Reaching Our Destiny Together As We Journey Through Menopause

Dorian Martin Health Guide
  • When I was a kid, I remember going on trips with my family and hearing my brother, who was seven years younger, ask, “When are we going to reach our destiny?” I relay this story to you because it seems that this journey toward menopause and the aftermath of “the curse” (as it was known in my family) can be all-encompassing and can be leading to a destiny that potentially can be better and brighter, based on the confidence and experiences that we bring to the table from our own experiences of life.

     

    So what is our destiny going into and through menopause? That's what I hope these shareposts encourages you to think about. Therefore, I think you as a reader deserve an introduction to my own experiences.First of all, about the white hair…I actually got the first one at the ripe old age of 7. And I was pretty grey (or white, as my friends will remind me) by high school, when I decided to dye my hair to fit in with everyone else.  Eventually in my mid-20s, I decided that I needed to look more experienced professionally , so I gave up using hair color. So please know that the moral of this story is that you can't judge a person by their hair color.

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    With that said, during my 20s, 30s and early 40s, I lived a very active life and achieved a lot of professional successes, having worked in a number of administrative positions in school districts and an education association and served as an officer in state and national professional associations. I travelled a lot and was physically fit during this time period, even to the point of giving a friend’s daughter, who was a tennis whiz, a run for her money when she was in middle school and I was in my early 30s. Eventually, she became a three-time Texas state champion in tennis and I thought I was physically invincible. Because I was always able to do what I wanted to do, aging and prevention were not at the forefront on my mind.

     

    But in my mid-40s I was stopped short by my mother’s diagnosis with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Alzheimer’s disease (which some of you may have followed on the related HealthCentral site). Thrust into a caregiving situation in 2005, I put my focus on Mom’s health issues while working toward a doctorate and maintaining my professional career.

     

    Somewhere in the years before Mom died in 2007, I probably experienced the first signals of peri-menopause, but like many women, I was too focused on these other pressing issues to pay attention to the changes that my own body was undergoing.

    Mom's death took an emotional toll, but also caused me to reflect upon my life. That's when I started paying attention to what my body had been trying to tell me. I've found that I don't have the endurance that I once took for granted. I've experienced weight gain, mood swings, and other symptoms that indicate that menopause isn’t far off. But on the positive side, I've found a new mental clarity about what I’m dealing with and what is important to me. And I’ve also found that many of my friends are in the same situation where I found myself in 2007 – uninformed about menopause, unfocused on what is happening to them, and unattached to the choices that they are making about their lives.

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    Therefore, I hope that my future shareposts can bring up the different topics that we all should be discussing and thinking about as we go through this important life change. I want to incorporate what we’re facing – whether it’s children leaving the nest or (as in my case) caring for an aging parent – and how this impacts our trek through menopause.

     

    I encourage you to contribute ideas and thoughts to my posts and email me with suggestions of topics to cover. What I’ve learned is that together, we can reach “our destiny” in going through menopause and finding out what our future holds. I look forward to taking this trip with you.  

     

Published On: December 07, 2009