The Rock is Still Hard

When last we left our intrepid peri-menopausal heroine she was agonizing over whether to try HRT (hormone replacement therapy) or not. After further on-line research she decided to give it a try for six months, just to get through the summer…

And so I picked up my prescription took it one time and then got a call from the doctor’s office saying my blood work came back and the dosage was all wrong. Jeez. In June 2017 my FSH was 22.0. This time it was 6.7 which doesn’t make any sense at all. (FSH should be going up the closer you get to menopause.)

So a new appointment was made for the 2nd week of April (because the Doc has a medical conference to go to in March so that is the earliest available appointment). But I feel better because I know this appointment is really going to focus on HRT and all my concerns. I have all my notes about crazy periods and different symptoms and will remember to tell her that I am only looking for short term relief. I thought I would wait and write a follow up post after that visit.

Funny how the one thing you don’t worry about is always the thing that bites you in the ass. At my last appointment I got my pap smear and promptly forgot about it. (I suspect when I made the appointment the receptionist heard pap smear and didn’t hear the part about HRT and that is one reason the appointment went the way it did.) Anyway, last week I got a call saying there were endometrial cells in my pap test and they need to do a biopsy. Wait. What? What does this mean? Probably nothing good.

After the first flash of panic subsided I did some reading. It wasn’t overly helpful but it could explain some of my symptoms.

So now I wait. All thoughts of HRT are on hold while I see if I have endometrial cancer. And if the cells are benign could they still be causing some of my miseries?

I am worried that I am going to feel miserable all summer. That I won’t get to be the parent I want to be. I have all these fun ideas of things to do but if I am exhausted and crabby and impatient it ain’t going to happen. I am scared that during this horrible phase of my life I am going to permanently ruin the relationship between my son and I.

Right now I am scared of all the unknowns. All the uncertainty. I tell myself this is normal and to get back to my life as it is for now. The kitchen floor isn’t going to mop itself. This is a known fact so I might as well deal with that.

And so it goes, the see-sawing between panic and it’s probably no big deal. The hope that in two weeks I will have answers and hopefully solutions and get to have a decent summer after all. I can hope. ūüĆą

Everything Else

While it feels like all Whole30 all the time I do still have a life outside of eating healthy. (Not much of one, but still.)

Swimming is on hiatus due to a slightly green murky pool now full of chemicals. ¬†High heat combined with just enough rain make it hard to keep the pool clear. The spouse is trying but the pool just isn’t appealing these days.

New carpet! ¬†Yeah! ¬†It was an item on the to do list that I have longed for yet been avoiding because of having to move so much stuff! ¬†So for about 10 days I will be spending time each day moving stacks of book, knickknacks and eventually smaller items of furniture either downstairs or into my office, making my office unusable for a while. ¬†ūüė¶ ¬†I don’t even want to think about it.

Photography class. ¬†Remember when I signed up for that class in June that was unexpectedly cancelled? ¬†I am signed up for it again this Saturday. ¬†Let’s hope it happens this time. ¬†In pretend preparation I am reading an Ansel Adam’s biography and enjoying it immensely.

I came up with a great solution to stop myself from mindlessly checking my phone for e-mail when it is lying on the kitchen counter. ¬†I hung it up on the wall! ¬†I put a little hook on the back (an IGripz) and then a hook on the wall. ¬†Voila…

Conveniently located right next to an outlet for easy charging.

This would also work well for people always losing their phones in the house.

And finally my ob/gyn appointment.  I really liked the Doctor.  We had a good discussion about all my peri-menopausal symptoms and options. My uterine fibroids are cherry and blueberry sized (fruit makes such a good visual for size) and apparently 70% of all women have some.  The location is not problematic so for now they stay.

I did have my IUD removed. It wasn’t actually necessary but may help ease the heaviness of my periods. If my periods remain crazy long, frequent and/or heavy then I am thinking about taking some progesterone. ¬†But for now I am going to give it two or three months and see what happens with my body. ¬†I am not surprised that so far I am sticking with my original thought that menopause is a natural phase of life and it is best to let it run it’s course on it’s own. ¬†Either way I feel better having a doctor that listens and provides multiple options.

My latest finished coloring project. Makes me happy ūüôā I would love to have that blue door on my house but it would kill the HOA board members.

I think that about wraps things up. ¬†The next two weeks will remain devoted to the Whole30 and prepping for carpet installation. ¬†But that’s okay because after that football season starts and camping and hiking return. ¬†And Halloween…whoooo! ¬†Let’s hear it for autumn…rah rah rah!

Men and Menopause

I once read a novel by Anne Tyler. In it a man wrote¬†how to books and he wanted to do one to help men deal with their spouse’s menopause. Everyone thought it was a stupid idea. ¬†I think it is a great idea!

