Diaries Magazine

Ceremonial Tossing (Ladies Only)

Posted on the 27 May 2011 by Catem @ImCateM
If you're of the male gender, this may not be the post for you, unless you are the husband, partner or significant other of a menopausal woman.  If none of those apply, I'll totally understand if you click that little X at the top right of your screen now.
For those who remain, let me share with you a celebration I am having this holiday weekend.  This month marks the one year anniversary of my being "period free" and I am having a ceremonial tossing of the tampons, pads and all other feminine monthly products heretofore occupying an entire drawer in the bathroom cabinet.  Ceremonial Tossing (Ladies Only)
As I hold this celebration, I will remember the rocky road prior to my arrival at this joyous point.  Yes, it could have been much worse I'm sure but it was bad enough and having made it through I can't help but do a little happy dance now that it's over.
Ladies having also made it through, currently experiencing, or family members living with women suffering perimenopause  certainly can relate to the need for celebration.
At the risk of being graphic, let me share my experience in hopes of comforting some distraught female wondering if she's going crazy, bleeding to death or sweating out every ounce of water within her body before that final blessed year comes to pass.
Four years ago in April, I began what I assumed to be a "normal for me" period.  They had been increasingly heavier but not so much that they were unmanageable.  This was to be no more.  For 28 excruciating days, THIS period did not stop.  For 28 days, I wondered if I was going to bleed to death or go crazy.  For 28 horrible days, bleeding varied from slight to "oh Dear God I think my uterus just fell out" heavy.  Never before had I experienced clots of such varying sizes leaving my body nor in such frequency.  Never before had I been afraid to move or rise to a standing position for fear of flooding that no tampon, pad or combination of the two could contain.
I called every woman I could think of, asking their experiences, their advise.  I googled.  I posted on message boards.  Finally as every last nerve frazzled, I called the gynocologist.  After bloodwork to check hormone levels and anemia and an ultrasound to check for abnormalities, it was verified.......the dreaded perimenopause had indeed set in with a vengeance.  She offered me options and not being especially thrilled with any of them, I finally opted for birth control pills to help control the madness.  I promised myself that if they worked, I would only take them for three years, until I reached the big 50.  Though not a cure-all by any means, the birth control pills helped enough that I could make it through each month with the aid of the largest absorbency products available.
Last May I began to think about my options prior to my 50th birthday's approach in September.  My doctor suggested discontinuing the pills to see what would happen before taking any further action.  To my delight and astonishment, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING happened!!!!  Two more months passed and still......NOTHING!!!  One of my friends said "Maybe you're pregnant????"  Are you serious????  I'm almost 50 years old!!!  No, I was not pregnant and yes I was frightened enough by the prospect to take a test.
My 50th birthday came and went and NOTHING!!!  With each passing month, I became more hopeful and more confident that the light at the end of the tunnel was in sight.  That the relatively few hot flashes I'd had and the not so relatively few night sweats might be coming to an end as well.  Don't get me wrong, I often run on a warmer temperature than my normally cold self but that's ok.  It's not a flash and it's not awful.
And so, the oft spoken among perimenopausal women, year mark is here and I could not be more jubilant.  This Memorial Day weekend, though not comparable to the service or lives of those gone before, I will also commemorate this benchmark in my life.  Being 50 does have it's perks!  I hope that those who are going through a rough time with perimenopause/menopause are somehow more encouraged through this post.  I hope that they can be somewhat comforted by the fact that it will pass and you will survive it.  All that remains of it is to take my calcium everyday to avoid bone loss and to .....

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