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Monday, October 3, 2016

My Menopause Experience So Far - My Top 10 Symptoms

So I am going through "The Change" and I have to say, when researching symptoms on Google, I find that menopause can cause everything from lethargy to a near death experience. Okay the later is an exaggeration perhaps, but I swear menopause can cause almost every symptom known to man, or I should say, woman.


My mother had to have a hysterectomy before symptoms of menopause arose for her, so she has unfortunately been unable to be a source of information for me. In some ways I feel she was lucky. 


What I have come to discover in my quest for learning more about menopause symptoms is that it is not the medial websites that help me the most, but rather first hand experiences of other women that shed the most light on the topic of menopause. It is for this reason that I have decided to share my own experiences with you. 


So while I have experienced a slew of "symptoms" I am going to list my top ten, in no particular order. While I have had bouts of other symptoms and experiences, such as oily hair, which I wrote about in another article, I am going to focus today on the ten most prevalent, and irritating. 

My Top 10 Menopause Symptoms:

1. Lethargy: 
(from google search)
leth·ar·gy
ˈleTHərjē/
noun
a lack of energy and enthusiasm.
"periods of weakness and lethargy"
synonyms: sluggishness, inertia, inactivity, inaction, slowness, torpor, torpidity, lifelessness,listlessness, languor, laziness, idleness, indolence, shiftlessness, sloth, apathy, passivity,weariness, tiredness, lassitude, fatigue, inanition;
literaryhebetude"the lethargy may be related to his latest medication"
Sloth caught my eye here! While I generally think sloths are pretty cute, and awesome, I have to say the term sloth is an understatement! 


My Menopause Experience So Far - My Top 10 Symptoms

I am not even as cute as the sloth in this image most days. It takes me a great deal of effort to get out of bed, or off the sofa, let alone getting to work each day. Getting to work means moving from the bed or sofa to another room to sit at my desk! I have no idea how some women do it! 


2. Irritability: 

While I do not think I am that much more irritable than I have been at other times in my life but I am noticing that I get irritated often. I think I am just handling it better with age, experience, and maturity. That does not take away from the fact that the irritability is there, and I find myself withdrawing more and more from social interaction, even if that means online, social media, and work itself, which in my business, is highly sociable! 

3. Depression:

Depression is something that runs in my family, which for the most part through my life I have been able to avoid. With menopause however I have felt deep signs of depression often. I have at times been to the point of considering getting on medication but the symptoms go as suddenly as they present themselves. I have yet to get to the point of feeling depressed for more than two, maybe three days at a time. I am however keeping a close eye on this as it can be one of the most dangerous symptoms in my opinion. 

4. Attention Deficit:

I have often thought, in the last ten years or so that I probably have some condition that today they would slap a label on. Back when I was a kid in school we did not have the knowledge we have now of all the different disorders the medial and psychological community have labels for. I am sure I have a slight case of dyslexia, and I am sure there are a few other labels I could have added to my mental, and emotional resume. Now that the stigma of such issues is not as bad as it once was when I was young, I would not mind knowing what labels I have earned that would be bestowed upon me, however I am not about to pay the price to find out, considering I have lived with them, whatever they may be for almost five decades! With that said, I have noticed it takes me a lot longer to do the things that I used to be able to do in the blink of an eye. I am easily sidetracked, distracted, and .... oh sorry, I got caught up in another train of thought there for a moment. What was I saying? Anyway, you get the picture. 


5. Lack of Focus: 

It's not just a lack of focus that I am experiencing either, but an overall lack of drive, or desire to complete any tasks at hand. A lack of interest in my own work, my own experiences, adventures, or forward movement. I find a fog cloud often looms overhead, clouding my mind as I attempt to process information, or get the words from my brain onto paper, or in most cases, the computer screen. I do feel many of these "symptoms" intermingle, and perhaps depression is aiding in this cloud of fog, or perhaps the attention deficit is more to blame, but there is a distinct different between the attention deficit that causes me to get sidetracked by something more interesting in the moment, and the heavy smog that fills my head when I want to focus, but can't. 

6. Night Sweats:

Oh yes the night sweats are real! I have not necessarily experienced hot flashes during my waking hours, I mean sure I may feel the sudden need to remove my sweater, or hoodie, which in the past I could not live without considering my husband loves our house to feel like an ice berg! This is different, and literally dripping sweat in the middle of the night, even when sleeping with nothing more than a thin tank and shorts on! The fan my husband loves to have at high speed, that used to irritate me to no end has become my best friend. I still hate the sound of it, buzzing in my head like a 747, but I will take the cool air and accept the noise now days. I have never been one to sweat, even when working out, but since starting menopause, I sweat every night, even when the house is cold, which it always is. 

7. Hunger:

Insatible, never ending hunger!! As if I am starving! It's rediculous! It's not a craving for something specifc, just anything and everything. My stomach feels empty 24/7! Now granted I have always been one to eat in small doses, but often, which is supposed to be healthier for us anyway, I don't know if that is true, but I have always eaten often, and small portions. Now days I eat far more than ever in one sitting, and am still hungry within five minutes of eating the last serving! Uggg! 

My Menopause Experience So Far - My Top 10 Symptoms

8. Weight Loss:

In contradiction to my last statement, I am losing weight! I found this interesting because in most of my research (meaning google searching) I have found most women gain weight during menopause! I guess I am lucky in this area as I did need to shed a few pounds.


9. Desire to Sleep: 

Desire is an understatement, it is more than a desire, more like a deep seeded passion for sleep, as much as I can get, day or night! My need for sleep is what I imagine to be akin to that of a pubescent male who is going through massive stages of growth spurts! This is beyond sloth, and more like feeling on my death bed, not necessarily sick, just that I could close my eyes and never wake up need for sleep. It feels so good, when I do wake, to use the restroom, drink some water, or go get something to eat, which happens often, I can't wait to return to the comfort of my best friend, my bed. 


10. General Feeling of Death Looming: 

There are many days, and I do mean many, in which I literally feel like it may be end days for me. All of the symptoms above combined, not to mention the others I have left out as they are more obvious symptoms, such as change in menstruation, I just feel that death is looming. I have been to my doctor regularly, which I strongly suggest you do as well if you experience new and unusual symptoms of your own, and tests are all normal for anything life threatening. I do plan to schedule another visit now that these symptoms are becoming more regular, and persistent. We will see what my doctor says, if anything, about what do to. 

I am hanging in there, some days by a thread, and it is not enjoyable. I know I should embrace this change as a rights of passage, and I know that there are others suffering far worse than menopause. I need to be more adaptable. On the bright side I keep telling myself that at least I will not have to deal with periods any longer, which I have always complained about. 

What I would love is for others to share their experiences in the comments section below and share with me, and others what you have gone through or are going through. It is nice to know we are not alone in our struggles, and nice to hear from those who have already completed this "rights of passage" that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Those who have already been through it certainly can give hope to those of us dealing with menopause right now! 

I thank you in advance for your comments, advice, suggestions, and your questions. I am happy to share more of my experience as well if you have something specific you would like to know, if I have any experience of my own I will gladly share. I respond to all comments, expect the creepy spammy ones, which I delete. 

Disclaimer: This article is NOT intended as medical advice. Please see your physician when experiencing any new or unusual symptoms. This is based solely on my personal experience and is not constituted as medical advice of any kind. I am not a doctor, just one woman sharing her personal experience with others. I see my doctor regularly so I know what symptoms are "safe" and which could be signs of something more serious for ME alone. 



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