I’m a pretty private person, so this is not the easiest post for me to write. Yes, I know the irony of putting myself out there as an author and LIVE streaming show host, but really those things are instructional. You know, do this and then that and here’s why. Although, I try to put a little personality into it, it’s not revealing or intimate. There are a few posts where I’ve taken a bit of a stand one way or the other, but they are outside my comfort zone, so they are few and far between. I force myself to muster the courage to bare all when I really think that something I might say will help others.
Even then the conversation in my head goes something like this: “It might help others, but their situation will be different than yours. Besides, you’re not an authority, so what information could you possibly offer that they can’t go and look up themselves?”
You see how I try to talk myself out of it? And most of the time I do!
But like I said there are those few times I’m compelled to share no matter how intimate the details get.
So here goes.
I’m 47 year old. Most days I feel younger because a lot of my time is spent online, which as we all know is a young person’s world. I’m one of the lucky ones because technology has always been part of my life. My dad had a TRS-80 back in 1978. I can still remember falling asleep to the sound of his fingers typing on the keyboard. His office was right down the hall and he always worked in the evening with the door open. My bedroom door was open too so that my mom could hear my baby sister, who shared a room with me, if she started to cry.
I grew up with computers, and then I grew up and married a tech guy. My husband has always had the latest technology. I remember 15 years ago trying to explain to people what a DVR was, because of course we had one of the first ones.
Since I have these great men in my life, I’ve had a front row seat to cutting edge technology for most of my life, and somehow it’s made me feel young. Maybe not hip (let’s not get carried away…..:), but young for sure!
Of course despite this I’m an old soul. I care about traditions. When I was a kid I always felt more comfortable talking to adults than people my own age. I always see the big picture rather than the pieces and I’ve been spiritual since before I knew what the word meant.
You can easily see how I came to create this space here on the latest greatest communication avenue, the internet, about these old very valuable and still relevant subjects like growing, cooking and preserving your own food. Well, with a little help from my husband, Bill. I’d like to take credit for all of it, but a membership site, with really easy navigation, all the video uploading and compressing that goes with it is still a bit beyond my abilities.
I suppose a more accurate description is that most days I feel ageless, because of the push and pull of the two worlds I live in. The technology and the traditions cancel each other out. Most days I am just a mom thinking only about time in the ways that it relates to raising our children.
One day I realized I had not been feeling like myself in quite sometime.
But let me back up for just a moment. My body hasn’t always worked perfectly. I struggled with hormones and poor eating habits when I was younger. It’s hard to know if one caused the other, but I can tell you they have both been issues. However, my body has always worked fairly well despite struggling with these things.
For the most part my issues with hormones subsided after my decision to have a Endometrial Ablation about 15 years ago. After struggling with weight issues (dropping more than 100lbs 3 times in my life) and having 3 children, my normally heavy cycles were off and causing stress and concern. So I was more than willing to have the procedure only because it was less invasive than a hysterectomy. Keep in mind this was a time before I started diving into natural medicine. Although this was a great relief to me, it did take away my monthly cycles so I couldn’t really gauge where I was in terms of a biological clock. Maybe this was another reason I felt ageless, and floated through life with a mild few days here and there of feeling blue or as I call it, “a bit unmotivated”.
Here lately I realized I had not been feeling like myself. I was tired all the time despite getting 8 hours sleep and regular exercise, my skin was super dry, I was experiencing a decreased libido, and MOOD SWINGS. Not like normal mood swings. I mean like manic depressive mood swings. As a matter of fact, for a time I thought I might be developing late onset Manic Depressive Disorder. Come to find out it can be brought on by menopause.
This went on for about a year. No, I didn’t see a doctor because I have a long history with doctors (that is a subject for another post, let’s just say it’s not positive), but more than that, or maybe even because of that I didn’t really have what I considered “real” symptoms to explain and tell them about.
As I started writing down the things that were wrong it was clear to me it was hormones; after all, like I said I’ve had issues with them before. It just took me awhile because I’d been almost free of them for 15 years, since the Endometrial Ablation. The last piece of the puzzle was of course my age. Could I really be that OLD already?
Now it was clear to me what a doctor would suggest, hormone replacement, a hormone patch, or worse - antidepressants. I already knew none of those things were for me. I’ve done enough research to realize I don’t want the risks of hormone replacement and I had already had a short bout with antidepressants that was horrible.
So I started looking for natural alternatives. Unfortunately or fortunately (Have you ever read that children’s book? It’s one of my favorites), I have a friend who doesn't know how to use google, or really any other part of the internet, besides Facebook. Anyway, she asked me to look up this organic powder she had just bought that had a warning label on it.
The powder was Maca root, and it turns out the warning label was not for the powder but from the location where it was grown. It was warning you that there could be high levels of lead in the soil, and to only take a certain amount daily.
This was the first time I had ever heard of Maca, but I was intrigued. Come to find out there are several kinds of Maca root. There is red, black, and yellow Maca root and they all help at different levels depending on your symptoms, your age and what you’re trying to achieve. You can see which one might help you here: https://www.themacateam.com/maca-finder
I knew I wanted to try this root because this food is not really a herb, it’s a tuber. It’s more like a sweet potato than a herb, which put my mind at ease, because I knew I’d have to be on this for a while and feel like I’m not skilled enough as an herbalist to stay on anything long term.
I did a lot of research and finally decided to order from The Maca Team. I went with the Raw Organic Red Maca Powder and took it faithfully for about 3 weeks. Honestly, I noticed a difference within 3 days, but since I’m an anxious person I figured it was a placebo effect and ignored it.
I’m a skeptic when it comes to cures and weight loss, but I could not deny that I wasn’t having those ultra highs and more importantly those really low lows. Am I cured? No, I’m still going through menopause, but my systems are much much better. Not only are the mood swings better (not totally gone but improved), there are no more hot flashes, and my libido is better. My skin is still dry but I’ve been able to manage that.
For me there was no ah-ha moment. No "pop this pill and everything will magically be better" moment. That’s seems to be what society has taught us to look for. Instead it was a process and I feel that I was able to use a plant the way God intended: to nourish and heal parts of my body that were not balanced.
If you have any of these systems and want a natural remedy I would encourage you to give Maca root a try. Keep in mind I’m not a doctor and this is my own experience but I thought it was worth sharing with you.
Do you have experience with hormone imbalance or menopause? What’s your story?