Guest Author - Tammy Elizabeth Southin
If you are making out your holiday wish list and are dealing with menopause, there are some items you might want to include.
To everyone in general: My menopause is a naturally occurring phase that all women will go through. I work very hard every day to fulfill my roles as a vibrant woman contributing to society and try as I might; sometimes menopause gets in the way. I am not crazy, over the hill, or some mysterious entity going through ‘the change’ with her life nearly over. I am still me; I am just entering a new and potentially exciting phase in my life that has a few bumps along the way. I am not in menopause to spite you.
My wish is to take control of my menopause and not let it control me.
To my husband or life partner: Please understand that some days are more difficult than others. Yes moodiness and irritability are not the most fun things to deal with, but with patience, you can help me get through the rough patches. I still crave affection and it means a lot to me to know that I am important to you. The best years are not behind me but are yet to come. I will not hide behind menopause to justify every action but there are days when it is very overwhelming. Your support means a lot to me and I thank you for it.
My wish is for us to come through this together and that we will both be much stronger for it.
To my children young or old: I am still your mom and will always be so. I am not some crazy old lady who suddenly invaded your mother’s body. I need love and support from you to get through this time. I understand that some days my actions and words might be me and they might be the menopause. I work every day at keeping it all together and will not let menopause interfere. In return, your support and understanding will go a long way to helping me grow and develop just as you are.
My wish is that we strengthen as a family and I prove getting older is not the end.
To my coworkers, friends, and other family members: I will not use menopause to shirk my responsibilities or my obligations. Some days are more challenging and yes my emotions might leap out when I least expect them to. Please have patience when I deal with a hot flash or another sleepless night. I promise to support you in return. Do not bemoan that we are not young anymore, but seize this time in our lives to help each other.
My wish is that we learn who our true friends are and who we can count on.
To my healthcare professional: My menopause is just that; my personal experience. Please do not compare me to a text book case or tell me that my symptoms are all in my head. They are real, just as I am. I do not want to let menopause become my new identity and control my life. With your understanding, expertise and support I can come out of this time of my life as a woman ready for anything. Please do not treat me as a number but help me wade through the information so that I can make informed decisions about my health. In return I will work with you to achieve those goals.
My wish is that all healthcare professionals take menopause and peri-menopause seriously.
To myself: This time in my life is not where I want to be even though I knew it was coming. I will allow myself a moment to mourn the passing of my youth, but just a moment. Instead of looking back, I will look forward to the days and years ahead. Not everything will go smoothly and there will be many obstacles in my way. But I will not allow menopause to rob me of my most important asset – myself. I will do all that I can to learn about menopause and deal with it one step at a time. I will leave this phase behind and be ready to tackle the new challenges and dreams that lie ahead.
My wish is that menopause would just go away. But since it is here I will be the passionate and confident woman I am meant to be and not let menopause defeat me.
Menopause, Your Doctor, and You