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  • Sue Hawley

MENOPAUSE -The End or The Beginning? Your Choice!

MENOPAUSE - The End or The Beginning? Your Choice!

All women know it’s in their future but depending on where you are in life, it’s basically a ‘down the road’ event---until it hits like a ton of bricks. When I looked up the medical definition it was short, sweet and to the point: “The time in a woman’s life when menstrual periods permanently stop.” Yep, pretty much sums up the medical description.

You must scroll down the page to catch the really important information: night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, irritability, racing heart, just to name a few. Some women skate right through this time period with few of these symptoms. I on the other hand, had them all plus a couple not mentioned. No one warned me about the panic attacks that make you feel as though death is right around the corner, if not immediate. No mention of over worrying about events that might never happen----you really have to talk yourself off the ledge sometimes.

Hot flashes are a real treat. One minute you’re fine and dandy, the next you’d bet your last dollar your body will melt from the inside out as your internal thermometer goes haywire. We live in Ohio where winters are damn cold. During these burning episodes I’ve been known to step out onto our porch in zero degree weather and not feel the icy air for at least five minutes. It’s an interesting experience to say the least.

The many articles I read continue with the joyous list of medical issues we face after menopause is complete. The list is concerning: Osteoporosis, increased chance of heart disease and Alzheimer’s, decrease in vision, lousy bladder control, etc. Jeez. We might as well give up and sit in a rocking chair. Right? Wrong! It merely takes a change of focus. Instead of worrying about what could happen, I decided to look for the silver lining. No. More. Menstrual Cycle. Think about that for a moment. As young teenagers, girls anticipate their first period as a sign of stepping into adulthood. Then, reality sets in as we understand it’s a pain in the butt.

However, on the other side of the equation, when those pesky periods end, it’s a sign of true maturity. Hopefully, we’ve learned a lot in the ensuing years. If we’re lucky life has taught us a thing or two. We have more confidence in ourselves, we understand that life isn’t as black and white as we once thought, and we should by this point have more insight to life.

With kids grown, the house finally quiet, and retirement in view, we have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves. Becoming an author wasn’t on my radar until one day I had an idea and wondered if I could turn it into a story. The finished product was Hot Flashes/Cold Cases. I had a blast writing the book and kept right on going with another, then another and another. Rather than believe these were my twilight years, I wanted a burst of sunshine. Try it, you just might have the time of your life.

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