Monday, 12 January 2015

Feeling hot, hot, hot!

I thought I'd elaborate a little on these up and down hormones I'm experiencing at the moment; judging by the comments and emails I've received I'm not the only one suffering!

Now suffering is too strong a word I know and actually the symptoms I'm experiencing could be far worse and certainly are for others. However they are a problem and I've been surfing the net to find out more - it makes interesting reading and there's lots I wish I'd known a while ago!

I had no trouble through puberty and never had any problems on a monthly basis, maybe I got a bit "moody" (others will tell you I did) but actually never any pain or discomfort for me and always 28 days apart to the minute!

However at this end of the hormonal scale things are a little different and boy don't they go on for what feels like a lifetime?! As I approached 40 things started to change on a monthly basis, dates became muddled and didn't always follow the calendar and I got very anaemic. I felt generally under the weather, tired and run down and was also gaining weight quite rapidly. It doesn't help when one of you good friends is the practice nurse at your local surgery and when you tell her you haven't eaten for a week and have still gained 5lb's she points out you went out for a pizza and bottle of wine with her 2 nights before!

However as she also pointed out I had 3 young children, a home, a business and had just started a part time office job - no wonder I was a little "under the weather"! After very many doctors appointments and a little discussion about early menopause (family history of this) it was deemed I had started the downward spiral to old age (that's how it felt not actually what it was!) 
However after a while it was also discovered I had an underactive thyroid gland and this 
was causing a good many of the symptoms. 
It took around 2 years to regulate my thyroid and get the dose of thyroxine right, 
and some of the symptoms remained.

I noticed also that global warming had come to Norfolk and would wander around the house in a T-shirt due to the increased temperature. This was a permanent thing, not hot flashes or flushes. I turned the heating down in Winter and asked for the fan heater to be taken out of the room at work. I noticed that others were huddled in their duffel coats but it didn't register at the time! 

It very gradually dawned on me that the temperature thing may be just me. And then the hot sweats started, with avengence! I do find that one of the most embarrassing things, a little trickle of persperation may just run down the side of my very red face from time to time and bears to relation to the temperature of the room, or indeed the freezing conditions I may be standing in. Mopping my brow while everyone else is cold and piling on the layers is so strange! I've tried to find the triggers for the "hot moments" without luck. I've removed caffeine for a while but it didn't help, any hot drink seems to trigger a flush, even hot water. I removed alcohol, which seemed to help very slightly but as I drink about twice a year as a rule (except in the last few months - but that's another story!) it wasn't much help. The worst trigger of all, one I hate, is contact with another person - if I hold hands I get a clammy palm, if The Builder throws an arm around me I immediately go red and feel the hot sweat start from my knees and go upward - 
not a sign of passion either! I don't sleep well anymore (another symptom) but lying in bed with one leg dangling on the floor and wafting the duvet about doesn't help.

However what I have discovered and what has become the most difficult to handle for many reasons is the anxiety. You may remember my complete panic and feelings of inadequacy at the change of job about a year ago. I didn't connect the two at the time but it has recently become clear. This is a common symptom with the menopause, anxiety, depression and feelings of panic - going hand in hand with feelings of being inadequate.

Obviously not everyone gets all the symptoms, I have a friend of 72 who is still waiting for the first sign of menopause (apart from the fact her periods stopped some years ago).

But for me it does explain the fact that our slight hiccup in family and marital life, something which would have been brushed aside years ago is so hard to process and get past. I have got over similar and worse things before although a part of me thinks "actually I'm nearly 50, the kids are getting older, I'm not taking any sh*t anymore". 
But I know my reaction is massively disproportionate to the event, which really is minor. 
The menopause websites and forums do make reassuring reading and I hope that I nearing the end??? other news.... we have a 12 year old birthday to celebrate tomorrow, sadly a school and gymnastics day/evening but she wants a Chinese takeaway on Wednesday and a few friends over for a movie and popcorn on Sunday, with a chocolate cake made to her specification, which was "surprise me with something spectacular" No pressure then!....

And then on Monday I go for my annual check-in to the asylum, I can't get there quick enough!
My friend is picking me up first thing Monday morning and we'll stop for morning coffee on the way, and then stop for lunch (well it is a 3 hour journey!) then she has assured me that the ladies in white coats will wheelchair or carry me from the car to my first treatment bed - if the ladies in white coats are not available my friend has promised to carry me to the nearest horizontal surface herself!
I've packed a bottle of Prosecco (or 2, well we are there for 3 nights, hot flushes here I come!), some fudge and 2 plastic champagne flutes - we've moved up market from drinking
out of the toothbrush mug!

So I'll see you after my short break, I hope all is well with you?

Lots of love

ps  I hope the above wasn't too much information but I'd had lots of comments and emails from people who were feeling similar.


  1. I'm so glad you posted this J, I recognised myself when you got to the 'I'm not taking any sh** anymore!' Hang in there xx

  2. I'll be 52 on Wednesday and get the odd flash, but try to plan well and dress in layers, so I can take things off if need be. Hang in there!

