My body is changing. Without my permission. And I don't know what to expect or how to wrap my head around these sudden fluctuations, freaky symptoms, and loss of control.
1. Erratic periods. I used to be clockwork. Then had a baby two years ago. Started my period again around 6 months. Then I was clockwork again. In the last 6-8 months, however, I can no longer predict my flow to the day. My cycle can run as long as 50 days before my period starts.
2. Weird periods. My periods consist now of several days without a flow but instead I have brown gunkiness coming out of me. Then it seems like my period will start, but the next day, it is back to gunk. When it finally does start, it is relatively "normal" albeit lasting a few days longer than usual - 7 to 8 days versus five.
3. Night sweats. I've been having night sweats ranging from slick sweat coating my legs and arms to lying between soaking wet sheets. I've gotten so used to it now that instead of getting up to change my night tee, I just sleep in the wet one. Too much effort to get up and change.
4. Strange odors. I'm just stinky in places I've never been stinky before. I attribute some of this to the excessive sweat, however, I shower and should be clean but then this odor wafts up to my nostrils. I'm thinking it is more hormonal.
5. Hair loss. Over two years post partum, and I'm still losing my hair. My hair's texture has changed, and it is getting thin to the point of seeing my scalp in parts where there used to be lots of hair. I'm getting used to the clumps of hair when I wash it. I make hair art on the shower wall.
What to do?
I've been seeing a reproductive endocrinologist who put me on progesterone to ease the night sweats and regulate my period. I've been seeing my naturopath again to find more natural ways of dealing with these changes.
Then more recently, I went to a regular doctor - a general practitioner - to get a 3rd opinion. He suggested that I might not want to be on progesterone because many women he sees says it makes them crazy. So THAT explains why I've been so crazy lately.
He asked why I was taking it.
To regulate my periods, I responded.
Why do they need to be regular, he asked.
I didn't have an answer.
I guess they don't. I think it is just more of an inconvenience not to have regular periods. And it is a depressing sign that I'm aging and can't control it.
Why do you want to bang your head up against this change, he asked.
I didn't know. Fear?
Why not just go with the process, he asked.
I walked out of his office feeling empowered. I did not have to have regular periods. I did not have to fight this change. I did not have to regulate, control, or make better. This is part of life, this is a part of my life now, and I need to make peace with the woman I am becoming.
I'm not becoming less of a woman because of these changes. I am being reborn into a new form of womanhood.
I am empowerHered.
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