Menopause....what am I becoming?
“Ahem…. you have broccoli your teeth”, “yes right there…. wait, there is a little more” awkward but usually an appreciated gesture. More difficult is a woman to a man “your zipper is down” because then he might think…. she just looked there and that’s why she noticed…. I didn’t actually look there, but the shiny gold teeth on the zipper caught the light, I don’t want to have to explain myself so I’ll keep quiet on this one.
A similar feeling occurred when I was sitting across from a female family physician, she is about my age or a little younger. Probably not yet 50, she is using her wine menu as a fan and dabbing sweat from her forehead while unsticking her blouse from under her bra line to avoid a sweat stain. She seems unaware of the sweat droplets fast accumulating on the little hairs of her upper lip. If I took off my reading glasses, I might not be able to see this and could avoid this observation altogether. The broccoli question pops into my head… should I tell her about the sweat accumulating above her lip so she can wipe it now and avoid feeling embarrassed later when she discovers it on her own? Perhaps it would be inappropriate. After all, she is a doctor, she should know that she does not have to spontaneously combust here in this restaurant with the sub-zero temperatures (per my internal thermostat).
There is a comedian on YouTube, Mrs. Hughes. She says, “when you reach puberty, they tell you, you’re becoming a woman” happy and excited for you…. when you reach my age, they say “yes, you are at the change of life” “they don’t tell you, (hand petting her imaginary moustache and goatee) you’re becoming your father”!
Here is the real challenge, and a big part of why I decided to write this blog. When I see a woman, in the grocery line, on a plane next to me, or at a dinner who is suffering from the outward effects of perimenopause or menopause, I want to strike up a conversation with her and say, “do you know you don’t have to burst into a ball of flames every time you turn around”? “Do you know there are physicians who specialize in Bioidentical Hormone Therapy”. “Do you know that BHRT is proven to protect your body on a cellular level”?
Who am I to keep this a secret? I am 53, post-menopausal, have had a hysterectomy apart from my ovaries who I lovingly refer to as my raisinettes (pretty sure they are useless but was weirdly attached to their remaining in place if they were otherwise healthy). That’s for another story.
I have read countless articles and blogs on menopause and perimenopause. There is an endless supply of suggestions regarding diet, eating more greens, exercise, yoga and meditation to help with symptoms such as weight gain, anxiety, hot flashes, fatigue, forgetfulness, and crepey skin. Many of these suggestions are sound and helpful, but they do not address how your health benefits of optimizing hormones on a cellular level.
My kids are grown, I want to be fit, feel healthy, be slim, wear cute clothes and learn new things that I haven’t had time to when I was raising young kids. Now is not the time to feel anxious, get fat and forget why I went in the next room!
If you are anything like me, when I was anxious (picture a wet cat stuck to the ceiling, or crying because someone again left both the washer and dryer full so now I must empty it in order to use it, dammit)! I will try all those green, healthy, Instagram worthy, suggestions, but I also want immediate gratification, now. Did I say immediate? I want no more hot flashes. I want my smooth skin back. I want to get rid of this spare tire that showed up out of nowhere! I do not want to look in the mirror and see my mother staring back at me, or worse yet my father!
You may have been to your OBGYN or family doctor for anxiety and hot flashes. You may be armed with antidepressants and a pharmaceutical estrogen. You may have a progesterone or estrogen deficiency. I promise you to do not have a Zoloft deficiency.
I am blessed to have knowledge of and receiving bioidentical hormone therapy from Dr. Christopher Campbell. He is a D.O. who practices bioidentical hormone therapy at his integrative and functional medicine practice(s). He happens to be my husband however, I promise I would be his patient even if I were not the woman who knows where he drops his socks next to the bed at night.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy BHRT technically refers to the use of hormones that mimic the endogenous hormones produced by our bodies, with the ability to optimize our body responses and restore normal physiological pathways. Aging results in a myriad of declining health issues, BHRT has the potential to restore declining hormone levels, while slowing the aging process, preventing chronic disease.
My goal is to arm more ladies with science based educational tools so you may make well informed decisions about your personal health.
Love and lunges,