Slammed into Menopause

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A post by blogger and landscape architect Amelia Grant:

Women in my family tend to go through menopause later than usual. My mother was 56 years old and claimed ,“It only took one day!” My cousin is 54 and my sister 57, and  neither of them have any symptom of ‘the change.’

Last year I was diagnosed with a fibroid the size of a cantaloupe and an ovarian cyst the size of an orange.

I was looking somewhat pregnant and feeling a bit, um, large. The gynecologist was none too happy with me when I, at age 51, said,“Let’s give the things a little time. Maybe menopause will naturally shrink them.“ (This is possible –estrogen causes them to grow and lack thereof causes shrinkage).  51 is the average age of menopause.

Needless to say, I found myself having a total abdominal hysterectomy 3 months later, as I was still producing plenty of estrogen and the things were getting bigger instead of smaller. I emerged from the surgery thinner and happy my ovary had not exploded .

Things were not too bad at first. I was (and still am) reluctant to take hormone replacement therapy.

However, one night I awoke to find more fluid coming out of my body than I had ever experienced. Primarily, my neck for some bizarre reason.

It was as if some gigantic pores had opened below my hairline; the pillow was soaked, and I had to get a towel and sleep with it.

Then I decided to start counting the hot flashes; it was exceeding 10 a day, most of them requiring a wipe down.  Living in South Florida and the time of year being Summer did not help matters. I called the gynecologist and asked for some help.

“Is your sleep disturbed?” they asked.

Only by waterfalls of mysterious fluid leaking out of my neck..followed by frozen clamminess.

I am not sure if disturbed is even the proper word. Defiled is more like it.

So, I got the horse dose of HRT in a transdermal patch. The patch does help but I am still not out of the woods and menopause has definitely lasted more than one day.

Amelia Grant is a very experienced Landscape Architect/Designer who a few years back left the big city of Atlanta for an idyllic life in a small town in South Florida. The ensuing experiences led to a blog and new found pleasure in writing and sharing information online.


She lives on the Treasure Coast with her husband, two retired racing greyhounds and a fluffy  white cat. Landscape design and consulting are her primary occupation with writing, gardening, and cooking as sidelines.

Amelia’s  blog,The Shrub Queen, may be found at

Menopause, Menopause Symptoms, Perimenopause, Periods

I Didn’t Pause for Menopause

When blogger Ruth Crates told me that she flew through menopause, I asked her to write us a post to present that side of  the story.  Take it away, Ruth!


I think I was so busy I missed it.

Since I am now 62, and I haven’t had a period in a while, I am pretty sure it happened.

Let’s back up just a little bit…


When I reached the age where periods were probable, my mom sat down with me (briefly) and we had a talk.

What I remember most about the talk was the fact that my grandmother never told my mother about the entire process.  Some subjects were just taboo in the 1930’s; this was one of them.  When her first period came, she seriously thought she was going to die and was afraid to tell anyone.   Luckily, her older sister intervened.

Even though Mom didn’t really give me a lot of information during the talk, she at least wanted to spare me the fear of the unknown.

She  gave me a little book created by Kotex  called “Now You Are 10”.  It explained everything very nicely and even had a diagram explaining how to use the little belts we had to wear to hold the sanitary napkins in place.   I never did get the hang of that!

now you are 10

Girls are always at some hormonal point in their lives.  I figure we get 10 years of no worries.

Then you have:  Premenstrual, Menstrual, Postmenstrual,  Pregnancy, Post pregnancy, Perimenopause. Menopause, and Post Menopause.  It’s the never-ending story!

I have gone through all those stages (some of them several times).

Unfortunately, now I have reached the stage which I have taken the liberty of calling “Oldness.”

I may be done with all of the above afflictions, but now there are new things  like memory-loss, confusion, arthritis, joint-replacement, and the ever popular incontinence.

As for the menopause thing, I had a pretty easy time of it.

My periods were never  regular except for a brief time in the 70’s when I was on “The Pill”.  So I can easily dismiss that symptom.

I don’t recall a single hot flash.

I did have night sweats for a long time…. maybe even as long as 10 years, but I blamed it on my mattress.

Since my periods were irregular, they were sometimes “super-heavy” and unpredictable.  I bought a rubberized bed cover to protect the mattress.  I always thought that the rubber discouraged air flow and  resulted in the sweats.  Maybe it was actually … menopause!

This I am sure of:  paranoia is a direct result of menopause.

When I turned 57, I had not had a period in several months and I began to have thoughts about being pregnant. It could happen.  These thoughts took on a life of their own and I began to obsess about it.

I had several mini-panic  attacks thinking I was pregnant.

I actually went to the doctor and had a pregnancy test done.   My doctor, thank goodness, is a woman, so I think she sensed how disturbed my thoughts were and wanted to put these fears to rest.

