Since I turned forty I’ve literally felt like shit.
Not understanding why, I’ve been from doctor to doctor with a wide array of seemingly disconnected, and sometimes bizarre symptoms which have at times made me simply miserable.
The anxiety surrounding not knowing WHY has at times caused me to become somewhat of a googlaholic imagining all kinds of disturbing health afflictions.
At times yes, I’ve felt crazy.
At times certainly I’ve felt like a hypochondriac.
I’ve felt frustrated and stupid and whiney and alone.
I have not felt like “myself” for five years now!
I’ve blamed anxiety, for the most part, because that’s always been with me, and caused many unpleasant physical sensations, but it’s got to the point where I am certain that all of this shitty stuff I’ve been going through for the past five years is due to perimenopause.
You would think that would be easy to diagnose hey, considering that every woman goes through it and considering half the population of the world is female that doctors would put two and two together and say….”Aha….I think I have the answer for you”
That’s not been the case for me.
I’ve literally experienced doctors scoffing at the mere mention of the P word.
That’s because, most of them only believe in the M word – Menopause.
The cessation of a woman’s regular cycle. THAT makes sense to them…..It’s real and tangible and it’s in black and white written in their medical books.
The lead up TO it, is of little consequence it seems, to them, which to me is insane, considering that for some unfortunate women it can last up to a DECADE!
I have even seen FEMALE doctors and argued with them, to the point of one leaving me in tears, treating me like some hysterical stupid woman.
I have said to them… (and this IS undoubtedly the case!)” But isn’t menopause a gradual process….just as puberty is a gradual process, and during that process, which may take years, there are physiological changes that occur due to fluctuating hormones?”
I have said….”You don’t just wake up and suddenly you are IN menopause, no more cycle, all done and dusted and there you go it’s all over with!”
This one female doctor actually ARGUED with me about this….
I have asked, time and time again….”Do you think these things happening to me are because of dicky hormones?” to which each and every doctor has hedged and skirted the issue, ummed and ahhed and never given me a definitive answer.
Oh they’ve sent me for blood tests and each time they tell me….”Your hormone levels are normal.”
So, I’ve thought….ok, well it can’t be that then, and gone away until the next thing hits me.
One thing that happened to me was (guys you can stop reading….this is really aimed at women and could get into the TMI realm for most men’s sensibilities. Though really, I reckon if you’re a guy with a woman in your life you SHOULD know about these things!)
One thing that happened was that I suddenly started having periods from hell. I mean, not being able to leave the house (some days) bleeding for a month straight hell.
Eventually I went for an ultrasound…..the lining of my uterus was abnormally thickened.
I researched this in depth and discovered that this hyperplasia thing is caused by a hormonal imbalance….too much oestrogen…..and the doctors answer was to tell me to take progesterone!
Guess what, all of that happened even though my hormones AGAIN tested “normal”.
Well, that was it for me. I just hold no relevance for those blood tests.
They tell you nothing.
I decided, of my own accord to try natural progesterone cream, which DID seem to help, for regulating ones cycle anyway.
But I have gotten to the point where I am tired of feeling tired. Sick of feeling “unwell”.
I’m just OVER all these bizarre weird and persistent symptoms.
Here’s a list of them.
Dry eyes (To the point of corneal abrasions!)
Burning tongue (a recent thing I posted of)
Brittle thinning hair
Thyroid problems (I went hyperthyroid at one point. Oh my, that was fun!)
Pins and needles in my hands and feet, especially at night in bed.
Sharp stabbing pains on one side of my head
Buzzing sensations under the skin
Heartburn (Suddenly foods I used to eat, I can’t tolerate)
Burning face (Not a hot flush….like something has been rubbed on my skin causing irritation and mild pain. The latest current lovely sensation I am dealing with)
Irritable bladder (I call it…Water just goes straight through me and feels like it’s not reaching my cells….I feel constantly dehydrated.)
Fluttering feeling as I fall asleep – waking me up.
Inability to fall and STAY asleep.
Light intolerance (I live like a vampire)
Intolerance to heat
Inability to concentrate
So, like I said….I’ve had enough.
I had this idea in my head that because menopause is a natural physiological process that somehow I could deal with it naturally.
I’ve researched SO much on dietary changes, the power of nutrition, tried the natural progesterone cream, tried nutritional suppliments for women, and basically just put up with whatever crap my body has decided to throw at me but I can’t take it anymore!
I don’t want to live to be really old anyway, not ancient….I’ve given up smoking, rarely drink these days, I eat well (for the most part) I take sensible suppliments like fish oil and magnesium for the restless legs.
Nothing I have tried is helping.
So, this week I am going back to the only doctor who has agreed that this is all due to perimenopause and I am going to go on HRT.
It’s a huge move for me because I have resisted for so long. Truth be told I really do NOT like the idea of synthetic hormones. I DO worry about the risk of breast cancer, and the lesser risk of stroke.
I’m concerned about the long term risks, and how hard it might be to withdraw from them….
I AM an advocate for the more natural healing forms of “medicine”, but I’m literally going insane here.
I can’t focus on LIFE….on LIVING when all these stupid things are stealing my concentration and my energy!
I just want to feel like “me” again.