Female Family Members and Friends in Menopause
I am pretty sure many of you have had a mother, sister, or friend who went through this. My mom never had any issues, so I was unprepared for this onslaught. My sister and I are very close and I room with a woman. Both are at that age. My sister's temper is through the roof, everytime we talk she complains about heat, weight, nausea, cuts me off and says only negative things about everything. If I contradict her she yells at me, at her husband in the background....then, she apologizes in the next call and, in 2 minutes, again...Newsom will be recalled, we will all die of COVID, we are idiots if we think things will get better. A total change in her personality and now I dread calling her. My poor brother-in-law said he is at his wits end. I don't want to lose the close bond I had with her all my life (she has always supported me 100%) but at the same time, she has changed and become a total downer mixed with a screaming hysteric. Like a liberal Karen.
How did you all handle this stuff with your moms/sisters?
|by Anonymous||reply 40||September 15, 2021 12:50 PM
WHAT!!!! how dare you!!! Oh never mind.
I ask my wife if she’s having or about to have a flash before I begin a conversation with her.
I like to think that I am handling it better, but you know none of us are the best judges of our own character and behavior.
The worst thing I started experiencing is this half flash where my core body is too hot, but my skin is too cold.
Sorry I don’t have much in the way of practical help, but maybe your BIL can get your sister to talk to her doctor if her symptoms are that bad.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||September 14, 2021 11:07 AM
[quote]Newsom will be recalled, we will all die of COVID, we are idiots if we think things will get better
[quote] I dread calling her. My poor brother-in-law said he is at his wits end. I don't want to lose the close bond I had with her all my life (she has always supported me 100%) but at the same time, she has changed and become a total downer mixed with a screaming hysteric
Guess you and the husband better both dump her now because she's a total downer.
The alternative would be to try to seriously talk to her about what's going on, but your post doesn't lead me to believe that you're capable of it. There isn't a syllable of what you wrote that sounds like you're willing to support her 100% like she supported you.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||September 14, 2021 11:11 AM
It's a real issue. Our biased health care system is why women are unprepared for this onslaught.
The worst is the insomnia. A woman could handle all the rest were it not for the fact she never gets enough freaking sleep.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||September 14, 2021 11:13 AM
R3 is right, there are real, tangible, physical ailments attached to menopause and peri-menopause, and insomnia alone could account for much of what's going on. There are also some women who have chronic joint and muscle pain, because the hormone receptors all over the body are dealing with fluctuating and changing hormones, causing pain and inflammation. Women often get sick with more viruses and colds when dealing with menopause because of the changes in their production of cortisol.
It's unfortunate that so many people regard menopause as a woman just going through a phase of being a bitch or, as OP said, a "downer."
|by Anonymous||reply 4||September 14, 2021 11:19 AM
R2 and R4 are misunderstanding. I am willing to support her 100% and that is why I wrote the post in the first place. I read on here that, besides a few ladies like ElderLez, many were caretakers for their moms or live(d) with them. What can I, as a man who is also abroad for work, do? If I say "you are being too negative, just look on the bright side...take a day trip" she snaps back that she doesn't need my psychoanalysis, she feels like shit, hasn't slept, work is hell, LA is hell, and bam...says she has to go and hangs up. THEN she calls crying to say she's sorry but it's all too much and her husband doesn't get it. This is not at ALL how my sister ever was. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. And, of course, I take her call because obviously she is unwell and I feel bad.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||September 14, 2021 11:45 AM
Your sister just needs weed and a penis lolly in her opinionated mouth. Super simple solution here. Works for all women as they slouch toward Karenhood.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||September 14, 2021 11:48 AM
You could get the affected ladies in your life on an anti-anxiety SSRI. Does a lot to calm things down. Also maybe sleep meds.
You can also get them to buy progesterone at the health store or do hormone replacement until the worst is over.
