Menopausal Lost Dog
January 11, 2015

This fall on garbage day my neighbor knocked on my door. Since I bike around the neighborhood, she wanted to know if I knew this dog. Betsy

I am pretty sure I would remember this face! I did not. My neighbor is a big walker and she didn’t recognize her either. The dog then plopped down on my front walk. I got her some water and our afternoon together began.

 Betsy and water

I am friendly with many neighbors so it wasn’t hard to solicit a leash, collar and kibble for the pooch. We are a cat family.

snow-in-portland-oregon

Since it was a beautiful day and it appeared to be a school free day, the neighborhood was buzzing. My office  is in the back of my home so I don’t see the street. We have a corner lot but it is all treed and private which is great except when you want to do some neighborhood sleuthing and get work done at the same time!

I gave up on the work and set out to find this girl’s home. She wasn’t a pup and I didn’t think she could have wandered far. I put up posters around the neighborhood, notified the appropriate agencies and placed 2 listings on Craig’s list. I stopped everyone who walked or rode their bike past my house to take a look at the dog and rack their brain if they recognized her.

I named her Wanda and hoped closer to the dinner hour her owners would come home and get her. She was happy to hang out with me and nap on the front porch.

Betsy 14

Around 5, her owners claimed her. Her real name is Betsy and she is almost 8. She has been acting irritable lately, eating and sleeping more. They don’t know how she got out of the house and yard but this is the second time she has taken off.

The young family was thrilled she wandered just 2 blocks to my house and was safe. They were very grateful. She has been moved to this new house and yard and neighborhood. That’s a lot of change for what I think is a menopausal dog. No wonder Betsy felt comfortable with me, 2 menopausal gals hanging out on a lovely day!

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How Do You Know You are Menopausal?
August 18, 2014

I spoke with a friend recently who mentioned she didn’t think she was menopausal any longer although she still suffers some hot flashes and night sweats. As we were talking she lost her train of thought twice. She also mentioned some mood swings. I suggested she was still menopausal and she snapped at me with a sharp retort, and eventually agreed maybe she was still a wee bit menopausal!

Here are the signs that menopause has a grip on you and how to cope:
CRS, Can’t Remember Shit
Write everything down. Do not say to yourself that you will remember, you will not! Write everything down on a note pad that you keep in the same spot in your purse or on your desk so you can check it often and frequently.
Do not leave your to do list, or calendar only on your phone because you will forget to charge your phone.
Do you walk into a room and forget why?
Do you find milk in the pantry, socks in the frig, or other items temporarily placed and forgotten?

DGS, Don’t Give a Shit
You think you look better, younger, and sexier, than anyone else you know even when others may comment lovingly, critically or snidely to you about your dress, hair or overall appearance and you don’t care.
You think you used to be the smartest person in the room. You know that may not be the case because you cannot remember some words or have become dependent on spell check but who cares.
You cannot watch a Lifetime/Hallmark movie without sobbing. You hate criers at work and now there you are blubbering about someone’s story and you don’t care.

Mood Swings
One day you are happy and satisfied and the next you want to sell the house, leave the family and the job to eat chocolate in Paris.
Are people saying things like “You just need your morning coffee”?
Do you have co-workers who only email you?
Does your family ask “Why are you so sensitive?”
Do you have sudden road rage?
Have you gone Ape Shit in a public setting?

Eerily Image with Lisa Pjs
What can help?
Try to get a good night sleep. Ask your Doctor for sleep medication.
Not even when you were at the top of your game did you function well while sleep deprived. Shameless plug for our wicking sleepwear, www.haralee.com, can help!
Try exercise of some kind. Whacking a ball in some sport or joining an exercise/dance class can help.
Talk with friends your same age.
Just know it is normal, you are not going crazy or becoming emotionally unbalanced; you are menopausal.

I am sure I forgot an important tip or sage advice but you can comment here.

 

Summer Menopause Survival Guide Tips
May 20, 2014

Summer and warmer if not hot, humid temperatures are around the corner. How are you going to survive this summer?

