If you are are a female, between the ages of 35 and 65 and feeling like you have lost your mind, your body aches in ways that it has never done before, your moods are so horrible that you sometimes cannot stand to even be around yourself, and you sometimes feel like just crawling back in to bed and staying there, not that you are going to rest because you haven't had a good nights sleep in forever...then you may be in Peri-Menopause or Menopause.
About 3 years ago all of those symptoms and a lot more, started happening to me. I knew by my age that it must be the beginning stages of menopause. I scoured the internet looking for information to help me understand what was happening to me, how long I would feel like this, and any suggestions how to make it all go away, and quickly. While I found lots of information, none of it really answered my concerns. Some of the information was so technical it made my already poor functioning brain just spin. I went to my family doctor and was treated for a Thyroid condition, then later changed to another doctor when my symptoms got worse and she only wanted to up my medication. The next doctor took me off of the Thyroid medication and said my symptoms were most likely Peri-Menopause (the stage before Menopause). But she offered no help or advice on how to deal with all of these bizarre symptoms.
I have no communication with my mother so I could not go to her for answers. My primary mother-figure in my life had passed away when I was 17 years old so I had no female to talk to about this. Then one day I heard about a new book that was looking for blog reviewers. I inquired about doing a review and they approved me! Probably because the primary focus of my blog is about going through this very stage.
The book is called "Shmirsky: the pursuit of hormone happiness" by Ellen Sarver Dolgen, or as she prefers to be called, simply "E", because she represents 'Every' woman. 'E' is like a hip aunt with a really great sense of humor and a vivid memory of what this stage was like. And best of all, she is very open, candid, and knowledgeable about this subject and seems to have all the time in the world to sit down with you and talk about anything and everything related to PM&M (that is what she calls Peri-Menopause & Menopause, because it sounds less dreadful and depressing and and more sweet like candy.) She uses a lot of Shmirshky Lingo that at first I thought was kind of silly and unnecessary, but as I read on I soon began to love the new names.
The title of the book 'Shmirshky' is one of her pet names for the female parts. Shmirshky represents the vagina and the women who possess them. Erlicks are what she uses to refer to the penis and the men who posses them as well. Don't let these pet names throw you off, this book is serious, and each page is filled with valuable information, tips, and insight that you will find no where else, but written in such a way that it makes it not feel so serious and depressing. After all, laughter is just as important to your well being as exercise and proper diet.
While reading this book I found myself welling up with tears as I could totally relate to some of the stories she shares, then bursting out laughing while the tears were still wet on my cheeks as she makes light of a bad situation in a way that helps you to laugh at yourself. 'E' writes the book in such a way that you don't feel like you are even reading a book. It sort of feels like you are sitting down with that hip aunt and she is telling you this story. I did not have the feeling of being alone while reading this book!
The chapters are really quick reading, the text is not tiny (she knows that at this age we have trouble reading small print) and each page will either make you say, "Oh, I didn't know that." or "I feel that way too!" or it will make you cry, laugh out loud, or feel comforted in knowing that you are not alone in your suffering. The book gives you not only information, advice, and tips, it also gives you hope, and the feeling that you really will get the old you back again...but you need to be proactive in your efforts to get the help you need to get her back. She offers words of encouragement throughout the book, such as, "There is a light at the end of this deep, seemingly dark tunnel, I just had to get a huge flashlight and search for it, but it's there. I am passing my flashlight on to you."
The book includes a chapter of Fun Terms and Not-So-Fun Terms with easy to understand definitions, including a breakdown of the various hormone replacement therapy (HRT) choices, with pros and cons of each. In the back of the book is also a Daily Symptom Chart where you can track your symptoms everyday quickly and easily. I started using this chart the very day the book arrived. It proved to be invaluable when I met with my new doctor today, who specializes in PM&M (as recommended by E in chapter twelve). He thanked me for providing him with such a detailed picture of my symptoms because it helps him see the big picture, not just the symptoms I can remember when I am sitting with him in his office.
'E' knows that you will need help and support beyond the book so she also has a website with lots of valuable resources including a blog, a forum, and you can even sign up to receive her newsletter. The website is designed to help you stay connected with other Shmirshky's like yourself, including 'E'. She even includes her own email address in the book if you need help that you are not able to find otherwise. I would love to sit down to lunch with 'E' but I would need a box of tissues and I'm sure my face would literally hurt afterward from laughing so hard. Most importantly, I would love to personally thank her for writing this book!
As I said in the heading of this post, "If you are a woman between the ages of 35 and 65 you MUST read this book." The book hits the bookshelves on January 18th, but you can pre-order it at many bookstore sites as well as directly from 'E' at the Shmirshky website. Here are a few places that I found on the internet (I am not affiliated with any of these sites, nor do I receive any compensation of any kind if you purchase a book on their site, I am just helping you find this book Now!):
|$12.98 and is eligible for FREE Shipping|
|$22.99 and is eligible for FREE Shipping|
|$12.98 and is eligible for FREE Shipping|
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