My Choice

I did a guest post on “Navigating the Change, ” which is a blog about menopause. It’s a departure what what I usually write about, but I was so happy to be asked to contribute!

Navigating the Change

Like most women, I always knew the day was coming when I’d have to deal with menopause.I wasn’t especially worried about it, as I didn’t want to conceive any more children and considered menstrual periods to be an annoyance I would gladly do without. I’d heard about hot flashes, night sweats, and all the rest of the possible symptoms, but I also knew that not all women had to deal with those and blithely assumed I’d manage to just sail through it all.

But then I had my first hot flash.

It seemed that one minute I was riding in the car with my husband, heading home from a trip to the shopping mall, and the next minute I felt a sensation I could only describe as being cooked from the inside out. I actually panicked a little before I realized just what was happening. And then I ordered my…

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35 thoughts on “My Choice

  1. An excellent post, Ann. Except for my occasional *mood swings* (which nearly qualified as a WMD) and the slow but steady turning into a cyborg, I *sailed* through those years. However, I have talked with / witnessed some who went through hell. Indeed, to try hormone therapy (or anything) is our own choice to make. (AND to un-make!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks! Really, every woman’s experience with it is unique, and I think we’re all entitled to deal with it how we think best. I just hope my daughter doesn’t continue the “family tradition” of a difficult menopause, but only time will tell.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well written piece, Ann! We each have to make our own decisions and risks about our health at any age. Happy to be well beyond those menopause years! I hope your husband is doing well. Cancer does change ones outlook. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Ann. I was a long hauler on menopause too and I also did HRT for about four years. There are organic things you can do if you find yourself continuing to struggle, and I bet you’ve checked those options out already. Bottom line: you will find the best choice for YOU! Prayers for you and your husband the minute I press send.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Cecilia! I have found that when I cut down on caffeine and sugar, it helps, so I’m doing that as much as I can (which is hard, because I do love just about anything you can buy in a bakery). And thanks for the affirmation that we each get to make the best choice for our own health, and even more thanks for your prayers for the both of us. They are very much appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It is absolutely individual choice. Congratulations on finding an answer that helped. I hope your body just allows itself to be convinced it really doesn’t need to trouble anyone with a recurrence of that symptom! BTW, your description of “being cooked from the inside out” is perfect and so accurate. I would often get them at work and at the time I was a surgical dental assistant so in full surgical scrubs, gowns, mask, goggles… It was awful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I can’t even imagine how tough a hot flash would be when you’re in full surgical gear and can’t take any of it off! I’m really hopeful that I’m finally outgrowing the symptoms, because so far they are minimal and I’ve only been taking the pills twice a week for three months now. I think next month I’ll stop altogether…fingers crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful post! I agree that everyone is different and we all have reasons for our actions. At least your decisions were well thought out and in conjunction with medical advice from a professional! Education is an important component to decision making – sadly not all women are willing to take the time….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since I know next to nothing about medicine, my standard procedure is to find a medical professional I trust, and then follow his or her advice. And I really appreciated the way my doctor took the time to explain exactly what the risks are of taking HRT, for the first three years, and then afterwards too. That way, I could decide what was best. And thanks for your kind words!

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  6. A well written post that certainly shines light on a topic that used to be forbidden/hidden. Everyone makes her own choices about how to navigate menopause, which I think is the message that woman need to hear. It’s not a my way or the highway experience. I’m talking about hormones and how you deal with hot flashes. ‘You do you’ has never been more apt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always liked that saying. We spend far to much time trying to get others to approve of our choices, or even worse, getting them to make the same choices for themselves. And I’m glad you pointed out how this topic has been hidden a lot…I really respect Kathy for starting a blog devoted exclusively to dealing with menopause. I’ve followed her original blog for a long time, so I knew she would do a good job with this one too. And she has!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My body, my decision. This applies to so many scenarios when it comes to a woman’s body. I opted to ride it out when it came to menopause but I would never sit in judgement of another woman’s decision. Thankfully, for the most part, my hot flashes are in the past although I must say my body tolerance to heat has definitely changed through menopause! It is so important to do what is right for you, to educate yourself on the pros & cons & make an educated decision on what feels right. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I think the key is to educate ourselves, and then think long and hard about what is the best treatment for us. That’s true of dealing with many major illnesses, too. We all get to decide what is best for ourselves, and I don’t think we should judge those who choose differently. Thanks for the comment, Lynn!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Ann,

    I love your articles, keep writing

    Grace

    On Tue, Jun 15, 2021 at 7:40 PM Muddling Through My Middle Age wrote:

    > Ann Coleman posted: “I did a guest post on “Navigating the Change, ” which > is a blog about menopause. It’s a departure what what I usually write > about, but I was so happy to be asked to contribute!” >

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I like how you write that some feel the need to advise and express their opinion without being asked or even consider the reason for your decision. I used to get it a lot in regards to my kid (why is he wearing a long sleeve swimsuit, did I put sunscreen on him…) or myself (I had people commenting on the color of my hair or the color of my eyeshadow without being asked) but now I just say thank you, and back to minding my own business. I also agree that you are allowed to change your mind without apologizing for that. Thanks for sharing your personal experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think our world is definitely trending toward people becoming more and more comfortable with judging others and truly believing that it is their right to tell others how to live their lives! Whatever happened to minding your own business? If abuse is not involved, then we really have to right to interfere with other people’s choices, I think. Thanks for that comment, Svet!

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  10. I LOVE your honesty and forthrightness, Ann! I’m well past “those” years, and I chickened out on HRT because of cancer fears (and of course, got cancer many years later, which shows that ya never know!).
    However, menopause was mostly middle-of-the-night hot spells that didn’t leave me dripping wet and a few days when my husband had to have thought of leaving me…So I really admire your pluck and independence in choosing your own path. I am not surprised. And I hope that the weeks ahead will see you in a newly restored body that is ready for a new way of living! (Hopefully making a trip to the bakery an adventure again!!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Martha! It’s fascinating to me how differently women react to menopause, and I think that also explains the need for us to each find our own way through it. I am so very grateful for having a good doctor who showed me the options and then encouraged me to make my own choice. I hope that the weeks ahead are good as well….for both of us!

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  11. GOOD for you, Ann! This is a very personal decision, with no One-Size-Fits-All answer. Glad you found a compassionate doctor to guide you through so many changes, and that the option you selected worked for you. Thank you for sharing your personal journey … and best wishes for continued health!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. An encouraging and informative post as always, Ann. I remember well the days of hot flashes, especially waking up during the night. I’m quite cranky without my sleep. I still have them from time to time after I stopped taking the hormones. Though, they are not so severe and usually occur when I eat something sweet or drink too much coffee. I love your comment, “…since we live in a time where minding other people’s business is considered not only acceptable, but often downright mandatory…” If we listened to the plethora of opinions, from one side of an issue to the other, in order to make our decisions, we might go insane. You are right, it is our choice. Thank you for sharing your story! I hope you have a nice week ahead. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Brenda! I think social media has made a bad situation worse when it comes to other people’s opinions, because now we hear them more than ever, and often from those who take delight in criticizing other people. We really do need to tune out those negative voices and ignore those who are trying to dictate how we act, think, and feel. Thanks so much for commenting!

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  13. Just read your post – and what an excellent one it is! And so true about having the right to change our minds when presented with new facts. I’m really glad your doctor helped you with your decisions and respected them.
    I have to say, I’m not looking forward to my menopause. 😉

    Like

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