I’m a bit under the weather today with what seems to be a fairly nasty head cold compounded by a lack of sleep caused by the cold. It’s a two-fold cold: that of being sick, and that which is caused by our window which has to be open lest one of us sweat to death in the night. Being under said weather puts me in a less than joyful mood and left to consider all the more pleasant aspects of my life — like menopause.
Just seeing the word on the page can cause a number of reactions depending on one’s particular set of circumstances:
- You’re female and under 30 so menopause can’t possibly have anything to do with you. In fact, the concept of one grey hair or chin whisker may have recently sent you to near hysteria;
- You’re male, and anything having to do with the female body that isn’t about cleavage, thighs, or hot sex may as well be written in a language unknown to man. That would be a male, and not mankind in general;
- You’re a menopausal woman and because you’re on a first name basis with menopause, reading about it most likely isn’t the first item of the day with your usual Venti Soy Decaf Latte, thank you very much; or
- You’re married to a menopausal woman and unlike awaiting the bouncing bundle of joy which is the result of a healthy pregnancy, you suspect absolutely nothing that cute could possibly come of this.
From time to time, I Google menopause just to see what comes up and it’s dismal. I suppose this behavior makes me Glutton for Punishment’s poster child, but it seems to be part of my two-year and counting adjustment to aging. Most of the initial hits are for sites selling or promoting HRT drugs. The others are large medical sites like the Mayo Clinic and WebMD and although basic information can be found on all of these sites, they essentially say the same thing: hot flashes are normal; we’re at greater risk for joint pain and osteoporosis; our skin will become more dry and less elastic; our midsections will increase in size; our muscles begin to disappear, our hair will thin in some places and grow in others less desirable; we will have difficulty with our teeth and gums; and most importantly — we will be at far greater risk for heart disease.
The good news is that regular exercise, improved diet, and reduced stress can lessen the effects of all of the above. By all means, let the happy dancing begin.