Never mind missing the birds and the bees discussion. When it comes to teaching us about sex and our bodies, the all-time taboo talk that nobody seems to have gotten was the one about menopause. Here's what some of our Facebook fans had to say about what they wished their mothers had told them:
Like many readers, Patti Hall would have been happy with any advice. "Anything! She never discussed it," said Hall. The same from Angela Bugli, who said, "Everything! Now that I'm going through it, it's as though she completely blocked her own from her mind and I'm just nuts!"
Irma-Linda Desiderio said the advice she got was "Understand that you can never drive for the duration, and please remove anything that resembles a weapon from your immediate reach!" Wendy Holmgren wishes her mother had told her that "ground flax seeds can eliminate hot flashes."
Carolyn Palot-Watts said her mom told her little, except that "she couldn't bear anything high necked, all of a sudden!!" Her mom didn't mention "that they make you feel like you are being strangled whenever you have a hot flash!! [I] found that for myself. I did notice that she still had flashes at 90 plus -- deep joy! I've had them for 20 years and they are still going strong......"
Monica Taylor wishes that her mom told her that "the more issues you don't resolve and the more garbage you carry inside causes the symptoms to be worse." Anyone else agree?
Carol Coleman Hardy says her mother "blamed everything on menopause for about 15 years. I finally told her she had to stop."
That wasn't everyone's experience though. Valerie Sweet noted that if her mom "had anything more than hot flashes I don't think she recognized them as menopause symptoms. She is still at 87 a very strong and funny lady. Always shows a positive attitude."
Perhaps Rita Palmer nailed the reason why so many were left in the dark: "All the practical advice was [either] not out there or too private to be discussed. Besides, [most] Moms were just suffering through it with little to no real advice to be passed down."
Beverly Nuttall said her mom's hysterectomy before age 40 could be the reason she never had the menopause talk. She heard nothing from her mom about "hot flashes night sweats, painful intercourse, insomnia, weight gain, tiny hairs on my chin...shall I continue???"
Debbie Berger says her mom was "hell on wheels throughout menopause. . . scared me to death thinking I was going to be like that!" She instructed her husband to tell her "IMMEDIATELY if I started acting like my mom! LOL!"
Not everyone's mom had terrible symptoms or struggled through menopause. Maire Hanley's mom taught her that she needn't "lose your mind with it. And that it can be a good experience if you relax into it instead of fighting it."
Sheila Greene said that after college, she and her mother always lived 500 to 1,000 miles apart, so there wasn't much chance for intimate discussions. "I had to figure out on my own what was going on and how to deal with it. Also most of that time had no medical insurance, so did it drug-free. The one time I did see a gyn for extreme symptoms, he said it was normal."
And Lois Rubin Gross' reply made us laugh. She wrote: "My mother has been dead for 12 years, and I'm still waiting for her to tell me about menstruation."
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