I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming... suddenly you find-at the age of 50, say-that a whole new life has opened before you.
-Agatha Christie

From "Body for Life for Women" by Pamela Peeke, M.D.:

Just when you get adept at making time for yourself, managing stress and your career, and organizing a household while caring for everyone and his brother, wham! Your mind and body mutiny on you. Welcome to perimenopause.

If you had wild mood swings during pregnancy or each month before your period, you may find that they come flooding back. You may get weepy, and then let loose with the telephone operator. Blame that on the ebb and flow of your sex hormones, which have a profound effect on mood...

Women tell me they find their brains seem to be short-circuiting. They'll be speaking in a meeting or to a friend on the phone and suddenly they can't think of the word or number they want to use. They may go into the bedroom or supermarket and forget what they went in for. You know-the lost keys-and-sunglasses syndrome. The fuzzies, I hear that a lot from my patients in Milestone 3. Your energy may tank, too. Getting out of bed is a challenge; you crumble by 3:00 p.m. and collapse when you get home. And then begin the strange events. At work, you are horrified to find that one of your shoes is navy and the other is black. (I've done this twice. Thank God they were dark colors.) Or you look in the mirror and find that you've put on only one earring-the other is on your vanity table at home. Like the mood swings of perimenopause, the fuzzies are thought to be caused by fluctuating levels of estrogen.

Bottom line, most women feel like they're losing their minds. Nope! You're going through estrogen withdrawal, and your body needs some time to adjust while you're helping it along with a healthy lifestyle. I can assure you that the confusion and memory loss is almost always fleeting and completely normal. When you care for your body with physical exercise, your mind benefits, too. The more blood and oxygen circulating up there, the better your brain will function.

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