Staying Sane When You're Going Through Menopause


By Pam Brodowsky

By Evelyn Fazio

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around March 25, 2009. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

They took away hormone replacement therapy and now hot flashes are back with a vengeance. What’s a menopausal gal to do? If you’re tired of fanning yourself in meetings or in line at the grocery store, cool your heels and take pleasure in these stories that provide inspiration and humor from those who have gone to the front lines of the battle — and survived. Here’s how other savvy, sexy women have tamed the mid-life demons and stayed lean, even keeled, and in charge of “the change”!


Staying Sane When You're Dieting
Staying Sane When You're Quitting Smoking
Staying Sane When Your Family Comes to Visit
Staying Sane When You're Buying or Selling Your Home
Staying Sane When You're Planning Your Wedding

To everyone who was kind enough to share their stories with us.
I dedicate this book to my mother, Evelyn Jean Fazio.

About the Staying Sane Series
The Staying Sane series is a collection of funny, irreverent, lighthearted, yet sassy, advice-laden books that are all dedicated to finding the silver lining in the annoying, frustrating, or trying situations we all encounter every single day.
The Staying Sane series shows you how to look for, and find, the humor and enlightenment in nearly every situation—you only need to be open to seeing it. Let's face it: We all experience difficult or trying times in our lives, and that's precisely why we've developed the Staying Sane series.
We want you to know that we've been through all kinds of demented things ourselves (Oh, have we ever!), and we and our contributors plan to focus each volume on a specific topic to help you cope with some of the most trying, most typical—and least sane—situations all of us face at one point or another as we try to get through life.
Unlike any other books, the Staying Sane series' intention is to shed light on, and bring laughter to people who are caught up in, a web of frustration and petty annoyances, and provide help, advice, and answers in every situation, while letting them know they are not the only ones who have suffered through these same trying, irritating episodes or situations. Since laughter is truly the best medicine, the Staying Sane series will help you get through whatever comes up with as few dents and bruises as possible, and hopefully with your family relationships and friendships still intact when all is said (or not) and done (or not!).
If you're like us, just hearing about other people's problems usually makes our own seem trivial by comparison, making us realize that things aren't really so bad. What's more, by reading about the scores of other people who've had the same or worse experiences, we are able to find a more realistic perspective and regain our sense of proportion—all because we've been able to step back and see that things really could be much worse. And besides, misery loves company, doesn't it!
Staying sane isn't as hard as you think. Keeping it together when all hell breaks loose is just part of life—something we have to do every single day if we're living on Planet Earth. But keep one thing in mind: there is always someone else out there who is also on the edge of losing it. We all lead complicated lives, but it doesn't mean we can't laugh at our problems—it can really help make them seem smaller and less overwhelming.
So, when things really seem to be getting out of hand and you just don't think you can take it anymore, pick up a copy of one of the Staying Sane titles. It may be just what you need to keep from going off the deep end. We'll be right there with you, helping you cope!

Let Us Know

We would be delighted to hear your reactions to the stories in this and all the other Staying Sane books. Please let us know which stories you liked best and how they related to your life.
We also would be very pleased if you'd send us your stories for upcoming volumes of the Staying Sane series. Is there a topic you'd like to see us cover? If so, let us know what it is you're looking for. We'll do our best to get a book into the works for you! Please write to us in care of our publisher.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Pam and Evelyn

About Staying Sane When You're Going Through Menopause
What is it about "the change" that is such a challenge? Is it the mood swings? The unreliable body thermostat that seems to be set only on hot and humid? Is it the weight gain, the hair falling out where you want to keep it (but growing where you'd rather it didn't)? Whatever it is about this time of life that is driving you crazy, we have the cure. It's laughter!
As always, it's a big help to know that other women have gone through the same kinds of experiences, and that they've learned how to cope—just as you will, too. Women have gone through this transition for a long time. It can be a wonderful time of growth and a relief from all those worries about wearing white pants and having to pack all those extra items when you're traveling!
Menopause is manageable, one way or the other, and the stories you'll find in Staying Sane When You're Going Through Menopause will shed new light on an old story, helping you find the humor in the situation, and giving you a lot of heartfelt and often hilarious advice for surviving this new phase of your life.
Just think of all the fun you'll have when you read how one of our contributors nearly strip teased in her classroom, or when another threw all her husband's clothes out the upstairs bedroom window because he pushed her buttons one time too many! There's even a bird's-eye view of what it looks like to those around you. You're in for a lot of laughs, and we hope you enjoy the ride!

