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Searching for help!

Posted by marie47 (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 3, 07 at 9:48

Hi everyone! This is my situation. I'm 47 years old. Had a complete hystorectomy at age 42 for medical reasons. And trust me if I only knew then what I know now I would have kept the pain. Life has been awful! In the beginning my doctor put me on hormones for 6 weeks. I got off of those really fast. Gained so much weight I couldn't even fit into my clothes anymore. So for five years I have been buying all kinds of stuff to try. Haven't found anything to help me yet. I've noticed I'm not the same person I use to be. No energy, motivation, anything, and don't forget gaining weignt (depressed because of this). Now the weight issue is really huge with me. I've always been able to keep my weight pretty much in check. Until this!! I just want to return back to the normal person I use to be.

I know I can't be the only one going through this awful thing. Does anyone have any suggestions to help me get my self back to the way I'm suppose to be? I would really appreciate your help!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Searching for help!

I'm going to be of no help, unless you want someone to commiserate and sympathize with you. Now, that I can do. I'm 45 and quite new to all of this, but as I said in the thread about "running away", I do feel as though my life has suddenly started slipping away from me. Ordinarily one who possessed a tremendous amount of self-control, I now find myself shrieking like a banshee at those closest to me, and having to literally bite my tongue to keep from doing the same to coworkers and acquaintances.

It depresses me even more to think that we all go through this and basically become guinea pigs, trying this, trying that -- desperate for something, anything to work. As I've only embarked upon this journey, I'm fearful of all the things I'll try that won't work at all. Money and hope thrown down the drain.

I do know that non-natural remedies will be my last resort. I've just come off a terrible prescription medication that left me with severe withdrawal symptoms, and to be honest, I'm frightened of drugs.

I so wish I could be more encouraging to you, or offer some sound advice ... but maybe it helps somewhat just knowing that there are so many of us who go through this -- and presumably we do eventually find relief and/or come out on the other side of it.


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Marie, something you said really stuck in my mind. It's when you said you want to get back to the way you are "supposed" to be. That hit the nail on the head for how most of us feel, but I don't know if it is realistic. I understand completely how you feel about it, but I am beginning to think that maybe we aren't supposed to stay the same as when we were young and carefree. I don't mean to make this sound too heavy or depressing, and believe me when I say there are times that I say to myself (or whoever may be listening out there) I just want to be myself again. On the other hand, I've learned so so much about myself by going through all this, that I can't in honesty say that I would turn back the hands of time. As tempting as it is, there's so much I would have missed out on, both good and bad. Over the past 12 years or so, and especially the past two, I have done (and continue to do) a complete re-evaluation of everything in my life. There are times I have wanted to say f-it and run away. There are other times that I know I am exactly where I need to be. There are days when I break into tears at the drop of a hat. Today was one of those days. There are days when I feel like I have the world by the a** and nothing can stop me. Most days are somewhere in between. What I have found most of all is that for all those years when I thought everything was cool and nothing could touch me in a deep and meaningful way, I was so wrong. I kept up a strong feisty appearance to everyone including myself, and it came to call. Not only has this experience opened up my heart the way it needed to be, it has liberated me to become more vulnerable, and that was something that I severly needed. I try to look for the things I have gained from going through this emotional hell, and not focus so much on the sense of security it has taken away from me. It's not easy, and some days I'm not so good at it, but I do really believe that I am becoming a better and stronger human being. I'm sorry I can't give you words of encouragement that you want to hear, but I, and the rest of us here are pulling for you.
Mrs H


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Thanks for the support. THIS IS GREAT! I'm glad I finally found this site. Wish I would have found it years ago. I think talking with others who understand the meaning of "HELL" is really great therapy (lol). Even if there is no "EASY FIX" at least we're all pretty much in the same boat and we can talk about it and give eachother as much support as we can. Remember ladies "SUPPORT THERAPY"....that's what we're all here for. And just think "It's FREE"!..lol

Here's pretty much where I am.
For years I was taking Estrin D. Now that stuff I noticed helped. And it did help a little with controlling my weight too. Then, I was out for about a week and notice a huge difference in the way I felt. Seriously, I was so depressed and really felt so down. So, I thought "better get some more". Then after a couple of days I was ok again. Now my problem is everybody has stopped selling it.....GGGGGRRRRR....I've asked "why" and have been told "not selling enough". So back to the drawing board (again). Now, I'm trying Estroven with Energy. Bought this about three days ago. So we'll see if that helps or not. I had three different products and went to the pharmacist and asked which on is better? She said that Estroven was really good stuff. Then when I was checking out the Cashier told me she was on Estroven too. I said is it good stuff? She said she loves it and feels great. So, I'm gonna try it....why not I've tried a ton of stuff, ......more money out! Anyway, the package says to give it 7-10 days to really be effective. HOPEFULLY!!!....I'll keep ya posted!!


