New To Site & Need Help - Many Questions & Confused
Hi - I'll try not to write a book! I'm 48 1/2 & have had irregular periods for almost 2 years. Up until this summer, symptoms were mild & tolerable. Since this past July (going on 5 months) they have gotten severe & in past 2 months intolerable. I haven't had a good night's sleep in months - i wake up every 30-60 minutes & when I do sleep I have awful nightmares. Night sweats are awful. I wake up drenched. Then I get chills. Hot flashes not too bad in daytime. "Foggy" feeling. Burning in genital area. Headachey. Dry vaginal area. Hemorroids. And very depressed - none stop crying. I lost my job in February & am still looking. I am primary breadwinner in the family (husband gave up his career formine when we made a geography move for me). We are living on severance (now gone) & savings (soon to be). So I am panicking. We are putting our house up for sale. The only reaosn I mention these things is that I do have some real issues to be depressed about but it's all a big vicious cycle now. I feel like crap, am totally unmotivated & constantly crying - not a great state to go interview in! Anyway, I went to see my gyno today. He did not examine me or run any tests. In 1999, my fsh was 54 & estrogen was 37 so who knows what they are now 2 years later. He gave me a month's free sample of FEMHRT. I asked him couldn't I start on a patch version of HRT - isn't that the lowest dosage? What actually is the difference between birth control pills & HRT? I have done a lot this year since I got downsized to improve my physical being: lost 40 pounds (from 170 to 130), stopped drinking alcohol, stopped drinking Coca Cola, started exercising (mostly walking - 2 mile walks 3-5 x's a week), brought my blood pressure down naturally & have lowered my chloresterol to good levels with the help of Lipitor and my greatest accomplishment - I quit smoking (pack a day plus) after 30 years. I should be feeling good & instead I feel the worst I ever had. I had a bone density test in January & tested well above average (although my maternal grandmother had osteo). I have fibrocystic breasts (so does my mom & sister) and have had 3 benign fibroid adenomas removed (1971, 1972 & 1994). I have a mammogram annually. Never had children. No actual history of breast cancer. So, is HRT right for me? Is Fefhrt right for me? Why are there so amny different brands & types of H? What makes one woman react well to one & not to another? Is FEMHRT a low dosage HRT? Gyno said I may have some spotting. He also said I should start getting some relief of symptoms in the next week. He said to come back in a month & we'd go from there depending on how I'm doing. Is this always trial & error? Will I gain weight (I'll be real pissed after working so hard to get it off & putting some back on when I quit smoking)? Anything else bad to expect besides spotting? Will this make my natural period stop (were I to actually get it again)? Should I try other/alternative treatments first? Should I insist on any tests? My mother is angry with me for going on HRT. She's 72 & never did (she had a hysterectomy at about my age) & said her breast doctor told her he wouldn't see her anymore if she went on hormones! I know I can't go on living like this but I'm scared that I'm just opening up another can of worms. Thanks all.