Ambrosia13: "This is amazing! It's a whole new world ... to have access to a conference like yours with people like Gail Sheehy guesting in Power Surge. It's like being able to talk to Margaret Mead.
"Thanks for forming Power Surge for women all over the world, Dearest. Unbelievable! I can't emphasize this enough. You've really done a great service for womankind! Take a bow!"
Angel4Cats: "Divorced. Early retirement from medical research/technical writing/industry Marketing Comm. Mgr (MARCOM) Active in political campaigning and information with L of W Voters; herbalist; gardener, rabid ecofeminist , nurturer of the homeless, - two and four legged, teaching; sewing. Facilitator of 'Voice Dialogue'; Women's Spirituality teacher/student; hypnotherapist, textile artist, weaver, quilter, knitter, sewer, needlepoint . CFIDS. Legally disabled from fibromyalgia.
"Power Surge is a place that allows me to talk to other Surgettes - those of us who have been there - Surgettes, HRT, etc, need to share this with women facing or just going thru the process. Dearest, my goal: for you, myself, anyone 'qualified' or interested to become a true community of women."
ANNIERAB: 47 years old, own my own insurance agency in Bow, NH. I live in Manchester, NH with my husband, Ed and nine year old daughter, Kayla.
"Power Surge messages, newletters and chats have given me more education and support for my passage into the next phase of my life than I would have ever gotten anywhere else. The interaction with other Surgettes makes me feel that I am not alone."
Ayra [Linda]: MN, Married at 35, first child at 35, second child at 38, menopause at 39!! Registered nurse and artist.
"Power Surge has been a source of support through difficult times. Going through menopause early has meant that friends are not experiencing the same life changes that I am, and cannot understand and have trouble being supportive. Finding Power Surge has increased my circle of friends to include women from all over with whom I can talk and share. I once felt alone-and now I am surrounded by concerned and caring women who are there with the 'click of the mouse'! Thank you, Power Surgers!"
BAMF24 [Bonnie]: NYS, Married, 49. "I teach Special education in the South Bronx and can't wait to get out of it. Getting masters in Gerontology and will be finished next May. "I have been on ERT for almost 4 years. Had a hysterectomy in '78 due to severe endometriosis. At 45 started feeling really depressed and not myself, but since ERT I feel wonderful. I need something because my hubby has severe multiple sclerosis and I need all the help I can get. I would love in the near future to try anything else and get off ERT. I don't have any idea what those little pills will do in the long run.
"Power Surge is for me the ability to be my own person, feel good about myself and looking ahead to the future."
BEH519 [Bonnie]: OH, 47, Married and thru menopause. "Taking HRT. Doing well with it. Except for weight gain .. LOL. Married, own my own business and very active in a primarily male dominated service organization. Soon to become the first female to head the group, for a one year stint. First female in Ohio."
"I enjoy attending the Power Surge meetings. They are always informative and console us at a time in our lives when we need someone to understand what we are/have gone thru!"
B jayi [Bonnie]: 46, Married, Mother of one teenage son. "I retired after 15 years in the business world upon the birth of my son. Today, I am a full time mother, part time teacher and serve as a volunteer on assorted school and community committees."
"I stumbled upon Power Surge about two years ago, totally in the thick of menopause and completely new to the online world. Apprehensive at first, I found Power Surge to be a wonderfully supportive group of women. Now, two years later, I am nearing the end of this ever changing meno journey and am ever so grateful to have found Power Surge. It has been a source of endless education and support."
BIGYCUST [Betti Cavallo]: 49, Director/Customer Relations, Big Y Foods Inc." Am an avid walker, believe in vitamins and going through Meno 'naturally'.
God Bless Power Surge and Dong Quai!"
