Researching menopausal symptoms seems to be my full-time job of late. I have a variety of other chronic illness that have accumulated over the years-- nothing major, just mostly annoying ones, so I often feel the need to compare the chronic crap to the budding menopausal side-effects now targeting my increasingly freaky body.
I thought I had a fairly good understanding of what was in store for me during "the change" but quickly realized I needed a modern day "What To Expect When Your Menopausing" type of book.
Seriously. If you have a baby, you can read a step-by-step narrative on what's happening to your body, practically daily, for a full nine months. Then there's a second book to tell you what to expect, moment-by-moment, for the first 12 months of your little tike's life. That's hugely helpful! Why isn't there one for menopause? A simple, week-by-week wrap-up on menopausal happenings, would be a best seller! I know it would be a much bigger book because menopause is not wrapped up in nine or twelve little months, but I'd buy that book no matter how big it was, as long as it's not a book associated with a celebrity, product or service someone is trying to hock me. That doesn't count.
I know, I know, every woman is different, so are the drugs to take for it. It's not cookie-cutter, I get that, really I do. But come on-- I just want a blow-by-blow on what to expect, when to expect it, and a few pointers on when the hell it will be over! Is that too much to ask? Apparently so, because I've yet to find "the source" for all things menopause.
In my quest for answers, I discovered something absolutely shocking. Did you know there are as many as THIRTY-FIVE symptoms of menopause? I sat straight up in my chair when I read that tidbit of horrifying news. Until that moment, I only knew about the "top eight". (Irregular periods, decreased fertility, hot flashes, sleep issues, mood swings, weight gain, hair loss, and dryness you know where.)
But THIRTY frigging FIVE symptoms???? Who the hell counted and why didn't they tell anybody-- Like my doctors-- who continuously dismiss my whining about these wacky symptoms, or my best gal pals? I know some things are embarrassing and potentially pretty unattractive, but really, someone could have pulled me aside and whispered the other twenty-seven possibilities that lurk in the shadow of very hot, sleep deprived, menopausal women.
Okay, so only 5% get the "burning tongue" thing, but a heads up would have been nice. Same goes for the ringing in the ears. Or how about the "itchy skin" which usually turns up early in the change process? I just read it's associated with the loss of collagen and makes you look older. So that explains it!
And like a late night infomercial-- Wait, there's more! Pass the tissues because some experts say menopause "increases allergies" which is not to be out-done by tingling extremities and the feeling of ants crawling all over your body. Nice, huh? Or the whole bleeding gum thing-- I can't even go there!
But my personal, mind-blowing, fave, has to be the peculiar "electric shock sensation"-- like a rubber band snapping on your muscles-- That's a red alert for an impending hot flash. Did you know that? Think of it as your body's very own early warning system of a flood about to rush from your head to your toes. Not one single person mentioned that to me-- ever. See what we have to look forward to?!?!
No wonder menopause is kicking my ass! And according to my research, I'm just getting started. Damn! It's going to be a bumpy ride.
How are you doing?
Welcome to TheFiftyFactor - Joanna