Perimenopause Can Suck It #1: Let’s Begin

Caveat for the Dudes: I’ve had just about enough of my can’t-make-up-their-mind hormones and if this kinda frank talk makes you squeamish, you better head for the hills now, because as was stated in the title: Perimenopause  can suck it.  Hard.

Caveat for the Gals: You may think you’re too young for this post, but perimenopause symptoms can start in your early 30s and 40s.

The German is shaking her head and giving up on ever making me into a refined lady.  SHE ONLY HAS A FEW MORE YEARS!  Soon, my womb will be like the kid’s room when they leave for college: ain’t nothing but dust collecting goin’ on in there.

YAY!  Menopause is coming!

Or something like that…

Here’s the dealio in a hard harsh light: I’m thrilled that I’m getting closer to no longer being able to produce a baby.  It’s what supposed to happen, after all. I’m embracing this part of my life.  I’ve earned it. Plus, I’m in granny-mode, not having-them-myself mode.

But, the journey getting to that magical land called menopause (defined as the time-period after you have stopped having periods for 12-months straight) is akin to crossing the prairie in a covered wagon: marveling at new and joyous vistas coupled with surprise Indian attacks, complete with war whoops of rage, arrows piercing my psyche and warriors on galloping horses dragging me through the fire by my hair.

Perimenopause Can Suck It

EXACTLY!

Now that we know what menopause is, what in the name of all things cray-cray is perimenopause?

Oh my babies, hang on for a scary tale of womanhood.

Wait, let me back up for a moment.  Not all of us will experience the miracle of perimenapause.  I personally know a woman who breezed right through all of this mess. She didn’t experience any of it and slid into home base unscathed by any symptoms.  I pray that is also your experience, but if it isn’t, I’m here for you.  I can nod my sympathetic head in sisterly sympathy like no other.

My doc has advised that you can look to your mom for clues as to how you might experience the years before the Big M.  So, I asked The German.  Seemed harmless enough…at first.

Me: How did you feel before you hit menopause?

TG: I felt GREAT!  No symptoms whatsoever.

M: Um, that’s not entirely true.  I remember you had some pretty fierce mood swings.

TG: LIES! It didn’t bother me at all! Why do you have to try and start something, Patti?

Oh, my.

At first I wondered why she wouldn’t honestly share her experience with me. I CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH! Then it hit me: traversing the space between peri and the real deal might be like experiencing childbirth.  Once you’re through it, you forget the pain it caused you.

Thankfully, we have the Internet to keep us honest. And you have me.  You can count on me to tell you the crampy, pissed-off, fatigued truth.

I’ve been pretty lucky up to now (although, you’d have to ask Husband if he feels as “lucky”).  My biggest symptoms to date are one fierce mood swing a month and crashing fatigue.

The Mood: The mood is a cross between The Terminator and every ticked off redneck I’ve ever witnessed.  It’s ugly and dirty and mean.  Luckily, I’m pretty self-aware, so I know when I’m in the midst of this mood.  Oh sure, we can laugh about it later, when we’ve made sure no one has lost a limb, but in the heat of the battle, and it’s an overpowering force to behold, I’m just not myself.  Sure, I have control, but it’s the feeling of wanting to pound stuff into an unrecognizable pulp that makes me crazy.

The Crashing Fatigue: Crashing fatigue is just what it sounds like: it comes on quickly and effectively.  I’m a lifelong runner and an extremely active gal.  I will finish a run even if it means almost passing out or puking my guts up (both have happened), but this last week, I started my run and about two-tenths in I came thisclose to turning around and going home.  That has never happened in my 40-plus years of running.

I find myself mute on days of CF; it takes too much energy to talk (this is highly unusual because I like to use ALL THE WORDS!).  The fatigue is not a normal tiredness; it’s exhaustion combined with muscle weakness and it comes on instantly.  So, yeah, there’s that fun symptom.

I won’t go into great detail about what happens to your girly parts (yet), or that hair sprouts out of the weirdest parts of you…hello nipples!…but it happens.

Being a woman is not for the weak.  We bleed regularly from an orifice, we push babies the size of small watermelons out of our vaginas, or worse, have them cut out of us, and then we get to hold hands with perimeopause from anywhere between 2-10 years (some gals enter this fun in their late 20s. Pray for them.  No really.  I’m not being funny.  DO IT!).

I demand that each and every woman who reads this post to high-five themselves and their freakin’ womanly awesomeness for getting through each stage.

But, like I stated in the beginning, it’s not all bad.  I really am looking forward to this next part of my life.

The thing to keep in mind is that perimenopause is a natural transition.  This too shall pass.  It’s gonna be OK.  Or, if you’re in the middle of a raging mood swing: IT’S GONNA BE O-K!  RAWR!

I find solace in the truth of that.

In the meantime, perimenopause can suck it.

 

Comments

  1. Darlene says:

    Great Post. Funny and informative. Thanks, I really enjoyed reading it.