When You're Living Through the Change!
Menopause Survival: Hers and His
Barbara Hastie (with Ken)
Menopause 101
Cheryl Rilly
The Anticurse
Wanda Lauerman
Who Moved My Menopause?
Carole A. Daley
I Was an X-Rated Hot Flasher
Marilyn Hilton
Keeping Cool in Hot Flash Season
Christina Britton Conroy
Conquering Brain Fog
Annie Pyraeus
A Hairy Experience
Josette Meuniere
Julie Eichler
Surprise! Early Menopause
Sally Durso
You're Getting Old—Deal with It!
Virginia A. McMorrow
Menopause Remission
Ginny Chandoha

Sanity Quiz

You've noticed the changes. At first it was the missed periods, then the hot flashes. But then your emotions were bouncing up and down like a laser on speed. You don't want to admit it, but you're almost ready to admit yourself . . . to the mental hospital, that is.
Do you
a. take yourself to the nearest loony bin
b. chalk it up to another day at the menopausal circus
c. book yourself a tropical vacation somewhere beastly hot so you won't be the only one sweating
d. have faith that it can't get any worse than it is
If you've answered yes to any one of these items, especially A, then you'll benefit from everything our contributors have to say—hold on to your hat!

Menopause Survival: Hers and His (or . . . It Pays to Have a Plan)
Barbara Hastie (with Ken)
SO, WHAT'S A GIRL (and a guy) to do? Take the following scenario: A competent professional and otherwise very together forty-something woman wakes up in the middle of a cold winter's night, boiling hot, and her pj's are absolutely soaking wet.
She's in good overall health. She doesn't at all feel like she has a fever, and when she went to bed she felt completely normal. No flulike symptoms. No other ailments seem to be afflicting her. Just now, though, she seems to be experiencing the beginning stages of what appears to be either spontaneous human combustion or a house fire somewhere on the premises.
Our seemingly sautéed heroine hurriedly checks the thermostat and quickly finds there is no problem there at all—other than the usual low temperature setting her husband always sets at night to save on heating costs (wise, thrifty man that he is). And also, the house is apparently not on fire. Thank God!
She observes said husband, all curled up and blanket-covered in a little fetal-positioned ball. He seems to need the blanket desperately. Hmmm . . . so it doesn't look in the least like he's dealing with whatever she's got. In fact, if anything, he looks to be possibly in the early stages of hypothermia. Well, right now, that's his problem.
And it doesn't really solve her problem at all. She's so hot, she swears that the house is 120 degrees . . . then to add to this little issue, she wants to cry and that's not like her at all.
Okay, so she tries to go back to sleep. Maybe she had a nightmare that must have apparently taken place somewhere near the equator or slightly south of Hades. It's okay now. Just relax. Take it easy. That'sa girl . . . It's cool . . . really it is . . . zzzzzzzzz.
Naturally, she finally is drifting off just as the alarm clock blares to announce the start of a fabulous new day!
Into the shower she goes . . . only when she's done, she's not so sure she ever showered at all, as she is covered with so much drenching sweat that it's time for a shower again! What is going on? Can it be? It can't be. Putting on her makeup, she notices some serious teenage boy-like pubescent peach fuzz on her upper lip . . . and what started as a mediocre morning is starting to become a difficult and challenging morning, bordering on a new sci-fi horror film, tentatively titled A Burning American She-Wolf in New Jersey! Suffice it to say, she's feeling just a tad anxious, and in fact, she's now at her boiling point—which is apparently her new "normal" body temperature!
She's late, doesn't like the way she looks, and it's rapidly dawning on her that . . . yes . . . or rather, NO!!! . . . she's going through the dreaded "change"—the curse beyond the original "curse" she found out about from her mom years ago in junior high school. (Nothing but curses it seems, doesn't it girls?) Yep. Without question. This is it. The Menopause Thing is coming—and damned if she's in the mood for it!!
At this opportune juncture, enter her now thawed-out husband—actually, a sweetheart of a guy, mild-mannered, funny, nice to be around—just to check on her progress this joyous morning. Little did he know when the words left his lips, he would have the grave misfortune to ask, "So . . . how are things going in there?"
OK, THAT'S IT!!!! Here it comes . . . the angry female volcano at last erupts with incredible vigor and force, perhaps driven by radical internal body temperatures (though the inquiring spousal question didn't help either—and don't even go near the facial hair factor)!! WWWWAAAAHHHH!!!!! The guttural utterances began.
Well, to spare you the extremely gory details of this real-life event, let's just say the air in our (yes, our) house (and possibly our neighbors') still reverberated with our morning's exchange long throughout the day. Or better said, a woman entering menopause, kicking and screaming, is simply not pretty for civilized humans to witness. And for men, it's a horrifying bewilderment.
