Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Cerebral Palsy and Menopause Does Not Exist According to Google

Filed under: Living with a disability — by Glenda at 2:28 pm on Thursday, March 19, 2009

A few weeks ago, I purchased Dr. Christiane Northrup’s The Wisdom of Menopause, in preparation for “the change of life”. Flipping through the list of possible the symptoms, I came across:

  • Hot flashes. If they occur during the winter months, that will be one way to save on the hydro bill!
  • Insomnia. Needing to get up two or three times a night to pee doesn’t make for a restful and restorative night’s sleep.
  • Forgetfulness. Like, while making my breakfast, I reach in the dishwasher for a clean knife and put it beside the one I pulled out a moment ago? Doh! Is that forgetfulness or the result of being dead tired because I was up three times the night before?
  • Brain changes. Whoa! What?

Let’s read that again!

Our brain actually begin to change at perimenopause. Like the rising heat in our bodies, our brains also become fired up! Sparked by the hormonal changes that are typical during the menopausal transition, a switch goes on that signals changes in our temporal lobes, the brain region associated with enhanced intuition.… There is ample scientific evidence of the brain changes that begins to take place at perimenopause. (from p. 38)

For someone with cerebral palsy (i.e. brain damage), this is not  comforting news. I am still figuring out how my cerebral palsy works. I just discovered wearing a scarf on cold days reduces my gagging. All those early morning university classes, I thought that gaggy feeling was due to eating breakfast before a half-decent hour. I now discover it was probably because my neck and throat weren’t cozy warm. Now some hormones are going to mess up what I do know about handling my cp? Great!

And, for someone who had rare temporal lobe seizures as a young child – I’d have crying and screaming episodes during the night without waking up and ended up on phenobarbitol for several years, which is likely another contributing factor to my osteoporosis (but that is another story) – the fact that the temporal lobe is specifically mentioned is even less comforting. Will these temporal lobe changes reignite my seizures? I’d like to know what I could be in for.

So I did what most people would do as the starting point…I googled it. Googling cerebral palsy AND menopause AND temporal lobe resulted in no useful information; not even close. Broadening the search to cerebral palsy AND menopause resulted in vague, general information; nothing that was particularly useful and insightful without paying for a medical Journal subscription.

If Google doesn’t provide, at least, the starting point, what is a perimenopausal woman with cerebral palsy to do?

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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7 Comments »

Comment by Kym

March 19, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

I have not read that book yet (on my list) but I have 4 others and only one makes a mention of physical brain changes. The atticle it cites concludes that estrogen replacement therapy could counter-act it.

However, I do have a paper on menopause and women with physical disabilities and if you want to read it them get in touch.

Comment by Amanda

March 20, 2009 @ 1:16 am

It always strikes me how very general health books can be – I recently went through a chemically induced pseudo-menopause (at the grand old age of 24) due to endometriosis. I only made 1 month of the proposed 6 because I reacted so badly I couldn’t function at all – couldn’t eat, sleep, I was pyschotic and paranoid etc. I tried reading books on menopause but of course they are all aimed at people who start it naturally at the usual age of menopause – what about all those women who go through it earlier and those of us who have these chemically induced ones (and from reading message boards there are quite a lot of us). Even when I went to my doctor he couldn’t tell me if what I was experiencing was normal or not because he didn’t know enough about the drugs they had given me and his medical guide wasn’t much help either. It’s shocking how little there is out there for people who aren’t experiencing the “typical” pattern of something, be it menopause or something else.

I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling to find information to help you prepare for this major change in your life and hope you find some helpful articles somewhere.

Amanda (formerly of http://rootsthatheal.com)

Comment by Karen Putz

March 22, 2009 @ 3:29 pm

Well, there ya go, Glenda– the topic for your next book! :)

Comment by James Menozac

November 4, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

@Glenda

Google can’t always be right irrespective of their heavy technological advancement.

I think your bet might be to speak to your doctor. That would be more significant than consulting Google. Trust me!

Comment by mellafabulous

March 2, 2012 @ 7:46 am

Heh. Family docs know nothing about CP either. I work with individuals who have it, and am dealing with a 39 yo woman with CP and I *know* she’s going through menopause, but the doc just shrugs and says ‘maybe’, and doesn’t want to go any further with it. So I googled it too. Found this blog. Thanks. :)

Comment by Sarah

January 26, 2013 @ 10:13 am

I am convinced my hormones are affecting my movements (I have CP and am 44) but NO ONE in the medical profession either listen or is remotely interested. It’s very frustrating

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