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Menopause

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by North Star, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ladies, I could really use some encouragement. I went to a gyn because I had a period that dragged off and on for 3 weeks. Doctor's first impression is estrogen dominance since I am 50. Exam was fine. I had an ultrasound which should a thickened endometrium (by just a bit) and a 2 cm cyst on my ovary.

    He told me he wouldn't worry if I'm not menopausal… but if my FSH comes back indicating menopause, we'll have to investigate further. Especially with that cyst.

    I got the blood test back today. "Menopausal" is any range above 28, mine was 38. So now I'm trying to keep from freaking out. Especially since I've still been having cycles, albeit irregular. My understanding the menopause is ONE YEAR of no periods. So what's up?

    And of course, I have been researching online. There are plenty of MDs who say one cannot use the FSH as diagnostic of menopause. Others say over 50 is menopause.

    I'm speaking to myself telling me this is all simply a hormone imbalance as I transition into this new season in life.

    In the meanwhile, I am hoping this hormone crap might be behind the depressive feelings I've been having. Nothing really horrible…just feeling down and easily frustrated.

    I've been working on my deep breathing and visualization stuff but it ain't easy. I am also aware of the TMS factor. My pain issues have been settling down and I've been exercising every day…a blessed relief. And now this. And believe me, I'm mindful of the fear, TMS fuel, that is stirred up.

    I have an appointment Monday afternoon. And I will say this…this women's clinic is fabulous and the doctor is a very caring man. So I feel like I'm in great hands. :) But this still all sucks!
     
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi North Star. I am 52 years old and although I am still having my periods, I have been having a heck of a time. I have found the Northrup book "Mind Over Menopause" very helpful. I just feel like I have been going through so much with the TMS recovery and dealing with the chronic pain and menopause adds a whole other level of complexity. Woman who have never had any pain issues, anxiety, weird bodily sensations are often thrown for a loop with menopause and so sometimes I think perhaps I will be able to manage because so many of the things that we do to treat the TMS also helps with the menopausal symptoms. The PMS has become incredibly severe and so I am going to see my accupuncturist who helped me years ago when my periods first became irregular. I have been avoiding a lot of the support I used to see because of the TMS work but I think in this case it could be helpful. I am sure my husband would guzzle nasty Chinese herbs himself if he thought it would lesson my symptoms!
     
  3. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Anne the "Mind Over Menopause" is by another author. Do you mean "The Wisdom of Menopause?"

    Thanks so much for your reply….it's always helpful to talk to one who knows precisely what you're dealing with. I am so very tired of the hormone ride. So ready for this to be over. I go back and forth between speaking words of affirmation and kindness to my body…but that gets hard when the symptoms seem to stretch with no end in sight

    My older sisters have glided through menopause with not even a hiccup. Well, one sister has has some issue but nothing severe.

    If there's any of the nasty Chinese herbs left, I'll happily have some too. :)
     
  4. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    North Star likes this.
  5. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    Hi NorthStar: So sorry to hear about your troubles. I hope you can get through these next few days without worrying too much. One day at a time.

    I am 50, and I had my sore back from age 47-49 and I assumed the whole thing was perimenopause. I had hot flashes when my back hurt and not any now, strange. . . To me the sore back symbolized the change of life, something had to change and I would come out a new person. So far I have learned I need more "give", more flexibility, I do think I have come a long way in that regard, in this last year.

    Good luck in your tests, I am already starting to visualize good results for you!
     
    North Star likes this.
  6. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, Anne. Exercise is SO important. TMS knowledge has raised my awareness about how good I feel when I exercise. :)

    Peggy, thanks so much for chiming in. This morning I journaled from the perspective of a healer. It was insightful to me. One thing I learned, this is a tremendous opportunity for me to change my relationship with fear. To live more at peace. Physical changes are significant but those deeper spiritual/emotional ones are even more so. IF we allow them to. And of course, knowing I have TMS is helpful too and it is more than ready to rev up big time with a fear response to this.

    I am also learning that no amount of knowledge or handholding from the most learned professional can deal with fear. Peace must come from within…or for those with spiritual angle…from God. It's an internal process.

    All that said…I'll be glad when this is behind me!
     
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  7. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Northstar,

    I am almost 49, boy do I hear ya! My periods became progressivly longer and closer together. Then I had a 21 day, really heavy period with no end in sight. I was given progesterone to get it to stop. Not fun!

