is. Maar nu? Ik ben nu al blij als ik een nacht door kan slapen en geen nieuwe rimpel of puistje ontdek de volgende morgen. Een paar borsten die aanvoelen of ik een weeshuis in leven kan houden met een borstvoeding? Nee dank je! Continue reading
Je neemt me in de maling, toch? Slaapproblemen, opvliegers, stemmingswisselingen, huilbuien om niks, grijzend haar. De menopauze wil ons, meisjes van vijftig, nogal eens pakken op onze zwakste plekken. Maar ga je me nu echt vertellen dat ik aan deze glorieuze lijst ook nog puistjes kan toevoegen? Of neemt mijn lichaam soms wraak omdat ik die hele puistjesfase in mijn puberteit heb overgeslagen? Komen de puistjes daarom nu ineens in het kwadraat opzetten? Continue reading
Ik zit met een dilemma. En wellicht dat een ander meisje van vijftig mij kan helpen. Laten we, voor ik van start ga, één ding op deze plek vaststellen: ik ben géén fan van Madonna. De reden is eenvoudig: ik ben van mening dat ze niet kan zingen. Voor mij staat Madonna voor het ultieme voorbeeld hoe een talentloos persoon veel kan bereiken door keihard te werken en de tijdsgeest feilloos aan te voelen. Madonna staat voor mij gelijk aan E.L. James, maar dan op muziekgebied zeg maar. Continue reading