Welcome to My Journey with Surgical Menopause part 4.
So far I’ve shared:
- My experience with surgical menopause and the difference between natural and sudden menopause.
- Finding Serenity through acceptance
- Choosing the Right Perspective
Another important aspect of healing and finding balanced wellness through menopause is to manage our expectations. Enjoy this excerpt from my new book, Come Back Strong.
Managing Expectations —
Along with a healthy perspective comes the ability to manage our expectations. This can include talking to our employers about options for time off. I was fortunate to receive short-term disability pay while I was out of work for six weeks. One woman I know took out a small loan to replace her paycheck so she could take time off to fully heal.
Our expectations regarding the time it takes to feel good again require managing as well.
There were times during my recovery from the hysterectomy when I started to think that maybe I was imagining things. I wondered if, somehow, the plethora of physical symptoms and emotional fluctuations I felt were all in my head. Maybe, menopause doesn’t really exist. After all, I spoke with other women who went right back to work within days of their surgeries and who appeared to have escaped surgical menopause altogether. Meanwhile, it seemed to take forever for me to feel normal again.
As I contemplated where this thought came from, I started to examine my expectations.
Fifteen years prior, I stayed with my parents when my mom had a hysterectomy. The first days after she came home from the hospital, she was in physical pain, but aside from that, she escaped the added symptoms of menopause. Perhaps age played a factor: My mom was fifty-four when she had her surgery; I was forty-three. She had most likely already entered perimenopause, where the decline in hormones manufactured by her ovaries had already taken place gradually, so there wasn’t such a sudden drop and change in her energy levels and emotions.
Being a sports nutritionist and having studied wellness for almost a decade, I also know how much our world has changed. The nutrient and toxicity levels of the foods my mom grew up with are different than the ones I’ve been exposed to. My generation has also been surrounded by more technology and radiation than any other generation in history.
It could simply be that everybody, even women within the same family, is different.
My mother was lucky enough not to be affected by premenstrual syndrome, whereas my PMS symptoms had always been quite severe. I had endometriosis, which was not diagnosed until surgery. Add the complication of IBS with the endometriosis and it’s no wonder I had a tougher time than my mom.
For those of us prone to anxiety, we worry and even have tendencies toward negativity and cynicism.
In my experience, worry never resulted in anything good. In fact, it elevated my stress levels, made things worse, and slowed healing. I eventually changed my expectation to one of positive optimism, and things began to get better. What I focused on, grew.
As I focused on the good things in my life with gratitude, I found more in life to appreciate.
– Lori Ann
If you would like to read more about my story and how I found balanced wellness after surgical menopause, check out my book, Come Back Strong. Stay tuned for Part 5 of this series next week!