Menopause Woes

As many of you know, I had a full hysterectomy.  With that surgery it sent my body into menopause.   For the most part it has been bearable.  It has been 4 months since the surgery and I feel like I am just getting my body back.

So let me take some time to answer some questions that some readers have asked me regarding menopause:

  1. How long did the pain take to manage-I would say surgery wise that took about 3 weeks to heal.  This is the initial pain that anyone who has had any uterus surgery goes through.  It took about an additional 5 weeks to be able to move about without the pain being agitated during the healing process.
  2. Hot Flashes, are they controlled-I have to say I think not.  I even with the hormone therapy replacement the flashes occur several times a week.  It is annoying since before surgery I was a really cold person.  The flashes can be overwhelming.  I find myself stripping clothes off as soon as I get home.  When I am at work, I immediately need my fan or I am in the bathroom with cold water compresses.  However I will take it over bleeding every month.
  3. Sex after the fact was extremely hard in the beginning.  I waited a little longer than I was cleared.  It was painful and different.  I think now I am doing a lot better and feel like my drive hasn’t changed from before surgery, but to say it was just so freely a great experience after surgery would be lie.  Some women experience pan, dryness, and lose their desire to even have sex altogether.  Every woman is different.  Do not compare yourself to how you are reacting to another woman.
  4. Swelly belly-this is when no matter what you do, your body has told you how much you are doing is too much.  You still at times look like a woman who has had a fresh baby.  It’s annoying to say the least.  I have come to terms that this is apart of the process.  On days where my belly is normal, I celebrate with a great outfit.
  5. Mood Swings-they do exist but in my case I feel like its less than when I had a bunch of unruly hormones guiding me.  I think the combination of self-care and the even dose of hormones through the hormone replacement therapy patch which gives me a low dose over time has helped.  I have been better off emotionally.

Do I regret the surgery?

Absolutely not.  I am 100% on board with my decision.  For one physically I feel so much better.  I do not have to be on guard about if a period is going to come or not. I do not have to carry unnecessary clothes in case of an accident.  The lack of bleeding every month has decreased my previous diagnosis of anemia.  I will get my final results by end of the month, but the test I had a few months ago was already looking great.  I had already had my tubes tied before surgery so having more kids wasn’t in the cards.  My husband supported that decision and to be honest it was the most selfish giving decision I could give myself.  Shout out to the women who have had or will have the surgery or go through menopause naturally and unfortunately can’t or won’t experience motherhood.  I do not take that gift of motherhood lightly.  I do however love the fact that my sister in love is about to give me my baby fix this upcoming Spring.

I did what was best for my body.  I do not regret it for a second even with the worst flash, or tiredness or even the feeling of being overwhelmed comes over me and sometimes at the same time, I find myself taking a deep breath and thanking God that I am on the path of healing.

To other menopausal women both young and old who may be reading this thinking how much of a negative experience you may be going through, or think I may be going through, remember that every woman experiences this change in different ways. I could have healed faster than another, doesn’t make me normal and you weird.  What works for me may not work for you.  I would say that if you are going through menopause I would applaud you to find out what self-care looks like for you both before, during and especially afterwards.  Self care will refocus your thoughts as your body changes.  It’s like going through the awkward teenage phase all over again.  For some the changes in body odor, lost of hair or increase of hair, change in libido, lack of a period, or feeling like your body is experiencing a death from lack of having children even if children was never on your radar are all real experiences. How you navigate through will depend on you.  Do not allow anyone to push what you should do.  Always trust yourself and talk to your doctors.

One last thing is that going through menopause has made me realize that I can’t take my body for granted.  This is why I try to be mindful of if I am doing the things that I need to keep my body at the best shape of my life.

Menopause is a phase of life that women go through regardless if it’s naturally or surgically induced know my fellow women I am with you and I understand.

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We not washing now…

So I was listening to Steve Harvey show yesterday when I heard the strawberry letter about a wife that is no longer washing her behind. Now I have personally answered I think at least 2 Ask Toi about non washing spouses and now I got to turn this into a blog because I got questions. The first thing that came to my mind was what in the unholy hell is this foolishness?  Why is this a thing?  Why is this okay?  Did you need someone to tell you to wash your behind?  Why are you out here smelling like garbage cans?  Is this the new cute? I will stay ugly than because this can’t be life.

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How are you grown regardless of your marital status and decide to say hey, I am no longer interested in washing?  Now you know how I feel about depression.  I know its real.  I have suffered from it from a time or two so I can easily see how someone can let “themselves go.”  My issue is that it’s not my place to judge how long you stay in depression, there are many suffering for years.  However there is always one issue.  Unless you have the ability to get a check from somewhere and you NEVER have to leave your home and you decide to wash and you don’t live with others than a strong MAYBE this would be okay.  However if you have to be next to, talk to, interact with, etc with other humans, washing is non negotiable.  You don’t get to decide you just taking a washing break.  Washing is like 1st nature.  It’s not natural to be out here smelling like 3 weeks ago.

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Remember the days when you were a child and you could get away with stinking or maybe you didn’t even have a strong smell back then, we talking like under 5?  Those days are long gone.  Now a days 7 year olds need deodorant.  So as an adult you can’t sink wash your life away.  You need to dip your entire body into some water, wash all the necessary parts and make sure they are dry.  We can’t forget the drying part.  Listen these are things that somebody’s momma should have told folks.  However the more I keep reading advice for it, further tells me someone is missing the memo.  If you don’t know how to properly take care of yourself ask someone you trust.  Start with a doctor.  But the excuses has to stop.