  3. So sorry to hear you're having a rough time of it. Hang in there it will get better. I guess I was a lucky one, in ways, had a hysterectomy at 30 and the change in my late 40's with virtually no symptoms. Everyone's different, but we all survive it, it's the ones around us who'd better be careful.

  4. Oh jay this has made me, hot, hot indeed, I understand sister! You enjoy your tie at the asylum, sound just what you need! ;) xxx

  5. I am not quite there yet but I have increased signs of anxiety and I feel depressed. I am glad to hear that this is not unusual for us ladies (I have been thinking I am ill) so thank you for your frank post, I feel quite reassured. I do hope that a few days of relaxation and fun help to recover your spirits completely. Have a great time. x

  6. I did not suffer at all with the menopause back in the day. However, I am suffering now with similar symptoms, anxiety, tiredness, feeling low, panics and most of all feeling very hot and clammy as well as mood swings - if I didn't know any better I'd think I was menopausal - but at 67? My GP has agreed though that women past their menopausal years can suffer similar symptoms due to hormonal issues. Your three days away sounds just divine. Enjoy. :))

  7. Poor you, that sounds quite grim, and all the more so for being all the time, rather than a monthly thing. You would think that what with puberty, periods, morning sickness and childbirth we had suffered enough. Apparently not. I really hope you have a lovely time away and come back feeling refreshed and happy. CJ xx

  8. Oh yes, I can relate! Amazing what a cup of tea can bring on isn't it although I had convinced myself I must be imagining it. I am SO glad that you confirmed that I'm not. I vary wildly between freezing and boiling. Nothing in between! I hope that you enjoy your break and the Prosecco - Nigella calls it Prozacco!! Very apt I think. Thank you for sharing this, it is reassuring to know that others have the same things going on and actually helps with the anxiety bit! xx

  9. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one with these problems! I've been taking Klimakt heel - a homeopathic remedy - for a while now. It helps a bit but doesn't remove all symptoms. Of course, I normally stick to only 1 tablet every day but you can take a lot more than that if you feel you need to.

  10. You didn't mention the chin hairs! Oh is that only me then, right move along now, nothing to see here...

  11. Night is the worst... chilly to begin... then BOILING... throw off duvet, drink heaps of water, cold flannels, turn pillow to the cool side ( again & again ) then.... chilly again !


  12. I so feel your pain, I feel so much of the same. My tolerance meter is so low now, and frankly I cannot tolerate anything from anyone. I also feel so inadequate all the time and just want to be home when I am not working. I used to be more positive, more tolerant, and more social. Yuck, menopause is not easy and I had a fairly easy puberty and monthly cycle, so I guess I am getting it now. Hang in there and I am here if you need to chat.

  13. Goodness me, I had to battle a few hot flushes after my hysterectomy before they got my HRT right and I thought that was bad enough! I hope things settle for you.
    And have masses amount of fun and relaxation on your trip.

  14. My story echoes yours, Jay, uneventful all my life , shrugged my shoulders at monthly trauma, then WHAM! The peri-menopause hit and I had the lot like you, PLUS the thyroid, plus the anxiety and insomnia, not bloomin' nice at all. Being diagnosed and starting on thyroxine has helped a bit. Begging my GP to put me on NATURAL progesterone was the magic which got me through the worst of it, Not synthetic progestogen, the real thing. Your practice nurse friend may be able to help here, though not a lot of people know about it, mostly female GPS with an interest in womens' natural health. Males think it is a load of nonsense. It works! I can thankfully say I am through it and out the other end, there is an end in sight, More power to your elbow and hang on to your sanity and you will be ok. Can't help about the sweats though.Lx

  15. No one tells you about the anxiety.....I hadn't even heard the word perimenopausal until I was in it!! There are meds..... no one goes to the dentist and says hold the injection I'm just going to try and work through this filling.....!!

  16. Having taken my fleece on and off for the past few hours and dangling my feet out of bed, I can sympathise with you! Happy birthday to your daughter hope the party goes well! Have a good time away you sound as if it is just what you need! Sarah x

  17. Too much information? Never!! And if it is too much for some... Let them move along... I'm very glad that you wrote this blog posting Jayne, I was just complaining to a friend today ... in fact... that I am having hot flashes all the time, I'm 45, and I haven't had a period since 2011 because I had a surgery to keep from having one... an ablation, so I wouldn't know if I had a period or not, but these hot flashes... I honestly have to leave my classroom sometimes and go open the door and let the winter air just blast me in the face... and here in Texas, you don't always know if it's going to be cold air or warm air! That being said, when you posted that you're not taking any more SH***T... Jayne, seriously... don't. You're right, we get to a certain age and we learn to say "screw it"... because you don't need to put up with crap, you deserve good, so don't second guess yourself and blame it on your hormones, you deserve to be treated well in your marriage, at work and in every day life. Since I can so completely relate to you... please do feel free to rant any time you want, you know where I am on facebook and I'm almost positive you have my phone number and email!! I am pretty sure I'm a no reply blogger, it keeps changing on me, so my email is I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend! Much love, Tammy x

  18. Oh I'm sorry.. that does not sound fun at all.. wish i had some words of wisdom..
    Good luck with the spectacular cake... and happy birthday to the 12 year old.

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