Tuesday, July 12, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Meltdown

My menopause and I are on vacation until August.

If you want to amuse yourself while I'm off-line, please wander around my other two BLOGS.

Calendar Girl Blog or The Breast Views Blog.

Sue Richards

My Menopause Blog: Going Without the Flow

I'm prone to being positive. Not artificially so. More pragmatic-like. I want to suffer the least amount possible in my day to day so I search for the attitude, belief and behaviour that will give me that outcome.

It's pretty simple. Why cause pain for myself? Life is naturally painful enough without me adding to it.

So when my period disappeared for three months, I tried to go 'without' the flow. I wasn't really in a knot so much as plunged into a place of reflection and contemplation. My mother, aunts and grandmother's have long since passed away so I had no one to call up and probe with questions. It was me and my missing menses.

When April rolled around and my period came back, sluggish, tail between it's legs, I was overjoyed. Kind of like getting together with an old flame that you loved but shared bad timing with.

Indeed, just like the process of rekindling the dying embers of a relationship, I could tell that my period, although technically back, had one foot out the door. There was not going to be any romantic reunion, sunset ride or happily-ever -after.

We were breaking up.

We were going our separate ways.

Sue Richards

Monday, July 11, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Winning The Time Lottery

I have been, historically speaking, a woman of boundless energy.

In the last several months I became a woman bound with exhaustion. Apparently, hormonal shifts will do that to you.

My drop in energy boggled my mind. And up until a few short months ago, my sluggish ways pissed me off.
I was angry. With myself. For something that was not controllable by me or my snappy little mind.

Thankfully, I know that there is ALWAYS another way of looking at everything. So I started looking.

Since changing my energy seemed impossible, I decided to looked at my attitude about my energy to see if an adjustment was in order. Ah yes, ye ole attitude adjustment solution. Often as clear as the nose on my face. But invisible unless you have and use a mirror.

It only took a quick look before I found a new perspective.

Rather than continue fighting with myself, I slowed down and I found a new pace that matched my current energy level.

Funny thing. When I live with the energy that I have, I rarely feel exhausted. In fact, I mostly feel like I've won The Time Lottery.

My days are longer when they're not crammed up with stuff. Who would of thunk?

Sue Richards

Friday, July 08, 2005

My Menopause Blog: What is Perimenopause

Perimenopause: Sometimes written as peri-menopause.

If you look closely at the peri part of the word, you will notice that it almost spells period.


Coincidentally, the stage of peri-menopause includes your period, sort of, almost, sometimes not at all, other times just like old times. Another words your period, as monthly punctuation, takes on a new and varied style. More of a rogue semi-colon.

Indeed, if you love surprises, peri-menopause will be right up your alley.

Peri-menopause marks the somewhat official beginning of menopause. That said, there is no official start date. Loose and free spirited, Peri (we're on a first name basis now) tends to show up around your mid to late 40's...maybe early 50's. This of course depending on if, when and how many ankle biters you had, when you started your period in the first place, your mother's side of the family menopausal tree and how you've been treating your body.

There are other factors like breast and ovarian cancer and their treatment that instantly shift your hormonal balance and plunge you into menopause. But if you've been spared this legacy, then the onset will be slow and gradual.

I try to think of perimenopause as a season...like Fall....beautiful one day, grey, windy and cold the next.

Sue Richards

Thursday, July 07, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Menopause is Not a Disease

Sharon, my menopausal book keeper thinks that Queen Victoria and the Industrial Revolution has something to do with how we experience menopause today. This after me saying that the 'not talking about it' part had me perplexed.

Here's the logic. Queen Vic was uptight and very influencial in spreading anal retention globally. And The Industrial Revolution changed the way women spent time with each other. We grew more isolated in our flight to cities.

Sharon also figures that we were better off when we used an oral tradition for exchanging information rather than the recorded history style of the last 5,000 years.

Sharon may well have hit the nail on it's flat wee head. It's no secret that writing and reading was taught to boys and men first and foremost. And it takes no imagination to realize that the lads were not dashing off notes about teas, oils and balms used to sooth and ease the menopausal path for their wives, mothers and daughters.

HisStory likely got preference.

