Tell us a bit about yourself and the Hot Flashes & Cool Topics Podcast
My name is Colleen Rosenblum and I am a wife (married to my high school sweetheart), mom of 2 adult daughters and a podcaster. I started my professional career as an attorney and then stayed at home with my daughters, pivoted to become a certified pilates instructor and then at age 52, started a podcast along with my co-host and friend Bridgett Garratt.
We host Hot Flashes & Cool Topics which is a podcast for women in midlife and beyond.
We talk about anything and everything to do with this amazing time in life and we are working hard to change the “old” narratives in society to reflect modern midlife. We are just finishing up Season I and will begin Season II September 30th. We have amazing new guests and topics and we are so excited.
When did you realize the first time … damn can this be perimenopause?
Like many women, I attributed the first menopausal symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, brain fog and weight gain to life stresses.
I was 45 and my Dad was terminally ill, I had two teenage daughters and a busy life.
It was not until several years later when I heard about perimenopause and the symptoms that go with it that I had that “AHA” moment. At 53, I am still in perimenopause with my periods just in the last year getting irregular so the hope is that I am close to the finish line.
What was your biggest Perimenopause WTF? moment?
Weight gain: I have almost always been within a 5 pound weight. I went to the doctor and got on the scale and it showed 20 lbs heavier, it was right around the weight I was at 9 months pregnant. That was quite the wake up call and I actually resented the fact that I had to lose weight now along with everything else. This is why I don’t own a scale lol.
How did your relationships, friendships and more importantly yourself change?
My anxiety got really bad (I have lived with Generalized Anxiety Order for most of my life but this was a different level) and I ended up going on anxiety medication.
My husband and girls have been very supportive but I do freeze my husband with the house temperatures and wake him up when insomnia hits, I am sure that is not fun.
I remember my mom would always say that “this or that” was because of menopause and I would think “How long can you use that excuse?”. Turns out, I discovered you can use it for many years.
My daughters have actually learned a lot about perimenopause because of my podcast and how openly I talk about it now. We have heard stories on the podcast of marriages failing, jobs being lost and severe depression because of menopause symptoms.
What is still a big taboo and what should we talk about more?
Many things are still taboo: I can’t believe how many women have not even heard of the word perimenopause. We need HR in the workplace to recognize and imput a program in place just like maternity or mental health. Women associate menopause with the loss of fertility and aging instead of looking at any bright side like NO PERIODS. Women don’t know that mental health can be a symptom and that brain fog is real.
Many doctors are still behind the times when it comes to educating their patients on this time of life. Specialists can be hard to find and expensive. The list still remains too long and many women are afraid to talk about it.
What would you advise your younger self for this time period?
She probably would not completely listen but I would say be aware that you are not going crazy or have early onset dementia.
Be gentle with yourself and the changes that will happen in your body and mind. Oh, get ready your migraines to get a lot worse!
What’s in your peri pack?
Honestly, the podcast has helped me so much because we have the privilege to talk with experts on this topic. Whether it is HRT or natural supplements, body changes or relationships and more, we get the answers and it has been incredibly helpful.
1 Magnesium Glycinate – helps me with stress, sleep and migraines
2 Pantiliners – lots and lots of them
3 Probiotics – helps me with my stomach issues that can arise or get exacerbated
4 An Eye Mask – helps me sleep through the night
Excedrin Migraine (prescription Naratriptan for the hormonal migraines),
Motrin and lots of water!
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, does not take the place of medical advice from your physician, and is not intended to treat or cure any disease. Patients should see a qualified medical provider for assessment and treatment.