Google symptoms of menopause and you’ll probably find my face underneath the list of traits that define a woman on the brink of menopausal insanity. That crazy lady with the wild eyes and the tufts of hair in her hands as she yanks it from her scalp? That’s me. I’ve been menopausal for YEARS. Yes, you heard right. Menopause set up camp in my uterus four years ago and hasn’t vacated the premises since the first heat wave from hell arrived in the form of a scorching hot flash. Menopause pulled up a lounge chair and made herself comfortable as she waved goodbye to my estrogen levels while they packed their bags and fled for younger ground. That’s when the real fun began, and Mother Nature has been laughing at me ever since.
If you’re a middle-aged woman who is experiencing any of the following symptoms, I’d say that menopause is getting ready to set up house in your lady parts and turn your fertile ground into the Mohave Desert.
- HOT FLASHES: Has there been a sharp increase in your electric bill along with a decrease in the temperature of your home? Is everyone in your family wearing sweaters at the dinner table while you’re fanning yourself and using a rag to wipe your sweaty brow? If you feel like you’re trapped in Hell’s sauna without an exit door, then you might be menopausal.
- WEIGHT GAIN: Have you broken into your savings account for a new wardrobe that includes stretch fabric pants and knee-length muumuus that are wildly popular at Walmart? When you squeeze into a bathing suit, do strangers try to rub your Buddha belly for good luck? If you feel like an over-inflated balloon ready to burst, you might be menopausal.
- MOOD SWINGS: Are you envious of your bipolar uncle who is on meds to balance out his roller coaster emotions? If you feel like Mother Theresa one minute and Attila the Hun the next, you might be menopausal.
- NIGHT SWEATS: Do you wake in the middle of the night in a warm, sticky puddle that was once your bed? If solar flares spark your sleep and leave you melting into the bed sheets, you might be menopausal.
- LOW LIBIDO: If your vagina has turned into a quicksand trap and your sex drive is like that of a spayed animal, you might be menopausal.
- HAIR LOSS: Have you lost enough hair to open a wig shop? If you suddenly find hairless cats and shaved chihuahuas adorable, you might be menopausal.
- MEMORY LOSS: Have you wallpapered your house in Post-it Notes to remind yourself to turn off the stove and flush the toilet? If you share symptoms of Granny’s dementia and get lost easily in the cereal aisle at the grocery store, you might be menopausal.
- FATIGUE: Do you have a toddler tantrum when you find that the coffee pot is empty at 3:00 p.m.? If narcolepsy sets in and causes you to function on autopilot with a Red Bull in your hand, you might be menopausal.
- INDIGESTION: Do you feel as though someone lit Roman candles in your throat or cannons in your stomach after dinner at the local Mexican restaurant? If you have the urge to yell, “FIRE IN THE HOLE!”….you might be menopausal.
- FREQUENT URINATION: Have you recently bought an adult diaper bag masked as a purse to hide your supply of Poise Pads? If your road trips are mapped out according to how many pit stops there are between your driveway and your vacation destination, you might be menopausal.
- ANXIETY: Do you grind your teeth like an agitated badger in your sleep? If your fingernails look like they’ve been dipped in a piranha pool, you might be menopausal.
- INSOMNIA: Do you like to play mind games in the middle of the night like Name That Tune or Workplace Trivial Pursuit? Do you find the inner workings of a glowing, digital clock fascinating at 2:00 a.m.? If someone named Mr. Insomnia frequently knocks at your door after midnight with a six-pack of beer in one hand and poker chips in the other, you might be menopausal.
If three or more of these symptoms apply to you, RUN, don’t walk, to your nearest drugstore. If the pharmacist can’t help you, try the liquor store next door. And don’t forget to grab a box fan on your way out.
Read more from Marcia Kester Doyle on her blog, Menopausal Mother