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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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.

Image result for spring gif

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!!

Warm Weather Mixes

So if you live in the East you may have experienced some unseasonably warm weather lately.  Let me encourage your heart, it’s not the real Spring.  So although I say get out and enjoy it, there a few things to remember:

  1. It’s not really Spring.  I know you want to walk outside with no sleeves, no coats, no hats and all that jazz but remember there is a possibility that since we are in still in February that the cold will come back.
  2. If you feel the need to forget anything go back to statement #1, it will save your life
  3. Please continue good hand washing.  We all know by now that unwashed hands is one of the biggest ways to spread germs.  SO do us all a favor and wash your hands.  I can’t speak for the men but I am sure the same holds true, the amount of women who walk out of the stall to the door and don’t even glance at the sink let alone turn it on irks all 5 of my souls.  Wash your hands.  Cute and trifling don’t go together. Trust me they don’t.
  4. Flip flops and tank tops needs to stay in the warm weather bin.  Trust me there’s a difference between 55 Winter weather and 55 Fall or Spring weather.  If in doubt refer to #1.
  5. The flu season is still here.  I had 5 co-workers out with the same thing in the same days.  You can still mess around and get sick.

These are fun things you can do to feel like Spring but not break rules 1-4.

  1. Get a mani or pedi that is with bright colors.  Nothing signals that Spring is coming like switching up your nail color.  This can give you a Spring preview without getting yourself super sick.
  2. Wear brighter clothes this does the same thing that the mani and pedi does and it will uplift your mood.
  3. Book a Spring or summer trip.  This will get your wheels spinning in the right direction.
  4. Start buying Spring clothes but do NOT put your Winter clothes away just yet.
  5. Book yourself some “self” appointments like maybe a wax or a facial.
  6. Try for a new workout class.  Maybe you have slacked on your New Years Resolution and this would be a great mental booster as you step into Spring (but soon not yet)

There are many options but just don’t break down and do it all.  Pace yourself.  Spring is coming but it’s not here just yet.  I am not suggesting that if you dress like a mummy either and that if you do that you won’t get sick.  What I am saying is use some wisdom. Soon as folks see a lil bit of sun they lose their minds.  Put your clothes on and still practice the same precaution you once did when it was cold, snowy, and icy.

Spring Fun: Road Trip Chronicles

First I want to say that I’m praying for Houston.  The flood waters are literally doing too much.  My prayers is that you will continue to be safe as this natural disaster takes place. As we gear up to welcome on the warmer weather we need to prepare for some road trip chronicles.

Road trips are a place of fun if you have the right traveling partners.  It can save money as you are able to split the cost with the roadies for things such as gas, tolls, etc.  One of the benefits of a road trip is sight seeing.  Its not like when you are on a plane, you are able to really take in the world.  So this is the time to get your calendars burning with a trip or two.  Now I know not everyone has a car or has the ability to just jump in a car, but if you do take advantage.  When I was growing up my parents would just take us to random places.  We would see different parts of the areas we lived in or we would visit a new city and make a new adventure.  With this mindset, you can really take a step away from the same old, same old.

Here a few things to consider before gassing up your car:

  1. Car Maintenance-please invest in making sure your car is properly serviced. Its not the time to go on the road without it. Make sure you have a licensed mechanic check your vehicle for everything from tires, to brakes, to oil changes.
  2. Money-Keep emergency money that is separate from what you plan to spend. Remember that accidents and unexpected events can take place at any given time.
  3. Music-Know those riding with you and make sure you have enough tunes for everyone.  Break out a little old school.  Road trips bring out the old stories and flashbacks so flashback with the music as well.
  4. Snacks-It’s a total road trip kill not to have snacks that all like.  Try to pack what you think you will consume.  Have a little fun.  Pack a few extra indulgence too.
  5. Great travel buddies-This should have been number 2.  It is a bummer if you have to travel with sour faces for however long it will take.  You need people who bring a little something different to the table all in the name of fun.

Make it a great trip and plan.  You can either have a destination in sight or you can plan to meet up with others.  If you can plan at least one road trip and make some great memories.  Trust me you don’t know what you are missing until you get in a car.  I will taking a road trip very soon and I will most definitely be blogging about it soon.  Warm weather will make it easier to dust off the winter blues.  I for one plan on enjoying it all. So grab a few friends or family members and make a trip of a lifetime.  Travel somewhere you never been before or take a yearly trip and ditch the airline miles.  Have some fun and let the window down.

