Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Saliva Test Ordered

My order fax just went through for one, count em, one saliva test.

The cost threw me off at first. One Hundred and five dollars in Canuck Bucks, including shipping seemed out of my range. But then a funny thing happened. My Hot Flash dial got turned up several notches and I turned into a blazing furnace.

Take Saturday for instance.

I ran the Information Table at the 25th Organic Agriculture Conference. Normally a freezing affair, this year, I darn near melted. I was soaked more than once. Red in the face several times. Flashing my stomach brought some relief as I fanned myself with my untucked shirt. But mostly, I cooked in my own juices.

How organic is that!!

Sunday was no different. I was exhausted from all the effort required to simply keep cool and sane. Today, I fished out the Saliva Test form and put these wheels in motion.

I'm also thinking of buying a fire extinguisher. Just a small one. Something I can slip in my pocket and use for the real spine burners.

Sue Richards

I've moved to: www.mymenopauseblog.com

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Monday, January 30, 2006

My Menopause Blog: The Change

Me thinks we've got it all wrong.

For some reason, women of a certain age are told that we are about to go through The Change implying that the change comes on the heels of a period of non-change.

Buying this bucket of bunk makes no sense. Change is and always will be constant.

When I met my new wee 7 pound 7 ounce neighbour, and compared our finger size, I could not help but think of the massive change before her. Heck, let's even consider the massive change she's just gone through. The gal was sperm and egg a mere 9 months ago. Up until Friday, she was inside her mom.

In reality, the new kid on my block is already growing up. Put another way. She is aging, just like me.

Children change daily. I have a door frame where my stepchildren were measured on a monthly basis, marks creeping up the wall to prove their growth. Teenagers sprout hair, new shapes and different pitched voices. Once into our twenties, our independence and social changes are mind blowing. Perhaps our thirties are the decade of least physical change. Most body parts work and energy remains constant, but attitudes shift and needs and wants reform from early, less mature ideals. Then the forties roll in. Energy levels shift again , hair greys, eye sight weakens, joints stiffen, memory gets dodgy, fat accumulates.

A life time of change is behind us, yet, we're told, that 'The Change' is before us.

So what the hell did I just live through? And who is trying to make the future seem ominously different?

Sue Richards

I've moved to: www.mymenopauseblog.com

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Friday, January 27, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Birth in Guelph

Menopause is one end of the reproductive spectrum. Birth fits somewhere in the middle.

At 8:01am this morning, a baby girl was born on my street, right next door to my house. A few hours later, Poppa and BIG sister were sitting outside in the warm January sun. Momma and babe, tucked together, asleep upstairs. The midwives have gone, pleased to have been involved in an easy birth.

I tied pink ribbon round the ole Maple tree out front.

Everyone is excited.

Sue Richards

I've moved to: www.mymenopauseblog.com

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

My Menopause Blog: My Kitchen Chair

This is my kitchen chair, occupied by my butt since 1970, the same year I 'became a woman'.

In 1970, the funky Dalamation print that you see was but a dream. Said chair was covered in a dense avocado green poly-toxic material.

For contrasts sake and to bring some tangible evidence to my previously mention love of orange, I keep my chair in my dining room which is painted the colour Pumpkin.

Orange is the colour of creativity and safety. I find this juxtaposition comforting. It takes courage to be creative. How handy that the very colour I most delight in will also help protect me.

My kitchen chair has seen me through my entire reproductive cycle. Although slightly frayed and discoloured, it is as reliable and comfortable now as it first was thirty six years ago.

Same as me.

Sue Richards

I've moved to: www.mymenopauseblog.com

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

My Menopause Day: Orangeness Day

So you know and can prepare yourself for one of my personal favorite days of the year, tomorrow, January 26th, is Orangeness Day.

The colour. Not the fruit or the funny religious connotation.

Orangeness Day was invented by me, with an assist going to a newspaper guy I love reading. Scott Tracey has a knack with the English language that few can claim. He works in my town, writing for our local rag.

You do not need to get permission to make up dates if you publish a calendar. It's one of the perks of the job. All you have to do is simply publish the date and voila, everyone who owns your calendar knows to celebrate.

Clever eh??