This is a physical condition and it takes allopathic medicine to beat it. Forget the herbs and well wishes!
|by Anonymous||reply 8||September 14, 2021 12:14 PM
Listen to R8.
When she says she doesn’t need psychoanalysis, tell her she’s right, this is an entirely physical condition and she needs to see a regular doctor who can help her.
While it is no cure, exercise can help symptoms so on the in-tears call back suggest she walk regularly.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||September 14, 2021 12:19 PM
Agree with R8 and R9 as well. Prozac and cardio exercise can help. Sometimes testosterone cream is helpful as women stop producing testosterone during menopause.
A cuddly, loving pet might help.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||September 14, 2021 12:27 PM
Menopausal women are the worst. I work in a job where my crew shifts around a lot. I dread when any woman in her 50’s comes on board. I don’t think a lot of straight marriages make it through menopause. The hardest thing is that the women never take accountability for their insane and sometimes abusive behavior. It’s always everyone else.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||September 14, 2021 12:32 PM
Women and men weren't supposed to live past 45 in the good old days. Menopause impact on marriage is a recent phenom.
But quite being an ass about the accountability. It is a physical condition. Going without sleep for months is a torture Guantanamo prisoners endured. Our current "health system" ignores what 50% of the population has to go through.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||September 14, 2021 12:43 PM
How long does menopause last?
|by Anonymous||reply 13||September 14, 2021 12:56 PM
I sailed through it like a champ! But I know a lot of women's hormones go haywire, particularly during peri-menopause--the time when your lady parts are preparing to shutdown. So could be a very bumpy ride until you're through that. Once you're in actual menopause, things calm down.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||September 14, 2021 1:04 PM
[quote]The worst is the insomnia. A woman could handle all the rest were it not for the fact she never gets enough freaking sleep.
Yep. The loss of sleep has been really challenging -- for me, it's not so much insomnia as the hot flashes that seem to strike most overnight. Nothing like waking up, over and over again throughout the night, overheated and sweaty (and not in a good way!). Thankfully, it hasn't affected my moods, but has affected my cognition and energy levels.
There's some really good advice in this thread -- including upping her exercise/activity level and talking to her doctor -- but I'll add a couple of suggestions for OP's sister (and anyone else) that have, so far, made a positive difference for me:
1. Adding ground flax seed (very high in phytoestrogens) and some soy (tofu or soy milk) to her diet. This can help mimic estrogen in the body. It's reduced the # of hot flashes per day for me.
2. Buying a small fan and positioning it near the bed, pointed towards her when she sleeps. This alone has been a godsend, and improved my sleep a great deal.
[quote]Once you're in actual menopause, things calm down.
Oh, R16, I really hope that happens soon! :-)
|by Anonymous||reply 17||September 14, 2021 1:11 PM
There's a psychological element in that this is a prelude to old age. There are feelings of undesirability and flashes of memory loss. It would probably be helpful for her to talk to other women about this. If cancer runs in your family, hormone replacement is not a good idea.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||September 14, 2021 1:15 PM
Turn on air-conditioner all the time, cool air helps soothe the menopausal rage.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||September 14, 2021 2:13 PM
Throw heavy glass objects through closed windows when she goes off. She'll get tired of replacing the windows.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||September 14, 2021 3:16 PM
I did Tradition Chinese Medicine and it got rid of all of my symptoms except the hot flashes. I still have them and I've gotten used to being hot and sweaty. It's fantastic in the winter. I can go outside in the snow just wearing a t-shirt and shorts and not feel the cold. It makes me feel magical.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||September 14, 2021 3:41 PM
OP, your sister may benefit from either hormone replacement therapy or bioidentical HRT. There are also herbal supplements like black cohosh, and evening primrose, which are known to help things like hot flashes and irritability. As others have mentioned, women are needed to keep the human race going and it's a cruel trick when our bodies turn against us when child bearing time is up. I never had children nor wanted them, but we can't just "opt out" of the not-so-pleasant parts of being female, like periods and peri, and real menopause. I'm in peri now and it's a bitch.
