Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Doctor Sheds Light on Confusion - Thank You TBTAM :)



A couple of weeks ago I posted about my somewhat (ahem..) strong reaction to my urologist when he mentioned menopause, particularly his lumping me into THAT group. I am also putting up the desperate Housewives YouTube again because a. it vindicates me (I still feel the guilt -urodoc is a great doc-skilled, professional & supportive), b. it is funny and ties in to this post and I think is worth repeating, if not for my usual visitors than any newbies to this blog that might be meandering through, and c. it vindicates me, and d. it vindicates me. ;) In other words...thank God I am not the only woman to have these strong feelings! :)

While having a pedicure the day after I wrote about urodoc hitting my hot button, 3 other women and I were enthusiastically discussing all kinds of girly topics. Men, vasectomies, pregnancy, birth control, childbirth, my hot button post, perimenopause and menopause.

When I mentioned that I was in perimenopause when one of the women said "No..you're in Menopause."

"What?! (Surely she JESTS!) NO...I'm not!?!", I say as I look at her with quizzical DISDAIN. "Well how can I be in MENOPAUSE if I'm still getting my PERIOD?!! Huh? Huh?" (I didn't say the huhs but I was thinking them!)

She says "It's your age...you're at the menopause age."

Good thing she's not depending on my tip I'm thinking..."Well do you still get your period?"

"No, not any more...I'm post menopausal."

"But I do...and so I am in perimenopause. You're not in menopause until you stop having your period for one year. I still get it. I am in PERImenopause."

"No...you're in menopause even if you get your period because of your age." And with that statement, the other woman who was younger than us and a nurse agreed with this woman that I was in menopause. She also happened to have been thrown into early menopause because of something with her ovaries.

Two women to one...I was feeling baffled and perplexed and in frustration said "Well then... WHAT is perimenopause? Isn't THAT everything that leads up to when you stop getting your period-menopause??"

Now my pedicurist who is younger and pregnant leaves to get a dictionary. (Her husband had a scheduled appointment for a vasectomy until they found out she was pregnant.) She comes back and looks up menopause and reads the semi-long definition. Then per my request she looks up perimenopause and reads the definition. I don't recall why, but both definitions seemed to point to what this other woman was telling me.

Sigh...it didn't feel right to me.

So as soon as I got home I went right to the computer and googled both menopause and perimenopause. Some of it validated what they said and some of it validated what I said. I was still confused.

And so I then left some questions for TBTAM regarding this apparently confusing topic, this mystery of mysteries.

TBTAM (OBGYN from The Blog That Ate Manhattan) graciously responded by writing an excellent post called Menopause Defined ( along with some funny jokes) in which she addresses the questions that so many of us have, settling the confusion about this life mystery once and for all. At least it has been a mystery for those of us who have avoided this chapter in our womanhood or perhaps have some misinformation on the topic.

I wholeheartedly encourage anyone who would benefit from more enlightenment on this topic to go over and check this post out. It is the clearest explanation that I have ever read and she also has other links to follow up on for additional information. The comments are interesting too.

Thank you very much TBTAM! I will share this info with the girls when I go back there and perhaps even bring a copy of the post.

Okay, I will bring a copy of the post. :)

So...I was right and I was wrong. Yes...on the perimenopause, but wrong about menopause. I didn't know that menopause is only ONE DAY! Specifically...the day that is one year past the date of your last period. It is just a marker in time and then the day after that one menopause day is post-menopause from then on.


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