Are You Living with The Pre-Menopausal Monster?
Perhaps pre-menopausal symptoms will pass you by or maybe the symptoms will come in small poofs of spontaneous combustion, leaving you perspiring, but not in a way to truly disrupt your life OR it perhaps it will hit you all at once, leaving you to wonder if you are a candidate for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Night Sweats & Hot Flashes
My early premenopausal years were nights of… “Oh, dear God, not again”! I would crawl out of bed and head to the bathroom to splash cold water on my face. Often times, despite the cool temperatures in the house, I would stand in front of a fan while awaiting the internal fire to stop and the shivering to begin.
DURING THE WORST of the pre-menopausal monster, I would repeat the process every 90 minutes…sleep was not easy with the roller coaster of night sweats! Not getting sleep was making me grumpy, unforgiving of myself and others, and sex…what is that?
During the day time, spontaneous combustion episodes were my constant companion, leaving me to expose myself while stripping clothing off; no matter where I might be. When you see a woman, quickly disrobing in public, her face turning red and beads of perspiration forming on her entire body; it is a sure bet she is having her own personal summer.
Regardless of which road your body takes through the pre-menopausal years, it is not a medical condition or a disease to be treated; it is a naturally occurring phase of a healthy woman’s life — even if it feels like a monster looming over you. Keep the mantra, “this too shall pass”.
No pills and years of embracing my fitness journey were going to be the ticket to smooth sailing through the murky seas of perimenopause. Was I wrong!
AFTER, what seemed a lifetime of symptoms, I relented and headed to the doctor throwing away the idea of going through this stage of my life “the natural way.”
|· Dry Skin||· Forgetfulness|
|· Backache||· Problems Sleeping|
|· Lower sex drive||· Lack of energy|
|· Headaches||· Hot flashes|
|· Nervous tension||· Night sweats|
|· Fatigue||· Dizziness|
|· Insomnia||· Vertigo|
|· Palpitations||· Weight GAIN|
|· Constipation||· Muscle weakness|
|· Mood swings||· Anxiety|
|· Memory Loss||· Vaginal dryness|
|· Breast tenderness||· Aching or stiff joints|
|· Irregular periods||· Discomfort during sex|
|· Urine leakage||· Urinary urgency|
KEEP IN MIND that this is just a list of possibilities. Not all of these symptoms will occur and they are normal part of transitioning into menopause. The length of time a woman passes through the per-menopausal phase of life could be as little as a few shorts months. However, the average is 4 years and it could be as long as 10 years.
See your doctor to determine if you are indeed navigating through the pre-menopausal years.
The light at the end of the tunnel! Once you’ve completed 12 months without a menstrual cycle you will have moved to the stage of menopause and onto another phase of life.
How to combat the symptoms and find some comfort?
For a short period of time, as an alternative to HRT’s, taking a low dose birth control pill or other birth control methods can reduce symptoms associated with pre-menopausal symptoms. Check with your doctor to determine if this is the right treatment for you.
You may also find some relief with…
- A regular exercise routine
- Routine sleep cycles
- Avoiding alcohol
- Making sure your calcium levels are adequate
- If you smoke – QUIT
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Healthy eating habits
- Mind/Body relaxation (Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Meditation, etc.)
- Limit sugar (simple carbs)
Each of us will experience a different journey through the pre-menopausal years. Some will choose HRT’s, other might find relief with over the counter remedies (talk with your doctor — there are plenty of them), and/or changes in diet and exercise. Educate yourself on treatment options. Experiment and find what works for you. Be patient with yourself and ask those important people in your life to be patient as well. There is a light at the end of the journey and the menopausal years can be glorious.
My doctor, a woman, encouraged me to meet with an OB/GYN and consider Hormone Replacement Therapy. I did and that didn’t last for long! What evolved is another story in itself! See my blog on heart disease.
As a life coach, I’m always working on ways I can help women to achieve success both personally and professionally. With education and teaching being one of my top values, I need to make an impact and help others. To provide the best possible service to my clients and to help them achieve their dreams and goals is rewarding and makes my heart sing.
One of the workshops I have hosted the past two years does just that. It’s called Look Back/Look Forward and this year we not only looked back on 2019, but we reflected on the last decade. The process is around what we learned, what we were proud of, what we accomplished versus what we were lacking in, or didn’t do.
The entertaining part of the workshop this year was the horses. Elliott Horsepower Ranch, where the workshop was held, has a viewing room and arena that were perfect for our classroom. With the heat on and window open, the horses were poking their heads in the window and showing a lot of curiosity for the participants and providing support during coaching experiences.
Once done with the review portion of the workshop, we dove into the next decade and what top goals to set for 2020. What goals would we set, what tools would we need to accomplish the goals, who do we have to become to achieve the goals? More questions – what character traits will you need, and what habits or skills do you need to develop or strengthen to make your dream happen?
I know so many questions, and not all of them easy to answer. It truly is a reflection and a mindset for growth.
One of the participants had recently relocated to a new barn and desired to achieve more horse experiences and create more friendships with like-minded horse ladies in 2020. We set time aside for a coaching session with Cody. He offered a great deal of love and support to her as she processed through creating new friendships. With the many demands of work, how could she find a work/life balance that would give her the desired time she wanted with her horse? Together, we came up with some reasonable solutions and ways to overcome obstacles that might interfere.
Work/life balance seems to be a common thread with many of the women I coach. If you’re at all searching for some answers or still trying to figure out what you want this next decade to look like talk to your horse. Let them be your coach.
Get into a round pen with your horse. Ask yourself some of the hard questions you don’t seem to have an answer for. Get centered in your body and start walking counterclockwise. Without demanding your horse follow or without a lead rope just start walking. Let him/her connect with you and help you facilitate the answers. Here’s how, if you aren’t honest with yourself and staying in your body and get out of your head, your horse won’t connect. If you do, they will follow. When you stop being centered and, in your body, they will disconnect, step in front of you or do many other things to get your attention. Be with your horse and let them, coach. Listen to the subtle cues they give you.
If you find yourself still not sure, reach out and let a coach help your horse facilitate the coaching process or come on over to my barn and let Cody help me help you.
If you’d like some of the questions I provided during the workshop, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d be happy to send them over to you.
Happy New Year, Vonie