Now many may have seen me with a Chinese fan on the roads, in bus, cab and at the bus stop. Obviously I get smirks, people look at amusingly. As i touched 50, I was aware of THE BIG change in my life, menopause. I was all prepared for it, or rather willing to welcome it with open arms. Believe me if there is one thing about being a woman I completely detest, were the menstruation cycles. So as 2017 dawned I was happy. But what started was not something I was ever prepared for.

Suddenly a cyst in my ovary was detected, followed with dental issues, then I found myself getting slightly emotional, which in turn unnerved me. I sat in front of my childhood friend bawling and he has never seen me like this and was astonished. After that day I decided I do NOT want to be like this. Believe me, any amount of reading, preparations (I started on natural supplements and precautions (peri-menopause time) since last few years. The symptoms were loud and clear – loud sounds, especially honking would sound magnified, (which made me ANGRY) and in addition, the professional stress. The last HAS BEEN a huge precipitating factor. The 24×7 broadcast news culture is such, remember bosses have to switch off and can take weekly offs, holidays, but none of it for us. We are bonded labour. Sorry for this slight stray, but this was huge detrimental factor at the onset of menopause.

At that time, I came across the concept of a pelvic magnet. I read up on it in details and women in UK, US said it helped to control the flushes. Over 7 years I have been wearing, beginning with peri-menopause and not that it has helped me overcome insomnia, but it has done no harm. While at it, I increased my dose of vitamins, had to undergo series of tests, that are needed and the blood hormone test pinned it. Yes menopause had just begun.

Being on medication is not something I like, especially for the side effects. The medication for cyst made me lethargic. I changed my job, took something less stressful and moreover my timings simply matched the changed body clock. I am more like an owl at night and slow in the morning. Accepting it with a work profile, a newspaper job, made my Life less stressful. Heading a team of young reporters has is it pluses and few disadvantages. They may give you many a frustrating moments, but it is less stressful than broadcast. There is a sense of fulfilment when you can mould young minds to think differently. It gives you a sense of hope in the current political climate when they move for better prospects. Even in the hot flushes moment, you get a sense of fulfillment, one has helped them to try and be rational journalists who can look deeper.

I began staying more with people who are younger, happy, for less stressful interactions. Friends apart, of course. I avoid the ones who provoke. This phase makes women bit more sensitive and before I get into situations where there could be misunderstandings, moreso make me feel vulnerable, I simply stay away from such situations. In this initial phase things may not be as they occur— often things seem magnified for no reason. When you exchange notes of menopause with other women and friends, one realises each is going through similar emotions and changes. In fact when we school friends meet, we realised for a while all of us were talking about menopause making us sensitive, hormones, hot flushes and bladder issues. Fuck! Never in my life I’d have imagined to be like this.

Among few compulsory things I imbibed, I stopped battling the changes. These are body changes which are natural and one needs to work around them. Yes, I feel like a walking volcano all the while. Though I have tried to make changes in my diet, it is the acceptance which helps one to deal with situation. So while I am taking vitamins and suddenly a spur pain crops up in the heel, I am more open to accupuncturist and naturopathy, than medication. Coming from a family that has history of cancer, the HRT is completely ruled out. Apart from which personally I am NOT in favour of it.

Currently, I want be in a happy place, more comfortable in my skin and that dear women friends is the most imprtant determining factor. Hot flushes, now that is normal and less bothersome.

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