Men (and women too) be warned – this post contains a rant about women’s bodily functions and health – so if you don’t want to hear about peri-menopause then feel free to “move on.” I won’t hold it against you.
So, I’ve been in peri-menopause for almost two years – and it f*cking sucks. I get to the point when I’m begging for a hysterectomy, then my body calms down. Then when I think, “Oh, this isn’t so bad,” it acts up again!
I’ve had fibroids since I was pregnant with my son 9 years ago (probably before, but we first noticed them on a prenatal ultrasound). They grew pretty large. My gynecologist would say that I had a baby and two lemons in my uterus. She assured me that once the baby was born and my hormones stopped raging that they would shrink – and she was right. They stayed harmless until two years ago when they started growing again and becoming painful (on and off), and when my menstrual cycle started playing games with me. Not that I was skipping. God forbid I get one of the “good” symptoms. Noooooo… my periods were lasting longer and coming closer together.** Oh yeah me.
Since then my body seems to be riding a rollercoaster. For a few months it’ll be ok, then for a few months it’s awful, then back to ok. I’m in the middle of a bad stretch right now and just want to curl up in a ball and hide.
Some things I never knew about the process of peri-menopause…
- NIGHT SWEATS. Oh my Lord in heaven! I wake up SOAKED. Like I’ve just been through a workout. Pajamas and sheets and my hair! But I’m not hot. I wake up COLD and sweaty! There are times I’ve had to get up and change and put a towel on top of my bedsheet, which sucks because chances are I’ll sweat some more, wake up wet, and have to change again. Sleeping in the nude would solve part of the laundry problem (fewer pj’s to wash, but still sheets), however, it would lead to some embarrassing/awkward moments when my 8 year old son wants to crawl in bed with my husband and me after a nightmare.
- BOOB problems. I can’t stand it! I have THREE different sizes of bras in my drawer right now, and bras ain’t cheap. They grow, they shrink. They HURT. Sometimes I feel like I’m breastfeeding again. The pressure – just like being engorged! You know how wonderful it feels when you take your bra off? Not me anymore, sometimes I have to do it slowly because if I do it too quickly it hurts like hell. Sometimes I can’t even lay on my belly to fall asleep because they’re so sore – and I’m a belly sleeper. And it’s rough when you have to tell your partner – honey, please don’t touch the boobs tonight. UGH!!!
- Speaking of “touching,” my libido has multiple personality disorder. It’s bad enough for me to live with myself – I feel really sorry for my husband. He never knows which “me” he’s going to encounter! I have days when I swear I’ll never care about sex again, but then other days… There’s no rhyme or reason to it. Completely unpredictable.
- And flow… I haven’t skipped ONE darn period since this whole process started. But I never know what kind of period I’m going to have. Sometimes light the whole time – sometimes nasty heavy. Sometimes start out heavy and end light – sometimes start light and end heavy.
I grew up thinking menopause meant your period just stopped. I’d heard about moodiness and hot flashes – which is weird, because those are two symptoms I haven’t had – YET. I suppose I should be grateful, but not today.
The only good thing through all of this is that I have a wonderful gynecologist. Not because she can fix it, but because she UNDERSTANDS. I see her in a practice that includes men, and the men delivered all three of my kids (by coincidence, not planning) – but she gets what I’m going through, because it’s happening to her too. Her line to me when all this started? “It sucks to be a woman of a certain age.” No sugar coating, no condescension, just solidarity in our mutual journey. And I needed that. And I need it now – which is why I’m ranting in cyberspace.
It’s been a BAD hormone month.
**If your periods start lasting more than 9 days and coming more than once a month DEFINITELY see your doctor – it could be a sign of something BAD. I ended up getting an endometrial biopsy because my mother had uterine cancer. Thankfully the biopsy was negative.