  2. froglipz says:

    I have been going through perimenopause, since 2008 when…seriously it has been one long succession of symptoms one after another. mood swings, and beyond, it was like someone else had the remote for my emotions and was just punching random buttons, with the volume turned on high. My poor husband has ONLY known me during menopause, I can’t imagine what he is going to think if and when I ever become normal again…..I’m kidding mostly I now only have those mood swings rarely.

    But you aren’t kidding about the hair!!!

  3. Faith says:

    Oh, yeah. Great title. Right on! Although I’m not a runner, I can remember doing garden work and all of a sudden being wiped out doing what I had been able to do all day long in the past. My mom doesn’t remember any better than The German, but I do. She didn’t become not tired until after I’d been married a few years. (It was very odd knowing my always-tired-since-I-could-remember mom was gardening a huge garden, chopping firewood, taking care of animals and still working an outside job!) 10 years is kind. It lasted 12+ for me. Since I was only in my mid thirties, no one (I’m talking doctors!!) knew what it was. One doctor (a woman!) actually laughed when I suggested it, and sent me to a specialist who diagnosed fibromyalgia. He gave me a pamphlet explaining they symptoms, of which fatigue was not the worst and never the only. It was my only fibromyalgia symptom. I don’t have fibromyalgia. I knew that. I knew what the problem was. I moved a couple of years after that, and my new doctor did a simple hormone blood test that confirmed what I knew–perimenopause. He (the male doctor, not the female!) was considerate and helpful. Not that there is much to be done but slog on through it. Warning: “Hot Flashes” may not be flashes at all. That just means they come without warning. Mine were like being under a viscous hot liquid flowing from my head down. Slower than water would flow. When in front of a mirror, I could actually see the heat moving down my body. Oh, the FUN!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Faith: thank you for coming and sharing this with all of us. As I read the hot flash stuff, I cursed under my breath. That sounds HORRIBLE. I’ve been advised that since I’m a runner, I may not experience such acute symptoms, but then I laugh because the CF is not to be believed unless you experience it. I’m hoping that I’m close to the end. You know it’s bad when one day you catch yourself smiling and then you’re all: OMGOSH! I’M SMILING! WHEEE! Um, that’s how you typically are…

  4. Sarah says:

    That. Was. Awesome.

  5. Well, it’s nice to know I’m not losing my mind. I’m almost 41 and starting to experience some of the lovely side effects. It’s gonna be a long ride!

  6. Linda says:

    It went really well for me… late 40′s when it happened. Perimenopause is just the years before your period stops completely. I have to say that I was sad to think about not having my period anymore but when it happened it was WONDERFUL! No more PMS, no more cramping, no more headaches, etc. I hope it’s as easy for you girls also. Best wishes Linda

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      I can’t wait! I’m so glad it went well for you. I live for the months with no more cramps or headaches or general crankiness. Come on, menopause!

  7. Angela says:

    I came over from the Be Different site. I had to see what others might be going through with this crazy roller coaster of hormones and if it was like what I’m going through. I’ve had the symptoms of it for years but when they do the blood test I’m supposedly normal and fine! lol I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2012 just a week before I turned 44. I was diagnosed in the very early stages through my yearly mammogram. I had a mastectomy and didn’t have to have chemo because it was only .5mm in size. I’ve been taking Tamoxifen for the past year and it puts you in menopause. The night sweats are the worst! I have what I call Tamoxifen Rage but it’s probably just the mood swings from the hormones. I also have the fatigue that puts me out like a light but it keeps me up all hours of the night! If only I could fall asleep at night! As for the hair, I might just grow a beard and try to get a job with the Duck Dynasty men! lol Well, it’s not that bad but I do keep the tweezers handy!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Oh momma, you have it bad. Seriously, there should be a freakin’ medal for when we get thru it. And some prize money! Thanks for coming by to share. Hang on!

    • Holly says:

      Angela – big hugs and I’m a BC survivor as well, diagnosed at 39 and went through chemo and am on tamoxifen. Been in menopause the last few years and all of the fun that brings at this age. Hubby and I tried to laugh through treatment as much as possible, but post-treatment has been rough with all of these changes. Hugs from your warrior sister, Holly

      • Mrs. Tucker says:

        Thank you for coming by and joining the conversation. My heart and prayers go out to all in your situation, but you put it perfectly: Warrior Sister. Hell yeah!

  8. Thanks for the truthful yet funny post. I have ARRIVED to the stage of M… and it is and was NO FUN at all. The Peri phase was, for me, awful – no breezing thru. I now have cravings worse than a pregnant woman, NO energy to speak of, and what energy I do have gets wiped out quickly. CFS gets worse. A gain of 10-12 lbs that I cannot lose. I know it affects each woman differently. Thanks again for the post. Visiting thru Practically Functional party, and very appropriately stated ;-)

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      It SUCKS, no doubt. Yet, it also fascinates me that each woman is so different in her experience. As a runner, I haven’t seen the weight gain, but I have read about it and lawsy, if I start craving anything more than I already do I’m in trouble.