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Now for couples married or not what makes you think someone wants to get close to you smelling like 2 days ago? No one.  We can keep it real and say you ain’t gonna smell like cherries everyday but your base line should be clean.  You should have more days of smelling good than not.  If you are experiencing a health issue than its YOUR responsibility to take care of it and find a way to get it back to a normal level.  Intimacy is a beautiful thing but trust and believe it can be soured by unsettling odors. Please stop putting your spouse in the way to tell you that you smell.  They love you.  They don’t want to hurt your feelings.  They are lacking words.  However like my mom taught me and it’s true, you can smell you.  You know you need to dip back in the water.  Get in the water and make magic happen.  This concept that a man or woman just needs to love you no matter what is cute in theory.  However on planet reality if after you smelled you, after I spoke up, after I encouraged you to get help, maybe even went to the doctor with you and you STILL out here musty and not caring, than its time to re-evaluate.  This means that no matter how much help you have you aren’t going to change.

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I can’t understand why you would want to be funky and unwashed but whatever this epidemic is it needs to stop.  Hygiene is important.  It shows how much you care about yourself let alone others.  I can attest you wasn’t out here funky when you was out here trying to get a man or woman.  So once you get them you can’t get too comfortable.  This leads me to my last part of this washing conversation.  We all change.  We get over weight, we lose hair, we lose a lot because life happens.  What shouldn’t be lost or I should say stay lost is the love you have for yourself.  If you put energy into your life you will reap that. Some people are giving out energy to everything but them.  How can you be 100% to someone else and be unwilling to be that to yourself?  You will never be the best mom, wife, husband, father, worker, etc if you don’t learn to make you a priority.  So in reality what you are giving out is a fraction of the potential that you have.  Care about yourself. Love yourself and wash.  This foolishness of unwashed adults has to end today!!  Step it up or be prepared for someone  to rightfully walk away.

 

Yay for Spring!

It’s finally here in all of its cold and still snow on the ground love. Spring has arrived. Who wouldn’t be happy?  What I love about Spring is that it brings me that much closer to my favorite season and that is Summer.  Spring allows us all one last season to get Summer time fine. For all of the people who use Winter as an excuse not to work out because of the cold will have nothing to hide under.  Yes Spring brings showers, but if you really were about that work out life you will work around it.  So as we celebrate Spring’s arrival here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. It’s time to change out hygiene products.  I don’t know if this post is inspired by the Strawberry Letter I heard on the Steve Harvey show about the woman who didn’t wash, but we ALL need to make some changes.  Our bodies change over when warmer weather comes in.  Change your makeup, deodorant, hair products, etc to what YOU need to be at your freshest.
  2. For the Spring and Summer over shavers, please get to it.  I can’t say what someone should do as far as shaving or waxing but I will say that the benefits of either one is cleanliness.  Some people do it for appearance reason but always know less hair means less trapped in smells.  I will tell you what my own momma taught me, you can smell you.  No one should have to tell you to that you stink.  So let’s all tighten up.
  3. Color.  Enjoy some color.  I know black and gray is the go to but…Spring is here add a few shades of color.  It doesn’t have to be super bright colors just yet but a pop of color definitely helps in aiding in happier modes.  So don’t be shy.  Scarfs are great ways to add color if you aren’t confident enough to go all the way in with a color top or bottom.  So get your color on!
  4. Change-please note this is the time where salons are their super busiest.  Everyone wants cuts and colors so if this is you, book early. Also be sure that you go for a consult.  Do not just go and plop in a chair unless it’s a stylist you are super comfortable with.
  5. Pedicures and manicures-start getting them if you haven’t all winter.  If you can’t afford them there are way too many at home gel or regular nail polish systems that cost less than a salon stop. Visit your local beauty supply and get creative.  There is no real reason to walk around raggedy. In the words of my best friend, you can grab an at home foot scrubber.  So scrub off the winter blues and look to be more polished literally.
  6. Keep up your gym or outside work out commitments.  The warm weather can have you all in your feelings but the feeling of not being able to wear shorts or a cute skirt is even worst.  Do not slack up instead be creative. Don’t have gym money? There are YouTube videos with free workout routines.  Don’t want to do that, get you an old-fashioned jump rope or hula hoop.  Trust me a few times of this a week can take off inches off of your waist. Get active.
  7. Reconnect .  Start planning that Summer trip.  I advise all to find a trip in your budget for yourself, your family, and friends too. Nothing says relaxed you like a trip.  Make yourself a priority. There are no excuses.  There is apps like Groupon that can get you where you want to go.  Last Summer I did a beach day solo and I WILL be doing it again.  It feels good to let your hair down and you don’t need to break the bank to do it.  However whatever you do make the sacrifice and enjoy life more.  Your family, friends, job, etc will thank you. The more relaxed you are, the better you are to those around you.  Plus you have a few neglected friends who miss you so meet ups are important.
  8. Love you.  Yes as it gets warmer you will find that some people get more irritated. It should be the opposite since the Winter may have had you in cabin fever, but for some its the polar opposite. Love on yourself.  If YOU need something to make your life better, get it.  Meaning for example, you need more time outside because being inside is wearing on you, than do that.  Sit outside on your front porch, take a walk, have an outside picnic do what works for you.

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Enjoy the Spring. I know at least in my area it’s still cold and the snow hasn’t even melted all the way, but trust me warmer weather is on its way.  As it gets here, people will be out more.  For some who deal with anxiety as socialization increases, be aware and do what you need to do to be prepared.  Don’t let it stop you.  Get out, and do what you need for you but enjoy it!!