Encourage her to go to her OB/GYN and ask about HRT or bioidenticals. I would run any supplements by the GP before starting but often they don't interact. Good luck to her (and you). Be patient. Be kind. Our bodies age. It sucks.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||September 14, 2021 3:47 PM
Coming up on twenty years of hot flashes. For some they never end.
Waking up 4-7 times each night typically. It’s worse in the heat of the day, when I often feel faint like the energy just drained out of me.
Didn’t have any other symptoms, just hot flashes.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||September 14, 2021 3:52 PM
Yeah, I know when I have questions about menopause, I go on a board filled with gay men. Sometimes, I wonder about the people who post here.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||September 14, 2021 3:55 PM
I remember when my mother experienced menopause. She never mentioned hot flashes, but maybe she didn't notice them because of the profuse bleeding, days and days of it. Periods that would last two solid weeks. Of course she became anemic. My mother didn't give in to anything, and tried to ride it out, hoping that there was an end in sight. There wasn't, and one of my most vivid memories is watching the paramedics bringing her downstairs on a stretcher. At the hospital she underwent a complete hysterectomy.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||September 14, 2021 8:55 PM
give 'em a pussy rub, op.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||September 14, 2021 8:59 PM
Medical care is so shitty to women. I remember reading they made a pill to increase sex drive for postmenopausal women. They wanted to see how alcohol interacted with the med -- the study only included 2 women. The rest were men. Not only is that a joke because it was made for women, the metabolic rates are completely different, so alcohol use would be different in a man. (Similar to viagra being for period pain, but forget that idea! It gives hard ons and how was that discovered so quickly? Study for a period med was full of men.)
On top of that, I heard it's a real bitch to get hormone replacement from doctors. It's like pulling teeth to get a script. I know so many women in their 30s that had ovaries removed and were sent into early menopause -- they barely get any help.
Fortunately my mother handles it fairly well. She does get crazy sometimes, but she's also treated like everyone's chef, maid, and nurse in the house, so who can blame her? Of course, people should still seek care for it, just make sure she gets a good doctor.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||September 14, 2021 9:22 PM
R5 Sorry OP. “Look on the bright side” is akin to “you look better when you smile”. Understand it is patronizing to someone as depressed, upset and going through a physiological change such as she. She must be spoken to about meds. From a DR. Its not personal. We are living in a bit of a hellscape and most people are like what you described even if they aren’t going through menopause. Its a very rough time in her life. Don’t abandon her, take what she says with a grain of salt but she must be open to getting help. If she’s not, then take it from there.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||September 14, 2021 10:07 PM
My mother is 52 and I don’t think she’s experienced menopause yet but it’s coming.
I think I quit my job in May over my boss going through menopause. She was unbearable. Everyone suspects it’s menopause. She’s been absolutely impossible for 2 years. She was always a snob but it seemed to have gotten worse and worse.
All of her quirks have been magnified x20. Her paranoia and narcissism and OCD was unbearable. She would change the displays and furniture around once a day, sometimes two or three times in a day. It was just a severe headache and I couldn’t deal with it anymore.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||September 14, 2021 10:12 PM
R28 - I honestly didn't mean to be patronizing. I really thought mentioning that would help her realize she has so much that others don't and she should focus on positive versus negative. As R24 says, we aren't experts on women but he is wrong about a board full of gay men (and a few women) not being the right place to talk about it. A lot of the things and experiences on here, including your advice, is more helpful than anyone can imagine. I will absolutely follow Elder Lez's advice about how to communicate with her and yours and also research some medication and good doctors. Hell, she did it for me when my partner died and I was a pathetic mess for over 2 years so it's kind of a way to show my appreciation and pay her back.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||September 15, 2021 12:05 AM
R29 your mom was going through menopaused when she had you.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||September 15, 2021 12:39 AM
My season is changing and I'm grateful to have lived this long thus far.
