My so-called symptoms started a week after my 40th birthday when I woke five pounds heavier. No, I did not binge on Krispy Kreme donuts or Papa John's pizza. I ate normally and excercised regularly, but over the years the weight kept piling on.
There were other little signs of a mid-life invasion: waking more frequently at night to pee, body aches, irregular periods, constipation, fatigue and general crabbiness (just ask my family).
Rather than calling it a "change of life" (this sounds like a gentle transition from one happy place to another, which it is NOT ), the experts should call it the SUCKY PHASE of your life that you just have to tough out until you're too old to notice or care.
What about increased dental bills? The doctors didn't warn me about that when they told me I was premenopausal. The surfaces of my teeth began eroding in my early forties. Don't get me wrong---I have nice teeth (thanks mom and dad for all that dental work in the 1970's) and am religious about their upkeep. But sometime in my forties, things in my mouth started going South. Next thing I knew, I needed crowns, gum work, a few root canals and God forbid, a mouth guard. Now there's something for my husband to see every night. Nothing like going to bed with a linebacker. I always thought I was the lone wolf sporting a clear appliance across my teeth after the sun went down. But lo and behold, there are others out there who share my pain. Middle-aged women going through menopause and the stress of everyday life. We suppress the hormones raging inside us by clamping our jaws tight, thus causing teeth to crack. We even grind our teeth in our sleep, which wears down the enamel. Dentist see it in middle-aged women all of the time, which explains why there are so many female linebackers crawling into bed each night next to befuddled husbands.
This is our way of life. Welcome to menopause!