A couple of weeks ago, I was riding in a South African taxi cab. The driver was a middle-aged fellow, with dark chocolate skin and pinkish lips. He’d been born and raised in Cape Town.
It’s my habit to talk to cab or Uber drivers. I like to show genuine interest in and kindness toward others. So, I strike up conversations about various issues — political, cultural, meteorological, familial, and the like.
On that particular day, we were talking about Eskom, the electric company.
I said, “I just can’t figure out what’s going on with the Eskom load shedding schedule for when the electricity will be turned off. They send out a warning that it’s going to happen … and then it doesn’t.”
The cab driver responded with, “That’s because Eskom is run by Black people, and they can’t get anything right.”
Continue reading “Fifty Shades of Black”
Have you ever thought about just how preoccupied humans are when it comes to their hair? It can be a critical part of our identity. How often do you describe someone without saying word about his or her hair (or lack thereof)? “The redhead.” “The bald guy.” “You know, that girl with the long blond hair.” We even ascribe the overall tone of our day by it when we say we’re having “a bad hair day.”
Continue reading “South African Hair Affairs”
Not sleeping! We all hate it.
While you weren’t sleeping, you were lying in bed wishing you were sleeping, but to no avail. Then you started searching for the reasons you weren’t sleeping.
Continue reading “While You Weren’t Sleeping”
One of the things menopausal women hate most is the accumulation of fat around their waist. Even if you never had a fat waist before, you notice an increase in its size at menopause. No more hourglass figure. No more firm, flat belly.
Suddenly, every gram of weight you gain seems to end up around your waist. It’s as if everything you eat becomes a “waist product”!
Continue reading “Waste Product or Waist Product?”
Remember the fairytale “Beauty and The Beast”? The beauty was the lovely young, feminine, elegant, sexy, desirable, kind woman who seemed to have everything going for her. The beast was a big, hairy, ugly, mean, cursed animal who inflicted pain and misery on others.
Continue reading “Beauty and The Beast”
It seems that life is all about trade-offs. You just can’t have things both ways. For most matters, we’re pretty used to these trade-offs. We know we can either spend our money or save our money. We trade freedom for companionship when we enter into a romantic partnership. We accept that we have to forfeit sweet treats if we want to maintain our girly figures. These trade-offs make sense to us even though we don’t necessarily like them.
Continue reading “Face Fat or Belly Fat; That is the Question”
It’s so difficult to get accurate information these days! Of course, the key word is “accurate.” There’s plenty of “information.” But how in the world are you supposed to separate what’s credible and accurate from what’s not?
Continue reading “There’s a Very Fine Line Between “Ed” and “Ad””
We live in an era of name changes. The reasons for name-changing
vary, but some are quite baffling to me. Let’s see, the “trash man” is no
longer the trash man. Now he’s a “waste management worker.” A woman who stays
at home rather than going to a job somewhere else used to be called a
“housewife.” But, now she’s a “household engineer.” A waiter at a restaurant is
now called a “server.” And a secretary is now an “administrative assistant.”
Continue reading “Leakage and Shrinkage”
How many times have you heard that something is “good for you”? Do you ever wonder if it’s good in general? Is it good for everybody? Is there really anything that’s all good, no matter what? Is there anything that’s actually good for everybody, regardless of your situation?
The fact is that most things have both benefits and detriments, advantages and disadvantages, pros and cons. Hardly anything is completely risk-free.
Much of what you hear about health matters boil down to what’s generally beneficial: “Carbs are bad for you,” “Estrogen is dangerous,” “Red wine is good for you.”
So, is that it? Do any of these beneficial things have any detriments? And do any of these detrimental things have any benefits? Continue reading “Generally Beneficial or Specifically Detrimental?”
Mama! Good ole’ mamma. She’s everybody’s favorite. She takes care of us, pampers us, spoils us, and understands us. Mama is selfless. Never does she place her needs above ours. Her schedule yields to our wishes and desires. In essence, there’s nothing Mama won’t do for the ones she loves.
Mama! What would we do without good ole’ Mama? Continue reading “Mama Comes Unglued”
Think about your relatives. Which are “immediate” relatives? And which are “distant” relatives? Which ones “matter” most?
Of course, they all matter! But, face it: You hold some more closely to your breast than others.
Speaking of your breast, do you know which relatives are relative to your breast? I mean, in the sense of breast cancer? Continue reading “Which Relatives are Relative to Your Breast?”
Have you ever heard of a book written by Spencer Johnson, M.D. entitled Who Moved My Cheese? It’s a tiny little book of about 97 pages, easy to read, and unforgettable. It’s not really about cheese, though. It’s about change, and the cheese is a metaphor for something that disappears, forcing those who are affected by the change to adapt.
