I had a hysterectomy 7 years ago because I had painful periods that lasted for weeks that were caused by fibroids. I put off the surgery for years but my quality of life was deteriorating; so I had the surgery. Everything was removed except half of one of my ovaries which my doctor said would keep me from going straight into menopause after the surgery. I felt like a brand new person after 3 weeks. I felt such freedom no period, no feminine products to purchase, no possibility of my clothes being ruined; and no getting pregnant life was great!
I was so excited with this new found energy; menopause wasn’t even on my radar; I thought well that’s years down the line and how bad can it really be. The changes were very subtle at first but then quickly went into overdrive! This is what I have experienced so far going through the “change” the last 2 years:
- It started with mood swings similar to PMS but times 10 worse and the crazy thing is I didn’t know what was happening; why was I so moody especially since I didn’t really experience this when I had a period
- I have talked about my struggle with my weight gain especially belly fat associated with menopause, and slow metabolism
- Forgetfulness is the worse like I can be in mid sentence and forget what I am talking about or forget a word like I am in a fog so frustrating
- The HELL FLASHES I have never in my life experienced such intense heat, body on fire from the inside out so intense that you feel like you are going to faint you are so hot. My husband has driven my car in the dead of winter and has asked “did you have your air on in your car” me: blank stare
- Lets not forget the night sweats! Waking up at 2 am drenched, pajamas, pillow, sheets all drenched waking up my husband so we can change the linen on the bed
- Making my husband freeze with the ceiling fan and the balcony door open and it’s 30 degrees outside I wake up and he is sleeping in his robe and a wool hat with the covers over his head
- Exhaustion from you guessed it having HELL FLASHES all night
- With hot flashes there are also bad hair days especially for those of us that wear straight hair styles (my hair is curly 99% of the time) going through this I would never straighten my hair the style would literally sweat out
I have no real remedies for any of this but I have found some things that make it more tolerable and some other things I would like to try.
- Limit Spicy Foods spicy food seems to trigger hot flashes for me
- Ice cold next to my bed (in an insulated commuter mug stays cold all night)
- Personal little fan on your night stand (ceiling fans work in a pinch) but that cool air directly on you helps
- Exercise regularly helps me rest better at night
- Wicking bedding wicks away moisture from your body (haven’t tried yet)
- Wicking pajamas (haven’t gotten any yet)
- Keeping my doctor in the loop to help me manage my symptoms
Menopause SUCKS! There is no pretty little bow at the end of this post unless any of you know of a cure!
Have you started menopause? What is the worst part? Are you experiencing anything I didn’t mention? Has your sex drive been affected? (thankfully mine hasn’t) Is it as bad as you thought it would be? What has helped you through all of the changes? If you aren’t there yet does this scare you? Would you consider Hormone Replacement Therapy (my doctor is against it she says the risks are too high). Let’s Chat!