      Thanks for joining us in getting out the truth, even when it isn’t funny.

  9. Lisa Ehrman says:

    Your picture says it all. hahahaha

  10. Oh my, I can so totally relate! LOVE THIS. And love the meme…sometimes I need to get up in the middle of the night to get me a col’ pop and the smell of barbecuing is probably my lovely HOT FLASH that woke me up in the first place! LOL!

    I found you from the Tasteful Tuesday link party. I would love for you to stop over to the link party I am co-hosting this week if you get a chance.

    Nice to meet you, and thanks for the laugh!

  11. Sharon says:

    Wooo! I’m tired already! I’m 46 now and I think this year I might have had a hot flash. Not quite sure since it only happened once. Of course, it could’ve just been those kids of mines….making me hot. I don’t know about the other symptoms, but I’m actually looking forward to the end of menstrual cycles. When you’re older, they tend to wear you down. I don’t think I’ll mind the CHANGE. I’ve always loved every new stage of life, from adolescence, to having children, to watching them grow, etc. It’s a part of life! Just love life!

  12. Amber says:

    I am turning 30 at the end of August and I swear I have hot flashes every night and I am going through perimenopause, all of my fam & friends think I am crazy, I think I am going to talk to my dr… lol. crazy. thanks for the blog. I am with the ladies only blog party and saw your blog and had to read it! Thanks again!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Talk to that doc! I know of a few women that also had symptoms in their early 30s. You’re not crazy. Although, you may not want to read part two. eep!

  13. Sinea Pies says:

    I think skipping the list might help! LOL….it is scary. I’ve escaped much of it, thankfully. Soy milk and black cohosh have been a real blessing in curbing the hot flashes.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      It is a bit intimidating, isn’t it. Yikers. So glad to read you’ve found a sweet spot of help.

  14. Tara says:

    Love this post! Can’t wait to the next part.

  15. stacy says:

    I was 37 when it started for me…I’m 53 as of a week ago and can officially say now I’m over the hump. It’s been a little over a year. My coworkers would laugh when they’d see me in a tee shirt while everyone else was wearing sweaters and jackets and I’d step outside of the room to cool off. All the women in my family start young….I feel bad for my daughter…..

  16. Missy Homemaker says:

    I wasn’t told about the fatigue, but that would explain why I’ll be out grocery shopping and right in the middle of the store I feel like I’m falling asleep, the trip to the checkout might as well be 100 miles, and I am so exhausted, I’m not sure how I’ll drive home.
    And the weight gain? Oh yeah, I’ve got the weight gain. Yippee!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      That was the first symptom I had. I thought I was dying because I had never felt so tired and at the weirdest moments, not even when I was pregnant. Made me laugh (in solidarity with you) when I read about you having to make it to the check-out. Been there. I have started asking Husband, in jest, to carry me when I’m tired. In jest…NO, SERIOUSLY, CARRY ME!

  17. Jeannie says:

    Been there, over it. Like your mom, I had it easy. I did not have mood swings, everyone around me did.

  18. aimee fauci says:

    Perimenopuase.. I think I must have been going through this for at least 20 years now.. because I am often times very very moody! Sn.. yes.. I am def giving myself a high five.. being a woman is tough!

    • Patti Tucker says:

      I first heard of perimenopause about 20 years ago and scoffed. All these years later, I can pretty much pinpoint my first symptom. Being a women is tough! HIGH-FIVE!

  19. Honey, I’m right there with ya! Started in my early 40′s. Biggest mistake I made was letting my gyne convince me I was too young. I went 2 years w/o estrogen. No sleep, sweaty body, irritable disposition – and those were my good qualities at the time! Thanks for putting your delightful spin on the subject of the ‘dusty child’s room’!

    • Patti Tucker says:

      I have opted out of hormones and when other women discover that fact, they offer Garry their sympathy. We laugh about the tough days, mostly after the fact. I mean, he values his life after all. ;)

  20. sherilan says:

    Funny post. Going through this right now. Don’t have hot flashes, thank goodness but I burn up at night. Only other symptom is longer and heavier periods that are VERY regular ~ oh joy. Can’t wait for this to be over.

    • Patti Tucker says:

      While I thought that our periods would get farther apart and lighter, I also learned that it can go the other way: heavier and two weeks apart. Yes, oh joy. Thanks for weighing in.

  21. Yes, Yes it can SUCK IT! I am deep in the throes myself and I call my down week “hibernation” or “I’m just a bear, crawling into my cave, where I will lay in my literal cloud bed for a week and DO nothing, THINK nothing and FEEL nothing. I totally get you right now and have written a few posts myself on this stupid Mean Girl! She totally Sucks AND she can suck it! Virtual high five baby :-) Excellent humor attack on the Hormone Hussy! Way to take her down and show her who’s still the boss!

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