Good way to plant cheery thoughts and fun activities throughout the year. Then, slowly but surely, take over the WWW, followed by the world, then the universe...just by directing peoples thoughts with a calendar!!! (Not so evil laugh).

Right then.

You may have noticed that I lean towards self-authority in many areas of my life...not to mention grand delusions. I've never been one to get permission. Too much red tape, people saying no because they're boring...stuff like that. Besides, who would you ask about something like a day that celebrates my favorite bright warm colour, in the dead of winter.

Me: Hello, is this the office of Making Up Dates For Nice Colours.

As you can see already, this will go nowhere. Especially if you don't believe orange to be nice.

So, Orangeness Day gives you the option of Overt Orangeness...top to bottom draping. Internal Orangeness....warm thoughts. Cheerful Orangeness...a sunny disposition. Cosmic Orangeness....glowing from within. Orangeitarian Orangeness....orange food for a day.

Pick one, none or all. Have fun, be fun or be glum. Decide for yourself. Be your own authority. You're menopausal.

Sue Richards

I've moved to: www.mymenopauseblog.com

The Breast Views Headline: Breasted Canadian Politcian

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Menopause Dream??

Last nights dream went something like this.

I'm in India about to attend a course on Geography. Before checking into my hotel/room I find the class room and get a visual of the male teacher who happens to be my grade 11 highschool geography teacher.

I sit on a bench, outside the school/room, in the heat and sun. Lush plants surround me. I'm aware that I am doing this course, not to learn about geography, but to get away from my old geography of life in my city and from my relationships that are stuck.

Suddenly, I get itchy and notice a rash spreading rather rapidly across my arm. I immediately go to a clinic, where two women calmly, yet firmly get me to lie down on a bed. They are clearly concerned as they lift my shirt to find a thick, red rash spreading across my chest. Then I start to puff up like a balloon. One woman goes and gets two very large clamps like a monster plumber would use, and clamps both of my legs off at the hip, before the rash and swelling spreads in that direction.

The other woman starts spraying my body with a fire extinguisher. I'm talking a mile a minute. Telling them my next of kin, my regrets, messages that need to be given to loved ones, where my luggage is. I feel certain I am dying.

Suddenly, the Geography teacher appears in the clinic.

I take one of the clamps off my leg and throw it at him to get his attention. In my mind, he will save me.

I wake up as he turns around.

Sue Richards

PS: Are there any dream people out there?

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Monday, January 23, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Winter

Menopause is often referred to as the winter of a woman's life.

Sue Richards

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Vote

On Monday, Canadians go to the polls.

At least, Canadians could go to the polls. Yet for many reasons, only 60% of Canadians go...the other 40% don't bother.

If you fall into the 40% category, please jump ship and join the 60% tribe. If you feel your voice is not heard due to our stupid, 'first past the post' system of counting ballots, you have two party choices as far as I can see. Both the Green Party and the NDP claim that they will work toward getting 'proportional representation' in place. This alone would be a very big improvement for folks that see the world as a buffet of differences and believe in a triple bottom line rather than a cut and dry view of right and wrong underlined with the belief that money is everything.

If you are tired of the three national parties and their talking heads, then a vote for the Green Party will elevate their numbers above the 'leader can be invited to televised debates' cut off mark and at least improve the dialogue for the 'next' election.

So there. Two reasons to go mark your ballot.


Pretty please.

Sue Richards

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Friday, January 20, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Saliva Test Found

All is not lost.

Two women have come forward with Saliva Test information. Both are leading me to the same test which I will follow up on in due time. I'm more curious than ever to learn how my hormone levels will stack up and what else I can do to support myself through the pause.

I like it when two people, unknown to each other, end up endorsing the same thing. There is comfort in numbers and satisfaction in knowing that if ye seek, ye shall find. Unless of course it's a damn photo of a hippo footprint ye are seeking. Then, it's seek until you turn blue and then weep with frustration.

Quickly, because I don't want to give this more ice time than it deserves, I've been nattering with myself all week about 'getting behind'. The result of such self bitching serves me poorly.

