My Perimenopausal (and Menopausal) Experiences So Far
I knew I would write this one day: My Menopause Journey Part 1. Or Should I Call It trial?
As I write this, I am itching over a very small bandage that is still on the bend of my elbow after having yet another blood test this morning at the doctor’s surgery.
In short, I’ve been feeling like shit for years. That’s the best (and only) way to describe it. One of two things has happened: Either I’m in pretty bad health, or peri-menopause hit me. [freight] training. It was about the train that had been waiting for a while at the station. It had been on the departures board for a long time, but the platform number had not yet been announced.
We believe the platform numbers will be announced around the fall of 2021. And without warning… Wham. A train called “Destination Menopause” left the station and hit me with all its might. Well, that’s the end of the train analogy.
[6 mins reading time]
And when I say something wrong about my health, it’s both physical and mental. I’ve been to the doctor and she’s a little worried too since everything’s going on… hence the blood work.
So recently I “All these things can’t be menopause, can they? All these problems?” I don’t want to leave various diseases to chance “Oh darling, it’s just a life change” – And it turns out that what was really bothering me in the 12 months leading up to my 50th birthday was something else (very serious).
Never felt this shit in my life in a million years mental I was in bad health, bad enough). And here’s a caveat…I used the word shit a lot in this post. Let’s say we’re talking shit here. -)
Lethargy, depression, uncontrolled weight gain
without wanting this post that too Depressingly (sorry!), I will briefly talk about how I felt and what went wrong.When after that Let’s talk about menopause. Brace yourself…
Over the past 9 months or so, this is what’s happening/what I’ve been feeling:
- Constant and extreme lethargy. A lethargy like I’ve never experienced before. I wake up with zero energy every day.
- Exponential Weight Gain: I’m serious, it’s my horrible weight gain…for someone with a fairly small frame (thin wrists, bony back) and who has been generally slim throughout adulthood, I’m Almost 3 stone (38 lbs / 17 kg in half a year. This and lethargy is what I get all my blood tests for. And it doesn’t seem to give up.
- Injury after injury: The pain in my leg came back every time I exercised, tennis elbow went from right elbow to left elbow, and I went to see a chiropractor for a neck/shoulder strain that took forever to improve. I met him twice recently about a particular muscle that he likes to give him a stabbing pain in his lower back.
- I felt like I was being hit all over my body every time I walked. Absolutely back from a 30 minute walk ShatteredI have shin splints, sore joints, tendonitis in my legs, and no lung capacity. This time last year, I was hiking up a steep hill for hours. This year I had to stop walking my lovely local hills for flats, but it’s still killing me.
- I feel so depressed and can’t remember what it feels like to be truly happy. It’s the kind of constant absent-mindedness that makes gratification an impossible, unattainable goal (I think it’s brain fog).
So far hypothyroidism has been ruled out (it was completely normal, not borderline). And there are a few other things, like my liver, but it was my thyroid that I really thought was causing the weight gain. It seems to take a long time to heal. That honestly would have explained everything…so I’m baffled.
So this morning I will have more blood work done and next time I will see a doctor in person.
And in case anyone is wondering: No, I don’t eat takeout every night. You can eat someone else’s house. I don’t drink soda or wine (never) and I rarely leave snacks at home. We are also well aware that healthy foods such as giant fruit salads of mangoes, pineapples and melons, or handfuls of dried fruit and nuts are high in calories.Me know Consuming large amounts of these on a regular basis can lead to weight gain.
That’s right – I’m no saint/health fanatic, but my “basic” diet is pretty well balanced with lots of vegetables and some fruits (mainly berries and apples) and no red meat. It has little to no and moderately lacks saturated fat.
My menopausal symptoms – so far
Obviously there are some things I know. My period hasn’t stopped but it’s barely lasted 2 days, between which he’s 19 and he’s 32. Their erratic nature is (WA-HAY!) so much fun.
