Slammed into Menopause

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A post by blogger and landscape architect Amelia Grant:

Women in my family tend to go through menopause later than usual. My mother was 56 years old and claimed ,“It only took one day!” My cousin is 54 and my sister 57, and  neither of them have any symptom of ‘the change.’

Last year I was diagnosed with a fibroid the size of a cantaloupe and an ovarian cyst the size of an orange.

I was looking somewhat pregnant and feeling a bit, um, large. The gynecologist was none too happy with me when I, at age 51, said,“Let’s give the things a little time. Maybe menopause will naturally shrink them.“ (This is possible –estrogen causes them to grow and lack thereof causes shrinkage).  51 is the average age of menopause.

Needless to say, I found myself having a total abdominal hysterectomy 3 months later, as I was still producing plenty of estrogen and the things were getting bigger instead of smaller. I emerged from the surgery thinner and happy my ovary had not exploded .

Things were not too bad at first. I was (and still am) reluctant to take hormone replacement therapy.

However, one night I awoke to find more fluid coming out of my body than I had ever experienced. Primarily, my neck for some bizarre reason.

It was as if some gigantic pores had opened below my hairline; the pillow was soaked, and I had to get a towel and sleep with it.

Then I decided to start counting the hot flashes; it was exceeding 10 a day, most of them requiring a wipe down.  Living in South Florida and the time of year being Summer did not help matters. I called the gynecologist and asked for some help.

“Is your sleep disturbed?” they asked.

Only by waterfalls of mysterious fluid leaking out of my neck..followed by frozen clamminess.

I am not sure if disturbed is even the proper word. Defiled is more like it.

So, I got the horse dose of HRT in a transdermal patch. The patch does help but I am still not out of the woods and menopause has definitely lasted more than one day.

Amelia Grant is a very experienced Landscape Architect/Designer who a few years back left the big city of Atlanta for an idyllic life in a small town in South Florida. The ensuing experiences led to a blog and new found pleasure in writing and sharing information online.

Amy

She lives on the Treasure Coast with her husband, two retired racing greyhounds and a fluffy  white cat. Landscape design and consulting are her primary occupation with writing, gardening, and cooking as sidelines.

Amelia’s  blog,The Shrub Queen, may be found at theshrubqueen.wordpress.com.

6 responses »

  1. I feel for Amelia! My Mother was 56 and my sister 57 so when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 48 I was not even close to menopause. As soon as I started chemo, I went into full menopause. Talk about insult to injury, felling crappy, bald and sweating day and night! I was “Slammed into Menopause” too!

  2. I started menopause a few years ago. I don’t think I slept for two years because I kept waking up all night, first hot, then cold. About six months ago, I finally asked my doctor for help. He put me on Estradiol. It’s miraculous. I wish I wouldn’t have been so stubborn. I’m not foggy or dripping any more. I’m glad things are improving for you, too.

  3. My problem with the HRT is dyspepsia, the fancy word for upset stomach. The GYN suggested I go to the gastroenterologist. because “it shouldn’t upset your stomach”. The gastro said – it’s like morning sickness basically..Great. So, I have to choose between hot or queasy. I usually choose hot because I hate queasy. And I am not really convinced anyone knows the long term effect of HRT. We are designed to go through menopause.

    However, having discussed this with numerous women at this point the common problem is not sleeping. Which is not good. It seems the HRT really helps that and calms the hot flashes. I am not sure what else can really be done. My internist expressed frustration at not being able to “fix” this problem. I agree. I wish somebody would figure it out.

  4. I can totally relate here. I was “slammed” into menopause a year and a half ago (I’m 47). At first, I took Estrodial tablets, then they didn’t work so I went on the patch, I became allergic to it so I tried a mist, didn’t work either so back on the tablets but with hot flashes and interrupted sleep, and a few other symptoms as well. I am still hoping to figure this out! If anyone has any suggestions, I am open.

    • You are really working on it and being proactive! Good for you. I haven’t tried as many things. I have a feeling by the time I figure it out I will be post Menopausal. A friend made the comment if this happened to men they would have figured it out. I would love to find a medical professional who could help and I have asked all of them that I know. The pharmacist actually told me take whatever makes you feel better. And that would be?? There’s a definitive answer from a medical professional.

      I was actually cold yesterday!! Very weird feeling, I actually enjoyed it and I hate being cold..it had just been a really long time.

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