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WHATEVER! Critique PLEASE (1 Viewer)

Based on what you've read, would you buy this book?

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Have the seven dwarfs of menopause come knocking at your door yet? If you’re not sure, please allow me to make the introductions. There’s Sweaty, Bloated, Forgetful, Bitchy, Itchy, Sleepy, and All Dried Up. They don’t all show up at once, but you can rest assured they will come in, sometimes unannounced, and definitely uninvited, and, yes, they will wear out their welcome! These little menaces to society bring night sweats, headaches, fatigue, forgetfulness, muscle and joint pain, urinary incontinence, heart palpitations, anxiety, depression, yeast infections, and vaginal dryness into our lives.

According to my gynecologist, over time we may even start to lose our desire for sex. I don’t know how you feel about that, but I surely hope it doesn’t happen to me—because I’d hate to think I wasted the best years of my sex life on my ex!

I started having symptoms of what's known as perimenopause nearly two years ago. First my menstrual periods became very sporadic. I would have a few months without any signs of a cycle, only to leave me wondering if I was about to experience an Immaculate Conception. Other times the flow had me thinking about buying stock in Tampax. Then there were the hot flashes. My gynecologist said perimenopause was the first phase of "the change" and usually occurs from two to eight years before full-blown menopause. During this time, estrogen in the body starts to decrease and you experience some physical changes. Once the actual onset of menopause occurs, my trusted doctor said menstruation would stop completely, to which I said, "Hallelujah!"

As far as the hot flashes go, they can be very annoying and inconvenient. The first one I clearly remember having was at work, right around the same time I was trying to handle some breaking news. All of a sudden, intense heat rushed from the base of my neck up to the top of my head. It felt like I was on fire! It only lasted about a minute, but that was just long enough for Lillian's psychopathic daughter to reveal herself.

You see, I’ve chosen NOT to suffer in silence—which makes me eager to let my colleagues and anybody else I come in contact with know when I’m having a "moment." This is their warning to steer clear until they’ve been given the "everything’s okay" signal. When Sweaty comes in, it triggers a not-so-pleasant personality change. I become uncomfortable and irritated. That’s when Bitchy takes over, and she can hang around a long time if aggravated. Now, there are some who might argue that Bitchy and I have been acquaintances for quite a while. You know what I have to say to that?

My new best friend—not by choice, mind you—is Bloated. He always seems to show up when I’m trying to find something cute and sexy to wear.

I’ve started keeping a journal, which I strongly recommend for anyone going through her own season of change. On a daily basis, you should keep track of everything you eat and drink and see how it correlates to weight gains and losses. I can tell you firsthand, that no matter how much you exercise, if you don’t change your eating habits, the only thing you’re going to lose is patience.

Everything I used to fry, I now bake. Instead of saturating my seafood and vegetables with butter, I now use freshly squeezed lemon juice or nonfat seasoning. I’m addicted to chocolate soymilk, and you'd be amazed at what I can come up with using a combination of soy, frozen yogurt and fruit!

The one mistake I believe many dieters make is they change what and how much they eat to lose the weight. Then when the weight-loss goal is achieved, they resort back to their same old eating and drinking habits and wind up gaining back all they worked so hard to lose.

In your journal, you should also write down all of the activities you do that require movement for at least thirty minutes. Did you know housework and yard work is considered exercise? The more space you have to clean, the more calories are burned—and if you have to climb up and down stairs, that’s an extra bonus. Mowing the lawn in the spring and summer and raking leaves in the fall are sure-fire ways to get your heart rate up.

Keep track of your hot flashes and how often they occur, how long they last, time of day or evening, and what happens right before the onset. The majority of mine happened when I was at work. Stress and a hot flash seem to go hand in hand in my life. Spicy foods and alcoholic beverages are a no-no for me because they can also trigger that flustered feeling. Meanwhile, I am finding out just how important exercise is in helping me stay below the boiling point.

I’ve had some younger women ask me how they could tell if they’re having a hot flash. Trust me—you'll know! The best way I can describe it is that it feels as if someone struck a match inside the base of my neck and the fire moves up inside my head until the match burns out. Although it only lasts a couple of minutes, it can feel like an eternity! Afterwards, I experience a chill and sometimes will have to put on a sweater until my body temperature goes back to normal. During the winter months, people probably thought I was crazy because I wore sleeveless, light clothing everywhere I went. When people were walking around bundled up in scarves and heavy coats, I was enjoying the cool breeze. I had a co-worker who used to put her freezing hands on my forehead to cool me down and warm her up.

Some want to know how old they’ll be when their "change" starts. I don't know the answer to that, but based on the research I’ve done, one sign will be when your menstrual cycle starts becoming irregular over a long period of time and you are greeted by one or more of the seven dwarfs. I also read somewhere that genetics may also play a factor. For all of you thirty-something women, now may be a good time to sit down with your mom and have the "other" important talk. As for my mother and me, we were right around the same age.

I’m also trying to monitor my mood swings. I find myself crying or flying off the handle for little or no reason. Sometimes bouts of depression keeps me locked away from the outside world. That's why I’ve made it a point to share my "issues" with people who are forced to be around me during those times or don't understand my need to be left alone. Knowing what I'm going through helps them so they’re not caught off guard and don’t take it personally.

I should point out that the menopause experience isn't the same for every woman. Some get through it with little or no symptoms while others struggle day and night. I actually had a 79-year-old lady recently tell me she had no signs of menopause whatsoever. Bless her heart, but I beg to differ.
Remember that one of the symptoms is forgetfulness!

My gynecologist says my personal summer could last up to twenty years. With that in mind, this diva is taking the attitude she saw on a bumper sticker not long ago: "I’m still Hot—it just comes in Flashes now." (Can you dig it?)

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)


ha-ha!! I like it! It's funny, and very realistic ( not that I know personally, but my mom totally gets visits from the seven dwarves, much to my dismay!) keep writing!


Very funny and 'painfully' observed. I now have a keener understanding and greater appreciation of what my wife is going through. You have a very fluid and easy to follow writing style. I'll never think of Snow White or the 7 vertically challenged miners in the same way ever again. Promise.
Very good luck with the book! Look for me in the critique section.



Senior Member
they've come and gone, thank goodness!

though i wasn't bedeviled by all of them, having thankfully been taking hormone supplements throughout, and been blessed with an ongoing quite active/satisfying/enjoyable sex life [which goes a loooong way to minimizing the worst of the symptoms, by the way!]...

by 57, when i finally gave my young greek lover the boot for good [along with 'sex' itself, and other harmful stuff like drinking, and eating fellow animals], i was in pretty good shape... 10 years later, i'm still not as bad off as most my age... so, this wouldn't interest me as a book buyer, sorry to say...

i'll leave it for those who still have all that to look forward to! ;-)

love and consoling hugs, maia