I gotta tell you I'm not digging this menopause thing. It's painful, lumpy, awkward, and odd. There are also smells. Years ago, I put together a whole list of the Things They Don't Tell You in Lamaze, all the silly, gross, funny details and shared experiences of pregnancy. I'm half-tempted to start a new list for menopause. Except I'm really hoping it'll be over before I have enough for a list. Really, really hoping. Who I am kidding? I've already got enough; I just don't want to relive them.
The symptom I'm currently enduring is my boobs growing. Because, apparently, one out of five women's breasts get bigger during menopause! Who the hell knew that?! It never even occurred to me that could happen. I believed that once you were done growing, except by pregnancy or purchase, your boob size was set. But no! At first I thought my girls were just bloating, like maybe I ate too much salt. Then I thought my bras were worn out, that's why everything felt weird. Then I got mad at the manufacturers for changing the design of my favorite bra because it used to fit! Damn you bra manufacturers! Just stick with the design already. My ta-tas were sore and sensitive, too. That's when I realized it was hormonal and I thought, "oh, well, the swelling will go down soon". But it hasn't gone down. I bought bigger bra sizes and they still didn't feel great. In fact, some days I don't want to wear anything at all, except now I've got flotation devices bobbing all of the place. Then I went and got professionally fitted. It was the fitter who casually mentioned breast growth during menopause. I still didn't think that was happening. But my hooters kept swelling, everything kept hurting, it all just seemed out of place. Finally, digging through the internet, I read up on it.
One out of five.
The worse thing is how blind-sided I felt. It's not like they went over this in that puberty class in 5th grade. "As your body goes through hormonal changes you may experience sore breasts, mood swings, acne, possible weight gain, and painful cramping. Oh, and by the way, you'll go through all of that again when you have kids. AND when you go through menopause. Enjoy!" That would have been helpful. Or any class on menopause would be helpful! How about just an informational luncheon? Older ladies coming together to share a new chapter of The Talk. "Well, dear, things may start falling out of your twat now. Or it'll dry up. It's hard to tell. " It's the stage that no one covers. You'd think there would at least be a pamphlet on menopausal breast growth because one out of five is, you know, kind of significant.
And that's just the tip of the tender iceberg. Everyone hears about hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings, but there's a whole slew of other symptoms that I, at least, had never heard about. Enough wacko symptoms to make you think you're going crazy.
So if you've got a menopause story, feel free to share it. I'd love to be crazy with company.