The never ending menstrual cycle…

So I am peri menopausal and life has thrown me some curve balls. Not sure where to begin. It has been a while since I posted.

Last fall I realized I was going into the peri menopausal stage in my life and I was excited. I was so ready to not have my period for months at a time if not ever again. 

Mother Nature had other plans for me. I am not sure why except for me to share my story with others. 

May 20th started alike any other cycle I have ever had. Some spotting and then the next day the Flo began. But this time it didn’t stop at day 4-7. It just continued on like I had not had one in years. But because I was going through peri menopause I did not freak out. But at about day 30 I put a call into my Dr in hopes to have a brief conversation with her. This to me is very personal and I didn’t want a tag team call after call going on and I did relay that when I left the message for her to call me back. But I got a call back from someone I did not know. I again strongly expressed my need to talk directly to my doctor. I was told that was not possible and I hung up and cried. 

So I just figured I have an appointment at the end of July I would just struggle through it until then.

On day 55 I called back and talked to a nurse that I knew and told her that I wanted the doctor to add a couple of tests to the bloodwork I was already having don’t the week before my appointment. All of my hormone levels and my iron level. I was an emotional wreck having had some form of bleeding wether it was spotting or a going through an extra absorbant pad every hour with only 1 day off now in days shy of 2 months. 

She granted the iron test (which came back as me being anemic-shocker)  but not the hormones and referred me to a specialist. This is where it gets more interesting. Now that appointment isn’t until August 9th. But I did get a 2 week reprieve at day 60. But then it started all over again. 

I was not just anemic but on the verge of needing a blood transfusion anemic. That shocked me. What has shocked everyone is what I do and how many hours I worked during these times. I am a manager at a dry cleaners  and it was a very long hot summer. We had people that got other jobs and some that had no choice but to leave us to take care of loved ones. But in between hiring new people and training them I was working positions for those on vacations. Temps in the pressing areas can get and were for most of the summer upwards of 100 to 115 degrees. We have fans at every station and we supply cold bottled water for everyone. Plus I work on average 12-14 hours a day Monday through Friday. And I never passed out. I felt like it a bunch of times but somehow I just kept telling myself that I am the manager I cannot lol weak to my employees or my boss no matter what. So I would smile and keep moving.

Then I finally made it to the specialist appointment. I was ready and I had researched this and had my plan all set out. Or so I thought…

There are so many options out there for people that have a mentrual cycle that lasts for a long time especially if you are no longer planning to have children. That increases your options. But these options not for everyone.

The IUD is great if you no longer wish to have a period. With this option you could have the IUD removed if you do wish to have children again. For me this was not an option. My mother has had breast cancer and people with close family members that have had breast cancer or cervical cancer or ovarian cancer are not good candidates for this option. HRT (hormone replacement therapy) or any options that include hormones increases your odds of getting cancer as well. So this was ruled out very quickly for me.

Ablagation … This option is where the inside lining of the uterus is burned. There are a couple of ways to achieve this.  This option was ruled out for me because my uterus was too large from my 3 previous births. 

So I was left with hysterectomy. Where they remove the uterus and Fallopian tubes. Sometimes the cervix is removed as well. I had all but the ovaries removed. There is the surgical where the give you a pretty good scar opening you wide up to do the work. Takes a long time to recover from this. Laparoscopic which reduces the healing time and the scar. This is where they inflate your abdominal cavity with a gas to make the visibility better for the doctor. A few small incisions for the tools and a camera. I had this but was robotic assisted. Called davinci hysterectomy.

I must say that my recovery was much quicker and easier than I ever imagined. It was outpatient surgery. Within 2 days I was no longer taking my pain medications. Within a week I felt awesome. Although the hard part is…you feel great but you still have limitations. You cannot be doing any heavy lifting and for the recovery to fully take you have to abide by this rule. If you don’t it could spell trouble for you now or maybe even later down the road. This part has been very hard for me. But I have been obeying this rule because I cannot afford any setbacks…I am a workaholic you see. 

Peri Menopause Hell!

Did you know there were 35 symptoms of peri menopause?  Let’s go through them shall we…this will take several blogs but we can go through this together…

Hot Flashes… Or hot flushes, night sweats or cold flashes with clammy feeling. Can’t really win either way here. I work in a dry cleaners so to avoid hot places would be impossible. I have recently been asked regularly “are you ok your cheeks are quite red”. Sad thing is I didn’t realize that my menopause was showing. Didn’t even realize I was heading into Peri menopause. 

Irregular heart beat… I had my hypo thyroid medicine increased recently so when my heart beat was off I just attributed it to the medicine and moved on. Nice to know it could have been more than that. 

Irritability…well now that could have been due to when my regular cycle was supposed to happen but when it continued myself as well as my employees was wondering what my major malfunction was. I was truly baffled as to why everything was irritating the heck out of me. I am usually a happy go lucky type of person.

Mood swings, sudden tears… I have been crying without a reason. That really irritates me. Admittedly I do cry when I  sad and I cry when I get super mad but to cry for no reason…UGH! So frustrating. When I am at work I go and hide in the bathroom until I am done and have not cried long enough for my eyes not to look puffy. I cry a lot when I take a shower and I have no idea why. 

Trouble sleeping through the night…I really didn’t much of this one until I really thought about it. I used to sleep through the night with no issues. I now wake up around 3-4 am. I have been doing this for a few months. Very frustrating because it does take me a bit to get back to sleep just to have to wake right back up.

Irregular periods… Now this gives it all away. I keep a calendar of my menstrual cycles. It was steady 21-23 days for many years. Then I was 9 days late and regular for a while. Then haywire late then early then way late…never knowing is awful!

Loss of Libido…not sure if this is effecting me or not. My libido has always been all over the place. I enjoy it after it really gets going just not always up for the getting it going part. So that really hasn’t changed a whole lot. I have always wished I could have a higher libido for my husbands sake! 

Now this is the first 7 of the 35 signs. This will be taking a few blogs to go over them all.  There is a lot to cover.

I am researching what I/women can do naturally to help with the symptoms and see if any of them actually works… for me anyways. Every woman is different.