Why Don’t Women Want To Talk About Menopause?

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness

When I read about the AARP Menopause Survey in last month’s AARP THE MAGAZINEI was surprised to find out that 42% of the more than 400 women between the ages 50 and 59 who participated in the survey, say they’ve never discussed menopause with a health provider.

Really ladies? Why don’t women want to talk about menopause?

The same survey also reported that 84% of women say their symptoms interfere with their lives, with 12% who say they interfere “a great deal” or are debilitating. The most common symptoms of menopause for women: 50% hot flashes (thankfully, haven’t had too many of those); 42% night sweats (yep, still getting those flashes even at 60); 38% vaginal dryness (check, check, check – count me in this percentage).

There we go. Now we’re talking about menopause!

AARP Menopause Survey

*AARP surveyed more than 400 women between ages 50 and 59 to ask about their experiences with, and attitudes toward, menopause.

An Interview with Dr. Charlotte Yeh
Recently, I had a chance to talk about menopause with Charlotte Yeh, MD FACEP, who is the Chief Medical Officer for AARP Services, Inc. Dr. Yeh has more than 30 years of health care experience. She is an expert in health care delivery in the areas of quality, safety, and efficiency. I asked Dr. Yeh some basic questions that I thought might be useful to women for whom menopause is a new experience. (However, even those of us like me who are post-menopausal may find Dr. Yeh’s guidance reassuring.) Continue reading

Help! My Body Is Aging And I Want To Make Peace With It

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersLately I’ve been feeling that my body is aging rather quickly. I know I’ve always been an optimist, but as I progress in my 60th year and into my sixth decade, I’ve noticed my body is shifting and I want to make peace with it.

My Cholesterol Is Rising
“My cholesterol has gone up more than 50 points since last year,” I said to my BFF M. “It’s at 297. It’s my genetic makeup.” “Mine is really high too,” said M. “Mine is hereditary too. I’m not worried about it,” said M. I wish I could make peace with it like M.

“I’ve tried two different statins,” I told Dr. S at my annual physical. “Each time I have muscle problems.” “We usually try three different statins and then if it doesn’t work we’ll have to see what’s next,” said Dr. S as she wrote the prescription for a low dose of pravastatin. “Your HDL, the happy cholesterol, is really good at 86. Your LDL at 189 is high.” She also recommended I try CoQ10 as a supplement to help with any side effects.

I so wanted the pravastatin to work. After three nights of pills, my muscles were weak.

“I know what I can do,” I told myself. “I’ll lower my LDL on my own.” My heart was listening yet my emoji was sending LOL signals.

I exercise each morning on my stationary bicycle, do yoga, and try to get in my thousands of steps each day. I’ll do more cardio. Maybe that’s it. I’ll work out more to lower my LDL. There goes my emoji again sending more LOL signals. Make peace with it Judi, make peace.

aging

Continue reading

I Need To “Sleep Better”

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessWhen I was in my 20s, I was a great sleeper. I’d hit the pillow after a long day at work and I was out for the count. I remember my roommate W was envious of how quickly I would nod off. Not anymore. These days as a “post menopausal woman,” I rarely fall asleep even after 30 minutes of relaxing music. Some nights I feel like I barely get any shut-eye at all.

I’ve tried many remedies — from warm milk to warm bathes, from Valerian (ooh, ooh, ooh, cannot stomach that herb in any form) to Melatonin — without much success. Most evenings, I usually enjoy a cup of Chamomile tea and douse myself with lavender oil. Yet some nights nothing seems to work.

AARP Life Reimagined, Sleep Better, AARP, sleep, insomnia,

While I do see a sleep doctor about twice a year, I’m always open to any and all sleep experts. That’s why when the team at AARP invited me to interview Life Reimagined Thought Leader and psychiatrist, Dr. Janet Taylor, and try out her new “Sleep Better” activity created for LifeReimagined.org, I said “yes.”

The “Sleep Better” Program
The program was quick to complete at only four steps: Continue reading