So far my worse symptoms are night sweats. they were the worst. I slept in the freezing cold and woke up early in the morning so overheated and soaked that I was drenched for hours and in dripping sweat I put my fingers on my tummy and chest causing my fingers to swell. It often wrinkled badly. (Sorry if that’s TMI, but you might know how bad they are.) I had to sleep in thick towels so I didn’t have to change the sheets every day.
And all the other health issues? I don’t know if they are perimenopausal, environmental, or both. But one positive thing is that I saw my GP earlier this year and she prescribed HRT. [patches] Immediately, there were no questions.
(Well, apart from the usual, she is almost obligated to ask as my GP, but unlike some stories I’ve heard about the GP, all the combat gear and tactics I prepared for the fight. Didn’t need HRT. Could it have helped that she’s female and about my age? is interesting.)
Long ‘go to HRT’ story short, I’ve been using the patch for about 3 months and the night sweats stopped almost immediately. a bit It was a sweaty night, but nothing like the tsunami of sweat I had experienced before.
But my bad mood continued…it might have gotten worse. So, rather than just blaming perimenopause, I wanted to investigate more than that, especially since I’ve heard many women say that HRT made them feel like new women.
myself? I feel worse than ever. Not because I was on her HRT, it just didn’t work.
There are many other factors that can easily be attributed to why I feel
very low at the bottom.I don’t want to sound dramatic and depressing [er, too late Catherine…], it’s been a bit more lately. I have some terrible skin problems and had the worst eczema bouts ever climbing walls due to itching and pain.I have had eczema before but never this bad . A common cause of eczema is stress, so it’s no surprise that my ears, neck, and chest decided to erupt with burning itchy red skin sores and flaky spreads.
All the other shit that’s been down lately:
- I have almost zero income this year (I have less income than before the pandemic) and as a result I have money worries. I think this is my biggest problem.He worked on about two campaigns a month before the pandemic, so far this year he has run two campaigns total.
- I can’t go anywhere or do anything (I can’t even go out to eat, let alone go on vacation) because my income has decreased.
- Aging parents are always worried (one has dementia, the other is ill and not healthy enough to be a full-time caregiver, aged 93 and 88 respectively) .
- A daughter of a dog who seems to be as injured as her mother. We now have a serious injury to our Achilles tendon after being pulled back, torn legs and broken nails.One injury gets better, another happens. This is also a strain on our finances.
- Too lethargic, unable to focus on housework, the house is in a bit of a bad state.
- I can’t wear clothes that I think are “nice” and I can’t afford new ones (sweatpants or stretchy leggings every day). A “nice top” is also impossible because it irritates an eczema-ridden décolleté.
I’m sure I don’t have to go on.. you get my drift. Looking at what you wrote down it looks dramatic but really I just want you to take a break somewhere . anywhere.
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So is this menopause, depression, or something else?
This is what I hope to find at my doctor’s appointment – or at least rule out anything serious first. You’re downplaying (possible) depression. As I said in my post last year about how my mental health has improved, I don’t think I’m a depression prone person. but even half a glass will break at some point.
Edit June 25, 2022 ~ Some people have personally asked here if I have Covid. Even if you don’t want to jinx yourself (!): No, I didn’t. This surprises me quite a bit as just about everyone I know (except the family members I’ve been most in contact with) has had it.
It’s really hard to maintain a radiant disposition when you’re not feeling well.make me feel negative Mentally It’s unavoidable (I wrote about it last year: How my mental health goes hand in hand with my physical health and fitness).
At this time, I am open-minded about what I am going through. menopause? Very likely. self harm? Quite possibly. Something more serious and underlying? I hope it doesn’t work, but at least it’s under investigation.
We will deliver the latest information.
Does any of my symptoms sound familiar to you – for you or a loved one? Let us know in the comment box below. Then check out all my other posts on mental health or general health and beauty.
Stay safe XOXO
PS I started writing this about 10 days ago and am currently at a detox retreat in North Devon that I’ve been to a few times before (amazingly good for both physical and mental health). I mentioned our money worries and managed to sort it out so we could go, but that’s not something I need to explain (the bank I robbed didn’t need the money anyway. 😉 ). When I write a follow-up to this, I will of course write about how I spent my stay and after, and what the doctor said…
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