Finally, yesterday, while doing Little Boat Pose at my yoga class, I made reference to the 'behind' belief and my yoga instructor said, "getting behind what"? She went on to suggest (once again, because this is a tricky yet liberating concept that needs repeating), the idea of getting behind implies that you are currently not where you are suppose to be. When in fact, where you are is where you are, which must be where you are suppose to be. Otherwise, you wouldn't be here.

For an instant, that so far, has been held over to today, I am no longer behind. I'm here.

Sue Richards

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Today's Breast Views Blog Headline: The Day My Boobs Went Bust.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Flashback

I have a photo that I took of my boot sitting inside of the footprint of a hippopotamus. My foot, of course is inside the boot.

I am not at the zoo.

I am in Africa. More precisely, I'm on safari, in the Serengeti, with my man, a Swedish couple, a cook and our guide, Mr. Joseph.

I have been looking for the photo for several days. I can see it, plain as day, tucked inside a book with a few other choice shots. Yet, so far, the book and the shot have eluded me.

My purpose for bring this up is not to brag. Instead I want to marvel. The one month trip happened in January 2001. Now five year's later, in my wildest dreams, I can't wrap my head around who the hell that Sue Richards was. How did she do that....just show up in Tanzania, with a return ticket, carry on luggage and a modest stash of money belted to her belly....and nothing more. How did she end up in that jeep, with those people, and her foot greatly outsized by the print of a hippo? A hippo for crying out loud. A big bloody in the wild hippo!

When my new blog skin is up and ready, I will have a photo section. It will be called Flashback. The photos will be a retrospect of sorts. From days gone by. Hippo foot will be featured, if I can find it.

There are days that I need to remind myself of myself.

Sue Richards

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My Menopause Blog: New Age Middle Aged

Very likely, someone who didn't know me well, would lump me under the category of New Age. Even though I roll my eyes at the term and don't listen to sounds of the seashore on my iPod while staring at a crystal, enough whonky ideas come out of my mouth to give some folks that impression. Still, let me be clear. I don't own an iPod. I go to the beach for an authentic wave listening experience. And crystals need dusting.

I don't dust.

Still, I lean towards organic food, a non-medical model of health care, soul searching, the odd wind chime and a belief system that sees us all as interconnected.

I also think in terms of energy. Some people's energy suck the life out of me as soon as they come into my range. Other's fill me to the brim. Same experience applies to events and work. Before taking on anything, be it a walk with a friend or a work contract, I do the energy math before going forward.

One of the head honchos in the energy world way of thinking is Dr.Caroline Myss. I saw her whip a room of 1200 into a frenzy a couple years back during a talk she did in Toronto. Besides being stand up comic quality, she's quick to call your number when she sees it. Another words, she calls a spade, a spade. I love spade callers.

Yesterday, this insight of Carolyn's made it into my in box.

"What’s true is that the New Age is not new any more. It’s “middle aged” and it needs to mature and shed its “healer, victim consciousness, narcissistic” image and evolve into its next level of maturity."
Further down she adds:
"Never mind saying, I know I was meant to do something special - THEN DO IT!!!! STOP SAYING THAT ALREADY!!!! ENOUGH! Begin with blessing the life you have and every one in it and making conscious choices every day that put your spiritual life into practice IN THE MIDST OF THE BATTLEFIELD OF YOUR LIFE AND NOT THE SPA OR THE YOGA CLASS!!
There you have it. A spade.

Sue Richards

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My Menopause Blog: What You Think

I've been roaming the Blogoshere? Reading comments, checking in. Checking out.

And now I'm wondering...is My Menopause Blog too much for people?

Sue Richards

My Calendar Girl Blog is way over here.

My Menopause Blog: Sand Man

Guelph is covered in ice.

And I'm not sleeping.

The Sand Man would do well in this town.

Sue Richards

Monday, January 16, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Saliva Test Experiment

I will refrain from further talk of sex for the time being and focus my attention back on Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Still, you've got to admit, once you get past the shock of the word clitoris and the base eleven minute assumption of the sex act, the notion of men 'discovering' women's body parts and our world 'rotating' around sex is pretty amusing and informative.

I am in luck. This blog has caught the attention of a pharmacist who believes whole heartedly in BHRT and is willing to share some information. Plus a second woman has been sending me info on Saliva Testing, a precursor to BHRT.

