Author, Publisher, Speaker, Retired Navy Veteran, Mother of Two, and Dear Friend
My dear friend, LaVender Shedrick Williams, obliged me by sharing one of her menopausal stories. We met one day at a local park for a local home school gathering and instantly clicked. Of course, back then she was a retired Navy First Class Petty Officer and just starting to write her first book, We Snap in Silence. Since then, she’s written even more books, started The Other Woman Magazine, and also helps people self-publish!
LaVender also mentors others despite her busy schedule. She’s just an all-around great person and symbol of female empowerment. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did.
Did I urinate in my sleep?
My nightgown was drenched and the bed sheets were soaked right along with me. What in the world happened? I was positive I hadn’t urinated in my dreams thinking I was on the toilet, so the only answer for the wet sheets was my now un-husband. I yelled, “Did you pee in the bed?’ He answered with a groggy, matter of fact, ” No!” as if I was out of my mind for questioning him. It took only seconds before I realized it must be one of those popular night sweats I hear women complaining about.
A sweat is an understatement; it was more like a night swim for me. I was knowledgeable of the symptoms of menopause because I was anxiously awaiting my turn to enter this new phase of life. Celebrating the aging process had nothing to do with my anticipation, but everything to do with saying goodbye to Aunt Flo. I was sick of her visits and all the uninvited company she brought with her – the severe cramps, the heaving, the mood swings, the accidents in my clothes, and sleeping in the most uncomfortable positions (sitting straight up) to prevent a middle of the night accident. To speed up the process, I even had the endometrial ablation procedure which only lasted a few months and Aunt Flo busted back through full force.
My first night sweat was a welcomed surprise. I was finally on my way to menopause, but quickly remembered I’d have to go through peri-menopause first. Slow your roll, girl. I didn’t care if I had to go through peri, merry, dairy, or fairy pause, let’s get it on! The period of waiting didn’t matter to me, I was on my way until a whole year went by, then another year, and another year. What in the bloody hell was going on?
The years went by and I never experienced another night swim or hot flash. Six whole years went by with Aunt Flo carrying on her business as usual. Menopause was a forgotten word. Peri-menopause has the potential to last up to ten years and I was well on my way. I was leaving my mid fifties and entering my late fifties and would soon don the title of oldest woman with a menstrual cycle. I had given up being pad free since I figured I’d soon be in diapers. Good grief!
As time went on, I realized I had gone several months without a cycle. That glorious eleventh month came around and I knew I needed one more month Aunt Flo free to officially enter the menopause stage. I was overjoyed and ready to celebrate, but the unthinkable happened. Yes, Aunt Flo showed up in the twelfth month.
I called her a few choice names, but she didn’t care. She showed up big and bold and I was royally pissed. How dare she wait until the twelfth month to make an appearance? She came back as if to say, “You thought you got rid of me, huh?”
Thankfully, that was my last time seeing Aunt Flo. After seven years of peri-menopause, I recently entered my long-awaited for stage of menopause. Aunt Flo’s visits have officially ceased and I’m happy to boldly admit, I don’t miss her one bit!