The Heat from Within

“There is no more creative force in the world than the menopausal woman with zest.” - Margaret Mead

My world has always revolved around my body. When I was a young woman, my life was ruled in monthly cycles. Tampons were purchased in gross. Trips to the bathroom were timed and calculated. My body ebbed and flowed…literally. 

After two babies and a series of painful fibroids, my reproductive parts were removed over eight years ago. I was put on a low dose of estrogen which delayed all symptoms of menopause. No more panicked trips to the restroom. I avoided the feminine products aisle at the store. Sex no longer had to be scheduled around that week on the calendar. Life was lovely. Those were the halcyon days.

But my gynecologist kept pushing me at every yearly appointment to consider going off the estrogen. “Christie, I told you I wanted you to get of it after five years,” he said. I balked. Why should I force the issue? Everything was serene. “Um, maybe next year,” I said. And life kept swimming along at a smooth stride.

Until…last year when I was faced with an inconclusive diagnosis. My body was a puzzle. No medical professional could give me a definitive reason I was a bundle of aches. After a short time on an antidepressant and nerve pain medication which wreaked massive havoc on my physical and mental health, I decided to take myself of it and to also stop the estrogen. If I was going to have some control over my own body, then this was it. No more drugs…and then…

Bam! Full menopause knocked me over with a gale force. Hot flashes occurred more frequently than labor contractions. The weight quickly gathered around my waist as if to wait for a party. My moods were up, down, and kooks crazy. Sleep was an elusive craving. I tried creams, cooling pillows, breathing exercises, and various vitamins to alleviate the symptoms, but today I am still a hot, steaming mess of middle aged bumps and curves.

So what do I do? I still am experimenting with vitamins. A friend recommended magnesium, so off to the store I went. I practice yoga with the intent to calm my frantic mind and confused body. I write to fend off the crazy demons who inhabit my deranged soul. I attempt to meditate to clear the fog that settles in the cracks. I work on harnessing the potential that lurks in the heat that bubbles from within. I am a power to be reckoned with. I am woman. Hear me crank up the AC.