Perimenopause – Yes it’s Real & No, You’re Not Going Crazy
Posted Mar 09 2008 12:00am
Feel better? I could have used someone telling me that about 10 years ago when I walked right into one of the fiercest hormonal battles of my life.
First of all, I had never heard of peri-anything. Menopause? Yeah. I had heard of that. My mom called it “the change,” and I knew that sooner or later it would happen. I just had no clue exactly when or how. But, peri-menopause? Umm, no.
My mother was fully menopausal in her early 40′s. I thought it might happen that way for me. too. You know, I would turn 40-something and then it would stop. Just like that. But, unfortunately, that’s not what happened.
So what is this thing called perimenopause and how exactly does one get it?? Well, the word “Peri” simply means, “around or about”. So, technically, perimenopause is “around or about menopause” You are approaching it, but you’re not completely there yet. I guess in our mother’s day this time would have just been called…”going through the change”. You’ve heard that right?
That’s what my mother always said when she talked about women who were in the middle of it. “She’s going through the change”. It always had this ominous ring to it and she said it with great sympathy in her voice. Like, “the poor girl, she’s going through the change” And well, now I can see why. It’s brutal. We need all the sympathy we can get.
For me, it started when I was 41. I had this “phantom period” as they call it, that essentially came from no where and for no apparent reason. No signs or signals that it was coming either.
It just showed up, unannounced and definitely uninvited.
I didn’t pay too much attention to it until I unexpectedly conceived my last child. But, she was a pleasant surprise and definitely the best thing that came out of that very tumultuous time.
After she was born, BAM! It happened. The hormone ride from hell. Having never had bona fide PMS, I can’t say I had much experience with what began to happen to me and found myself completely unable to cope.
I started having heavy periods. So heavy I couldn’t leave the house. Then it swung to the other side and I would simply spot for a couple of days. There was never any rhyme or reason to it and I couldn’t predict from month to month what would happen. I just had to hang on and cross that bridge when I got there. Then the crazy mood swings hit.
Now, when I say mood swings, I 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 over commercials. I could hardly get out of bed.
Then, that would pass and the wicked witch of the west showed up. Oh, it was awful.
My eyes would bulge out of my head, veins would pop out of my neck, I would scream and rant for days.
Who was this woman and where did she come from?
And so it went, month after month – for years. If you’re wondering what kind of symptoms I had, well, I had them all. But thankfully, now, I’m passed all that.
And if you are wondering if you will survive it, I’m here to tell you that, yes you will.
It’s a crazy time, that perimenopause, but you are not going crazy. It just feels like you are. As one who has been through that hormone hell and back, I deeply desire to to encourage you and assure you that “this too shall really pass.”
Right now, your hormones are rocking and rolling trying to find a new place to settle down. But, while it is happening there is great turbulence.
I can’t offer a cure-all for you here at The Perimenopause Blog . But I can assure you that in time, your symptoms won’t be as extreme and that eventually, they will completely subside. Then, you will be rewarded with menopause.
You can’t beat that!
Be sure and check out more posts and let me know if I can help you with anything.