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RE: Searching for help!

What I have found most of all is that for all those years when I thought everything was cool and nothing could touch me in a deep and meaningful way, I was so wrong. I kept up a strong feisty appearance to everyone including myself, and it came to call. Not only has this experience opened up my heart the way it needed to be, it has liberated me to become more vulnerable, and that was something that I severly needed.

I'm so glad you said that. I don't think I've ever voiced this thought (much less actually written it down), but all throughout my life, I've had a feeling of being somehow "invincible." I've seen my mom and older relatives go through the change and age, and somehow, I've always, in the back of my mind, had a feeling that things like that will never happen to me. Completely unrealistic I realize, but I think also a way of denying my own mortality. Just this morning as I looked at myself in the mirror I saw my mother and my elderly aunt in my face. I am just like them. I am a woman, a human woman -- subject to every change and progression and frailty and vulnerability that they were and are. We really are "one" in a sense. I'm really starting to understand, at least a little bit, that I'm going to "go there" ... I'm going to age, I'm going to wrinkle and age and slow down ... it's inevitable to some degree. And that's both extremely humbling, and terribly frightening. I just hope that a liberating and "whole" feeling will follow this realization. Time will tell.


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Mrs. H, your post brought me to tears. My, how thoughtful you are. And inspiring.

Jen, I, too, had always thought of myself as invincible. That I would somehow escape this because of my intelligence and will. Little did I know that my mind and self control would be affected the most during this transition!

I think we are changing from the day we are born. Changing and aging. During the earlier parts of our life it is a positive thing, we are growing and becoming. As we continue through adulthood, we are still moving through life, our bodies and minds working at full force like a fine-tuned machine. We develop a sense that this is what life is, and that it will remain. We lose the feeling we are changing, except for an occasional wrinkle. We buy "age-defying" cream to apply and make ourselves feel better, and we are able to stay in denial a little longer.

But the changes occuring during perimenopause and menopause have a cumulative effect, and the small bell we once heard in the distance eventually becomes the sound of an alarm we can no longer ignore. We are aging, we are moving through life, still changing and becoming, but as in childhood, we are once again aware of this process.

I hope to use this awareness to do many things. To take care of myself. To do the things I always wanted to do. To recognize the limited time I have to make a difference. And to use the time I have to just "be" and learn who tinasoldhouse really is, what she is made of.


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AuntJen and Tina, thank you so much for the kind words. One of the things that has helped me through this part of life for the past year or so is to write. I can express myself in writing in a way that never comes out of my mouth, and since this part of life has impacted me in a way as no other, I have tried to make as much positive out of it as possible. That's something that I gained from reading Thomas Moore's Dark Nights of the Soul. He suggests writing and journaling, even writing poetry, and I have started doing that. I don't journal, but I write poems, mostly during the darker periods. I think it has put me in touch with a creative part of myself that I never thought was there. It has helped me explore the hidden recesses of my emotions to try and understand them a little better. There was much there that I never knew of until lately. I recently came across a quote that really struck home for me:

"Who has the courage to go into the dark places where there is nothing but feeling?" -Thomas A. Clark

Isn't that great? I love it.
Mrs H


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Excellent advice, Mrs. H. I do some occasional blogging, but it is in a public space and I sometimes find myself censoring what I really feel like saying, instead of just letting my thoughts and words flow freely. I think that now I will endeavor to find a private outlet. I do think it's incredibly healthy, productive, empowering, and therapeutic to "get it all out."

And that quote by Clark? Literally made me shiver. That's awesome. :-)


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AuntJen, I created a folder on my computer in Microsoft Works. That's where I write all my personal stuff. I'm the only user of my computer except for DH occasionally looking for something on the web, so it's private, and I doubt he's interested in my personal musings about woman stuff, lol. I print them out in case my computer crashes, but they are in safe keeping :) Writing helps me sort stuff out, and the concentration required to try and make something sounding like prose may help keep my brain a little sharper- I hope.
Mrs H


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WOW! You have all touched me so much. I'm really glad that I found this. I've only been on here two days and I already feel better about who I am.

I too have not really been honest about myself with anyone. It's hard to talk honestly with some people. You just don't want everyone to really know (everything) and think you're not ok. So, again I really am glad this is here for all of us to (finally) be able to open up and talk about how we really feel. You know from reading all of your stories I suddenly think that I'm really going to be ok. This thing is NOT going to bring me down. I'm going to enjoy the ride and just be thankful for each and every day that the good Lord gives me. And I've decided that from now on each morning when I get up and look in the mirror I'm going to tell myself (I love you and I love life).....and enjoy the ride and the wrinkles and the pain and hotflashes along with everything else.