So here's what I'm going to do. I will get a Saliva Test done and reveal the process in this blog. I'm currently not taking any form of hormone replacement so I will be coming at the experiment as is. First I need to find out how I can do this in my city. Then do the test and wait for the results. So please do not hold your breath for yea might turn blue in the face and cease to be able to follow along.

The blog move that I promised a week ago is still underway, slowly, with a couple new jumps to make, but still in motion. When that transpires, I will have categories. I will be sure to have a Saliva Test category so all the facts I find can be neat and tidy packed into one easy to find place.

This all makes so much sense.

Sue Richards

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Man Discovers the Clitoris

This is the Sunday post of the racy weekend edition.

I'm still reading Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho. In a conversation between Maria, the prostitute and her female librarian friend, yes an unlikely coupling, the librarian reports some findings from a collection of sex books she's glanced through.

"Did you know, for example, that the clitoris is a recent invention" queries the librarian.

"It (the clitoris) was officially accepted in 1559, after a doctor (man), Realdo Columbo published a book entitled De re anatomica."

Further down the page the librarian goes on to explain that in 1561, another doctor (man) names Gabriello Fallopio, claimed the he discovered the clitoris.

Once again I put down the book.

Sixty seven years earlier, Before Clitoris, in 1492, Christopher Columbus 'discovered' America. Apparently he and his crew were greeted by people as they beached their boats. These people of course believed they were at home, where they'd lived for hundreds of years. Intimately familiar with the hills, forests, rivers, valley's, mountains and general lay and flow of the land these people likely thought they were discovering Chris and the boys on their beach.

But I guess the first guy to plant a flag in something is the real discoverer. And I think it's telling, although I'm not precisely sure of what, that America was discovered Before the clitoris. If nothing else, it speaks of priorities rather clearly.

This may be something to be wary of as you live your life. According to history, until something is claimed, named and stabbed with a cloth topped stick, it is up for grabs. And your needs, that being the female version, may not be at the top of the list.

And so dear women, our clitoris was discovered by a man in or around 1560. Prior to that, who knew? And how could we know. 'Down there' was distinctly considered off limits despite being part of our body.

As the actual flesh and blood owner of a clitoris I am indebted to these men and eternally grateful that I was not born prior to their critical clitoral discovery. What a celebration there must have been in 1559. Dancing, singing, women laughing, bells ringing, perhaps a loud and joyous parade in the centre of every town, city and village. Ah yes, the thoughts do warm my heart. Must have been quite a party!

Where I live, we have a provincial motto that's printed on our car license plates. 'Ontario: Yours to Discover'. Please be forewarned. The descendents of Realdo, Gabriello, Christopher are amoung us. They might just be looking to discover something that is already yours.

Sue Richards

P.S. My Menopause Blog has moved to http://www.mymenopauseblog.com.

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Sex

Please consider this post the racy weekend edition.

I'm reading Eleven Minutes, by Paulo Coelho, author of one of my all time favourite books, The Alchemist.

Eleven Minutes is about "the sacred nature of sex within the context of love". Eleven minutes is also considered to be the average amount of time two people spend performing the act of sex.

This of course does not include foreplay, undressing and what not. That would be another five or six minutes worth of time spent for sure.

Maria, the main character in the story, a young woman turned prostitute, concludes after six months of working her trade, that the world evolves around something that only takes eleven minutes. Me thinks that 'the world' to Maria, equals 'men'.

More concisely, the world of men evolves around sex, the eleven minute act.

I put down the book and started wondering. It certainly seems to be the case that menopause triggers fear in our deeply rooted understanding of our own sexuality which definitely rotates around the act of having sex. So just as the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone, menopause is connected to sex.

From what I gather and experience, menopause exposes our fears of loosing our sexual desire, our sexual ability, our partner, our identity, our attractiveness, our access to partners, our reproductive ability and our sexual energy. The fearing can consume us, motivate us to have risky cosmetic surgery designed to turn back the physical aging clock, take questionable drugs to stop menopause and behave in ways that do not support our soul or spirit.

From here, my thoughts led me to this question. If the world of men is consumed by sex, the eleven minute act, is there a way that we women as individuals, can take the remaining twenty three hour and forty nine minutes in the day and consume ourselves with something else?

