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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Can Finally Embrace the Word MENOPAUSE

There are so many moments of transition in our lives. Menopause is a big one for women. I always wondered what it would be like. Now that I am officially menopausal, I can be one of the ones to "show the way". Honestly, I have never felt better. The burden of the monthly menstrual cycle is lifted. With it have also gone the mood swings and discomfort. And even though I have been married for nearly 30 years, have 3 amazing, wonderful kids, it is nice to know, definitively, I don't have to worry about getting pregnant anymore! I have no desire to find out what that would be like at the age of 55! All this adds up to being emotionally freeing.

I read an interesting summary recently when roaming the internet which reflected what I feel about this stage in life. It said-

Emotional Well-Being: After menopause, you may find yourself experiencing new levels of satisfaction in your life. In a recent study, more than 75% of women reported that they were having more fun in their everyday lives, and 93% reported an increase in their independence. Menopause can be a time when new doors open up for you. You may find yourself having the freedom to explore new job options, travel, or leisure activities. Many women also find that they have time for greater self-exploration.

It is much easier to be 55 than it is to be 45. What I have discovered is that being perimenopausal was much harder on me. That is when I got the hot flashes, when my menstrual cycles were so heavy they were nearly impossible to manage and when sleep truly became a precious commodity. It is relieving to look back now and realize that period was only a phase. A phase I lived through and mercifully can look back on, knowing I am in so much better shape and don't have to live with those symptoms any more. Because of all the symptoms, particularly the heavy bleeding, it was recommended to me more than once that I consider a hysterectomy. My question back was "is there any health issue that warrants such a significant surgery?" The answer was always "Well, no...it is a lifestyle issue...is it manageable in your everyday life?" I seriously thought about that becasue I did have to endure some unfortunate and embarrassing moments related to being perimenopausal. But then I would think about the additional effects and consequences I would be adding to the list if I chose the hysterectomy route. And I reminded myself that it would end, this was not a forever proposition. This is a natural stage of life, afterall. There really is nothing wrong with us...just different.

I am glad to say The Misery has ended. Other than the reality of typical aging, I am in great shape. Menopause, yes, menopause, feels good!