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Here are a dozen tips:

 

  1.        Get a pedicure today and wear open toe shoes until the temperature dips below 60° or Christmas.
  2.        Wear loose necklines and sleeveless tops. Hate your upper arms and can’t get over it? Layer with a thin layer or wear a short sleeve top.
  3.          Try a big beautiful hat. Think Kentucky Derby grandeur because then it becomes a fashion focal point, and keeps you a bit cooler.
  4.          Wear underwear. I know the thought of putting on a bra and panties when you are so damn hot can sometimes seem like cruel punishment but decorum must be maintained!
  5.          Do not take off too many layers. Yes you are too old to just wear a sports bra.
  6.          I know I will get some back talk but No you cannot wear short shorts. I know they are cute cut-offs but you are menopausal not prepubescent.
  7.          No Spanx or tight fitting pants if you can help it.
  8.          Don’t sit outside unless there is a cool breeze and you are in the shade.
  9.          Discretely place a few ice cubes down your bra if you are eating with friends, family or at a meeting.
  10. Invest in waterproof make-up for the summer. That includes eye shadow, eyebrow pencil, eyeliner and lipstick.
  11. Is a short haircut, especially at your nape in your future?
  12. Reduce your alcohol intake. Don’t call me that name! Alcohol often triggers a hot flash. It also compromises some good judgment choices like taking off one too many layer or jumping into a fountain. Just saying…

 

Are you ready for summer? Do you have additional tips?

 

Soy Sucks
September 7, 2011

In the August 8th 2011 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, a two year and $3 million study concluded that soy does not help with bone loss and hot flashes and other side effects of menopause. In fact participants who were taking soy tablets had more abdominal bloating and constipation than those taking placebo! So if you are getting a soy latte or using soy milk on your cereal it is best to continue because you like the taste, not for the health benefits  for menopause symptoms.

My oncologist has been anti-soy for estrogen positive breast cancer patients for years. Well meaning friends have suggested I use soy for my drenching night sweats and I was always able to say I could not on Doctor’s orders. The truth is I also don’t care for the taste of anything soy except a handful of soybeans at a Japanese restaurant and soy sauce used in Chinese food.

How soy became the darling in foods is beyond me. I am sure many people love the taste and have ethical or physical problems with milk and milk products and soy milk is the best alternative. I have tasted soy ice cream and if you don’t have to eat it why would you?

Dealing with symptoms of menopause comes under quality of life and long term health. No one solution is good for every woman. A soy tablet was never going to be a panacea to every woman. There is no one solution that can relieve all your menopause symptoms long term with-out a chance of side effects; there is no magic bullet. A healthy diet of course is helpful as are weight bearing exercises and a good night sleep.  Haralee.Com Sleepwear can help you cope with night sweats and hot flashes.

Every time I go to my exercise class, I prefer to be somewhere else but I know it is good for me, and I have proof in my bone density scans. Do you do something or eat something, or take something because it is good for you with-out real proof, like soy?

 

Top 5 Reasons Menopause is Misunderstood and What People Think It Is
June 6, 2011

 5. Not everyone else in the world is experiencing menopause with you so they have no idea about your symptoms. They think you have gone bonkers, crazy, weird, odd, off your rocker or all the above. Is it a disease state like a thyroid condition? No it is Menopause.

 4. Men don’t experience menopause. If they want to explain some different or reactionary behavior, they chalk it up to a ‘mid life crisis’.  That does sound so much better especially when he tosses aside  the first wife and children and marries a woman 20 years younger than him because she, wait for it, ‘makes him feel young’! Is it a mid life crisis? Are you like your male friends and experiencing a mid life crisis also? No it is Menopause.

 3. The kids are gone (or so you hope) and you are left with the spouse, partner, dog or cat. You have worked 25 or 30 years at your profession. According to your friends, co-workers, spouse, partner or kids you are acting different. Is it Empty Nest Syndrome? Looking forward/dreading Retirement? No it is Menopause.

 2. Are you more outspoken, or more opinionated than you used to be? Do you have a more devil may care attitude. Do you lose interest quickly if your kids, friends, spouse or partner don’t succinctly come to the point about what they are talking about?  Are you suffering from some attention deficit disorder?           No it is menopause.      