Continue reading “Who Moved My Estrogen?”
George and I have successfully made our move to Barcelona, Spain. We arrived on July 3rd, got all set up in our apartment, and started our new life here. I, of course, started Spanish school six days later.
“Oh, good!” I thought. “Spanish will be so easy for me. I lived in Texas for way longer than I desired, but heard a lot of Spanish there. And when I was in medical school and residency, I had to take care of Spanish-speaking patients. So, the language is familiar to me. I should have no trouble at all.”
Well, I was wrong.
Continue reading “Hot, Sexy Condom Burgers”
Do you remember back when you were in high school and your parents told you that the choices you made then would affect you forever? You might have seen no reason to make good grades or just say “No” to drugs, or observe the speed limit. Continue reading “The Window of Opportunity”
Have you ever realized how applicable fairy tales are to real life?
Continue reading “The Three Hormones”
I think it’s beneficial to “get out of our own heads” once in a while and see the world through different eyes. So let’s shift our perspective to look at menopause through the eyes of a man. Continue reading “The Male Perspective of Female Menopause”
Wasn’t it just wonderful? There were so many changes occurring all at the same time.
Remember your first period? Did you think, “Oh God! Am I going to have to put up with this mess for the rest of my life?” Wasn’t it inconvenient to have to have pads or tampons on hand all the time? And didn’t your periods interfere with your fun at times?
Continue reading “Puberty in Reverse”
You know how you have to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth … so help you God, in a court of law? Well, I don’t think that should be confined to just the courts. I think it should be a requirement for a lot of things, including public announcements about research findings.
Continue reading “Non-truth, Half-truth, And Everything But the Truth”
Have you noticed that things that aren’t political sometimes seem political? You know, when people feel they have to take a side, label themselves this or that, and confine their opinions and choices to what’s consistent for their side?
Continue reading “Menopause Management Isn’t Political”
Mention the word “menopause” to a woman, and her response will have something to do with hot flashes.
Go ahead. Try it.
Continue reading “Menopause Isn’t About Hot Flashes; It’s About Heart Attacks!”
What does the word “compensation” mean to you?
As with most things, it probably depends on context.
Continue reading “Menopause is All About Compensation”
Women (and men) sometimes ask me if there’s a male menopause.
The answer is, “Yes.” But it goes by a different name. And it manifests in completely different ways than does female menopause.
Continue reading “Male Menopause”
Here today, gone tomorrow. It’s an expression that applies to many things.
Fashion trends are definitely here today and gone tomorrow. So are fads, like big hair, piercing, and favorite songs. Even figures of speech come and go. When was the last time you heard someone say, “Groovy!” What about, “Well, I never!” (I always picture an older, refined woman saying that one.)
Continue reading “Here Today, Here Tomorrow … and for the Rest of Your Life”
One of the most striking things I’ve learned about menopause is that the vast majority of women have numerous misconceptions about it. And the misconceptions are sooooooo prevalent that women pass them from one to the other. Continue reading “Upside Down Misconceptions About Menopause”
You know how the mere “sound” of a term can lead you to assume that it’s a good thing, and the mere sound of another can insinuate that it’s a bad thing? There are a lot of terms that imply positive or negative qualities simply by the way they sound.
Let’s see what you think.
Continue reading “Estrogen Dominance: Is It Good or Bad?”
Don’t you hate it when you can’t have it all? Why do we have to choose one thing or the other. And why is it that, no matter what we choose, we forfeit something else. Why does it always have to be either / or? Why can’t it be both?
Continue reading “Either / Or, But Not Both”
Have you ever given any thought to the history of menopause? I mean, how long have women been experiencing menopause? Is it a new thing? And, if it isn’t a new thing, why are people so unfamiliar with it? Continue reading “Are We Stuck or Are We Going Backward?”
You know how you have to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth … so help you God, in a court of law? Well, I don’t think that should be confined to just the courts. I think it should be a requirement for a lot of things, including public announcements about research findings. Continue reading “Non-truth, Half-truth, And Everything But the Truth”
I think it’s beneficial to “get out of our own heads” once in a while and see the world through different eyes. So let’s shift our perspective to look at menopause through the eyes of a man.
You see, sometimes we get so caught up in how we’re feeling that we fail to consider what someone else is seeing. So, let me shed light on your menopause from your man’s perspective.
Continue reading “The Male Perspective of Female Menopause”
Parents often find talking to their kids about puberty a bit awkward or difficult. Likewise, talking to them about menopause can be even more off-putting. But, face it: Most parents want to “have a little talk” before the onset of puberty so that their child knows what’s happening when puberty begins. And wouldn’t it be nice if your kids knew what was happening to you when menopause began?