BlueHorse4 [SandraShaw]: "Thank you Thank you Thank you! Oh, Dearest, I have spent the last two years in hell. Due to the depression that had come over me for no apparent reason, I had to give up my career. I couldn't get out of bed much for over a year. I began having dizzy spells and thought I had a brain tumor. My bones began to ache. I have had insomnia so bad that I was worried I would lose my mind because of lack of REM sleep. I had heart palpitations that made me think I was having a heart attack. I have been to cardiologists, neurologists, and my primary care physician, who has begun to think I am a hypocondriac looking for illnesses. I asked her over and over if she thought maybe some of my symptoms suggested I might be going into menopause, and she has said again and again, "You are too young." I am 45. After being 60 days without a period, I finally went yesterday to a wonderful gynocologist who said "Well, every symptom you mention points to menopause." Devastated at the mention of the word, she kindly pointed me to Gail Sheehy's books and another on herbal and natural remedies that women can do themselves.
This morning I found your wonderful sight on the internet. You cannot believe the relief I have found knowing at long last I am not losing my mind, that I can again be whole, and that this isn't the beginning of the end. The weight of my soul is lifted. I truly thought I would never be happy again. I have been going through this for a good 2 years, and my husband even thought at one point of leaving me, my depression and other symptoms had become so unbearable.
Why oh why don't we educate our young girls to know what to look for and what to expect like we do with the onset of menstruation and pregnancy? This should be part of general knowledge, no different than the rest of sex education. No woman should have to go through the hell I have gone through alone, only to find out that she is normal afterall and had company down the same road. Today, for the first time in several years, I rejoice at being alive once again. It has been a long and lonely struggle. Thank you for this lovely sight, and for giving me hope and the knowledge that I am not alone.Thank you for being there.
BJOANGLE [JoAnne Angle]: VA., 50, Treasury & Cash Manager.
I pulled quite a few of the newsletters off last night. How wonderful. Also I pulled the surgettes; I love it. I am so happy that I found you floating in cyberspace. You are wonderful. Even the men need this.
"I have one beautiful daughter and two gorgeous grandchildren, Seth 8, and Jordan, 5. I am very blessed. My daughter is from a previous marriage of 20 yrs. My present husband and I will celebrate our 3rd anniversary in February. Doug is a LTC in the Army, stationed at the Pentagon.
"I think is harder because I have not been with this person for a long time. I don't understand why I feel the way I do most of the time and neither does he. BUT we are trying to learn together. I am on Premarin, Levothyroxin, Zoloft and I just quit Prevara. I was having headaches and feeling just plain mean and angry after starting the Prevara not to mention the water retention and weight gain. Unbelievable. Now I am trying desparately to find a way to eat no (low) fat and low carbs. I am just not sure that is the way to go. My moods have also kept me from wanting to exercize. I have a Nordic Track and can't muster the desire to get on it.
"I am currently trying to find employment, which I know will help. Anyway, I KNOW that I must help myself and I
am really trying. That is why I think this program, Power Surge, is so important. I don't know anyone around here as yet and lonliness doesn't help. I also lost my mother in August. I am a very happy go lucky person, so this is unreal. I am still having normal menses. Thank you for this opportunity. I am here for anyone that would like to talk or chat and I would appreciate a friend also."
God bless you for taking time to care. Please let me help you somehow. We need to have a woman's "Dearest conference" or "Power Surge Conference". I love you and yours and pray that you will have the most glorious Christmas season and prosperous New Year. I will be forever grateful.
Boomshiva: CA/Thailand; Occupation: Traveler/writer/importer/designer. "Power Surge helped me to become aware of how menopause and ERT was affecting me, how to cope with the negative aspects and to revel in the great aspects of menopause.
Congratulations on the new look and location of Power Surge! You have
done an impressive job!"
Boulder54 [Barb Panneton]: "Dearest, you are truly a God-send! I discovered the Power Surge area quite by accident last weekend. I hope to participate in one of the "chats" soon.