    You asked about how a they could say menopausal while still having irregular periods. From what I understand, because hormones flectuate so much during perimenopause the tests cannot tell. That is why they say a year, because we may go several months, then the hormones kick in with another period. Sort of like we are waiting to flatline, rather than stop and start in fits.

    Before learning about TMS I asked my Dr. if emotions were driving my crazy hormones or my hormones were driving my emotions. She said they don't know, maybe even both.

    I am glad you only need to wait til Monday to talk to your doctor. Take care of yourself til then and laugh and enjoy your weekend.
    Lizzy
     
  8. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lizzy, thank you so much for chiming in. There is such great comfort in hearing a "me too!" Especially when one is venturing into unknown waters.

    I am absolutely convinced that my emotions are contributing to this. Watching my young daughter go through a divorce and grieving over the loss of a son-in-law I adopted as my own boy has been one of the most painful things I've ever gone through.

    I will take your advice about laughing! xo
     
    Lizzy likes this.
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I bet all the men on the Forum take a look at the title of this thread and avoid it like the plague :) Lucky dogs!

    Sorry to hear of all your difficulties with these changes NS, Anne, Lizzy, Peggy. I had a complete hysterectomy at age 37 due to a diagnosis of endometriosis, so I haven't had to go through it. However, prior to my surgery, I had severe mood swings and other symptoms due to hormonal fluctuations for many years, and understand very well the emotional roller coaster it can put you on. My surgery completely ended that ride--thank you modern medicine! However, my joy was short-lived as about 6 months later I developed fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

    What I have come to understand now is that my symptoms that led up to my surgery were most likely TMS, and my brain just found a new way to distract me afterward. I had a lot of emotional issues at that time in my life related to being a mother and a woman. It makes sense to me now that my TMS would manifest in a way that would culminate in a hysterectomy. I think on some deep level all those natural hormonal changes within my body made me angry and full of rage. I had PMS on steroids.

    Wishing you all the best in coping with this transition in your life. I can say that never having to worry about having tampons in your purse is truly liberating.
     
  10. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    LOL, I thought that about the men too, Ellen. (Walt, if you're taking a peek, you know we all love you! ;) ) I'm convinced this is one of the reasons that one of the Jewish rite's of passage is something where they thank God they're men. (I' know I'm totally botching that so apologies to any Jewish folks.)

    Ellen, you also reminded me of some anger issues that are no doubt simmering deep within. I'm going to journal about that. I remember when I first starting getting my periods, the cramping would be excruciating. Curl up in a ball and vomit sort of stuff. I remember being so furious and completely embarrassed by the whole thing. In our Catholic home, puberty was a verboten topic. (Curious how all the Catholic community we lived in had all those big families when no one EVER has sex. haha)

    When Advil hit the market in the early 80's, it saved my life. To this day, I pop ibu at the first twinge of a cramp or they can still become very severe. I realize now that it may be conditioning but I just don't care. I know I'm nearing the finish line of this crap.

    I can't begin to tell you how much you ladies have encouraged me and talked me from off the ledge, as it were. I don't have any close girlfriends here and it can be very lonely territory to traverse.

    Thinking of you all with love and gratitude...:)
     
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  11. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Northstar,

    Ugh, cramps!!! One time, when I had them as a teen, I had no meds and was in bed rubbing my feet together, lol "as a distraction"! My mom felt really bad when I wore a hole in brand new socks!

    Stress doesn't help, for sure. I was having my period last month, without cramps and received a phone call that a friend had died. Almost before I got off the phone I had severe cramps. I think, like you all seem to, TMS takes advantage!

    I am so glad you could come here and get support from your forum girlfriends ;)
     
    North Star likes this.
  12. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm so glad you brought this subject up North Star. I could really use some support as well. I loved what you said about fear and this being an opportunity to change our relationship to fear. You are right, in the end, it is an internal thing and we can be so much happier if we learn to accept and embrace these inevitable changes. Since I started working with the elderly a few years ago I observe every day the differences people have in dealing with the numerous challenges. And I can see for some the seeds for living at peace were planted early. Meaning if they were generally happy, peaceful and trusting of life, they continue to be so. And those that are afraid and anxious only become more so. Changing our relationship to fear is so important. Fear generates more fear. There is no reason this can't be the very best time in our lives!
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
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  13. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lizzy, I'm sure I would have gone through dozens of socks….haha It makes me shudder to think of how severe the pain was when I was a kid. I thought this whole menstrual thing was a cruel joke by God/nature. (I still ponder that, if I'm really honest with myself.) ;)

    Anne, a keen observation. I've thought more than once about the saying, "As we get older, we become more like ourselves." Or what Richard Rohr talks about, as we age, folks will become elders or elderly. We're I live in AZ has a high population of retirees and I observe this everyday. Crabby people with pinched faces fighting over their senior discounts at Kroger (Senior Discount Day is a blood sport here) and those who mellow and become more kind and patient.