Spring Preview

Well in case you don’t know Spring is almost here.  I know that as much as I wanted to complain at least where I am we only had one really bad snow storm.  That is pretty good considering years previous hasn’t always been so gentle.

The first day of Spring is March 20, 2016.  I like Spring because its like the hype man for Summer. If you know me than you know that I’m all about Summer.  So what am I looking forward to for Spring?  Here is my little fun list of things to be happy about:
1. Warmer weather

Its the time where we can take the winter jackets and pack them away.  That doesn’t mean by any means we don’t need a light coat. Like my mom would say its still cool out.  So I’m looking forward to being able to put away the winter parka and enjoy the windows down and fresh air moments.

2. Longer days
That means more sunlight.  I do not like bringing my babies home in the dark and now that Spring is on its way getting home with a little light out will be a blessing.  I love it.  I like that my kids will ask me if they can play outside until the street lights come on.
3. New Blooms
I do NOT have a green thumb.  I don’t feel as if I can plant anything but this year I plan on trying my hand at it.  My neighbor does a beautiful job with it and I really want to have my front lawn looking right this year.  She has agreed to teach me a little bit so we shall see.  So if you can get a word of prayer in, say one for me and my yard.
4. Sunglasses
I’m not one for wearing sunglasses all year.  Maybe I should but I don’t.  I look forward to getting a new pair of sunglasses and literally looking cute.  Yes I’m fully aware that sunglasses are about protection but I want to wear them for vanity-let me live.
5. Sitting Outside
I am one for having a little drink outside or reading a book on the front porch.  I think fresh air is amazing.  So it will be warm enough but not too hot to get a little outdoor action.  I also like going to restaruants and intentionally sit outside to eat. I love it especially if I’m in good company.
6. Parks
That’s parent code for getting the kids out of the house.  I literally step up my game to find outdoor activities for my kids.  They will not sit in front of a television (they barely do it now).  There is a park like micro minutes from my house.  We usually walk to and from the park and play for at least 45 minutes.  It’s a great workout for the parents and a way to let go of the pent up energy that my little people have a great supply of.  The draw back is my kids and their allergies.  So I stay ready with a daily allergy medication and a little benadryl in my back pack at all times. We don’t let sneezes stop an adventure.  There is also a track so I like to place the youngest in the stroller and have the 2 oldest walk/run it with me.  A little family competition never hurts.  Whatever will help get the winter pounds off in preparation for summer time fine right?
7. Icecream shops
There is a really wonderful ice-cream shop like minutes from our house.  They sell the most unique flavors and toppings.  So yes even though I can save a few coins by buying ice-cream by the gallons and I do, every now and again I like to treat me and the kids to a little upgrade.  Oh and don’t forget about popsicles.  That’s a childhood staple.  I remember as a child my mom keeping them in the house and we do the same.
8. Fairs and Flea Markets
One of the best things to do is to enjoy some Philadelphia outdoor fairs.  Yes from Spring until Fall there will be many.  There are some great outdoor markets available too.  I love when there are outdoor flea markets.  I enjoy looking for unique items and saving money.  Not to mention there are some great food vendors too.  If you haven’t tried it where you live, give it a try.  You may find that you love it as much as I do.
I know its hard to see the Spring influence now.  At least it is today.  Its literally brick outside today.  They are calling for one more storm too.  However in my mind I’m outside on my porch with a little lemonade and a great book in my hand watching the kids play.  A girl can dream, right?  Well at least we have a few things to look forward to.  One of the things I have been more intentional about since having children is not waste idle time.  Kids grow fast.  So if you have a list of things you didn’t do from last year, get it done this year.  Time waits for no one.  One thing I won’t do is sit and complain about what life I could be living, I’m going to be out there enjoying it.  The time for planning memories is now.  I’m the queen of events and holidays.  My kids get an overdose of it all the time.  My son mentioned a few things that “should” be happening soon. I told him of course son, mommy is ready.  Warms my heart that they are recongnizing my efforts.  Take the time to smell the flowers, trust me the blooms are coming.