Asking for help with menopause should be a “no brainer”, but I, like many women, just thought I could “power through” it alone. It wasn’t until I had a casual conversation with a friend (who happens to be an OB/GYN) that I realized maybe I need a little help.
Women love to chat and I am no exception. When I think of the many topics of conversation that my friends have discussed, not one of them was about menopause. Of course, there is the occasional sudden fanning of one’s face in an effort to cool down from a “hot flash”, but no one really talks about it. We just give the nod – indicating a mutual understanding.
My mom passed away several years ago, long before my personal journey into “the pause”. We never talked about such things. She was from a generation that didn’t talk about anything and I am from a generation that is apparently lacking in knowledge on the subject. I can’t tell you how long I thought the only negative symptom was “hot flashes”! LOL Guess what …. it’s not the only symptom!
To quote Dr. Phil, “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.” Boy did this reality hit me hard! My husband always calls me “sweet”. This has become a running joke because, while I am kind, “sweet” I am NOT! Recently, he told me I was being “mean” and unfortunately, he was right. I was being mean and feeling angry for no reason.
This was my “wake up” call. As I thought about how I was feeling, I realized that my mood had been all over the place. In addition, the extra “fluff”, hot flashes and sleep disruption had been increasing for some time. I suppose I just thought it would all “go back to normal” soon, so I did nothing about it. And guess what, nothing was changing!
This is when I remembered my conversation with my “Dr.” friend week’s earlier. I had mentioned “hot flashes” and weight gain in a group conversation and when the laughter stopped, she looked me straight in the eye and said these simple words: “You know I can help you with that.”
The conversation went on in various directions, but her words stuck in my mind. While I didn’t take action at that moment, a seed was planted that I would need later.
Realizing that I had been a jerk and likely difficult to live with, I began seeking help with menopause. First, I did some research on the internet to learn about this new season and all of its many symptoms and solutions.
Next, I made a decision to try a natural approach and looked for the highest rated (by doctors and women) OTC supplement. Amazon delivered it 2 days later and I believe that I am on a path of feeling and “being” better!
I suppose the real test will come from my husband. Hoping to find myself back in the “sweet” category again! Regardless, I am keenly watching my symptoms and if OTC supplements don’t work well enough, then I will talk with my doctor about hormone replacement.
It is very interesting to me that women still don’t talk much about menopause. Even in 2022, a negative stigma remains. The idea of aging associated with menopause seems to trap many of us in a denial mindset. I hope to do better with my daughters both by example and with open conversation.
If you walk away with nothing else from this post, I hope that you will be encouraged to ask for help with menopause symptoms. Women in this season should be filled with confidence, wisdom and greater independence not held hostage by “hot flashes”, mood swings and self dissatisfaction.
Wishing all the ladies a beautiful and fulfilling life!