Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Supporting Yourself Through Menopause

Tina opened an area of discussion in her comment to my post yesterday.

She asks, "So my question is have you ever felt that doing anything to support yourself or even to diminish symptoms was in anyway untrue to your feeling that 'menopause is not a disease and does not need to be cured.' "

First, allow me to haul out a metaphor.

We know that pregnancy is not a disease. Yet, when a woman gets pregnant, she can expect to go through a tremendous number of physical changes, not all of them fun or pretty, with some lasting nine months and much farther beyond.

Morning sickness is one that comes to mind.

We know that morning sickness usually subsides after the first trimester. We know that by eating, small amounts of food frequently, and sticking to dry crackers, apples and lots of water during the worst times, the feeling of nauseousness will be reduced. We also know that motion sickness medication reduces nauseousness, and has side effects..

Do we change our eating habits and support ourselves through this stage? Do we rigidly stick to our regular eating habits and keep puking for the three months? Or do we pop a pill every day and worry about the side effects later?

The wise, common sense answer is not rocket science.

Menopause is as natural a process as pregnancy.

If I'm having a hot flash, I seek cooler conditions, remove some clothes, take a cool bath. If I want to reduce the number of hot flashes in my future, I take evening primrose oil, eat more beans, soya and flax. I support my bodies needs, naturally using methods that have no harmful side effects.

Essentially, I change my ways to support the change I face in order that the process of change is easier. I have no interest in making my own life more difficult. There are enough idiot's in the world doing that without my consent.

The beginning of anything new takes some getting used to. Humans resist change by nature. And menopause is change with a bad rap thanks to our youthcentric culture. Plus there's a massive pharmaceutical industry out there with a pill for every occasion and a marketing budget that tops many small countries GNP.

But we still have the ultimate choice to make wise decisions for ourselves, define aging in our own way, gracefully embrace our process of change and be our age with confidence.

Sue Richards



Anonymous Tina said...

Thank you so much for this response! It makes a whole lot of sense to me.

I also really appreciated your response in the comments themselves ... my favorite part was where you were willing to share that your sleep issues mainly were during the few months while your cycles started to shift and how you ended it with the fact that you sleep like a log again. That gives me such hope.

Thank you!

11/30/2005 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Sue Richards said...

Hi Tina,

I've started looking into the eyes of women who are much older than me. When I find a particularly spirited gal, I know I too will get through this.



11/30/2005 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger utenzi said...

That approach seems eminently sensible, Sue. Your metaphor is right on target. Just because a headache is natural why endure the pain? Likewise with menopause.

11/30/2005 09:05:00 PM  

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