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How I've Said "FMenopause"

Menopause is a Journey!

Updated: Jun 3

Someone has to start sharing their story to make this a truly collaborative community, so as the creator of FMenopause I figured it might as well be me! Talking about our journeys is only a good thing – it is inspiring, educational, and it quite simply makes us all feel better. We as women suffer. A LOT. In so many ways. We shouldn’t have to go it alone during the time of our life that we have earned the right to make ourselves a priority.

 

I started feeling generally ‘off’ in my late 30’s. I remember telling my primary care doctor, my gynecologist, my nurse who did vaccinations, and basically anyone who would listen that I didn’t feel myself. I was tired, down, and noticing changes in my body, but since routine blood tests came back normal and I was dealing with the usual stresses of having young kids and balancing life, medical professionals basically ignored me. I took matters into my own hands by focusing on my general wellness habits...paid closer attention to my diet (eventually went gluten-free), focused on sleep, made exercise a priority, etc, which seemed to mildly help for a while.


But WOW did it get worse. The night sweats alone nearly did me in from changing sweat-soaked clothes multiple times during the night. And everything else...dry hair and skin, erratic sleep apart from the night sweats, mood swings, loss of muscle tone with no reduction in exercise, hot flashes during the day...just everything! I knew I needed help, as in REAL help.

 

My gynecologist meant well, he really did. He saw me through two high-risk pregnancies with ease, but the red flag for me was that women in his office were pregnant or trying to get pregnant, and I felt like the only one ‘on the other side’ dealing with everything that comes after. Menopause was in his wheelhouse, but I felt like more of an experiment in an area of which he had some knowledge but no real conviction. He conducted yearly bone scans, and my bone density dropped 15% in one year. As a lifelong health-nut runner who makes sure to get my daily calcium and vitamin d, that was incredibly scary. I knew I needed to go elsewhere.

 

I felt so alone, because none of my friends were going through what I was going through, and if they were, no one was talking about it. My mom was my savior, because she also went through menopause early and was 'saved' by taking estrogen, which inspired me to look around for specific menopause help.

 

I essentially 'broke up' with my gynecologist and found a menopause clinic (randomly and barely...there were almost none on Google, in a city of almost 9 million people!!). It cost me a fortune, of course not covered by insurance (why?!!), but I didn’t care. I was suffering and I was desperate. During my first visit the doctor asked a strange question: ‘Are you happy?’. I had an even stranger answer: ‘Is anyone really happy?’. We both knew that something was clearly going on with me. Thankfully his decades-long history of treating menopause symptoms led me down an aggressive path of HRT, and I haven’t looked back since. It was life-changing. My symptoms disappeared, my bone density stabilized, and I actually did feel happy again.

 

If there is just one thing that I could relay to others, it is that only YOU know your body, and YOU know when things just aren’t right. Go with your gut and seek out help! Demand it. You don’t have to suffer. It is likely that your regular doctor can’t help you, although that seems to be slowly changing with more education, but find someone that is trained and confident in menopause. Also, pay close attention to the true facts regarding HRT. Make an informed decision, not on that is based on rumors and questionable data. And don’t wait – it will only get worse.


And...


F... menopause.

 

 

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