Friday, February 11, 2011

Rockin' Hormones by Robin Gorman Newman

Can you be a rockin' later mom when your hormones are rockin'?

I feel like I'm seriously being tested in that department of late.

At the risk of getting overly personal, my menstrual cycle this month is seemingly never-ending.  Just when I think it's stopping, it kicks in again. I've experienced this before, but this time, I'm really feeling the effects.  Odd in the head.  Bouts of fatigue.  Tearfulness.  Restless sleeping.

I have a call into my integrative doctor to explore full bloodwork, including hormone testing.  It's been a few years since I've had them checked. 

I know I'm in perimenopause, but I have found that with every decade, things change, and it can be hard to keep up.  When I turned 40, I felt different.  And, now that I'm 50, and actually today is my half birthday, so 50.5, I don't totally know myself.

It's frustrating.  I've been pouring through classic books by Dr. John R. Lee and Dr. Christiane Northrup, both of whom I hugely respect.  I've always been a fan of natural supplements.  But, this hormone stuff is complicated. And, a little part of me is wondering if it is hormones, or something I else?!......(I'm good at getting myself nervous.)

I've always been inclined to let the body do what is natural, and presume things will take their course and hopefully all settle down. But, if it were that easy, then why is there always so much controversial talk about hormone replacement?

Celebs like Suzanne Somers have written on the subject and taken strong stands. And, seem to be making a living off the subject.  Hormones are big business!

I know there's no one way to go.  And, I'm curious to see what my holistic MD in NYC (Dr. Fred Pescatore, who has written for our Baby Bloomer newsletter) has to say.  I totally trust him.I'm not looking for hormone replacement.  I just want to feel good again.  It's that simple, yet nothing is simple about it.

Knowing that my hormones can also make me somewhat emotionally unbalanced as well as physically, I have to work extra hard to have patience with my son and things in general.  At times like this, being a later in life mom with a young child can be particularly challenging.

I have friends who are already in menopause, and they have shared their experiences.  But, it's different for everyone.  And, my beloved mom has passed away, so I don't have her to discuss it with.  My sister, who is two years younger than me, is already done with her menstrual cycle.  So, no point in comparing myself to her.

I don't want to sound like a broken record with my husband either.  When he calls me from work to check in and asks how things are, I yearn to say great.  But, it's not how I feel.  And, he knows I'm frustrated. 
The other night, Piers Morgan, who took over the slot vacated recently by Larry King on CNN, had on four former television stars.  Linda Evans.  Angie Dickinson.  Stefanie Powers.  And  Nichelle Nichols (of Star Trek fame).  Each was a bombshell in her heyday, and is now in the aged actress arena.  They were talking about having carved careers for themselves where beauty played a role, and what it's like to look in the mirror today.  It felt painful to me.  While they put on brave, unflinching (potentially botoxed, etc.) faces, I had to imagine it can't be easy.

It all comes down to one of my favorite expressions..."it's not easy being a woman," and add aging to that.

All the more reason that us later moms have to stick together.  Share. Laugh. Offer support.  Discuss your hormones.  Let it all hang out. We"get" it.

Are you in perimenopause?  How does it make you feel, and do you do anything about it?

If you're in menopause, did you find the transition challenging?

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