My hard drive crashed this week. Kaput. DOA. Am I angry? Not at all. I have a great deal of empathy for my poor computer. My own brain augered in months ago with the advent of Mentalpause. And unlike my Mac, I am definitely past warranty.

Some days I can barely remember anything. I lay my car keys down in the store and walk out with out them. I forget what I went in the room for. I forget the thought that just popped into my head. And I forget words!!! Words that I know!! In my native tongue!! That I’ve been speaking profusely if not well since about 1 year of age. I’m reduced to drawing diagrams in the air to describe the word that stubbornly resists my best efforts at archival retrieval. "I need the…" (squeezing motion with hand)" "Scissors?" asks my husband. "Yes, of course," I snap. "I knew it all the time."

And then there’s "menopausal dyslexia". Prior to the Change, I NEVER transposed numbers nor did I forget how to spell words. And I could read a map – in fact, I was a darn good navigator. Now sadly, I feel like a poster child (okay poster crone) for dyslexia. I flip numerals, maps look like incomprehensible squiggles to my tired eyes, and thank the computer gods for spellchecker or you might not be able to make heads nor tails out of this blog.

My sister goddesses are going through the same distressing mind changes in Mentalpause. We are talking, laughing, and weeping about them. Some days, that’s my only comfort.

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2 Responses to Mentalpause

  1. Lin September 23, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    I think I am just entering menopause. I’m 51. Periods are just starting to become irregular, and I've had my first hot flashes last week. None of my friends have had a natural menopause so I have nothing to compare myself with. I am happy you have a blog dealing with this! I have been having severe memory problems that are seriously impacting my ability to work effectively. I am self-employed so this hits me right in the bottom line. I am extremely exhausted too. But I'm not sure whether to attribute these to menopause or anemia. I had very heavy periods for about 3 years, and became very anemic. I had heart arrhythmias too, and a lot of tests which led to my discovering the anemia. A friend who is a doctor has told me that memory or judgment problems are a symptom of anemia too. She said it would take at least 6 months of normal hemoglobin levels before they improved.

    How can I tell them apart? Neither my internist (treating me for the anemia), nor my female gynecologist could tell me. I can tell I'm recovering from the anemia because the heart rhythm problems are going away, and though still exhausted, it is not quite so bad as before. How long do the memory problems of menopause last? It would be very useful to me if other people would give me some examples. How about the fatigue? DO you get back to normal in time?

  2. Lin September 23, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    I remember a lot of the same mental changes in pregnancy. Like being in a mental fog; which lifted gradually after childbirth, maybe a few months later. I have mentioned this to several pregnant women, all of whom were very relieved to find out it wasn't just them.

    I have had the same difficulty in finding words. At the start of this M experience I was writing my master's thesis, and wondered where all my normal language abilities had flown. I would also edit a chapter the next day and wonder who had written it! Sure didn't sound like me.

    It took a while before I figured it out what was happening. I have also become much more inefficient and disorganized, which is a lot of work to hide. I'm glad I can admit it here. And my typing stinks now. I'm looking forward to an end of this.

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