I am 41 years old and experiencing perimenopause. I had my first hot flash about 6 months ago. At first I thought I was going crazy. I'm TOO YOUNG for this!! The most frustrating thing for me is the memory loss. I can't get through the day without making 10 different lists. I seem to forget the simplest things. And the emotional imbalance I am experiencing [10 times worse than PMS] : ( is affecting my relationships. I feel as though I've become a hermit. The fact that I've been unable to have children is my biggest disappointment. On one hand, early menopause helps ease my mind as to the mystery of why I couldn't conceive. On the other hand, it is also harsh reality that my time has run out. (Thank goodness for nieces and nephews!)
"I downloaded all the newsletters you have so caringly put together. Thank you for starting the Power Surge Network and for helping so many women everywhere!
"You have come a long way and you should be proud. You have helped so many women travelling this path. What would we do without you? Although I haven't been able to participate as much as I'd like, I just wanted to express my appreciation. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
CaptCarole: PA [orig. NY/LI], Married, Two children, Translator, French professor. Hobbies include sailing on the Chesapeake, reading, horseback riding, skiing, genealogy. "I'm just starting out with this menopause thing, and am so glad to see a place where women can get together to support each other and share their knowledge and experience. I'm especially interested in alternative methods and ways of dealing with the physical consequences of menopause.
Power Surge is a treasure!"
Careeda: MA, Human Resources Manager at a Boston-area hospital.
"What Power Surge has done for me: Power Surge has given me direct access to an enormous amount of menopausal information and a support network of peers. I wish this resource had been available ten years ago!"
CDYK129 [Carol]: WA, mid 50's, ".. and am most definitely in the Surge category. I have a home based accounting and small business computer consulting service. I work long hours and find that one of my favorite destressers is AOL and the Power Surge board. Though I'm afraid I'm more of a lurker than a contributor, I get a great deal of support from reading messages from others who feel much as I do..... Somewhat "odd" a great deal of the time!! I really like to read of different types of therapy and greatly appreciate others experiences. (Been there, done that!). There is very little time anymore to "chat over coffee with friends" about little problems as I did when my children were very young. I miss that, so in a way this is my way of having a friendly get-together."
"Dearest, you have done a remarkable job of making everyone feel so welcome. Thank you."
Cinda [HOST SURGE Cinda]: NY. Lucinda Fleming; Born, Nov 22, 1962. Masters in Agicultural Economics. Power Surge/Dearest's co-host in Power Surge chats for 7 years, and personal assistant, since Power Surge joined Women's Network on AOL in 1995.
I became involved in the AOL online community about nine years ago. I was teaching Economics at Rogers State College in Oklahoma and was approached to design a completely online economics course for the distance education program. While researching what was avaiable online I found the CNN Newsroom Online. I quickly became a regular and was approached to become a CNN Newsroom Online moderator. I moderated a weekly Saturday night chat called Week In Review for two years until that area was closed down.
During this time I divorced my ex and met a very interesting man online. After about a year of cross-country dating, my daughter and I moved to New York and I married this man I met online. See, I'm proof that online relationships can transfer into offline relationships! Since the move I have moved to assist Dearest (Alice) in Power Surge, started a new job as Assistant to the President of a Private Investment firm, married the man I met online and had another beautiful daughter.
I have been working with Alice in Power Surge for the last seven years. As a former educator and always a women's advocate, I see every day how informative and educational Power Surge is for a multitude of women. Menopause effects every woman differently and Power Surge educates them in their body, doctors, drugs (or herbal remedies) and even the emotional issues of this dramatic change in their lives.
Even though I'm in my late-30s, I still find many of the guests and newsletters informative and useful. The guests are well-educated, articulate and well-prepared by Alice for this type of format. The newletters are easy to read and obviously well researched. The website is loaded with information and fun to navigate! Alice is always a professional and supportive moderator and co-worker. If she does not know the answer to a Surgette's question, she will research it and either get back to them or refer them.
