Yesterday, I got the chance to continue reading the AARP magazine I’d liberated from my building’s mail slush pile. One of the major articles was about menopause, and… it gave me pause.
I texted my mom to ask when she’d gone through “the change” (although I’d asked for details before, I can never remember), as it’s generally accepted that whatever your mom experienced, you can anticipate you’ll experience something similar.
She replied that she was 51. I’m about to turn 37. That’s 14 more years of ovarian churning; 24 years of their production line have passed. That’s a lot of years!
And yet, it feels like such a short period (no pun intended!) between now and the anticipated change.
The article went on to report that a vast majority of doctors, even ob-gyns, have little experience or familiarity with how to help a woman going through this utterly predictable and common experience (51% of ALL earthlings!). They report that most ob-gyns focus on in/fertility and delivery — where the big money is at. There’s not yet much bank in “the change.” The article further states that, while the overall cause is the same, women’s experience and symptoms vary wildly so there’s no “one size fits all.” There’s more of a need to listen, interpret, and adjust one’s approach, which is also not something many doctors like to wade through.
It’s fascinating to me. There is a gargantuan industry for media and products aimed at anti-aging: the serums I buy for my face, the water I drink for my organs, the sleep I attempt to get for my brain function, and the workouts I try to maintain for my bones. And yet, I haven’t once read an article aimed toward someone like me looking for ways to improve my experience of menopause, even from this long a landing approach.
What was news to me was the fact that around 30 years old, muscle-loss comes into play, and at about 35 or so, we begin to lose .5 a pound of muscle mass per year, and that can increase to a pound a year as we progress through this life-span thing.
My metabolism, I’ve noticed, began to slow down earlier this year, almost as if it had hit some kind blaring neon mile-marker (our bodies are brilliant time-pieces!). My night-vision on the road has been on a decline for a few years, the brightness of headlights bothering me much more than it used to (no doubt partly in response to the new LEDs).
Plus, my body has never been one to maintain muscle mass without regular, near-daily (probably daily!) attention to weight-bearing exercise.
This aging thing is such a journey!
But I know, curious cat that I am, that the more I learn, the more prepared I’ll be and the more I can assist this vessel in its continuity, not its “decline.”
(Awed shout-out to my bad-ass, cancer-survivor sisters who’ve had to go through the change way earlier than ever expected.) ❤