REVISED to include the Disclosure at bottom of post
I'm hard pressed to come up with a succinct description for my blog -- and one reason for that is that I started writing here long before anyone thought of blogging as something one would do professionally.
"SoCal Mom" is basically my spot to jot down my thoughts on whatever I care about at any particular time, so when I was traveling a lot there were a lot of posts about traveling... and when my daughter was a competitive gymnast, I wrote a lot about gymnastics...
...and now that I'm struggling through what used to be called "The Change," I'm obsessed with menopause (actually, MY menopause). If that's a topic that makes you queasy, move along. But if you're a female and you haven't hit this phase of life yet -- eventually, you will. You may want to stick around. Even though each woman's experience is different, I think we all gain from sharing information -- and unlike the start of menses, when we are bombarded with publications and products and embarrassing sex talk and hygiene films in fifth grade -- for some reason, nobody goes out of the way to tell you what to expect when the whole thing grinds to a screeching halt.
My periods began when I was 14... and ended a year ago, when I underwent a procedure to deal with uterine fibroids. For forty years, I had a pretty good idea of what my body could and could not handle. And now... everything is a surprise -- and none of it good.
The hot flashes began about a month after the procedure. Sure, we joke about them -- probably because they are not the scary big deal we're made to believe... except when you're in the middle of a really uncomfortable one that isn't passing quickly, or when you wake up in the middle of the night, covered in sweat... and then again... and again a couple of hours later. Hot flashes and night sweats are mostly a nuisance.
Frankly, the other symptoms of hormonal change is what is getting me down -- from the loss of hair at the top of my head to the appearance of new hair elsewhere on my face...
to the complete breakdown of my slow metabolism...
to an inability to focus on any task for any period of time (a feeling I can best describe as mental "fuzziness")...
to mood swings that invariably end up stuck in depression.
Menopause is kicking my butt, which is a sentiment I shared on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago, when I was feeling enormously down.
Thank goodness for my friends, many of whom are experiencing the same things and came forth to offer advice. A couple of them recommended this book , which I purchased for reading on the iPad (which allowed me easy access while doing the treadmill thing I described the last time I wrote about this topic).
There is a lot to digest here -- some of it useful (like the efficacy of dietary supplements like soy and black cohosh) and some less so (my eyes glazed over every time the author mentioned something New Age-y like using tarot cards to figure out where her life was going).
I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with this, other than to try to get as much information as I can and then integrate however much I can into my life. Some action items are easier than others: I really WANT to get to the gym daily, but so far, the most I've been able to muster is five times in a week -- and the last two weeks, I've only made it four times. I really WANT to work up to two hours of activity a day, but by the time I finish the first hour, I'm tired and spacey... plus, my feet ache. I've started taking some vitamins and supplements -- but I'm actually not all that clear on what exactly is best, and it will take a few weeks before I notice anything (if I notice anything at all).
In other words, this is a work in progress. Stay tuned.
DISCLOSURE: I was not compensated for this post, however the link to the book mentioned above IS my Amazon affiliate link. Should anyone order from it, I would stand to make a small commission