The thing that impressed me the most about Power Surge was the comraderie. This group of women support each other, support new people that come into the room, and support Alice. They "dearly" love her! Anyone who comes to Power Surge knows that she is doing this because she wants to make a difference in how women feel about themselves. That is something we should all support and encourage.
Cooknlady [Pam Wright]: PA. "I work for the Electric Company in a power plant. I thought I was getting a new disease every day, but after sharing and reading others' symptoms realized I had just climbed aboard the Menopause Roller Coaster. Since I can't take hormones, I'm just holding on for the ride.
Power Surge helped me keep my sanity."
firstname.lastname@example.org [Claire Lindberg, PhD, RN, CNSC]: "I am a post-surgical menopausal nurse who teaches women's health nursing in N.J.
About Power Surge - I LOVE IT and can't wait to explore all the information in it.
Kudos for a wonderful site.
Cynthia428 [Cynthia B. Astle:] Dallas, "Dearest: I just discovered Power Surge on AOL. You've probably heard this before, but I thought I was the only one struggling through mid-life!
"I had a hysterectomy for endometriosis when I was 37, followed by an ovariectomy two years later for a hemmoraghic cyst. I've been on HRT since then but I still suffer "power surges" periodically (the last one on Christmas Eve at worship in an overheated church--quite a scare!). I'm 43 now and I'm beginning to feel REALLY OLD.
"I really appreciate discovering Power Surge because I'm addressing a number of health issues now, especially exercise, morbid obesity and clinical depression (I've had this ever since the hysterectomy and it seems to be SAD).
"I want you to know that I especially appreciated the "needs survey" because it has helped me to see that many of my current health challenges are related to my unmet needs, especially insisting that my husband and 13-year-old son care for themselves while I make time for exercise and necessary solitude for spiritual renewal (I'm a journalist working for a Christian newspaper in Dallas). I'm also considering a change in physicians. My gynecologist is retiring this month and I shall miss him enormously -- he is a genuine healer, not just a physician.
"I say all this only to let you know that you're providing an enormous service for which I'm deeply grateful. I really needed help in learning how to care for myself as I mature and you've shown me some hopeful pathways that I didn't know existed. Count me in as a Surgette from now on!
DaiseyDuke [Betty]: "I live in Atlanta, Georgia. I have been a member of Power Surge for almost a year now and have met lots of wonderful ladies in this group and have learned so many things about this important time in my life. With the help of this group, I have been able to make decisions for myself and come to grips with many things that were bothering me about menopause.
I would highly recommend this group to any woman who is entering this part of her life. It is a warm, caring and informative place to spend one's time on line."
Dearest [Alice Stamm]: NYC. "I first started noticing changes around 43-44 years of age. Women are always going through •changes• - - menstruation, PMS, birth control, pregnancy - childbirth, nursing, rearing children and coping with the many hormonal highs and lows women naturally experience lonnnng before peri-menopause is even a blurred image on the horizon. The changes were subtle at first. Erratic sleep habits. Mild depression and, oh, those palpitations [sigh]. The mood swings, and the 'Of course there's nothing wrong, but I can't help crying' mode. For a few months they'd be full blown, then abate for a time.
"I always say in Power Surge that 'The only CON-sistent thing about menopause is that it's consistently IN-consistent.'
"I needed answers, and my doctor wasn't supplying them. Although I knew I wasn't ill, I felt awful. His solution was HRT. I knew, however, I had to avoid HRT given my experience with BC pills in the 60's, and two hospitalizations with Phlebitis in the early 70's (there's a connection there, although no one ever suggested it). Women with a history of blood clots, varicose veins, circulation problems should avoid HRT. I'm afraid that's another one of those *important* things some doctors neglect to tell their female patients to whom they give HRT. Educate yourselves.
I decided to seek out other women who might be feeling the same way. Women who needed to explore all the avenues of treatment available. What started out as messages posted in a folder devoted to menopause grew to weekly meetings.
We cried together, shared our fears, learned new things, and even acted silly. The most important thing we did, however, was bond. We reached out and finally found other women who knew exactly how we felt!
