Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness by Ellen Sarver Dolgen
Ok, let me start off by saying that I am 32 years old, so I hope I have several years before I have to deal with menopause. However, I decided to read this book because I have always been a hormonal mess and I also have lot of women in my life who have/are/will be going through the change.
Hormones can seriously run a woman's life. For me they do, at least. I recently had my hormones tested because I was having serial killer-like PMS, cystic acne and a plethora of other hideous side effects. Turns out that my body was not producing enough estrogen or progesterone due to adrenal fatigue. My doctor gave me some drops to go under my tongue and I have noticed a lot of positive changes. Hormone replacement is not for everyone and there is a chapter in the book that discusses this.
The author is not a doctor, scientist or a celebrity, just a women and a mother with experience and knowledge on this topic. Personally, I find that in most cases, it is more beneficial to read a person's real story than to try and comprehend actual medical case studies. It's far more entertaining and interesting, that's for sure!
No woman should ever be embarrassed to discuss menopause since every one of us will go through it. Yet, sadly, it is a topic that is slightly taboo. E addresses this and stresses the fact that you should talk about it with everyone! Ignoring it will not make it go away and awareness is key to help cope with any symptoms you may be experiencing. My fiance is well aware of all my hormone issues. Poor guy, I think he's developing a radar for my PMS.
Here are a few of the reasons I like this book:
Funny: I read this book very quickly because it held my interest right away. Humor will get you everywhere with me. E has nicknames for the female and male private parts – shmirshky and erlick – I would much rather read those two words over and over again instead of vagina and penis!
Tickle your feet notes: There are definitions and additional tidbits of info available on the bottom of each page. Great because you do not have to stop and look up something if you need further info. It's right on the same page.
Experiences: You will not just read E's stories. Her Shmirshky board of friends has chimed in, too. The more women that spill about the fun of PM+M (perimenopause + menopause) the better!
Gay husbands: The gay men in E's life that give her friendship, love and support like a husband, but of course they are just friends. I NEED ONE!
Charts: Next time you have blood work done, see for yourself what your numbers should look like. Find very useful charts and information in this book.
Choose a doctor: E extensively interviews any doctor before choosing. In the book she includes tips and things you should look for before you commit to one.
For men, too: Did you know there is also male menopause? Yep, they can have some nasty surprises as well and it's best to be prepared for this. Men should read this book to understand not only what is going on with the women they love, but also to be aware of what can creep up on them.
Hysterectomy: There is a scary chapter that is a must-read if you ever are facing the decision to get a hysterectomy. It's not necessarily the easy way out!
Sumo: This is hilarious and I am sure everyone can relate. E talks about the sumo wrestler in her head that is a constant critic. For example: My inner sumo has been telling me all day that I am ugly and gross and best get on the treadmill asap. Sumos are counter-productive and need to be squished from our minds!
Journal: Writing down your thoughts and feelings is therapeutic for any time in life, but especially during menopause. It can also help someone down the line if you share it with them.
Symptoms chart: See if what you are going through is normal or something to look into further with your doctor. A handy chart is in this book.
As you can see there is a lot packed in to this little book! I didn't even cover everything. Reading this book can really shed a light on any hormone havoc that you or someone you love is trying to cope with!
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