Tag Archives: Menopause

Menopause in the Tropics: Saigon is Hot Enough! (and a Giveaway)


Crila Plantation Sue with PBS' HQ Roy Walkenhorst

A post by lawyer and business consultant Sue McKinney:

I’m a California lawyer who moved to Vietnam 21 years ago at age 40. When people ask what happened? I say “I got lucky!”

In ‘94, I went to Bangkok on business. Then the client sent a group of Thai businessmen to Saigon to look around and invited me along. The embargo against Vietnam had just ended. The country was about to re-emerge into the world community. I was granted a visa at the Vietnam Embassy in Bangkok. It changed my life.

Upon arrival, the airport looked the same as the 6 o’clock news images engraved on my mind from the war. Traffic was non-existent – bicycles, cyclos, a few scooters, the occasional car. As our van drove into the city, my white face shone like a spotlight. People noticed and followed our van – on their bikes, scooters, one man even jogged alongside until we stopped. Everyone else got out. I waited. A small crowd of people waited. Finally I had no choice but to get out too.

I stepped into the crowd of excited people who surged around me, clamoring in English “Where you from? Where you from?”

It was disconcerting, but they weren’t hostile, just anxious. It totally crossed my mind to say “I’m Canadian!” but I really wanted to know what this was all about. I stammered, “I’mm Ammericann.”

The man who’d been jogging alongside reached out his arms to me. He didn’t touch me, but he wanted to. He fought to find the English words. He managed to say, “Are. You. Coming…back?!” They would rush to the airport – organize banners, flowers, a banquet – were the Americans coming back?

Twenty-one years later, that day still stands out among the most profound experiences of my life. The pro-American attitude was everywhere we went. Where in the world does that happen? The group stayed a week before returning to Bangkok. But within 30 days, I was back. Saigon had bitten me hard. Within months I’d closed my law office and sold my house in California. I was in Saigon trying to come to terms with the enigma that is Vietnam. I’m still trying.

When I asked Vietnamese friends, “Why are you so pro-American?” they’d look confused.

“Oh, do you mean ‘The American War’? But that war was only 20 years…We fought the French for 150 and the Chinese for 1,000.” There’s perspective for you.

I export ceramics, furniture, jewelry, art, and rice. Finally, most importantly, I export a rare medicinal herb. Vietnam is a bio “hot spot”. The Amazon rain forest claims 12,000 species of plants; Vietnam claims 20,000 species with 4,000 classified as medicinal.

Vietnam’s top scientist, Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tram, who devoted her life to botanical medicine, developed Crila® over 25 years. Clinical trials for prostate and uterine health were a success. An American medical university confirmed that it’s estrogen free.

Girlfriends tried it for menopause. Magic! We didn’t have to suffer hot flashes on top of sweltering in the heat and humidity of Saigon. Take Crila® and have another scoop of fresh mango ice cream. Saigon Book Club friends invested with me to bring it to market for you. But that’s another story. Follow it on our website, www.crilahealth.com

Giveaway!! I can’t send you the mango ice cream, but enter an enticing comment, and I’ll send someone three  bottles of Crila®. Satisfaction guaranteed; it’s that good. For a chance to win, enter a comment by November 20.  Winner will be chosen at random. Thanks!


Sue McKinney is a lawyer and business consultant who settled in Vietnam in 1994. She has been instrumental in creating hundreds of jobs and exporting thousands of Vietnamese products. Sue has had the pleasure of witnessing and taking part in Vietnam’s extensive economic and social growth. She’s active in Rotary and has been the incountry liaison on 21 Rotary projects from wheelchairs to libraries to soccer balls.

Top Photo: Sue in a a Crila plantation with Roy Walkenhorst, host of the PBS broadcast, Healing Quest.

Bottom Photo: Sue in Viet Nam.

