Today’s post is a letter I received recently from a reader. Her story is typical and so it was something I wanted to share with you all in hopes that it will help you feel a little better about your journey through perimenopause. Kathleen’s symptoms are not unique.
Her experience in trying to get help with her symptoms is not unique either. But, thankfully, she eventually found the right person who told her that all of her issues were related to perimenopause. Her story may not be your story, but I hope that her story will help you in some way today.
I am a 52 year old woman who has “not been feeling well” for several years. I went back to school to become a mental health nurse at age 50. I was going through alot of stress at the time (school, finances and son diagnosed with mental illness) and attributed my symptoms (rapid heart beat, heart attack feelings, headaches, dizziness) at that time to my course and homelife.
It came to a head in August of 2012 when I became so dizzy and nauseated along with hot flashes , anxiety , incontinence, severe headaches, dizziness , electric shock sensations in my head, constant loud tinnitus, etc (most of the 35 symptoms of peri-menopause ) that I had to go onto sick leave and stop working (in my choosen field of mental health nursing!) as it was unsafe for myself and patients.
I was diagnosed with BPPV (vertigo) and was told it was caused from crystals in my inner ear breaking off and floating where they should not be, hence causing the dizziness and off balance feeling. After 6 months of many Epley Maneuvers, ENT appointments, family dr. appoints, psych help, chiropractor, accupuncture and physio therapy I became very discouraged and depressed.
I was prescribed Serc for the dizziness (which did not help) and Cymbalta for the anxiety and depression. The anxiety has mostly gone away but still have the depression from not knowing what is happening and when I can go back to work. I gave up with my phsysio treatments as they did little hands on treatment and it actually made my neck radiate with pain so bad I was on oxycodone for a few weeks over Christmas.
Several people told me about a blind physiotherapy in the town I live in who is a miracle worker. I was able to get an appointment in early Feb and she immediately told me my neck was degenerative (but whose isn’t at 52) but most of my problems were attributed to peri-menopause ! I was floored.
After her insistance that I get a blood hormone test (FSH) to determine if I was premenopausal my family doctor finally agreed. It showed my levels were out of whack and there was definately something going on. I have today made the decision to get the saliva test for bioidentical hormones (at the cost of $250.00 out of pocket) to see what hormones I am lacking to start BHT therapy ASAP! Believe it or not this is just a short rendition of everything I have experienced.
After seeing your blog it finally dawned on me that my symptoms are not caused by BPPV but the peri-menopausal symptoms included BPPV! I am more hopeful now that perhaps I can finally get feeling well again.