I'm a lady with a patient demeanour but my manner changed a bit a while back. I snapped at my innocent and rather young Godson in a mood swing type way which freaked me out deep down. He's alright in case anyone is wondering and actually thought that I was apologizing for having snapped at him.
I went on Sam-E in the morning and sometimes a bit of Magnesium before bed. I'm toying with something perhaps more natural for estrogen loss and such but breast cancer runs in my family like hell so I don't know what to do as of right now. It'll come to me I guess. Maybe I should just go on an online health food store website for some time. I dunno.
Corny as it sounds I pray before going to bed and in the morning I meditate before doing my Kung Fu exercises. I've strove to stay on those two things in order to not have a weird ass menopausal mood swing.
Well. This is all I got OP. Good luck and all.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||September 15, 2021 1:05 AM
I skipped menopause. My lady cavity, still smelling of peach blossoms and lilacs, is pristine as ever.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||September 15, 2021 1:13 AM
OP, if your sister is able to find a female OB/GYN who's old enough to have experienced menopause or peri-menopause herself, that might be best. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of those -- next best thing would be a female nurse of that age. She does need someone to talk to, not just for sympathy but for knowledgeable medical advice, and someone she trusts to understand what she's going through. As empathetic as you and her husband are trying to be, men just aren't in a position to really help much with this -- and she's too close to her family members to feel free to unburden herself to them. Just try not to take it personally, she doesn't mean to attack you.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||September 15, 2021 1:41 AM
My sister is going through this. After researching (I mean actually looking up and reading multiple studies) she started drinking 1.5 cups/day of soy milk (or eating edamame, I forget how much) and fresh-grinding a tablespoon of flaxseeds, also daily. She did this for 5 months earlier this year before falling off the wagon on holiday. She reports that during the soy/flaxseed months she was entirely free of hot flashes, and that they came back within 2 weeks of stopping. She's currently planning to start up again and may have already done so. It's a sample size of one and the placebo effect exists but that's been her experience as reported. Soy has long been suspected to be why Japanese women suffer much less than western/American women, especially with hot flashes.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||September 15, 2021 2:08 AM
In terms of mood my sister seems a little depressed, much weepier and quick to cry than usual, but so far hasn't experience moments of intense anger that some women report.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||September 15, 2021 2:09 AM
Menopause is hell but it does get better, just be patient. I went through hell for five years: full depression, horrific hotflashes and night sweats, memory loss and cognitive decline - at one point I even tought I had dementia -, the only things I didn't have was insomnia - I've always slept very well and that remained unchanged - and irritability. Fast forward 5 years I do feel better: the hotflashes have decresased a lot and the night sweats are pretty much gone; I'm still depressed but I always have been, even when young; memory is better but I still struggle with decrease in cognitive function. I'm not nearly as smart as I once was but I can still do my job, which isn't an easy one - I'm a middle school teacher- in an acceptable way. In the beginning I took lots of stuff, all natural because I can't take hormones, my mother died of breast cancer. I haven't taken anything in a while but I don't feel bad. Of course things aren't what they used to be and never will, but I'm still alive and functional, so much better than a lot of people can say... Besides, I'm 59 now, that's pretty old so what are you going to do?
|by Anonymous||reply 38||September 15, 2021 2:48 AM
[quote]I go on a board filled with gay men. Sometimes, I wonder about the people who post here.
I actually think it makes total sense that the OP posted here, R24.
This board is also filled with gay women, some of whom -- as this thread demonstrates -- can offer the OP firsthand-experience advice and suggestions for himself *and* his sister, which is what he was seeking. And I would assume that most if not all DL posters of all sexes have at some "female family members and friends" who have gone through menopause, which, again, is what the OP asked about.
While DL is a fabulous place for gossip and pointless bitchery, its posters can also provide a wealth of information on a vast array of topics and, believe it or not, support and encouragement during trying times... which DEFINITELY includes menopause.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||September 15, 2021 12:49 PM