I am in the throes of menopause (okay, okay it is actually peri-menopause but you know what I mean!) and it sucks. ¬†And while every woman has a different combination of symptoms and cures the vast majority suffer in one way or another. ¬†And everyone I know agrees, men do not help. They can’t begin to comprehend the frustration and helplessness women feel during this phase of life. ¬†Really it is just like being a teenager again with a lot of weight gain in bad places added in.

So this “made up holiday” is for men to educate themselves about menopause. ¬†Read a website or two. Google “husband doesn’t understand menopause“. ¬†Bring home or make dinner. ¬†Be sure to understand where in the cycle your woman is. ¬†Is this a salad and chocolate cake kind of day? ¬†Burgers and fries? ¬†Grilled fish and steamed veggies? ¬†Make sure you know because you don’t want to screw it up!

She may be ranting and raving about nothing but listen to it.  You may glean a thing or two that  you can do to help her out. Turn the a/c or heat up or down.  Try extra hard not to wake her up, ever.  (Sleep is such a big deal.)  Do some little task that needs to be done and do it her way, just this once. Or maybe just give her some space.

Once the hormones settle down and she is officially in menopause she will remember all the little things you tried to do.  And she will be grateful. Really.

A Visit to the Doctor

And the Doctor said….

“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” ¬†(Sorry, I couldn’t resist, that line is stuck in my head!)

But first let’s go through the events leading up to the appointment.

I was having all the symptoms of my thyroid medicine not being effective.  I was tired, cold, crabby and my skin was itchy.  I got my blood drawn and my TSH was .87?  That is the lowest it has ever been which should have meant I was feeling great.  Tired and crabby could be from anything but feeling cold and dry itchy skin say thyroid to me.

I had to wait three weeks for an appointment to see the doctor. ¬†Over time I started to feel a bit better and I thought about cancelling the appointment but I didn’t. ¬†That TSH level worried me. My dry skin improved as did the crabbiness a bit. ¬†I still felt chilly most of the time and I was still tired. ¬†But it seemed like a different type of fatigue from my usual thyroid symptom. Maybe it was related to perimenopause or low iron or something? ¬†I was also feeling a bit edgy. ¬†Not quite to the level of jittery but certainly a bit off. ¬†I was starting to have sleep issues again, waking in the middle of the night and taking a long time to get back to sleep. ¬†Was my thyroid medicine now too high? Or was it really the start of perimenopause?

I started to worry about what I was going to say to the doctor. ¬†I think my body is trying to drive my mind crazy? ¬†And she would respond, ” Yes it is and there is nothing to be done about it. ¬†You’ll just have to live with it and hopefully after a year or two your mind will be returned to you. ¬†That is what happens to most women.”

And then I had this wonderful dream scenario where the doctor said, ” I prescribe complete rest in the evening. ¬†Between 5 and 6 pm you need to retreat to bed with a book or the couch and tv. Under no circumstances are you to prepare or clean up dinner. ¬†You may be brought a tray with a light meal and a piece of dark chocolate. I will call your husband and explain this to him in no uncertain terms.”

So with a smile on my face I headed to the doctor’s office.

Here is what really happened:

I actually felt rather nervous going to the appointment.  I really was feeling better but the TSH result still bothered me.  What exactly was I going to complain about?  I mean, what exactly was my complaint?

My Doctor was wonderful. ¬†She listened, she laughed at my nervous jokes and she gave some thought to my test results. ¬†She said she doesn’t think I am crazy. ¬†I had more blood drawn to test to see if I really am in perimenopause.

We also made a ¬†thyroid game plan. ¬†First up is an ultrasound of my thyroid. My thyroid has never been examined¬†so she wants to make sure there isn’t any swelling or a goiter that isn’t overtly obvious yet. ¬†At the end of April she wants to run a thyroid panel and see if my TSH level drops any further. ¬†If it does she will look at adjusting my thyroid medication. ¬†She said it was “interesting” looking at my TSH levels over the last three plus years as they have declined from 4.28 to 2.31 to 1.88 to .87. ¬†I don’t think that is typical and hence the ultrasound.

So while nothing has been resolved ¬†I do feel better mentally. ¬†Steps are being taken and I feel like have a grasp of the situation. ¬†I love being able to see the results of my tests online. ¬†I feel much better informed at seeing the numbers and not just hearing “you are in the normal range”. ¬†I am not sure if the doctor would have noticed the downward trend of my TSH if I had not pointed it out. ¬† My doctor did confess that I was her first perimenopausal + thyroid patient and she didn’t know if going into menopause would affect my thyroid function.

For now I just have to wait, get the ultrasound done and go from there.  I will continue eating healthy, get my 10k steps a day in and deal with sleep issues as best I can.  I will take care of myself.

To be continued….