Maybe pick something positive, wise and complimentary to the common good?

Sue Richards

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Friday, January 13, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Bioidentical Hormone Scoop

As promised, here's a small scoop of information on bioidentical hormone replacement (BHR).

First off, one of the reasons that BHR is not sweeping the nation is money. Drug companies are not allowed to patent a bioidentical structure. No patent means no control.

Remembering that drug companies are businesses with a bottom line of making money, doing anything without a patent would be considered altruistic. Drug companies are capitalistic. So as a way of getting in on the big business of menopause, Hormone Replacement Therapy was invented. Synthetic hormones can be patent. Big steaming piles of money can be made.

BHT is created to have the same molecular structure as the hormones made by your own body. There are a few branded one-size-fits-all, over the counter BHT's available. Or you can take the individual approach.

I've never thought of myself as an off-the-rack kind of gal so this feature, the dose for Sue, appeals to me on a number of levels. In fact, even though I weigh in as a 'medium' pretty much across the board, I dislike the universal herding that goes on in our society. We are much more different than the same.

'Monoism' as it is being called, exists because it is easier to distill a group of people down to one belief. Plus, it's much more lucrative. Not that I want to keep suggesting that it's all about money.....or maybe I do.....since I seem to go on about that. But back to my point, I believe that it's best to keep the individual spirit alive.

Still, 'the dose for you' approach does come with responsibility and more effort than what it takes to belly up to the pharmacy bar and get a bottle of 'Pills R U'.

Individualized BHT users are closely monitored every three months until balance is restored. Monitoring includes checking your current hormone levels.

I like the sound of 'closely monitored'. Too often we hear about people who fall through cracks in the medical stream and suffer needlessly. Call me a suck, but I'm definitely not into needless suffering for any reason.

The close monitoring is to ensure that you are taking the lowest dosage possible while getting the greatest relief available. This sounds right up my alley. Why use a bomb to kill a fly when a fly swatter will do.

So there's a bit of BHR info to carefully chew on. More in another post as my gathering continues.

Sue Richards

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Post Menopause

I'm not sure why my posts have turned into blobs of text.

Could this be 'Post' Menopause?

Sue Richards

PS Later: I fixed the blobs of text.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

My Menopause Blog: The Informants

I'm not sleeping. But I guess this is obvious by the fact that I am blogging.

As you can easily see by the time stamp on my posts, I don't lean toward night blogging. I do however have a fondness for night sleeping which is not so obvious but is in fact true. Call me crazy, but gee I do like good old fashioned sleeping at night.

Instead of tossing and turning, I'm reading through stuff I've written but never posted hoping this will put me to sleep. So far, it's not working. Now I'm not sleeping but I am editing and of course blogging.

This may be a long, sorry night, despite my earlier admission to being wiped out.

So lucky me. I found a recount of my first and only mammogram that happened to coinside with the tender breast part of menopause, written February of last winter.

The first time I saw the word peri-menopause, I laughed. How perfect I thought. Peri is kind of like the word period with a bit missing. And meno with pause stuck on the end is like menstruation on hold. My translation is 'little bit of period, kind of like usual, not sure when it's coming.' Or even more succinct 'put away the white pants.'

What I'm learning, as I enter the menopause staging area of my life, is that my breasts, more than ever, are my best friends. They tell me what they know. They tell me where I'm at. And even better they are clear about 'what's coming down' so to speak.

My boobs are much better informants than the little red dots I put on my calendar. Now with a cycle that runs between 17 and 28 days, my little red dots offer no advance warning at all. But my tender breasts are more than clear about my impending peri.

My right breast is the most vocal. At first I didn't understand it's new and loud message. Given how much time I spend learning about breast cancer, I immediately made an appointment with my doctor, just in case. Alice arranged for me to have a mammogram. My first.

The technician squashed my mouthy breast and her quieter friend until they both cried uncle. Actually, I cried uncle. Okay, maybe I simply cried. I felt ouch like nothing I can describe. But then again, I've never given birth so what do I know about ouch.

Turned out my 'telling it like it is' breasts were simply doing their job. They were announcing a change. I simply didn't understand the message.

So, just like a boob, I squashed the messenger.