    I think the key to this is that fear thing. It wraps around so many facets of our lives via marketing which reminds us constantly that we are not enough, we don't have enough and aging is an enemy to fight.

    So glad for loving supportive communities.
     
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  14. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    My mother was 94 and still did not consider herself a senior citizen.
    When she had to go to a nursing home she said the hardest part was
    not finding anyone to play pinochle with! She was not ill but fell several times
    and got weary of rehabilitation so she just decided to pass away. I asked why
    she fell and nurses said it was because when she walked, she kept looking to see
    who might be looking at her and admiring her. Mom had a vanity problem,
    but it seemed to keep her going. And looking for new boyfriends. She never
    got over being a 1920s flapper who loved to go to ballrooms and dance.

    Hope you all have a joyful and Happy Easter. I'll be at family for ham this afternoon.
     
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  15. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    You're a brave man, Walt, to venture into these waters!

    I hope your Easter was happy, too. Your mom sounds like she was a real character! What fun…well, maybe not for when you were care taking, eh?
     
    Anne Walker likes this.
  16. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I loved journaling about my mother and father. I never understood them as I grew up.
    I loved them but never understood them.
    My mother was wonderful. She held the family together no matter what.
    Too many women today give up. She never did.
     
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  17. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I used to assume I would have a horrific time when I went through menopause. I had PMS on steroids too. My periods were irregular - anywhere from a 15 to 45 day cycle - and when I was younger the pain was horrific. My mother suggested I sip some brandy one morning to take the edge off. I'm a real lightweight when it comes to alcohol so after a wee tipple of this amber medicine I rang into work and explained I couldn't come in just yet because I needed to sober up. My boss was not amused and told me to get the bus. I was a real monster too, the incredible PMS hulk. My last home had a hole in the wall, a reminder of when I had once flung a pair of dressmaking shears at my husband - and thankfully missed. I couldn't take birth control pills. The side effects were unbelievable. Just passed my one year 'anniversary' which coincidently fell on 55th birthday. I get some temperature fluctuations now and again, what people on another forum have termed 'our personal weather' but other than this it's been uneventful. I do see others struggling. One friend had a hot flush episode the other week and I could see how distressed it made her. It did remind me of how I used to react when my TMS symptoms were at their height. I agree. Fear plays a significant part in all of this.

    Hey Walt, glad you're not frightened off by women's issues!
     
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  18. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    yb44, I've dealt with PMS and boy this menopause has it beat in the severity of the symptoms, probably because of all the fear with these medical procedures. My doc specifically told me he wasn't worried about anything but still…"awaiting biopsy and cancer marker blood tests" sounds frightening. And get this. While I'm waiting for the doc in the room, I was playing "Words With Friends" and deep breathing. Until I spelled out a high point word that took my breath away - "TUMOR". :D Okay, that DID make me laugh because it was all so absorb.

    I am learning first hand the truth of what I've told people before - if they put all of us under diagnostic imaging we would all find things to scare us. This technology is a blessing and a curse!

    In the meanwhile, I woke up with more cramps. Right on schedule this month. I am more confused than ever…blood test shows I'm menopausal…so now this period is termed "dysfunctional uterine bleeding." GAH.
     
  19. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    PS I wanted to add one more thing. I have seen this gyn doc 4 times so far. Not ONCE has he asked how I my stress level was or any pressing life circumstances. Not criticizing, mind you…I realize specialists are trained to laser focus. It just opened my eyes more to the need in western medicine to embrace the mindbody.

    I am going to knuckle in to treating the flaring menopausal issues as TMS.
     
    Ellen likes this.
  20. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    From what I am reading it sounds like your body is ready to give it up, but maybe your aren't ready to give it up yet. The doctors call it fancy words, I wouldn't worry about that.
     

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