A Woman’s Time Menopause Research Study




A request from the folks at A Woman’s Time:

We are doing a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of an experimental herbal product in menopausal women with hot flashes and night sweats. Participation for women in the study would last about three and one-half months and would require 4 visits to our office in Portland, Oregon. Payments to you of $20 will be made for each of the last three visits.

We are seeking women over 45 who have an average of 5 or more hot flashes and/or night sweats per day (at least 35 per week) to test the herbal product to see if it helps.

To see if you might qualify for this study, please click on the questionnaire here. You do not have to answer any questions you do not want to answer. You may stop the questionnaire at any time. If you do not qualify for this study, some of the information you give, but not identifiable information about you, will be stored until the end of the study.


Looking Forward to Menopause? Yes! Here’s Why…


Witch Hexing

Happy Halloween! Hope it’s pleasantly scary and filled with candy that suits your every sweet tooth.

Candy corn

This witch made the mistake of not looking forward. She was hexing while flying!

But speaking of looking forward, I love this list on Everyday Health of eleven reasons to look forward to menopause. Check them out here.

The article outlines the physical advantages of menopause such as no more periods and no more PMS. Then it goes on to the intellectual and emotional reasons to look forward to the Great Pause.

Dr. Cynthia Stuenkel, an endocrinologist at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, suggests that menopausal women “ask themselves if they’re headed in the direction they want to go, both professionally and personally, and whether the way they’re spending their time is meaningful to them.”

There’s that heading in the right direction again!

What about you? 

Have you changed directions? Or are you thinking of it?


The misguided witch above graced the lawn of my neighbor, Linda Ostrand, last Halloween.

On Menopause


just mom

A post by my friend Ann Rocap. I recently met Ann at the Tablerock Writers Workshop, and I asked her to write a post for Friend for the Ride. Thanks, Ann!

On Menopause

Ann Rocap

Birth date June, 1926

So, you are approaching menopause.  Don’t worry.  It is the gateway to the best years of your life.  At least it was for me.

It meant the end of irregular and painful periods, cramps, cold sweats, nausea, flooding and at the most inconvenient times – my honeymoon for instance.  Even after having three children I still had problems with my periods.

Menopause arrived in my early fifties accompanied by occasional hot flashes.  I only remember them at night when I had to sleep on top of the covers.  Somewhere I had heard that the pancreas could produce small amounts of estrogen after the ovaries have shut down.  In the middle of the night I would call on my pancreas to get cracking.  I believe in mind over matter.  We do have amazing control over what happens in our bodies.

Another thing I was told is to expect weight gain.  That does not need to happen.  It is what you put in and what you put out that controls weight.  I did not want to grow out of my clothes and I didn’t.  Well, maybe some of those short shorts.

My sister who is five and a half years older than I am encouraged me regarding menopause.  “Love making can be more spontaneous.”

The good thing is that after menopause your body settles into a more even keel.  Emotional highs and lows moderate.

I felt so much stronger – ready to take on new physical challenges – lap swimming, hiking, back packing.  I even bought myself sporting equipment for the first time in my life – cross country skis and boots.  It was so liberating to be able to make plans and count on being well.  Life presented me with many opportunities to take up responsibilities that I was ready and willing to undertake.

The fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties have been good years for me, and they can be for you!

A short bio, written by Ann: I was born in Media in 1926, the youngest child in a family of three. After graduation from high school, my desire was to attend art school, but instead I  went to a secretarial school and got a job in Philadelphia.

In 1950, I married attorney Edward Rocap and continued to live in Media, Pennsylvania. We raised three children and filled our lives with Christian service of one kind or another. In 2001, my husband retired after practicing law for fifty years, and we moved to Cedar Grove, NC.  My husband died in 2011.

I have always enjoyed my family, my friends, painting, journaling, listening to classical music, bird watching, and taking a good walk.

About Table Rock Writers Workshop: Read more about this fabulous writers workshop in the mountains of North Carolina here on their website. 

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