Sue Richards

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My Menopause Blog: Energy Leeching

I'm wiped out today.

Perhaps My Period is returning for a new year's visit. Instead of simply showing up in the dead of night, maybe it's decided to do that energy leeching trick. You know the one. Twenty four hours before menses touch down, pure, cement weight exhaustion starts crawling through your limbs, leaving you feeling like you're hauling your ass up a friggin mountain.

So lucky for me that my evening and couch are completely free and available.

Sue Richards

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Seeking Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Information

I know squat about Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Besides the excited exclamation of the woman I spoke about in yesterdays post, a couple of other passing comments, here's the sum total of my knowledge.

Bioidentical Hormone Therapy is a natural version of Hormone Replacement Therapy. BHT is made from different plant hormones that are like those in a woman's body. Each BHT prescription is hand-mixed and the dose can vary from patient to patient.

Plus my gut feeling which I trust to have innate knowledge that my fat head doesn't retain. There's a notion deep in my gut, that BHT is the far superior way to go for those of us who want relief from menopausal symptoms, but not through risky chemical intervention.

I will seek more information and report back with the findings.

Tally ho......as I gallop off onto the tangle of the menopause trail.

Sue Richards

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Monday, January 09, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Bioidentical Hormone Relacement

She may have been mid 60's. Or perhaps early 70's. We were strangers at the same function, mourning the loss of a friend.

The small living room was filled with other women, all of various ages. As often happens, my occupation as a breast calendar publisher and writer was being bounced around the room by one of the calendar models, also in attendance. Breast cancer, breast feeding, nudity, sexuality, menopause....all these words were finding their way into the conversation.

As I walked by her chair to grab some food, she reached out, grabbed my arm and pulled me in. In one of those loud whispers she said:

"Dear, are you have difficulty with 'something' "?

Me:" 'Something'?"

Her: "You know, with 'that time'".

Me: Pausing, my mind searching desperately for the code breaker.

Her: Pulling me in even closer, sharpening her voice. "Menopause, are you having difficulty with menopause"?

Me: Laughing as I straighten up."No, not problems, I'm simply amazed by how little I know and how reluctant people are to talk".

Her: Grinning, like a cat with a mouse. "Do you know about the itching"?

Me: "Itching"?

Her: Eyes cast towards her crotch then widening as she looked me square in the eye. "Twelve years, I itched so bad that I couldn't stand it. Dry too. Dry, dry, dry. Terrible. Sex was impossible. Six months ago, I got some cream and now I'm a new woman!" Her face lit up like a girl. "The Doctor says it's all natural stuff. Mixed up specifically for me. I can't remember the name of the cream. Wonderful Doctor. " Pause. "I hope I'm not being stupid."

Me: "Is it 'Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy"?

Her: Nearly leaping out of the chair. "Yes!!!!! yes, that's it!!!"

Me: "I think you've made a wise choice for yourself."

Sue Richards

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Friday, January 06, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Dr. Sue

Thanks to a comment on yesterday's post, I've started wondering what Dr. Seuss would write about menopause.

Maybe this.

One Flash, Two Flash, Hot Flash, Blue Flash.
Back Lash, More Flash, Old Lass, Bad Clash.

This one went a little far.

This one came from eating char.

Say! What a lot of gals there are.

Yes. Some are red. And some are blue. Some are old. And some are new.

Some are sad.

And some are glad.

And some are very, very bad.

Why are they sad and glad and bad?

Because they're mad.

Just ask your dad.

Some were thin.

But now they're fat.

Look that one's swinging a great big bat.

From there to here, from here to there, menopausal women are everywhere.

Dr. Sue Richards
Adapted from: One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Moving

Let the bells ring out and the banners fly. My Menopause Blog is moving to it's very own url.

And that's not all. My good pals and site hosts at Barking Dog Studios have loaded Wordpress onto their server, which will be my new blogging platform. I'll finally be able to file my posts into categories. Good golly Miss Molly won't that be sweet. Categories. I love categories.

My skin will be changing too. Actually, my skin is always changing, especially around my neck, upper arms and of course my face. But that's another post, another time. My blog skin is being re-vamped by my web wench so a new look is on it's way. Unless of course I become sentimental and stuck on this skin. Which may happen in the short term. Too much change in technology can render me incapacitated and that's simply not fun. One or two steps at a time will keep my heart rate at a normal pace and my menopause blog steady.

