Monday, September 28, 2009

working on a menopause friendly diet...

My biggest menopausal struggle seems to be my weight. I admit I am not militant about what I eat, but I am conscious and I only indulge once a week. And by indulge I mean I might have a frozen yogurt. I have been going to the gym for the better part of the past six months. I usually go about three times a week, and at first I was doing the treadmill/weights routine, but lately I have been doing a half hour of laps three times a week. I love to swim, and although the first ten laps are all about me telling myself I can stop at 20, laps 11 to 36 (or more) are pure joy. After I do my laps I do about 10 minutes of stretching and yoga poses while I am still in the pool. I feel great and it gives me a fantastic start to the day. I would like to go five or more days a week, but I will have to work on fitting that in to my current schedule. My intention is to add some weights to my routine in the near future. I know that strength training pays off big, and that is really what I need.

So despite my efforts I seem to be gaining weight. Frustrating, but I believe not all that uncommon. So I have to go back to square one. I am documenting every bite I take, I will double my fruit and veggie intake, I will continue swimming, challenging myself to more laps in the same half hour of time, and I will add strength training. In my premenopausal days I was successful at losing weight by eating well and exercising. Again, I wasn't militant but it worked. So I am revisiting all that I know and hopefully I will have a positive outcome by this time next year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

grieving what never was...

When you lose your uterus and ovaries funny things happens. I was always torn on the subject of children. Then I met my love and knew (I was SO certain!) that I didn't want children because I am in my mid-40's and I just don't want to spend the next twenty to forty years sharing my time with anyone but him.

Then came my hysterectomy. And then the hormones started to do their thing. And now I want a baby more than almost anything. I want children with this man. I want to raise them, enjoy their company, spoil them, discipline them, laugh with them, and maybe even occasionally at them. I want them to be at my side when I am old and gray and almost gone. If I go first I want to know they will be there for their father.

The realization that that will never happen is something I am grieving right now. Some of the tears that I cry I realize are tears of grief. I am grieving the loss of opportunity. The loss of things I never knew I wanted. It's kind of a crazy time. And I am facing it, walking right into, and hopefully, through it. And I will come out stronger than before. That is my light at the end of the tunnel.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

to be honest...

I started this blog for many reasons. I love to write. I don't know if I've loved it my whole life, but I have learned that it is a need I must fill. I love to share stories, and information, and knowledge. And yes, I believe information and knowledge are two different things. But I intended for this blog to be a humorous journal of my entry into and journey through menopause. A journal that I could look back on with wisdom, kindness, and maybe a little fondness. I haven't given this blog my full attention, but I have used it to express some of the heavier and more negative emotions.

But I have been holding back. And that was never my intention.

After my last posts I started taking Remifemin. It is a natural solution to HT (Hormone Therapy), and you take a pill in the morning and at night. I was having trouble remembering to take it at night and found that I was going up and down a lot. Way too much. I have friends who swear by the stuff but it wasn't the best solution for me. So I switched to Estroven, another natural solution. I felt relief almost instantly. I wasn't nearly as moody, and my (albeit mild) hot flashes were not nearly as hot. The only problem it has not resolved yet is my trouble getting hot and cold at night. I don't really get night sweats but I get hot and then extremely cold.

I am also very forgetful. It is almost like having no short term memory and that scares me. Mostly because I have no way of knowing if this is a short term problem (no pun intended) and side effect, or the beginning of a much larger problem. In addition to that my thoughts are quite mixed up. Almost like dyslexia in every aspect of brain power. My sentences sometimes come out all jumbled, like a puzzle. Although I cannot seem to control the jumbling, I have been able to slow down my thinking enough so that the words I use in the jumble can be easily understood by those around me. For example I may think I would like to have Chinese food for dinner tonight. But what comes out of my mouth may be something like dinner would be having Chinese. I can tell myself it is all temporary but how do I explain that to a future employer? Not a comforting thought when you are unemployed and seeking a new career.

I believe I have written that despite all the research I had done prior to my hysterectomy I was still not as prepared as I thought I was. I am still researching and finding information that I wish I had had a year ago. I do not know if it would have made any difference but I like to be mentally prepared. For example I have been having trouble loosing weight, which was expected, but somehow I missed the research about gaining weight during menopause. I have been having terrible joint pain and apparently that is also a side effect of menopause, but it was nowhere to be found in my prior research. I am having pains that scare the daylights out of me and I don't know how to tell when enough is enough.

The saddest part in all this is that I have little trust in the doctor who did my surgery and I have no one else to turn to in the medical profession. How do you find a doctor you can talk to and trust? How do you find a doctor who will listen to what you are saying rather than telling you how you should feel or else just ignore you all together? I feel a little adrift here.

So it is almost midnight and I was going to bed about two hours ago. The alarm goes off at 6:30 in the morning and I like to read before I fall asleep at night. But as I was getting ready for bed I just started to cry and I couldn't stop. I am grieving, but that's another post.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

hair or no hair...

It is common in women in menopause to have hair growth in new areas, or more so than before. But no hair?

I haven't shaved my legs in six months. And barely had the need to for the six months prior to that. Is this normal? I have yet to find any supporting research but it's interesting. I have not experienced any changes to hair growth anywhere else on my body, either more or less. My legs have always had light hair but now there is none. Well, there was one but I plucked it!

I take that back, there is plenty of research. I just never worried about it so I never really paid attention to those details: there is commonly thinning of body hair and an increase in facial hair. I always saw the increase in facial hair, and since I have tweezers and a great "wax-lady" I wasn't worried about that. So the fact that I may never have to shave my legs again is kind of cool!

Hey, I take it where I can get it!

Friday, May 8, 2009

when the tears keep falling...

I had a hysterectomy one year ago yesterday. Last night we had a celebratory dinner for my 1 year without a uterus and ovaries. It's been quite a year of ups and downs, good and bad, nothing like being handed your menopause on a plate. I am not able to take hormone replacement of any kind right now because the doctors were not careful removing the cancer ridden parts of my uterus (which was ALL of it, thank you very much... "we didn't know"... really?) and the hormones would give any remaining cancer cells something to feed off of. I thought I was doing okay, and I have a family that just doesn't say anything if things are bad. Don't ask, I inherited most of them, LOL!! But last month I just couldn't take the crying any more. I literally was crying 4 or 5 times a day, or more, at EVERYTHING. So I went back to my research notes, and started taking remifemin. It worked ok, but then I switched to estroven, and I feel like my old self again, maybe even better. It all natural, herbal stuff, but it makes such a difference in how I feel. It really is worth it. My mom has a friend who went through the same thing and she won't even touch so much as an advil, and she takes another form of the same thing. Costco and have the best prices on estroven. Trust me, it's worth it because I have myself back.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

will i ever stop crying?

Because of the issues with my surgery and the pre-cancerous growth that was not carefully removed I was taken off of hormone replacement therapy shortly after my hysterectomy. At first that scared me, but I seemed to adjust rather well without them. Until recently.

For the first four weeks after surgery I was taking hormone pills, and although I seemed to cry at anything sad or remotely emotional, they were soft, slow, small tears. As time goes on these tears have become stronger, larger, and unstoppable. Whether I am having a deep emotional conversation or just hear a sad song, the tears start to flow and just don't stop.

This makes it difficult for me to have conversations with people because they think I am upset, emotional, sad, whatever the case may be, when in fact I just can't stop the flow of tears. It has been almost a year since my surgery and I am re-investigating natural remedies. Right now I would like to just not cry at the drop of a hat. I don't think that's too much to ask. Any suggestions?