I am of that age.
And I do love talking about menstruation.
I bought a bunch of books for reading/research but had trouble making it past the introductions. They felt trite, cloying, sappy, medicalized, depressing. Full of cliches about enjoying golden years or celebrating freedom.
I don't really want to be free. I like getting my period. It's comfortable, comforting, a familiar tradition that while can be painful and messy it's been with me for almost as long as I can remember. I'm fine with it staying. I don't particularly like change. I thought perhaps I would somehow avoid the whole menopause thing and just keep chugging along.
This shit just got real.
I haven't gotten my period in 2 months. Since 3/9 to be exact. I feel like I'm getting it. All the time. My skin is breaking out and peeling. My middle has been blown up like a cheap pool toy for weeks. I have chipmunk cheeks, strange cramps, anxiety is always hovering, a constant state of swollen has taken hold.
I think I came up with the perfect analogy: it's like sitting on the runway on a plane that's not taking off. No one's saying why. There are issues. You can't get disembark. You can't go anywhere else. You're stuck in the unknown and have no choice but to deal.
That feeling one gets a few days before your period arrives of swelling, stretched skin, bloat, a phantom double chin, heavy breasts, pants slightly too tight? I am now that way ALL THE TIME. I coined a new term yesterday: perma-bloat. That's pretty much summing things up right now.
Now that menopause isn't abstract perhaps there's a book in here for me to do. One that doesn't have rainbows or HRT. More along the lines of keeping me grounded (sorry for the bad pun) while waiting for the tech crew to get the plane up and running again.