My doctor gave me a combination low dose of estrogen and progesterone. The estrogen came in the form of a patch that I put on my backside and changed every 4 days or so. Easy-peeze! While I wasn't thrilled about depending on drugs and I did experience weight gain as a side effect, I have to admit, my life became much less stressful and my mood swings stabilized. I started feeling less alien-like and more like my old self. I felt my groove slowly coming back though it was drug assisted!
A few months after starting hormone replacement therapy, my husband and I went to Cabo San Lucas for a vacation. We got to our resort, and it was a beautiful, magical place where I was poised to have a romantic fun time with my hubby, margaritas, Mexican food, dancing til all hours and lying out by the pool alternately listening to Pandora radio on my iPhone and reading the latest Daniel Silva spy novel. In other words...my sort of paradise. However, while unpacking my bag, I couldn't find my patches. Holy moly, the one I was wearing needed to be changed, and I had forgotten the replacements at home! I knew what was in store for me, and I literally panicked. My vacation (and my husband's too) was ruined! There is no such thing as cold turkey when you are on hormone replacement therapy. My doctor had warned me if I wanted to get off, I'd have to wean myself with a lower dosage until my body readjusted itself. All kinds of unpleasant side effects awaited me. Crap!
I decided then and there to get myself off the hormone replacement theory and get on a natural routine that I could control without a prescription. A year and a half later, and I can happily report that I am drug free and entering my fourth and hopefully last year of menopause, but my groove is BACK and is natural and drug free. Hip hip hurrah!
Here's how I conquered the stranglehold of my menopause-joy-and-groove-and-joy-snatcher.
To combat my weight gain, I exercise three to five times a week at the gym, 45 to 80 minutes each time doing circuit training. As a result, I’ve lost 12 pounds, and I feel less stressful. I drink eight glasses of water a day. I do X-box Dance Central with my kids and grandkids a few times a week (the fitness feature is a great way to dance, lose weight and have fun all at the same time). I take one estrogen with vitamins tablet each day (purchased over the counter). I also take an airborne tablet every day to help my immune system. I eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. I confess to a sweet tooth but while I don't go overboard, I also don't diet and I don’t deprive myself. I have added healthy items to my diet, but I eat what I want, but practice portion control. I have a massage and an adjustment once a week at my chiropractor. Soy milk and edamame (yummy) are new staples in my diet.
After one year of this regimen, I now only have a hot flash about once every two weeks, my insomnia has abated and turned into sweet dreams, my memory is not so fragile (coming out of a fog and don't fear Alzheimer's) and my love life is oh so delicious again! I go dancing, travel, and spend lots of time with my three darling grandkids. I love Oreo cookies and karaoke (my first karaoke performance was in Mexico — what a blast!). I have trips planned to Brazil and want to go on an African safari, definitely going to back to go to New Orleans to Jazz festival next year and am writing a book. In other words, full steam ahead! Balance and joy and fearlessness and curiosity are staples in my life again. I am living my life on my terms, synthetic drug free and definitely have my groove back, with all my parts in place! I’m thinking about buying a pink scooter to tool around town on. Way cool!