HerStory could do with some attention.

Let's face it. Menopause is not new. Yet, I'm likely three or four generations away from a time when information was more freely exchanged between women. Today, information atrophy has set in, maps have been misplaced and women like me are wondering "what the f--k is this?"

A major complicating factor is that nowadays, menopause is BIG BUSINESS. There's HUGH piles of money to be made by marketing the implication that 'menopause is a disease' and 'here's a pill to cure it'.

Well Sharon and I doth protest. We're not sick.

Sue Richards
Check out my daytime gig.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

So maybe I'm exaggerating. Maybe the four hundred and twenty consecutive months weren't perfectly consecutive and neatly spaced apart in 28 day parcels. And maybe, just maybe, I wasn't always 'one' with my period.

But that wasn't really the point I was trying to make anyway.

My point was, three months with not a spot, not a cramp, not anything I could put my finger on that said, "You are now in Peri-menopause Sue" was a bit hard to wrap my head around.

At this point you might say..."okay, so no stained underwear, no deep, gnawing pain that lasts for hours and you've got a problem with that?"


but yes.

I wanted someone, something, to maybe read out a fluid level report that said, "Your tank is running dry honey."

Then I realized. My hair was offering me just such a report.

My hair was 'different'. The soft texture and full body that was my personal point of pleasure was replaced, almost instantly, with a crop.

Perhaps a head covered with straw.

Maybe hay.

Hay hair 'is' like a report

Sue Richards

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My Menopause Blog: So Where'd Yah Go?

I think January 2005 was the first time. But to be really honest, I was part way through February before I took real notice. And even then, I couldn't be sure.

You see, I'd never been a stickler for dates and details. You might say that I kind of took things for granted. And even though I had tried to put small red dots on my calendar each month, sometimes I forgot. Or didn't use my red pen. Or used another calendar.

Loose. Yes, I had a loose arrangement with my monthly. And now my monthly was playing loose with me.

As February froze into March, I knew that something was up. My rocket science method of detection was my tampax box, purchased just before Christmas. It was still unopened. Proof of something missing by something not missing.

I started blurting out the fact that my period had done disappeared at every opportunity. Dog walks, lunch, neighbour gatherings. It was like I was hoping that someone had seen it, maybe even borrowed mine and intended on giving it back. But beyond my blurt, little was said or offered.

I grew nostalgic. Sad even. Four hundred and twenty consecutive months of togetherness and whamo.


Just like that.

Not even a note.

Sue Richards

Other Links and Blogs of mine. Maybe even of interest to you...or maybe not...
I'm just sayin.

Breast of Canada Calendar
Calendar Girl Blog
The Breast Views Blog
My Menopause Blog

Monday, July 04, 2005

My Menopause Blog: The Black Triangle

I'll start off with an example.

I am a wilderness canoeist. I've been a wilderness canoeist for 25 years. As a result, I own a number of maps for various canoe trips that I've enjoyed or hope to enjoy in the future.

I keep all my maps in one of two places. Easy to find. Neatly folded. Always ready when I am.

Until now.

I am missing a map for a route that I hope to go on in a weeks time. I have looked in the one of two places about a million times. I have looked in places that are somehow associated with the one of two places; places that make no sense; places suggested by other people who canoe and own maps and still, I can not put my fingers on my much needed map.

In my peri-menopausal mind, I see it clear as day. But in my reality, the map has vanished into The Black Triangle.

Rather than continue the self torture and worry my trip companions by stubbornly refusing to admit defeat and expecting us to travel without a map, I have re-ordered 2 copies from the map makers. Coincidentally, the woman who took my order over the phone was clearly tuned into the marvels of the menopausal mind. It was she who claimed that my map had been sucked into The Black Triangle that apparently haunts all menopausal women.

So where is my period? Where oh where is my memory? And, please, where the hell did I put my map?

Sue Richards

Sunday, July 03, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Talking

Menopause, the life stage, is a mystery to me. It appears, from what I gather, that it's a mysterious life stage to everyone.

How can this possibly be in this age of talk, talk, talk?

Quite simply, no one bloody talks about 'IT'.

So I'm talking. About 'IT'.

Do join in.

Sue Richards