I think I’m Dying … No … It’s Just Menopause

I think I’m Dying … No … It’s Just Menopause

By: Anise Smith

I very rarely take medications and I am rarely sick. Even after I had my son I just took Tylenol. This is why when something out of the ordinary happens, I dramatically believe that am dying. I instantly and hysterically think that I have some freakishly weird “whos-a-ma-gigit ” that grew overnight that is overtaking my body leaving me only hours to live.  I think that I am traumatized by a movie that I watched during childhood in which a woman had a bump on her neck which developed into a growth. This growth turned out to be an ancient evil medicine man. The movie is now a cult classic but it was not considered a classic at the time.  The movie is called Manitou; don’t watch it or you will be scarred for life. Now that you have an idea of how dramatic I am when it comes to any kind of illness, you can understand me when I say my introduction to the symptoms of menopause threw me into a tailspin.

Don’t take menopause lying down – unless of course it is on a cool comfy surface

At a certain age, one does realize that menopause is a very real thing. In fact, since I do have one son and plans to have another are listed under the “HELL NO” category, I look forward to getting rid of a few aspects of life that have been hanging around since I was eleven. It’s why the thought of menopause as an end result to the thing that has been hanging around since I was a kid is a wonderful thing.  I am so excited about it that I’ve been planning my menopause party for a few years. However, the going from what is happening now to the end result is what has been challenging me.

Like I said, I knew that menopause was kinda’ sorta’ looming about, but I never actively gave it any serious thought aside from the menopause party in Key West. That was true until I got bashed over my head with some symptoms that had me thinking of the Manitou movie again.  One day I just felt out of sorts. It was the kind of out of sorts that went straight to “OMG! WTH I think I’m dying” in what seemed like 6 seconds.  I do remember that I was a tad bit stressed at the time. I wasn’t eating properly and I was dealing with the visitor that comes every month (since I was eleven) that just refuses to go away.

I was experiencing heart palpitations, hot flashes, dizziness and of course since I was all freaked out and thinking I should write my will immediately, I started to feel nauseous to boot. So now I am sitting on the edge of my tub feeling horrible and thinking about who I should will my 1980’s CD collection to. Should I do my hair first just in case I’m really NOT dying or should I crawl upstairs to change my clothes in case I have to get the crash cart because I wouldn’t want the hospital to ruin my favorite Full Sail University Alumni T-shirt.  Maybe I should I just lay on the bathroom floor and die in silence. I’m randomly thinking how much I really hate the Pepto pink of my bathroom and how I should have made the previous owners paint it before I purchased it. Then I heard a knock. “Are You OK mom….”

The Signs & Symptoms of Menopause

My son, 12 at the time, calmly and in his own unique matter of fact way informed me after learning of my symptoms that I was experiencing the signs of menopause. The magic of Google. He further let me know that I was NOT dying and did not have a fast growing whos-a-ma-gigit growing somewhere inside me that would kill me in hours. I would NOT have to find someone to take my 80’s CD collection. He assured me that everything I was experiencing was totally normal considering that I was at the menopausal stage in my life.  He closed his laptop and walked away with, “Yes mom, you should have had the bathroom repainted ….”. Did I really say that out loud?

My first experience with menopause symptoms did not put me in a Key West partying mood but it did make me pay attention to what was going on with my body more closely. I started to eat better, sleep more, and take my vitamins and supplements. Most importantly, I’ve moved toward eliminating stress factors from my life.  I’ve found that the smallest amount of stress can bring on the hot flashes and heart palpitations which then in turn bring on my wack-a-doodle response to not feeling well and the laying on the bathroom floor bit.  It’s not a pretty thing.

Since that experience I have had minimal issues, especially since I made some changes in my life. So my take away is to first and foremost be tuned into your body and educate yourself about symptoms of menopause. Do what you can to eliminate things that can trigger symptoms if possible.  Also, pay a visit to your doctor, especially if you are experiencing symptoms that are out of the ordinary.

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  1. […] menopause. One woman had a lot to say. Here’s an excerpt from Anise Smith’s post “I think I’m Dying…. No… It’s Just Menopause,” where she tells about how her 12-year-old son gave her The 2nd Talk. I knew that menopause was […]

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