06 July, 2011

The joys of perimenopause

I visited my gynecologist today for a discussion. I didn't actually have to disrobe, wrap myself in a paper sheet, and "scoot down" - today was just talking.

I've been having serious trouble with The Change this year. My hot flashes are amazing - something you can't understand if you haven't had them. The heat, the sweating, the feeling that Iwould gladly strip and roll bare-ass naked in a snow bank. It's like for a few minutes you are living in a hot, sweaty, miserable world of your own. Other people nearby are la-di-da going along with business as usual while a hormonal tornado rages inside you.

I tried to explain to Thomas how REAL they were when things started getting bad in the winter. He made the appropriate sympathetic noises, but he had no clue. One night it was about 58 degrees in the room (we keep the heat down at night) and I was burning up. I'd flung all the covers off and was lying there glowing, and he reached out and patted my shoulder, only to draw back in shock. "You're SWEATING," he said. "Duh," I said, what did you think I meant when I said I got hot?" He thought I felt hot in my imagination, that it was a sensation of warmth, not an actual physical manifestation of being hotter than the hinges of hell. No matter how dramatic my descriptions of hot flashes were, and they were some kind of dramatic, he hadn't understood that I was actually hot and sweating.

Today I visited my doc to see what she could offer in the manner of help, because the flashing, the mood swings, and the disturbed sleep are just pissing me off! She had some help to offer.

First, I'm going to get a blood test to see what my actual hormone levels are.
Then, I'm going to start taking a supplement called Estraven, which is soy and black cohosh, that helps about 60% of  Hot Flashers simmer down.
Lastly, I'm going to see her again in a month to have my yearly checkup and talk about how things are going.

So, at least she didn't just brush me off, for which I am oh so grateful. She said that I do have one thing going for me. Since I am sans uterus, if I need hormones, I won't have to take estrogen and progesterone. Those of us without all our plumbing don't need the progesterone! Woot, woot, three cheers for hysterectomies!

I also have an appointment to get my boobies smashed flat between two plates while a technician takea pictures. Hurrah for mammograms!

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