Friday, February 20, 2015

Has anyone ever died from menopause?

This is a completely serious question. I can't ask my family because keeping the uterus is new to my generation, and I'm the oldest. I didn't watch anyone go through it and there are no stories handed down (ie horror stories) for me to reference.

For those wondering why I don't just go online and look it up well I have a good reason. I know people so suggestive that just reading about symptoms inspires the body to have those symptoms. I don't want to be one of those people who asks WebMD what I might have and instead of menopause I have some rare cancer or jungle virus with no cure.

But I think it's entirely possible that my uterus is trying to kill me. For real.

There was the first flush of excitement when "that time of the month" skipped a few months. I thought the absence of hot flashes and wild emotional ups and downs meant I'd simply skipped over the nasty stuff and headed right into the last gasping moments of my fertility. I was wrong.

After the blissful quiet of those first months everything kind of exploded around me. First in the short span of eight weeks I had my period five times. It sounds physically impossible but it happened, thankfully without the PMS or physical discomfort that typically comes along for the ride. Apparently my ovaries started popping out eggs like a Pez dispenser (after years of a very casual attitude in that regard) and the rest of the process struggled to keep up. I was confused and so very grateful when that stopped.

This next phase I'm currently in (if indeed it's a phase of menopause and not some terrible disease) is where my cycle crushes me like a fly under a flyswatter. I'm perfectly fine, better than perfect in fact, when suddenly I have crushing headaches, impossible nausea and mind-numbing inertia and exhaustion for about a day and the next day my period shows up and all is fine again. Since this follows the rigid schedule that a normal woman's cycle would have I'm probably correct in attributing it to this. Also I would say that three months in a row can be considered a pattern and not a general OMG panic.

Oddly enough all the symptoms I've come to expect from this blessed time of life haven't occurred. No hot flashes. Well, unless they happen on the bike. I suppose that's possible. I do have problems at night. I don't feel hot, but the sheets practically burn the skin off my body. (Maybe the linens are going through menopause.) No crazy emotional roller coaster. I'm going to blame the slight roundness I've accumulated over the winter to overeating and less cycling instead of to a change in metabolism. I do like to eat.

So what do you think people? Am I in the grip of menopause or am I just lumping a group of symptoms together that in reality should stand separate and alone? And the original question....can menopause kill you, or only make you incredibly uncomfortable for what feels like forever?

And, I'm almost afraid to ask, is this as bad as it gets or is there more to come? On second thought, maybe I don't want to know.


  1. More to come..... As I understand it is a process with many varied layers, sort of like the old onion adage. I don't know a lot about this whole thing, but everything I have heard you describe sounds like something others have described to me. I am gearing up because I may be headed in that direction. And for your original question, I don't think it can kill you, but I have heard it can kill those living in the same home....