So, fingers crossed that this transformation will go tickety boo. Might happen tomorrow or early next week. I'll do my best to leave a well marked trail.

Sue Richards

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Her Hot Flashes

This is Tannis, my dear friend. We've been pals for over 20 years. Up until recently, we both suffered from perpetual coldness. Frozen feet, hands like ice blocks with a general blue quality to our skin for most of our charming yet chilly Canadian seasons. Now, thanks to menopause, all that's changed.

Several times last evening, Tannis achieved the perfect temperature. Unfortunately, she also surpassed that temperature and quickly had to rid herself of extra layers thanks to the intense boil of her hot flashes. But overall, she believes that her body comfort level has improved from her former, popsicle-like reality.

This would be an example of the 'silver lining of menopause.'

Watching someone else have a hot flash was most interesting. Tannis demonstrated her trademark form of swift action with a steadfastness and calm that I've grown to love over the years. Clothes came off, clothes went on, clothes came off, song was played, clothes went on, laughter, song, off, on and so it went.

I learned much from her in the few hours we hung out together. And I will be making a greater effort to research some natural, effective, hot flash support for my hotter friend than me.

Sue Richards

About the photo: I have a new Canon A610 5 Mega Pixel camera that I'm messing around with. Part of the messing involves editing, shifting contrast, changing saturation points and all that fun stuff.

This photo is a story that goes beyond what you see. Tannis is working on a new song for her next album. She is mesmerized yet inspired by my new woodstove which has been burning none stop for 4 days. She's sitting on the stool that I bought from a North Bay furniture maker in the summer of 1977, on the same day Elvis died. The kettle on the stove is hissing gently.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Use Prior Knowledge

Screw resolutions.

I mean what's the point. Most resolutions are based on myth: diets works; false information: the world is fair; and sheer insanity: controlling daily drinking binges is a simple case of mind over matter.

Making a declaration to change may have good intentions all over it, but unless common sense and prior knowledge is applied in the resolving, the entire process is a complete setup for failure and despair.

The things we do that we feel remorse over are not the problems. They are the symptoms of a deeper issue. Until we recognize that piece of gold, we can resolute until we're blue in the face. And fail. Which adds to our remorse and our cycle.

Rather, lets review what we've learned so far in life, state that increased knowledge publicly and then evolve.

Like grow.


These are three things I know.

  1. Diets are a sham. Most people over eat for emotional reasons. Address the real issue.
  2. The world is not fair. You can behave fairly, but that does not guarantee others behavior.
  3. Daily drinking to the point of displaying disruptive behaviour is a sign of alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease. Go see your doctor.
Menopausal women have an important purpose in our society. We have a wealth of human experience and wisdom that is unique to us. It is our job to share that understanding with the youth of today. Consuming ourselves with trivial, shallow, soul and energy sucking shit wastes opportunity, damages relationships and sets an example that does not contribute positively to our world on any level.

Remember. When you are old and infirmed, unable to wipe your own butt, what type of person do you want assisting you? Now do the math. She's likely that 10 year old sitting on the couch. And she's watching you.

Sue Richards

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Monday, January 02, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Discovered - The Menotail

Discovered (again) on my back deck, New Year's Eve.

The Menotail; one part brandy, one part fresh squeezed lemon juice, a splash of Triple Sec and 2 parts champagne is the cats ass when it comes to midlife cocktails. Served in a flute, chilled in the snow and shared with a friend, the Menotail can and will provide just enough kick to make you glow without having to have a hot flash plus plenty of Vitamin C to ward off scurvy.

That's right. Scurvy. Last thing you want at this stage of your declining estrogen game is your teeth falling out.

Think of it as prevention.

Sue Richards

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

My Menopause Blog: Watch for the Signs

My Menopause nor My Period have any predictions or resolutions for the New Year. I have determined, over the last year, that neither are stable enough to be trusted.

Instead, I will carry on seeking the best path, attempt to stay calm, try to be brave and keep watching for the signs.

The glorious, non-verbal, messy signs.

Sue Richards