Today I thought I’d talk about Menopause. I know, for many of you this topic sounds like TMI or not relevant. That’s what I thought 5 years ago. In fact, I never really thought I’d be affected by it. You know what it’s like when your a teen and you think that you’re invincible so why not take that risk? Well, that’s what Menopause or The Change was like for me. I’d heard the jokes about hot flashes and mood swings (from TV sitcoms), but it just wasn’t something that I was going to have to worry about. Or maybe I just was never going to be that old. Ha ha.
Anyway, 6 years ago I started to notice two things that were out of the ordinary for me. The first was that my formally flat stomach (even after have a baby) was now becoming poochy. Just a little…but enough that I started to worry. Usually I would be bloated one time a month and then it would go away. This time it stayed. The other change was the night time sweats. I’m not talking about your run of the mill sweaty feeling. No, this was an internal fire causing my entire body to break out in a sweat. I would get up in the middle of the night to change. That’s how bad it was. It worried me. I couldn’t figure out what was happening.
I spoke with my nurse practitioner about it. She just chalked it up to having a warm room or too many blankets on my bed. I was 44 so I don’t think it dawned on her that it was in Peri-menopause. In case you’re not familiar with that term it is the time before menopause when symptoms start. It’s not Menopause until you haven’t had a period for over one year. I suffered through for the next 5 years as my symptoms became progressively worse.
If you’re reading this and thinking “Oh Lord is this going to happen to me?”, just know that each woman is different. My understanding is that some breeze through this stage of life with no problems. Kind of like some women do with pregnancy. I’ve also read that if you have taken good care of yourself when younger ( you know, exercise and eating right) the symptoms may not be as pronounced. Anyway, for me that has not been case. Needless to say I have started a bioidentical hormone which had to be tweaked a bit to get the right dose. Now my life is so much better. The brain fog has lifted, the mood swings have quieted and best of all my creativity is back!
I could probably go on and on about this topic. If you’re someone who’s going through Perimenopause and have questions, let me know. I’m not an expert, but I may be able to point you in the right direction. Just know that you are not alone. You may find that a lot of people do not want to talk about this stage of life, but it is normal and you are normal. Trust your gut, ask questions and research your butt off!