Of course, the results were negative, and I was quite relieved. I guess the funniest part about this obsession is that my husband had  a vasectomy 20 years earlier…. I mean, really, what were the odds!

I have always thought that obsessive and unrealistic thoughts were a side effect of menopause, at least in my case, because usually I am pretty sane.

Every woman’s menopause is different.

We should be careful not to compare our experience with others too closely. Experiencing an uneventful menopause is definitely preferable to having a difficult one.

Taking your menopausal symptoms seriously is sound procedure.

Visiting your doctor on a regular basis is just good sense.  The better your doctor knows you, the better chance you both have of being able to figure out what is going on with your body.  That is something we all need to be aware of no matter what time of life we are in.

Regardless of how you deal with the stages of your life… they are your Life.

Enjoy the changes and embrace each stage because there is always another one on the way!

Ruth profile

Ruth Crates was born and raised on a Midwest grain and livestock farm and has  lived her entire life within a 30 mile radius.  She’s  been married to a grain and livestock farmer for 41 years, and they have three children (An attorney, a carpenter, and a librarian) and three grandchildren. Ruth taught for 35 years. She’s now retired and loving it! She started blogging to record stories for her children and grandchildren. Check out her  blog at Retiredruth: Life in the 50’s and Beyond.
Menopause, Night Sweats

Guest Post: A Cool-jams Giveaway!


A guest post from Cool-jams creator Anita Mahaffey:

My night sweats first arrived with an undiagnosed thyroid condition in my late 40’s.

Then, when menopause hit 10 years later and I was out of control. I was desperate to find a solution for these pesky night sweats that were keeping me awake at night. I would toss and turn steaming hot one minute and then 20 minutes later feeling cold, clammy and drenched with sweat in my cotton nightgown.

Luckily I was working in the apparel industry and had ready access to 100’s of different fabrics and testing labs. After much trial and error, I finally discovered our Cool-jams moisture wicking smart fabric.

When we got the first test results which showed superior absorbency and an incredibly fast dry time, I made myself a pair of pajamas using this new fabric.  After one night of cool, dry, comfortable sleep, I knew I had a winner!

This was the start of Cool-jams. The fabric felt like super soft cotton, but was so much more effective at managing night sweats than any other fabric we had tested.

This innovative new micro fiber fabric absorbs moisture faster than cotton, poly or other microfiber fabrics.

Additionally the second part of the equation was quick drying. Cotton does a fairly decent job at absorbing, but does not dry quickly. The beauty of our Cool-jams fabric is that it does both.

Not only does it absorb moisture rapidly, it also draws the moisture away from the body to the outside of the fabric and dries rapidly. In fact it dries 3-4 times faster than any fabric tested.

You guessed it…we now have the world’s most innovative and effective night sweat pajama. The pajamas actually help to regulate the body temperature so you never are too hot or too cold, always just right. As an added bonus our sleepwear fabric contains a natural antibacterial treatment so the garments always stay fresh and odor free.

Seven years later, Cool-jams is featured in national women’s magazines, on TV shows like “The Doctors,” and is top-rated with thousands of glowing reviews. Since 2007 we have grown our line to include bedding, travel sleepwear and wicking panties which we supply to thousands of customers around the world.

A customer recently asked if fairies weave magic into our Cool-jams fabric because it works so well! I had to laugh because there is no magic at all, just solid research, technical know-how and craftsmanship

In an effort to give back, Cool-jams donates a percentage of its profits to women and child centered charities. Our customers feel good about their purchases because they know that a part of every purchase goes back to help others in need.

Giveaway:  Simply post a comment on Friend for the Ride saying you’d like to win. Winner will get to select a nightgown or pajamas from . Contest ends on January 16.

If you  would like a second chance to win a free pj, robe or nightgown, please feel free to enter the Cool-jams weekly giveaway located at the bottom of the homepage . 

Special Promo: Even if you don’t win this contest, we would like to offer you a special promo code for 15% off any of our nightgowns or pajamas. Use promo code CoolFriend at checkout to receive the discount.

Visit to see its full line of quality guaranteed moisture-wicking sleepwear and cooling bedding, from cami-strap nightgowns, to boxer pajama sets, bathrobes, pillows, cooling sheets and more.


Anita Mahaffey, Cool-jams founder, is a 54- year- old mother, wife, and business owner. She started her career in corporate marketing, but after the birth of her second child she began her first stint as a business owner. Cool-jams, her most recent business, is an online sleepwear company specializing in sleepwear and bedding to help combat night sweats and temperature regulation issues. Cool-jams was founded in 2007 and now ships its products to over 150 countries around the world.