Continue reading “How to Tell Your Kids About Menopause”
The fact is that the workplace is inhospitable to menopause. When you think about it, it’s really atrocious. I mean, here we have a situation in which female baby boomers are more numerous than any other age group. They constitute a generation that is the hardest working the world has seen. Continue reading “How to Apply for a Job After Menopause”
I’ve discovered that I’m not normal. And, as an abnormal person, I don’t always accept things as they normally are. I contemplate lots of things … things that most other people just accept. But I question everything, especially things that don’t make sense to me. Continue reading “Menopause As A Hormone Deficiency State”
Have you ever thought about exactly what determines the normal lifespan of an animal? Not on an individual basis, but as a species? I mean, why do dogs of a certain species have a predictable lifespan? And why do rodents live for only a couple of years while elephants and whales live for about 80 years?
Continue reading “Don’t Buck Your Billion Beat Bonus”
When it comes to teaching women about menopause, I’m shocked at the things doctors say that automatically set their patients up for failure. One of those things falls into the realm of breast self-exam.
Continue reading “Self Breast Exam | Good Lumps vs. Bad Lumps”
Don’t you love the caller ID feature on your cell phone that identifies the caller before you answer? That caller ID is how you know who’s a calling. Without it, you’d be caught off-guard. Well, what about menopause? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have that same advantage for recognizing the 22 signs of menopause when they come knocking?
Continue reading “How to Recognize the 22 Signs of Menopause”
Do you ever feel like things get out of hand before you have a chance to even get a grip what’s going on? I guess this happens with many things in life. You get married before you realize he’s not the right guy for you. You have children before you fully comprehend how difficult it is to raise them. You get a tattoo on your abdomen before you consider the effect that stretch marks will have on how it will look years later.
Continue reading “Why The Weight Gain While We’re Waiting To Gain A Grip On Menopause?”
If you’re like most women, you’ve heard the term, “Total Hysterectomy” dozens of times. And you think you know what it means. In fact, you’re probably certain you know what it means.
Continue reading ““Total Hysterectomy” is a Total Misconception”
Breast cancer is one of the greatest fears women have. And they worry about all sorts of things causing breast cancer. Some are within your control; others aren’t. The list of risk factors is long … longer than most women realize. And one of the risk factors about which most women are completely unaware is their “menstrual life.”
Continue reading “Your Menstrual Life Determines Your Breast Cancer Risk”
Have you noticed that everyone seems to be talking about “bioidentical hormones” these days? The talk is everywhere: on talk shows, in books, in magazines, in the locker room, and at luncheons. What’s the big deal about bioidentical hormones?
Continue reading “What’s the Big Deal About Bioidentical Hormones?”
Have you ever gone to a “health food” restaurant and discovered that they don’t serve tofu because it has estrogen in it? And when you ask them to explain, they say phytoestrogens can be dangerous!
Continue reading “What’s All the Hype About With Phytoestrogens?”
Have you ever noticed how many storybook and movie characters have super powers? I mean it’s like there’s a super power for everyone. There are so many super powers that we now have super heroes. Spiderman can scale buildings; Superman can fly faster than a speeding bullet; The Fairy Godmother can grant wishes; The Wicked Witch of the West can “get you, my pretty Dorothy … and Toto, too.”
Continue reading “Progesterone, the Super-Powered Super Hero”
What comes to mind when someone mentions the need to prevent osteoporosis? I’ll bet the first thing you think about is calcium. And why is that? I know; it’s because you see commercials and advertisements everywhere about the osteoporosis-preventing effects of calcium. It’s what all your girlfriends talk about. Continue reading “Which Bone-Sparing Substance Wins The Wishbone Contest: Estrogen or Calcium?”
You probably haven’t thought much about your vagina before. In fact, it’s probably an afterthought most of the time.
But I’m bringing it up because it has a before and after with regard to menopause. And most women find out all too late about it. I want you to learn all about it before rather than after it’s too late.
Continue reading “From Winning Vagina to Whining Vagina”
Sometimes I’m shocked by things that sound like an absolute oxymoron to me. And yet, other people seem to be unfazed by them. I wonder, do they simply fail to really consider how ridiculous the statement is, or do they read between the lines and understand some hidden meeting that is lost on me? Continue reading ““How Am I Supposed To Find ‘Lumps’ In My Already-Lumpy Breasts?””
Have you ever noticed how people talk about “natural” things? There’s usually an air of superiority associated with that term. It’s as if “natural” things are better than the alternative. And what is the alternative to “natural” anyway? Is everything that’s not natural “unnatural” or “artificial” or “synthetic” or “faux”?
Continue reading ““Natural” versus “Synthetic” Management Options for Menopause”