Menopause Redux, Part I

Note: For today, I had planned a post about the opening of a new restaurant in Hollywood. That will have to wait until next week. Events of the past two weeks have made this post even more timely so I will do it now! This post is pretty personal and I share these things to help other women who are also in this transition. This will be split into two posts.
Menopause, but you are so young?
I am now 42, soon to be 43 in July.  I have always felt very young for my age. My muscle tone was firm. My weight and measurements were the same as they had been when I was in high school.  Luckily, gaining weight was not an issue due to my off the charts metabolism.  I had few wrinkles. I had copious energy. I will stop there so nobody gets mad at me. That, has all begun to change.
Suddenly, in mid Feb. 2006 at the age of 37, I was hit with a reality that I did not expect to face until a decade later. Peri-menopause. I had just spent a year unemployed. During that year I did a couple of half-time volunteer jobs, rode my bike daily, took Capoeira classes and focused on my spiritual development. I had not watched TV for almost a year. I felt amazing. I looked better than I had in years. I even met a creative, passionate (read sensual), funny and spiritual man to share my free time with. That is where things took a quick turn.
I can only share what seemed to start the Peri-menopause ball rolling for me and do not profess to speak for one single other woman. But, I can’t imagine this has never happened to another woman out there.
In which my body reacts to a man…
What the heck does some man have to do with fluctuating estrogen levels? Well, I’ll tell ya’. Remember when I said I was physically feeling fantastic and in touch with my spiritual side? This state of being made me very open to the energies and influences of other people’s spirit/souls. I had always been pretty good at picking up vibes from people, but during this time I felt like vibrations were coming off of people, animals, trees and anything related to the earth. It was a wonderful experience. But, it had a strange and dramatic side effect when I “shared energies” with this new man in my life.
There was a warning sign. My body was trying to say, “Are you sure you are ready for this?” On our first date, when I hugged him, I felt a cramping in my uterus. It was like a really strong menstrual cramp and it went away when I stepped away from him.  It kind of freaked us both out. Needless to say, as he is still my partner to this day, we continued in the normal course of a relationship and a couple of months later I was taken aback by a “moon” (as those with Native American heritage call it) of sorts just 14 days after the last.
I became scared by this and went straight to the OBGYN. I was seen by a very kind and wise nurse practitioner. She did a pelvic exam. I must tell you that as I watched her face go blank, I shuddered to hear her words. She was gazing at my cervix in awe. I previously had stage 3 pre-cancerous cells on my cervix 4 yr.s earlier, so…you understand. Had a cone biopsy. No cancer.
She asked me to get dressed then came back in to talk, looking at me with a dozen question marks floating all around her head, like a cartoon.
NP:  “So, your cervix seems to be drained of estrogen. It looks like the cervix of a woman who has already been through menopause.”
Me:  “*gulp*  What does that mean?”
NP:  “I’m not sure. Tell me, have you recently begun a new physical relationship?”
Me:  “Yes. About a month ago. Why?”
NP:  “Is he more masculine than other men you have been with. Does he have a very deep voice, etc.?”
Me:  “Actually, yes.” I was surprised at this question. How did she know?
NP:  “I think that it is his prostaglandin that your body is reacting to.”
Essentially, the high level of this hormone in his body, kicked off a process in my body that was just lurking , waiting for an environmental stimulus to tell it to begin.
Thus began the baby steps of my body launching into the next phase of  life. Peri-menopause was an enigma to me. I knew about Menopause. My mother had an emergency complete hysterectomy in her early 40s and was cast full force into menopause because of it. I immediately began to research online sources, looking for what to expect from Peri-menopause.
Continued in part II later today.

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