In her spare time, Anita loves to hike, ski, practice yoga and pilates and enjoys volunteer work with a variety of organizations. She also researches and writes health related articles and enjoys motivational speaking.


Menopause, Menopause Symptoms

Guest Post: Dry Babe for Hot Mamas! (and a Super Cool Nightgown Giveaway)

A guest post by Wendy Collett, creator of Dry Babe:

In my business, I hear it all the time.  The changes to our bodies brought on by our dipping hormone levels are wreaking havoc on our health, our happiness our relationships and our sleep.  Like so many of you, I am not one to take this lying down – so to speak.

Sleep – Who Needs It? Turns out we all do:

A recent survey from the Better Sleep Council found that an increasing number of women feel that a good night’s sleep, like proper diet and exercise, is central to their overall health and well being. However, while they may understand this critical link, the poll also shows that women are failing to get the sleep they need.

Previous research shows that women are more sleep deprived than men, having greater difficulty falling and staying asleep and experiencing more daytime sleepiness. This most recent survey also found that some groups of women are experiencing more sleep loss than others. Regardless, women are united in their need to make sleep a priority to ensure optimal health and happiness.

 Quick Facts from the Survey

  • Sixty-eight percent (68%) of American women admit to sleeping less (and many much less) than recommended average of eight hours per night.
  • The top four factors that rob women of sleep:
    • Work- and/or family-related stress
    • Night Sweats
    • Ailments such as an allergy or cold
    • Uncomfortable mattress or pillow
  • One-third of women respondents feel that a balanced lifestyle requires a proper diet, regular exercise, and a good night’s sleep.

And so do we – which is the whole reason that Dry Babe came into being – those long sleepless nights I spent suffering from night sweats had to amount to something!

 For a long time, I would wake up at least once during the night soaking wet.  I had to get out of bed, towel off, change clothes and then try to get back to sleep. Does this sound familiar? Sometimes, hours later, there would be a repeat performance. Often, I would attempt to prod my husband to move over a bit to avoid sleeping in the “wet spot.” And the nights of interrupted sleep wore on and on.

At some point, I had the ingenious idea to sleep with a hand towel across my chest, between my skin and PJ’s. This worked wonders and I was now getting uninterrupted sleep. However, one July morning, I woke up before my husband.  He looked so peaceful and handsome. I then looked down and noticed the hand towel bursting out from the top of my night gown. This look was anything but cute.  I became incensed that there was no better solution – either sleep with a towel or wake up during the night wet? What kind of choice is that?

I got out of bed with a gleam if determination in my eye, fired up my lap top and got to work researching fabrics.  I had already spent the last three years trying every lotion, potion and garment for night sweats. Since the best solution so far had been the towel, I decided that I needed to start with fabrics that absorb.

This was a good plan because absorbent fabrics tend to be made from cotton and other natural materials.  I find polyester scratchy and uncomfortable and besides, it traps heat.  I bought small quantities of all the different types of cotton and high cotton content blends and tested them one per night for absorbency, comfort and softness.

After a while, I found the ultimate fabric that kept me dry and comfortable and tested it further by having a night gown made up in the fabric. It was important to me that the gown not only do its job (absorb moisture) but had to also be something that looked good on the body and felt good to the touch. No great granny looking night gowns need apply.

I had high hopes and some trepidation when I wore the night gown for the first time.  Will it do its job?  Will it be comfortable? Will it allow me to sleep through the night?  Turns out, the answer to all three questions is a big resounding YES! Eureka and hallelujah!  Sleep salvation can be found in sleepwear after all.

Not wanting to keep this sleep solution to myself, I went on to create Dry Babe so that other women can find comfort and a peaceful night’s sleep.  The response to Dry Babe has been overwhelming positive and we have received countless emails and testimonials that typically sound like this one:

I must say I didn’t wake up sweating at all with this beautiful night gown. Not only did I wake up dry I also had a good night sleep. YAY!!”- L.C. 

We at Dry Babe are honored to provide a sleep solution that works wonders on those problematic night sweats.

For optimal health and happiness, women need to make sleep a priority to ensure optimal health and happiness.  Dry Babe Absorbent Sleepwear for “Hot” Mamas helps to make Sleeping Beauties out of all of us.  Check out the website at

Giveaway!  Wendy has kindly offered a nightgown to a winner!  Submit a comment saying you would like to win by July 18 at noon.  Winners will be chosen at random. Wendy sent me a Dry Babe nightgown. Although my own night sweats are over, I love the comfort, color, and fit of the gown, and it sure is cool on summer nights.

About Wendy:  Wendy Collett is the CEO and founder of Dry Babe™ – Absorbent Sleepwear for “Hot” Mamas -an innovative sleepwear solution for women experiencing night sweats.