Nobody told me that peri-menopause would turn me into a hypercritical, overthinking, overheating mess who woke up with sickness inducing anxiety after a sleepless night invaded by night sweats and chills.
Then there’s the headaches, brain fog, exhaustion, depression, poor concentration and memory that come and go with such intensity and extremeness but little cyclical connection that I began to believe I was losing my mind.
I thought ‘the change’ would pull me from my 40s into my 50s ranting and raving at the world, kicking and screaming against the unfairness of being female.
But no I instead feel hollow, as if someone has taken a spoon to my insides and scooped out all my anger, all my drive rendering me a bit pathetic, sickeningly nervous and seriously sweaty.
The woman I am today is such a stranger to me I couldn’t even conjure her up in my imagination.
I turned 44 last week and for the past couple of years I’ve been asking my doctor to do something about the hot flushes, headaches and night sweats I’d been sporadically having.
Initially I was told, at 41, that I was too young to be peri-menopausal and refused tests. Then at 42 instead of investigating where my hormones stood another GP put me on the contraceptive pill to ‘help with my symptoms’.
But about eight months ago my original sweaty symptoms received the very unwelcome additions of anxiety, depression and lack of confidence, with a side order of insomnia, brain fog and concentration problems.
Recently, despite taking Logynon without fail, all the symptoms have increased in intensity and the length of time they spend torturing me. They turn up almost every month regularly but without regularity – I never know when they’re coming they just turn up when they feel like it and knock the absolute fuck out me.
My periods only last for two or three days but are so heavy I need two extra long, extra thick towels at a time.
I’m a self-confident person. I believe in me and I believe in my ability. But when the emotional shitstorm of hormones attack me I can I can barely bring myself to speak to people. I definitely couldn’t even consider standing up for myself or arguing my point (not the greatest symptom to have in a newsroom!). And I question my judgement on everything making me a hypercritical overthinking (overheating) mess.
I can cope with the physical symptoms – I have been for at least a couple of years now – but I can’t cope with this emotional super killer downward slide .
I’ve been to see a new GP who can’t believe I’m experiencing these symptoms while taking the pill!?!
She’s sent me for blood tests to check more than my hormone levels just in case it’s something else. We’re both aware that taking the pill will affect how my hormones appear in the results.
We’ve discussed HRT options and I’m most likely going to go down the Mirena coil route for the constant progesterone and an oestrogen patch.
A friend suggested I go down the ‘change your menopause with diet’ route instead of pumping my body full of synthetic hormones that are so bad for me.
I said: “I’ve put hormones into my body for years taking the pill. So I will happily ram a bucketful of hormones into my system if it makes me feel like myself again.”
Peri-menopause Symptoms Include:
And so much more because it turns out every woman’s menopause is different.
If you think you may be experiencing peri-menopause symptoms please visit your doctor. And don’t be fobbed off like I was, state your symptoms and what you believe is wrong with you and how you’d like to be treated.
It’s your body and its your peri-menopause.