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Well, I gotta tackle this subject sooner or later, and so why not now. Menopause….I refer to it as the “M” word, because it is one of those topics that stir mixed emotions in different women, and depending on what generation you come from, it may not be topic for conversation. I would never make light of the fact that it can and has wreaked havoc in many women and with it opens up the question of what options there are to help us get through this season of life. We can choose to let it run its course without any medical supplements, or we can say give me the drugs…..it sounds kind of like choosing natural childbirth as opposed to screaming “epidural”! While in childbirth I screamed “epidural”, and I did not even say please, I actually chose to go through menopause without any help from synthetic hormones.

It is funny to me how they categorize menopause into phases such as, pre-menopause, peri-menopause, and post-menopause. Recently, during the whole anxious ordeal of Hurricane Irma and the destructive path she was on, the news kept showing us these radar pictures of the storm. It just looked like distorted concentric circles of differing colors, and each color indicated its intensity. The yellows and orange colors brought ravaging high winds, and the greens brought varying amounts of rain, while the red was the eye and it seemed to be directing the storm’s path. I think you know where I’m going with this.

One newscaster battling it out while standing in the most intense part of the storm, kept saying “I can’t wait for the “eye” to come over us. I thought, but why? Should not the eye be even more intense? Apparently, no, not really….. the eye of the storm ushered in a sudden calm and a brighter atmosphere.

I “weathered” my personal storm at all levels of intensity. The pre-“m” stage brought with it intense cramping and unstable monthly “issues” that eventually led to the removal of one of my ovaries. This than led to an acceleration of that peri-“m” stage which basically meant I was now smack in the middle of the storm. I realize I am being very metaphorical here and maybe a bit vague. I just don’t want to get all clinical about this subject cause it is hard to laugh about it when you are too clinical.

My doctor, at the time, delivered a very grim picture of what this all meant as far as my life. I was in my early 50’s and sat across this doctor as he looked me in the eye and said, “you have now entered the last third of your life”. I responded, “say what”? “You mean, I have already gone through two thirds of it”? No way!!!! When I left that day, I was not sure if I needed to complete my bucket list or get a new doctor. I got a new doctor.

I chose to embrace whatever changes this storm might bring and anxiously awaited the “eye” to pass by me and bring some much needed calm and brightness to my life. Now, I relate the “eye” to the post “m” stage. I hope you can follow me in this analogy. When my body finally yielded to “the change”…..this is another code for menopause….I actually did feel more peaceful. I still have the occasional reminders that my body is not what it used to be in that first two thirds of life. For instance, feeling that surge of heat permeate your entire being at the most inopportune times while the atmosphere around you is cool as a cucumber…or wanting to lose that extra 10 pounds but it refuses to leave your body. But for the most part, after careful assessment of any “damage”, I think I have weathered the storm quite well.

In conclusion, I have one more metaphor regarding the “eye” of the storm and what it means to feel the calm. In the physical storm, the eye just passes by, and your reprieve is temporary. The back end of the storm still needs to pass through and can cause severe damage. In the spiritual sense, my “eye” was accepting Jesus, my Lord and Savior into my heart. He brought me peace beyond understanding and He has never just “passed through”. He is always in the midst of every storm in my life and gives me such assurance that I am not alone. Without him, I would surely take a beating from the battering winds and rain of life. But with Him, I know, I can make this the longest and best one third left of life. I hope your do too.