I recently wrote a book that's now titled Orchids-The New Black: How to Get Over Your Ovaries and Make the Change of Life Your Bitch. You could say I was almost forced to write this book, in the same way I was forced into menopause much too early. I was diagnosed with the BRCA2 genetic mutation and gave up my breasts and ovaries to surgery (I was way ahead of Angelina Jolie. Just sayin'). OK, so I wasn't forced, per se. But when I was suddenly thrust into what everyone calls menopause earlier than my body planned, I decided someone needed to take charge on so many levels. It was time to not only change the vernacular, but to speak up and say "Hey! This isn't an old lady's disease! We aren't old! We are strong and dammit, we are beautiful and sexy too!"
The book is full of information and interesting tidbits that will help women everywhere be able to own this! Here are a few tips I hope will help you through your own early onset "orchids" (or... er... regular onset too). It's just a slice of what you'll see in the book. Enjoy!
- Take the "Men" Out. Menopause is such an ugly word. It's got MEN in it, for godssakes. Who the hell came up with that word, anyway? I call it Orchids, because orchids are beautiful and sophisticated. And dammit, I still feel beautiful! And hey, I aspire to be sophisticated... when I grow up, that is. So menopause is now called Orchids. 'Nuff said.
"Menopause is now called Orchids."
"Wrap your brain around what will happen to you in orchids. Choose right now to deal with it, to rock this thing and you'll come out ahead."
If you're just not that into exercise, you're going to have to fake it to make it here, ladies. Gone are the days when you could party-hardy with little consequences. Your body has had ENOUGH, and if you don't do something healthy here, it's going to take that "living large and in charge" idiom a little too literally. It's just too bad if you don't like any form of exercise. Find something you can get into and get started now before they're rolling in the gurney and pumping your heart (heart disease is a leading killer of women over forty, and it's mostly due to lack of hormones and fat retention). I don't care if you start out doing loops at the neighborhood mall, but get busy and do it regularly and often. Then change it up and challenge yourself regularly too. This is one thing you must do to live long into life, to ward off all kinds of diseases, and to keep the side effects of being in menopause at bay. Not only that, if you opt for hormone replacement therapy and start to forget everything and everybody, you're going to need the exercise to keep the blood flowing to the brain. Not into living long and healthy and don't care if you suffer as a result? Well, there's always that.
Your first order of business? Make an appointment to see your menopause specialist or gynecologist. There are a number of meds and homeopathics that can be taken for hot flashes, not the least of which are hormones, but there is new information indicating that serotonin is involved in the hot flash mechanism. So, they're prescribing what many refer to as anti-depressants for those little hotties these days as well. If you're an la naturale kinda gal in all you do, there are solutions there too, but you must seek them out.
Your second order of business? Refer to number two, and remember not to go psycho and that you can do this. You just have to think like a Girl Scout and BE PREPARED (or is that the Boy Scouts?). Pay attention to these hot patterns, and be ready for the next one. Get a cooler, fill it with ice chips and "SUCK IT" lady. Buy yourself a handheld battery operated fan or something, but whatever you do, don't let this be the thing that brings you down.
Of course these tips are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to conquering orchids, but I believe in you and your resolve to make it happen for yourself. I believe it so much, a full-on book is coming! Wait for it... It's coming and it'll be worth it.
The point is, women are entering orchids younger and younger these days (surgery, genetic mutations, cancer and birth defects are making this so). But if you're in orchids, it doesn't have to destroy your quality of life. You can remain beautiful in everything you do in life (well, most things). And by god, I'd say you're not only making this thing your bitch, you're bringing sexy back just by taking care of you. Kudos!