Hot flashes are not hot

One of my favorite episodes of The Golden Girls came on TV Land last night. It was the episode when Blanche thought she was pregnant. What made it probable was the known fact of Blanche's desires toward men. She visited her doctor who told her that she was experiencing menopause. Needless to say, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia said a few wisecracks at her expense.

This episode was very timely for me as I'm going through this phase in life. I'm now a part of that group of women who sweats profusely as though splashed with a bucket of water. I haven't gone cray-cray yet as most people claim menopausal women are. However, if the water bucket fairy continues to interrupt my sleep at night, I'm on my way to it. One evening was so bad that I found myself jetting off to the nearest drugstore (Did I just say drugstore? Sorry, I meant pharmacy for you young guns) to find the latest menopause product. I've tried two products so far to no avail, so I'm prepared to hear my ob/gyn suggest hormone replacement therapy (HRT, for short).

I thought I was having a lupus flare because of my symptoms but two visits to the ER and my rheumatologist confirmed that it wasn't. Thank God. The last thing I need is an extended hospital stay. I became perimenopausal at the age of 43 in addition to having three rounds of chemo that year for the diffusion of cells on my kidneys related to lupus.

Before the treatment, I recall the doctor asking me if I planned on having more children. I proudly said "No!" with a vengeance. I learned later that chemo has the ability to treat your illness while at the same time destroy other healthy organs in the body.

Ladies, menopause is nothing to be ashamed of. For those who are ashamed, remember the time when it was embarrassing for you to talk about your menstrual period? If we didn't learn about it from reading Judy Blume books, we saw it happen to another naive girl who decided to wear white shorts that day. It was the beginning of our child bearing years and now menopause ends it.

One caveat: If you are sexually active, please continue to use birth control until your doctor says it's okay to stop. There are so many cases of menopausal women getting pregnant because they believed they couldn't.

No woman wants to be mistaken for a grandmother to her baby.

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Filed under: Health and Wellness

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