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My Mom is a petite woman – yet very big.
She is soft spoken – yet very outspoken.
She is delicate – yet strong.
She is understated – yet elegant.
She is wise – yet modest.
She is dedicated to helping others – yet she dedicates her life to our family.
She is 93– yet she is young.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

My mother was always trying to teach me the best ways to approach life's challenges. She used the finest tools available to her. But she came from a very different generation. She was brought up when women were not taught to speak up. It was not her fault that she missed the boat when it came to teaching me about perimenopause and [Link Removed].

See, when I entered the hormonal throes of [Link Removed], I was irritable, uncomfortable, troubled by memory loss, sleeplessness and a variety of other lovely symptoms. Worst of all, I felt like some demon had taken over my body and was eating away at my capacity for rational thought.

Confused and scared, I turned to my go-to person for all female issues: my mom. You can imagine my reaction when she told me that she didn't have time for [Link Removed]. Her motto was, "I'm fine, fine, super fine." Well, I didn't feel like I had time for menopause either, but my symptoms made it impossible for me to ignore it and trust me, I was far from fine!

Later, after putting some pieces of a family puzzle together, I figured out the reason for my mother's denial. My grandmother had gone through a very severe depression during menopause. In those days, some women like my grandmother were given shock therapy for menopausal depression. Can you imagine?! My mom had to take a leave of absence from her teaching job to take care of her mother. No wonder my mom "didn't have time" for menopause! Who would want to have time for that?

Some experiences can silence even the strongest women. I wish I could reach back in time and give my grandmother a hug and let her know that I understand what she was going through. I wish that my mom had been more open with me about the things she was going through instead of feeling she had to always be the rock of the family.

The journeys of my mom and grandmother helped fuel my urgent and relentless desire to seek out a [Link Removed], get answers, and find hormone happiness. I learned that women shouldn't have to suffer through perimenopause and menopause, and the biggest reason they were—and still are—is because women are still not prepared for perimenopause and menopause! For the most part, we still think this is a taboo topic!

As women, we know when something just doesn't feel or seem right. It's our responsibility to give our feelings credit—both for ourselves and for the sake of other women worldwide. It's time to set a precedent for how women should feel in their own bodies. From puberty to menopause—and everything in between—it's up to us to know our bodies and ensure they have what they need for a happy, healthy life. However, many women are still scared to speak up and feel like they have to power through on their own.

That's why I couldn't have been more proud when my daughter walked into her doctor's office and demanded to have the proper blood panels taken for [Link Removed]. She stood up for herself and her health, and now, two years later, mid planning for her upcoming wedding and her life ahead, family planning is no mystery to her. Her health is no mystery to her. She is entering this exciting new chapter of her life as an active participant. Life isn't something that just happens to her. She makes her life—and the life she deserves—happen.

In memory of our grandmothers and in honor of our dear, sweet moms, let's help break the taboo nature that surrounds menopause. We need to teach the women of the next generation that they don't have to be, "fine, fine, super fine" all the time. They should speak up and get the help they both need and deserve.

I hope my daughter can say that the best thing I ever taught her was how to be an advocate for her own health and happiness. I hope the same for all of the daughters of the Sisterhood! Together, we can make it happen!

Reaching out is IN! Suffering in silence is OUT!

Is it hot in here or is it just you? Get discounts on [Link Removed]. Available now: cooling clothes, a sleek and discrete chargeable fan, a "Hot Flash Havoc" documentary, and a natural menopause relief formula. Enter promo code "ellend" to save serious cash!

Let's hang out! Join Ellen the first Monday of every month at 8pm EST/5pm PST for her Menopause Mondays Google Hangouts: Where the Sisterhood helps the Sisterhood. You can ask Ellen your menopause questions at this free online event! [Link Removed]

Party in person! On Monday, June 3 from 5pm to 7pm, grab some girlfriends and head to Burlap Restaurant in Del Mar, California, for the launch of Menopause Mondays Live; brought to you by Ellen and Burlap. [Link Removed].

Supporting military families: On May 10, Ellen will be speaking at Military Spouse Appreciation Day on Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) along with other medical professionals and wellness experts on a variety of topics that affect women's health and wellness. In addition to these attendees, and with the assistance of [Link Removed], a non-profit dedicated to supporting military service families, Ellen is able to donate thousands of copies of her book, Shmirshky: think inside the box to spouses of servicemen and servicewomen as well as civilians supporting the military.

Shmirshky, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote May 12, 2013
    • I read this earlier this morning and I’ve been thinking about it.

      I agree that we women have to be our own strongest advocates for our health.

      I also agree with your mom and her attitude about not having time for menopause.  We need to know about memopause and what it does to us and what our options are.  But... I haven’t got time for it.  I can’t remember to take pills or use creams or whatever.  Hot flashes are just going to have to come and go because I haven’t got time to whine about them and frankly the 33 men I work with don’t give a damn if I’m having a hot flash, they just want me to get on with my job.  Perimenopause has put me on an emotional rollcoaster like no other, but I’m just going to hang on and ride it out.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Ellen Dolgen wrote May 14, 2013
    • Tulip, I admire your strength but I strongly encourage you to reach out to a kindred spirit instead of suffering in silence. Take some time for yourself to learn about perimenopause so that you can head off some of its symptoms before they start. Here's a great place to begin: [Link Removed] 

      As far as your work environment, I wonder if those 33 male colleagues have any idea that you face the possibility of dealing with more than 34 menopause symptoms in addition to your workload! This lack of understanding at the office is a common experience for a lot of women. I am trying to combat that with a corporate wellness program designed for both female AND male colleagues.

      Hugs, Ellen

      Shmirshky, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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