Later that same day, in fact, in the evening, some calm returned. He was sort of sheepishly sidestepping the morning's festivities, basically hiding wherever possible. She—or "the victim with an attitude," in this case—wisely decided that the couple had to talk about the exciting days, weeks, months, and (yes, potentially) years to come. It was important to discuss some of the fun things they'd be sharing, like night sweats, hot flashes, weight gain, moodiness, crying jags, emotional outbursts, flying objects, etc.
The funny thing is, she was right about this. (Well, she should know!) He could see it too. It really could get quite dicey if they didn't put together some kind of a game plan, a strategy, to deal with this life-altering event. Maybe both sexes don't go through the actual menopause, but if you're in a relationship, believe it, you both experience menopause.
So, down we sat and set about planning Menopause Survival Lists, one for her—and one for him. What follows is what we came up with. And although it's an ongoing work in progress, the lists seem to be helping. We hope they help you, too!
We'll start with the Woman's Essential Menopause Survival List. (Ladies go first, dammit—especially on this one!)
1. Chocolate: History's greatest invention, apparently! What's in this stuff? It doesn't matter. It just works. A natural medication for any and all of life's tribulations, trivial or large. Stronger than Midol ever was—tastes better too.
2. She-TV: Lifetime, Oprah, WE TV, The Romance Channel, you get the idea. Stories where the woman is loved, warts and all, and the romance never dies, basically a nonmedicinal mood regulator, based completely on escapist fantasy. Oh well.
3. Sweatpants: Or for that matter, any elastic-waist pants. This will help with the swelling, the weight gain, the need for hiding in clothing, and will serve as a cocoon on those days when you're having a "fashion fit," "fat fit," or any other unpleasant reaction you want to run and hide from.
4. A scale that is ten pounds off in the right direction: Nothing can improve your mood like that little booster that indicates you haven't gained an ounce . . . and here's the great part, if you have the elastic-waist pants, you won't even know you're kidding yourself!
5. The cardigan: How did you live without this versatile garment? It's a perennial fashion statement, and it will help you regulate your temperature, and hide your bloated gut or your growing derriere. Nothing says "menopause chic" like a favorite cardigan!
6. Magnifying mirror: No, it's not what you think; it's not about the wrinkles. It's all about those pesky little whiskers. The damn things spring up out of nowhere and grow like weeds. And they're as stiff as bristles—rotten little suckers!
7. Shopping sprees: Instant relief and immediate gratification, mood adjuster and exercise regime, all rolled up into one simple little journey to the store or mall. You are in control! And when you find a bargain, what can I say? Is life great, or is life great? Have you forgotten all about the day's little travails? You betcha!
8. Personal fan: 'Nough said.
9. A new look: This makes it harder to compare to the old look that you've had for twenty years! The wrinkles, whiskers, gray hair, and sagging jawline will look better with a short layered haircut and new makeup . . . and don't forget to accentuate your eyebrows. An eyebrow pencil and steady hand are as good as a face-lift!
10. Friends who are sharing your pain: There is nothing like being able to use every g*dd*mn swear word under the sun, gripe and complain, laugh and cry, sweat and shiver, forget and remember with your trusted friends . . . who are likely wrestling with this at the same time you are. It makes the ride all that much more fun and a lot more bearable!
OK, guys are up next. Here's the Man's Reciprocal Menopause Survival List.
1. That horrible She-TV, previously mentioned: This one is going to hurt, guys. That's why we put it first. To survive this highly disturbing life event, you are going to need to at least pretend to be, at minimum, semi-interested in the "content" involved in all the sentimental claptrap and psychobabble of Oprah and her ilk. If you get into an argument, invoking the name of Dr. Phil takes the edge off and often makes the argument quickly subside. (A helpful hint, your acquiescence on watching these insightful programs may allow you the opportunity to purchase a new


On Sale
Mar 25, 2009
Page Count
208 pages

Pam Brodowsky

About the Author

Pamela Brodowsky is the founder of the literary agency International Literary Arts and author of two reference books. She lives in Moscow, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two children.

Evelyn Fazio is an award-winning publisher and literary agent. She lives in New Jersey.

Learn more about this author