The poor dear. My personal version of menopause (including the mini hell they call peri menopause) started in my mid forties. A little more than a decade ago. It all began with severe fatigue (the kind where you can’t get out of bed) and vicious mood swings. At first this was hard to distinguish from my usual emotional volatility but it ultimately became clear that it was a bit more than the crazy we were used to. A good doctor helped a bit with some low dose birth control which morphed into low dose compounded (yes there was actually a pharmacy still compounded custom medications!!!!!) hormones as things went from bad to worse. Of course you have to keep in mind that I still got the monthly pms. In my naive mind I always thought my periods would get less problematic as this time of my lilfe approached. HAH! I had never had particularly difficult periods, until now. As things progressed I had periods from hell, pms that wouldn’t quit, hot flashes and night sweats, all at the same time. This made it easy to believe in some cosmic punishment although I can’t imagine what I could have done to deserve this. Meanwhile my husband is marginally surviving crying jags, screaming harridan episodes…you get the picture. The other peculiar metamorphosis that began taking place was the sleeping temperature at our house. When first we were together, I was always bundled up in a down comforter and nightgown. My husband was always naked with a leg sticking out from under the covers in order to keep cool enough. Now I had windows open, fans running and the temperature as cool as I could get it. Tanks tops and panties was about as much as I could, still can, stand (too much information?). So now my poor husband is putting on long sleeved shirts and extra blankets in an effort to keep off the menopausal chill. The doctors say when you go a year without a period you are through. I clung to this thought like a life raft. And each time I approached a year… you can guess. This went on for years. I have finally passed the magical year mark and now they say well, some folks never lose all the symptoms. How encouraging. There is good news, however. As time has passed the mood swings have subsided and we are back to the old crazy which is familiar (although after this long not as familiar as you might think). The heat is less persistent but is still part of my daily life. In fact I write this from my side of the bed, covers thrown aside, fan droning.