"While I was determined to avoid a maudlin, strictly medical atmosphere in Power Surge and find as much humor in our situations as possible, I still encouraged the gals to talk about what troubled them - their fears. Don't ever let anyone tell you this isn't a frightening time for many women. What with all our responsibilities in this over-stressed, overwhelming world of the 90's, there's got to be a place for women to shed the 'superwoman' costumes and let their hair down. Women need a place to feel safe to fuss about their discomfort -- a place where they can cry and play and, yes, when necessary - whine. So many of us are overburdened with responsibility, and more often than not our partners and children are so wrapped up in their own lives, they don't fully understand what we're going through.
"There are no martyrs in Power Surge. There are only •friends•. I'm just one of the gals. The camaraderie the Surgettes share is phenomenal, and I'm truly proud to be part of this wonderfully bright, caring and sensitive group of women."
DianneMCD [Dianne McDowell]: CO, Married, 50, One daughter, Former elementary school teacher, church secretary and lay counselor. "I plan to begin graduate school this fall at the Univ. of No. Colorado to get a degree in counseling - I finally figured out what I want to do when I grow up!"
"Experiencing menopause symptoms in a big way! I am fairly new to using AOL and when I discovered your Power Surge group, Dearest, it was a welcome oasis. I read everthing I can on the subject, but your newsletters pull it all together in an organized, unbiased manner. Thank you for concise writing ability! Since I experience 10 to 15 hot flashes a day, I tend to panic and the chats are so reassuring. I get a lot of comfort knowing I'm going through this with lots of other ladies that are sharing their fears, etc. So thank you, thank you! Lookng forwad to our next chat online."
DL N CO [Donlea]: Sacramento, CA, Divorced, One son aged 10, "who is my greatest joy. I'm an investigator by trade, and recently laid off after a 24 year career in the insurance industry. I have started my own business assisting people in the collection of judicial judgments with intentions of expanding to a subject near and dear to my heart - dead beat dads."
"I began the meno trail just after my son's birth, but wasn't diagnosed until age 39, after severe reactions to fertility drugs (gee, I wonder why?). Symptoms culminated in severe, debilitating depression and mood swings. At the end of my proverbial rope, I found Power Surge. Alice [Dearest] and fellow Surgettes literally saved my life. I will forever be grateful. Although the info and education have been invaluable, it has been the camaraderie, genuine concern, humor and friendship that has been my guiding force through this most difficult of all phases of life. Now, three months after stopping HRT, I am free of any meno symptoms (except the weight ..argh!) and am embarking on a new life with renewed excitement."
"You all are the most wonderful, dynamic women I have ever had the pleasure to have come in contact. Thank you!"
DPddv [Deborah]: VA., 47, divorced, 1 son age 21. Interior Design, good lawyer, loving it. Interior Design/construction/renovation. Presently developing affordable home ownership programs for a non-profit in No. Va. Refuse to grow old gracefully. I WILL NOT go gently into that good night! At about 45 started noticing some changes, could not figure them out. Not until I read a list of peri-menopausal symptoms somewhere, did I connect. (There's very little that menopause doesn't affect). Started HRT at 47, been on it for 3 months. Very lucky with first combination - no more symptoms, no side effects. But loss of libido still a major issue."
" Power Surge has been fantastic for discovering: 1) that I didn't need to go through this alone; 2) new friends; 3) estratest; 4) how to use an online service. Don't mean to be flip - it's a wonderful source of comfort and information and I'm priveleged to be part of it."
ElsBabey [Karen]: "Live in OH until the end of March, then I'll be living in Houston TX. - homemaker now, going on 4 years. I worked at AOL when we lived in VA."
"Power Surge has been wonderful for me!! I've learned quite a lot of things, and also learned about symptoms and feelings I've had so I don't feel like I've got a major mental problem.
Dearest, you've helped so much with your newletters, they are fantastic! :)"