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Perimenopause – Elliot’s Story

Posted Feb 03 2010 10:00pm

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I haven’t done a Guest blogger post in a while and so I thought I might share with you all the story of one of my readerswhom I will call Elliot. (her request :) )

Elliot is not a bloggerbut a womana readerlike many of youwho has struggled with perimenopause and was looking for help.

When Elliot first contacted me a few months agoshe shared with me her struggles and how my blogs have helped her realize she is not crazy or losing her mind (and don’t so many of us fee that way?) butthat’s she’s just going through perimenopause.

Though I didn’t specifically suggest Mia Lundin’s bookFemale Brain Gone Insane: An Emergency Guide For Women Who Feel Like They Are Falling Apartshe bought a copy after she had read the  book review I had done on it at The Magnolia Diaries.

Elliot contacted Mia directly after reading the book and was able to get some one on one help with her symptoms.  She has since made some strides in how she feels.

We have emailed back and forth for a while now and Elliot has shared with me and updated me on her progress.  I was so delighted to hear that she was feeling better and asked if she would share her story.

Following is the email she sent back with permission to post and share it with you.  I sincerely hope if anyone else out there is feeling like Elliotthat you can learn from her story and know that help really is available.

As alwaysyour comments are always welcome and you can always reach me privately via email as well.

Elliot’s Story

In retrospectI have names nowfor what seemed to be at the time a complete loss of sanity. At 39 someone else took over my body and my brain. I started having severe PMDD and headaches that would go on  for weeks with disturbingsuicidal thoughts involving loved ones. I landed for two years on a shrink’s couch.  Soonthe hormone ride from hell began and I was absolutely ignorant about the subject. Then the crazy mood swings hit. And if I can borrow some words from Magnolia,

Now ladieswhen I say mood swingsI do not mean I was a little testy.  I mean I was full throttle into MOOD SWINGS!  One day I would wake up and I would be paralyzed with depression.  I would cry uncontrollably for days and days on end – over television commercials.  I literally could hardly get out of bed. My eyes would bulge out of my headveins would pop out of my neckI would scream and rant for days. Who was this woman and where did she come from?

And so it has beenmonth after month.  For years. Thenas time went by new ailments were added to the list: heart palpitations,  dizzinessshort-term memory lossblood sugar problemscrashing fatiguedecreased libido or so much sex drivethat’s all I could think about for days – all consumingoverwhelming and no husband…need I say more?

Thenthere was the weight gaintinnitusallergiesasthmaskin so dry it looks like sand paperhypersensitivity to noisessuper annoyed by the world  in general and the all consuming guilt of putting my kids through this living hell. What kind of  “effed up” process is this?  Where all I feel is every way BUT normal?

Feelings of losing my  grip on reality had me  convinced I was going absolutely crazy.  I felt so horribly out of control.  ThankfullyI was lucky enough to get a fantastic therapist right off the bat.  This woman is a phenomenal therapist and thank God we clicked.

In our first meeting she made the connectionthat while I might have some psychological issuesthe root of my problems seemed to be tied to my menstrual cycles and hormonal fluctuations.  I looked at her like she had three heads. Hormonal fluctuations? What the hell was that?

I went to my ob-gyn at the time and she suggested I take Paxil which I fought with everything I had.  Prior to this mess I had been so healthy I never took even an aspirin.  NowI have to take ANTIDEPRESSANTS!? Isn’t that for crazy people?

The truth isthat night I googled“the most effective way to commit suicide”.  I knew I needed to take something fast! SoI took the Paxil and started having better days.  UnfortunatelyI also started getting fatter and fatter and after a while the mood swings came back.

I would scream and break plates at the kitchen sink because I could see finger prints of the GLASS DOOR! ( I kid you not). Thenat the age of 40with no husband or sexual partnerI had the brilliant idea to get my tubes tied.  Do not ask me why.  I don’t think it helped my situation.  In factthe tubal ligation seemed to desensitize my progesterone receptors and I dug deeper into a hormonal grave.

Forward to the present.  I am now 43.  Since then and nowI found The Magnolia Diaries and later The Perimenopause Blog.  I also found a voice. This successfulintelligent woman was speaking of things that were happening to me without even knowing me!

Oh! The discovery was amazinglife saving and enlightening.  It was true!  I wasn’t crazy and there were others going through this crap too!  And so my misery and I found companionship. I kept reading and found tremendous comfort in knowing that this too will pass.

In one of Magnolia’s blogsI found what has brought me the most remarkable and lengthy state of well being I’ve known in a longlong time.  Magnolia did a book review on the bookFemale Brain Gone Insane: An Emergency Guide For Women Who Feel Like They Are Falling Apart by Mia Lundin. I purchased the book immediately and read it from cover to cover and then took the bold step of contacting Mia myself.

She was so kindso sweet and so understanding. Just the sound of her voice conveyed peace to me. She agreed to a few phone consultations and in our first conversation I learned I needed some form of progesterone cream.

My symptoms were the picture of estrogen dominancea term aptly coined by the very knowledgeable Dr. John LeeMD who has also written several books on menopause and  perimenopause.

By this timeI had also started experiencing insomnia (never had it in my life) and I was losing it. The recommendations she made ( vitaminsmineralsboosting my adrenals and serotonin levelsjust to name a few) have gotten me to the best place I have been in four years.  I still have my momentsbecause life still happensbut I’m feeling better than I have felt in a very long time.

Nowwhen the crying spells comeeven though it would be nice to have someone to support me and tell me everything will be okayat least I know nowit’s the influence of my hormones and pre-period drama.

Butas Magnolia always saysthis too shall pass.  Especially with a little progesterone!  Just don’t ask me about the hairs on my chin and my boobs.  And that pimple on the end of my nose? What the F?

A much more stable and happier reader! :)


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