I want to continue to talk about menopause. A few months ago, my skin started to have a crawling sensation. I also started to have what I call “private summers,” otherwise known as hot flashes. Not to mention the night sweats and disrupted sleep patterns that started soon after. Yes, I do know what I’m talking about.
Before my fibroid surgery some years ago, I was put on a drug called Lupron that puts you into pseudo-menopause. In a word, I had hot flashes for a good three months. Before then, I used to laugh at my mom when she’d have her special moments. Now, I have a very different perspective.
Fast forward seven years and two surgeries later, I eventually had to have a hysterectomy –- I had begun to have hot flashes for real! I went to my doctor on my next scheduled visit and informed him of this, to which I was promptly told that since my uterus only was removed, that my estrogen levels should be fine. And that meant that I couldn’t be having hot flashes.
People, did I not say that I know what hot flashes felt like and was having crawling skin to boot? But I played along. He said to reassure me he’d have my hormones levels tested. He did. And, of course, they came back within normal range! This did not alter my opinion because just a couple of months later I was sitting a work and was suppressing the urge to have a full-fledged come-apart. For no reason, I wanted to cry and run down the hall, get on the elevators and high tail it home. I managed to pull it together and this feeling soon subsided.
Ladies, I am convinced that, that was my first perimenopausal mood swing. I am 40 years old. Sure, I know what some are saying, but take it from me, for those who haven’t quite made it there yet -– it can happen at 40.
Perimenopause is defined as a transitional period leading up to menopause which can last several years. The general age pinpointed for the start of menopause is 45. Did I tell you that I was 40? Um-hum… During perimenopause, I’ve learned that you will start to have menopausal symptoms. Know why? Your hormone levels –- estrogen and progesterone -- are fluctuating.