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Menopause; Apology note from a son

You had your menopause 6 years ago but I only came to know about menopause now. And it crushes me to know that you had to go through all these frustrating bodily changes when maa (Grandmother) was admitted to the hospital for surgery. I’m sorry.

You say that, back then, you were not aware about what was going on with you and chose to ignore it and solve it by yourself for some time. For all of this, I am sorry for being an ignorant teenager in my early adolescence who never asked about why you were frequently having hot flushes, headaches, irritation and sleep problems. Maybe I presumed that what you were going through was just your monthly cycle or maybe society has made menopause seem like a topic that is not important to be discussed.

Now that I am aware, I made an effort to further delve into this topic. Information was in fact just a phone call away. When I talked about menopause and its symptoms over a phone call with Dr Sapana Amatya Vaidya, who is a gynecologist, I came to know that every woman’s menopause experience may vary from one another, even between twins. I was introduced to health risks associated with menopause which made me concerned about your health. The presence of oestrogen in females, made their bones stronger, however since you had your menopause, there is a high risk that your bones might become weaker as the menopausal period dries out the oestrogen from your body. This immediately made me concerned about your occasional knee pains. She also mentioned the possibility of poor bladder function and heart issues which made me more nervous.

However, along with the possible risks that she warned me about, she also gave me an idea about the treatment or measures that you could take to avoid or minimize these risks. I am rather relieved that you are taking care of your health through yoga and meditation in the morning these days. Now that I am aware of this information, I assure you that I have got your back. I will cautiously remind you to have Jwaano pani or bring a cup of it to your room, or give you a gentle foot massage.

Upon researching further into Menopause, I realized how little people talked about this. However, the term menopause has appeared to be a stigma as it is not spoken much. Joining Pad2go as a volunteer in 2019, enabled me to explore numerous areas in the field of reproductive and menstrual health, that I was oblivious or ignorant about.

While Menopause is not well known among the public, it is still equally important as discussing menstruation. In Nepal, while menstruation is a taboo, menopause is barely even a table talk. I noticed your slight hesitation to talk about your menopause experience. I also noticed that you took time to recall how you dealt with it not because you were completely prepared but because you weren’t ready. However, I am sorry that I was not there to help you during your Menopause but I am glad that we had this conversation.

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