All Posts for September 2016

Menopause at a Glance and The Lunar Calendar to Keep Track

Friday, September 30th, 2016

WebMD.com posted an interesting page called By the Numbers: Menopause-Facts and Stats by Heather Hatfield. The one in the magazine had circles and boxes, which I cannot reproduce, so I am listing them in somewhat random order with photos of older women from the ‘Net. This is Menopause Awareness Month, so I found this just in time and coupled it with the helpful and creative Lunar Calendar.

 

    Facts & Stats plus My Comments & Suggestions in Italics

A woman is in menopause after she has no menstrual period for 12 months,
so keep track!

I recommend the ’17 Lunar Calendar: Dedicated to the Goddess in her Many Guises created by Nancy Passmore.  This calendar shows lunar phases, different from the  Day 1- Day 30/31 of the standard calendar, helping you track the changes in menstruation  To order, go to www.thelunapress.com. Calendar also has poetry and information you will enjoy. Makes a great gift for a friend or daughter going through menopause.

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Also, you may like to check out: http://www.epigee.org/menstruation_lunar_fertility.html for information on the link between the menstrual cycle and the moon. 

 

A hot flash can last from 30 seconds to 10 minutes.
75% of women who are going through peri-menopause (transition to menopause) have hot flashes or night sweats.
Hot flashes can continue for three to five years, but the length of time varies since every woman’s experience is different.

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6,000 women reach menopause each day in the U.S.
Two million women reach menopause each year in the U.S.
42 million
women in the U.S. have already reached menopause.
Most women enter (natural)* menopause between the ages of 48-55 years of age, with 51 being the average age.
(There are lots of us!  es) *Hysterectomy or other health changes may bring on menopause sooner.

 

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40% of a woman’s life is spent post-menopause.
51% of postmenopausal women report being happiest and most fulfilled between the ages of 50-65.
(I don’t agree with this fact. I know many women over that age, including myself, enjoying PMZ, Margaret Mead’s term for post-menopausal zest! )

55% of women do not treat their menopausal symptoms (which I call signs, since The Big M is not a disease. es) This includes vaginal dryness, night sweats, and hot flashes. Get help so you can enjoy PMZ!

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My additional thoughts: Although menopause is a natural occurrence, not a disease, does not mean that ignoring the signs will make them go away. There are many natural remedies for treating peri- and menopause and lots of information out there, now that people don’t go around whispering, “She’s in her change of life,” as in my mother’s time. Many women suffered needlessly.

Also consider that our stressful lifestyle may add to these health issues, as indicated by my friend Dr. Wanjiru Kamau, who went back to her native Kenya to do her dissertation on menopause in her village and found women hardly noticing any changes. So stress may well add to the hot flashes and other changes.

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Awareness that your body is changing is part of staying healthy—eating whole foods, getting enough rest, exercising regularly, pursuing your interests, etc.—- so if you are in peri-menopause or menopause, talk with your female friends and also seek advice from trusted health professionals, especially women practitioners who have already experienced menopause. My favorite book by Dr. Christina Northrup is called The Wisdom Menopause, because she noted in the Introduction that she did not want to write this book until she herself had experienced menopause. Very wise indeed!  es

Home Front – A Moving Novel by Kristin Hannah

Friday, September 30th, 2016

NOTE: While working on my posting for 9/11, I also started reading a book that I did not realize had to do with the war in Iraq. The night I finished reading it was also the night I watched the 9/11 Tunnels to Towers (tunnel2towers.org/) documentary on PBS. (Link to my P.S. on 9/11 at the very bottom the page:
( http://www.menupause.info/archives/19338)  Coincidentally, the documentary talked about and showed soldiers returning from Iraq with major injuries and how the Tunnels to Towers Foundation is building houses to address and accommodate the soldiers with disabilities. So far the foundation has raised $70,000,000 for this and other good causes, including damages from Hurricane Sandy and the earthquake in Haiti. Check out their website and the documentary about Stephen Siller, a young firefighter (34 years old) whose body was never recovered and how his siblings started this foundation to honor their youngest brother and to remember him and all those who died on 9/11.

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In the book, Home Front, the major character, Jolene, is a soldier  in the Reserves with two young daughters. Her husband is not at all happy when she is deployed to Iraq and wants her to quit the Reserves. She explains that if she does not go, she will be court-martialed. The dialogue between husband and wife and wife and children is very emotional as Jolene prepares to leave with her best friend, another reservist, to Iraq.

When Jolene returns from Iraq with injuries and is recuperating from, we learn about her post-traumatic stress disorder that she and her husband do not recognize at first. The second half of the book explains and describes the emotional roller coaster of PTSD. The author’s words and feelings for all her characters hit me right between the eyes, or maybe my heart, bringing tears to my eyes for the last 75 pages of the book.

Since this is a novel, I realize that the author wants to tug at our heart strings. But as I was reading it, I could see this book as a movie that explains PTSD in a dramatic way and how it affects the entire family.  If you are looking for a good story and have plenty of tissues, I highly recommend Kristin Hannah’s book, Home Front, published by St. Martin’s Press. (I also photocopied a list of her other books to read. My friend Jackie introduced this wonderful author to me. Thanx, Jackie!)

At the beginning of Part Two of the novel, “A Soldier’s Heart,”  is a quote by Marcel Proust that I think is worth reprinting:

We don’t receive wisdom;
we must discover it for ourselves
after a journey that no one can take for us
or spare us.

____ Marcel Proust

 

 

 

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