1. DENIAL. Yes denial is the number one reason, #1, Numero Uno; The reason menopause is misunderstood by everyone. All women think they are too young, too healthy or too busy and that it just won’t happen to them. Living in a state of denial can really blindside you stupid. Estrogen diminishes, menopause happens, get a grip and get with the program! It is MENOPAUSE.

Back Talk Welcome!

 

 

Menopause Happens
April 11, 2011

You know how Mother Nature brings in Spring? Cold one day and Hot the next and you don’t know how to dress? Well think of that every day. Hot flashes during the day  Night sweats at night and chilled by damp clothes or too light of clothes when not having a flash and you have one of the most common side effects of menopause.

What you say, I am too young for menopause! Think again. Here is the long and the short of it; Menopause happens to every woman. The side effects are the variable. Do you remember puberty? Hormones raging, bad skin, mood swings, crying jags, greasy hair? Menopause symptoms are similar but due to estrogen decreasing. Mood swings, crying jags, thinning hair, dry skin, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and CRS. (Can’t Remember Shit).

Have you ever been talking and forgot a name but it will come to you later? Have you walked into a room and forgot why or what you were after? Have you ever wondered as you drive off to work if you left on the coffee maker, or shut the cat out, or locked the door? Does this happen frequently? CRS!

If you ever experienced after a pregnancy some of the side effects I listed for menopause that is just a taste of what can go on for years. Starting around 35-45, little changes are happening. Your menstrual cycle may change in frequency and intensity. This period has a name, ‘Peri-menopause’. You can take replacement hormones but they are linked to cancer. The medical protocol is if side effects of menopause are ruining your quality of life the smallest dose for the shortest amount of time of hormones can be prescribed. Bottom line; talk with your doctor, your friends, your family and find what can work for you!

Many women will not admit they are menopausal because they equate menopause with being old. I ask would you rather be old or dead?

If you are Menopausal, You are so Cool!
December 6, 2010

If you have been watching ‘Desperate Housewives’ lately you know the character Brea is going through menopause. She is also dating a younger man who wants to have children. Oh the drama!

http://abc.go.com/shows/desperate-housewives 

Talk of Menopause is everywhere on TV. What once was spoken about in hushed tones as the ‘Change’ is now open conversation using the correct term ‘Menopause’. https://health.google.com/health/ref/Menopause

Not all cultures embrace casual conversation about menopause. Not all women want to talk about menopause either. Some women do not want to be thought old enough to be menopausal. Hey what is the alternative?

Millions of women experience menopause daily, can you feel the coolness!

You are not Ill, You are not Sick, You are Peri-Menopausal, Menopausal or Hormonal
March 8, 2010

 Many women think that they are very ill or at least sick when they have symptoms that those of us in the know, know are menopausal symptoms. Night sweats, hot flashes, headaches, forgetfulness, irritability, mood swings, dry skin, insomnia can all be symptoms of various diseases but are also side effects of menopause.

 Women in their early 40’s don’t think they are old enough for menopause. Women in their mid forties don’t think they are old enough either. The truth; THEY ARE old enough for menopause. Menopause does not have an age requirement like getting your driver’s license or eligible for social security. It happens some time in between and can vary among women greatly. Of course you want to check out with your doctor, but don’t let your doctor say you are too young. Be sure to be your own advocate and ask your doctor for a FSH blood test. That test may be an indicator that you are entering menopause.

Menopause is not an illness, is not life threatening and is a whole lot better than having a life threatening illness. I am not minimizing menopause symptoms in any way, they are miserable, annoying and even debilitating, but they are not forever! Women who have had a child or who are breast feeding sometimes get hormonal symptoms similar to menopause. It is a glimpse of the future as your hormone levels fluctuate.

Recently I had conversations with 2 women who were relieved to find out they are only menopausal. They are both in their early 40’s, healthy, active women who were just not feeling like themselves and experiencing new odd symptoms. The internet had both the women convinced they were seriously ill with who knows what, so you can imagine their relief. Menopause happens, sometimes sooner than later, welcome to the club.