Hot flashes and mood swings...
It was a decade ago that Lise Fox decided to write a newsletter about menopause.
The idea came after she met with two friends for dinner. All three of them were suffering from one symptom of menopause or another and the time one was having hot flashes during the meal.
“We despaired at not finding holistic ways of dealing with hot flashes and mood swings, and we laughed at attempts to make our significant partners understand what we were going through, Mrs Fox recalled.
“We spent the whole evening laughing about it and coming up with jokes and trying to see the funny side of it all.”
She came up with the idea of ‘The Menopause Gang' on her way home that night.
“I thought it would be nice to be able to put our thoughts down about menopause, and share with other women.
“There was nothing in Bermuda for our age group going through menopause. That's when the seed got planted in my head.”
She immediately got to work.
“I finished it in a few days and was so excited. I showed it to my two girlfriends and they loved it. I started showing it to other women and I attended a TB Health and Cancer presentation at BUEI where I started signing up women to receive [it] either by mail or e-mail. Eventually I ended up with 100 members. I was elated.”
Menopause brings mood swings, hot flashes and forgetfulness which leads some women to feel as if they are going mad, Mrs Fox said.
“Do you call every one dear or sweetie, because quite frankly you can't remember his or her name?” she asked.
“Ever wonder if you're going crazy? Did I forget to mention all those hot flashes and mood swings! Oh yes, us too.
“We've been there, done that, and nearly forgotten most of it.”
The newsletter provided the retired accountant with a new outlet. Other than a few painting classes, she never had the opportunity to develop her creative side.
“Publishing this newsletter has been a labour of love. I've met so many interesting women along this journey,” she said.
“It has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. It started as a two-page publication and has now evolved to an eight-, nine-, and sometimes a ten-page newsletter.”
As the newsletter gained in popularity, Mrs Fox discovered other women wanted to contribute.
Carole Sousa. Gloria Cody, Carole Ivaliotis and Trish Wan help her cover a range of topics from menopause to travel to bipolar disorder anything to do with women's health issues.
Mrs Fox initially paid for the newletter's expenses herself. Eventually she solicited sponsors and was able to distribute the newsletter to a larger audience.
It can now be found in a variety of places including doctors' offices, gyms, government departments, beauty salons, dentists, drugstores and the hospital. She continues to e-mail a copy to subscribers.
“As this is my tenth anniversary, I thought it would be nice to thank the sponsors that have been loyal to me, to thank the readers; for without their support, there would not be a newsletter.”
She estimates that she has about 1,200-plus readers per issue.
“Everyone who receives it by e-mail usually passes it on to their friends and they as well pass it on,” said Mrs Fox.
“I send it to Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan, Gibraltar, France, UK, US and Canada.
“The distribution is wide. I even send it to a few gentlemen who pass it on to their female relatives and friends.”
Useful website: www.themenopausegang.com.
For more information e-mail menopausegang[AT]hotmail.com.