Hot on the Heels of Menopause

Hot on the Heels of Menopause

The AHA Moment

Have you ever had a real “AHA’ moment? I’m talking about the kind of thing that when you hear or see something it just clicks all the pieces together like those wooden interlocking puzzles we played with as kids? Well, that’s exactly what happened to me last week when I learned that short term memory loss is a symptom of perimenopause.

Those of us of a certain age know what menopause means for us in terms of reproduction. Growing up as girls, horror stories of “the change” were recounted nearly as often as that of Snow Whites troubles with her dreadful Wicked Stepmother (who, truth be told, was just perimenopausal).

We know all about the hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and the changes in menstrual cycles. But what I didn’t know, and what you might not know either, is that there are 35 symptoms of perimenopause. 35! 

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A Change is A’comin! 

For a few years now I have had nearly all 35 symptoms and have been to the doctor about a number of them, including vertigo, trouble sleeping, increase in allergies, and panic attacks. Not one time have any of the doctors I’ve seen ever suggested perimenopause. Not once. 

What they have suggested, though I’ve not complied, is that I take a pill for this and another for that, all while warning me about the side effects of each and how one pill might exacerbate the side effects of the other! Really? Because, most of the side effects sound worse than what I’m dealing with!

Although I don’t think of myself being old enough to be perimenopausal, I am 43 years old and had a hysterectomy at 26. I still have my ovaries, though they aren’t the healthiest specimens and have only been limping along for the last several years. And, without my monthly cycle, I’ve not had the clear usual cue that I’m entering that phase of my life. And, really, who knew turning into a hot and irritable insomniac with panic attacks who also becomes dizzy and cries down my leg every time I cough, sneeze, or laugh too hard, are clear signs of perimenopause?

If my body is going through all these changes before menopause, I’m scared to imagine what menopause has in store for me! 

Let’s Talk

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But now that I do know, you can bet your next hot flash I’ll be back in my PCP’s office with a whole list of questions! 

Although I can’t tell you, at this point, what can or will be done about my symptoms, particularly the memory loss, I can tell you it’s a huge relief just knowing my symptoms are likely caused by perimenopause rather than my (not so rational) fear of early onset Alzheimers. Because I’ve seen both my granny and father slowly ravaged by Alzheimers disease, it’s a natural fear that I, too, may get it.

What I can tell you, though, is that I will get on google and other blogs about perimenopause and I will learn as much as I can about the changes my body is going through. And I’ll be talking to other women to find out what choices they’re making to deal with their perimenopause symptoms.

It’s time we, as women, stop feeling embarrassed or ashamed about this phase of our life and talk as openly about perimenopause and menopause as we do puberty. 

If you’re dealing with perimenopause or menopause, I’d love to know what you’re doing to deal with your symptoms. Have you decided on a natural or homeopathic remedies, or have you gone with HRT or some other traditional medical treatment? I love to hear why you chose your path and how you feel you’re responding to your treatment.  

I truly do believe knowledge is power. And, I don’t know about you, ladies, but I don’t like feeling powerless!  

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Comments

One Response to “Hot on the Heels of Menopause”

  1. July 3, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Thanks for opening up the topic. I am not looking forward to an upswing in my allergies. Oy vey.

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