Through history, women have shared their experiences and solutions to pass along information they didn’t get anywhere else. Now with a boost from the Internet, we honor this tradition by compiling a collection of menopause stories, updated every week. If you’d like to tell us about your menopause experience, please answer eight questions here and include a photo of yourself.
When did you go into menopause?
Age 55. So right in the middle of average.
What did you know about menopause before you hit it?
I actually knew a lot as I’m an acupuncturist and functional nutrition coach. So I had a good idea what I was in for and how I was going to get through it with ease and grace.
What you wish you had known?
Random irritability with no cause. Thankfully I have a very understanding husband.
Most vexing symptom?
That my sleep would become so disturbed and make me really grumpy. Sleep deprivation was something I had with my baby for the first two years of his life, but I wasn’t expecting to be tossed back in there with menopause. My body would actually feel like it was vibrating, and then I would wake up and get hot, not sweaty, just warm enough to be uncomfortable. Then my mind would turn on and the thoughts would spin out of control, keeping me awake longer. It was just miserable.
Feeling like I’ve finally arrived at my best self. I’m more present in my life and not so worried about what others think or their judgments. I also feel braver and show up with more confidence.
How do/did you treat symptoms?
Given my passion and profession in alternative healing I did everything I know worked with my patients: Herbal remedies, five-element acupuncture, gut cleanse, nutritional supplements, dietary changes, meditation, water, and daily exercise. There’s no silver bullet and no one solution fits all. I found that I had to make several small changes that added up to big results.
Most memorable menopause story?
Well, menopause can sometimes make your brain a little silly and lead you to do things like cook an entire jar of salsa thinking it’s marinara sauce. The whole time I was simmering the sauce, I kept tasting it and couldn’t figure out why it was so spicy. I added onions, garlic and fresh basil, so what could it be? I served this lovely chicken parm dinner with the “red sauce.”
My husband and son ate it while their eyes watered and noses ran from the shear heat of the sauce. I kept repeating that I had no idea how it got so spicy and thought it was because I had tried a new brand. My husband got up and went to the recycling bin and announced, “It’s hot because you used salsa instead of marinara.” We all laughed so hard we cried. Sometimes menopause can make your brain a little spacey and spicy. At least it was a good laugh.
Three words to describe your menopause experience?
Challenging. Growth. Humorous.