Thank you ALL for the wonderful encouragement!!!!
God Bless You All!
Marie


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Marie, I'm glad you found us here too. We need more women to join in the fun (or misery as it may be at times, lol).
Someone, and I don't remember if it was in this thread or another, remarked that they don't know anyone personally going through the same stuff. Same here. I know lots of women who are within 10 years of my age, and most of them just seem to breeze through it. Of course, they may all be on anti-depressants that really work for all I know :). I am trying to stay determined to see it through without that. I have learned that severe episodes of depression will pass and/or ease up with time. About 10 or so years ago, I was in a complete dark state of being. I did not want to wake up in the morning. I was such a nervous wreck that I dropped about 20 pounds in about a month's time (and I'm already a small woman). I felt like I was the worst person on the face of the planet. I had never ever felt bad about myself in my entire life. In fact, I had always considered myself to have a good healthy self-esteem. It all came completely unexpectedly in a short period of time. The biggest urge I had was to "get fixed now", and I had no idea what was happening to me. I had had a severe emotional trauma a couple of years before, but I really didn't think that was at the root of it all. I thought it went much deeper, deeper than I could see. And it was. I think that pre-menopausal changes were the spark that ignited a fire of self-discovery for me. That's the reason that as much I understand the pain and sympathize in my very soul, I can accept it all with a measure of gratefulness. If I had not gone through what I have, and continue to do so, I would still have what I now consider a shallow and meaningless side to me. This journey continues to teach me how to love deeply and appreciate all the goodness and grace that life bestows. Before all this, I just wrote off happenstance and luck as pure cooincidence. The longer I look, the more evidence I see that it's so much more than that.
Mrs H


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Mrs. H, you mentioned that perhaps some of those women are on antidepressants ... you may very well be right! I am 3-1/2 weeks off Effexor XR, and I have been through the most hellish withdrawal symptoms (I've read online that Effexor withdrawal is not unlike heroin withdrawal - yikes!). Effexor is commonly prescribed for menopausal women because it does seem to help with the depression and the flashes/sweats. I had taken it for over 6 years (I initially went on it to help with some anxiety/depression issues I was having), and tried four times to get off of it (both by weaning and going cold turkey) but could not bear the withdrawal, so always went back on. I finally determined that I was going to rid my body of this drug once and for all and take a natural, holistic approach to my well-being, and that's when my flashes/sweats/chills started to the point of being near-debilitating.

I have just found a holistic doctor who told me that she doesn't think I'm in the full-on throes of menopause yet (although we are testing the ol' hormones, so it will be interesting to find out what's revealed there), but that my flashes/sweats/chills are directly linked to Effexor withdrawal. She's started me on a program of amino acids to help restore balance to my brain chemistry, and hopefully, my body will learn to regulate itself normally once again.

At any rate, my experience with antidepressants is that they do indeed "work" (at least they did for me), but I'd rather have gone through some of my darker moments unmedicated than suffer the withdrawal that I've gone through for closing in on a month now. For anyone who may be considering antidepressants, please, please, please research thoroughly and don't just take what your doctor says at face value. (My doctor who initially prescribed the meds only told me that many of her patients take them, and that some people choose to stay on them for the rest of their lives ... yeah, because they can't get off!)

I wish you all a wonderfully relaxing, happy, and sweat-free weekend.
:-)


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Hi All!
Just wondering how everyone is doing. Haven't seen anything posted in a while. I know that I've not posted in a few days myself. This is all new to me and I'm really trying to take sometime everyday for this. I told my husband this my (support therapy). I find it very conforting. I've been reading alot of the other sites and stuff. WOW! It's just amazing what women go through...lol....I sort of wish this was a really big forum and we could all chat together instead of different windows. But, this works too. At least we all have this! Just being able to talk to someone about your true feeling and they understand and listen is such a huge deal.
Good Luck To All and Keep in Touch!!!
Marie


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Hi, Marie:
Hot flashes have been in full force lately. Stress is not helping. I feel like the heat/sweat is going to blow out of my head! Hope my visit to the GYN next month is productive. Still have mood swings and trouble sleeping. It is amazing what we go through. I never thought it would be this bad. A couple of my friends who are my age are experiencing this too; between them and all my friends on the forum, I don't feel so alone.


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Hi, Marie. I agree it is comforting to have the company of other women who understand. I look forward to checking in every day to read even if I don't post.

I'm actually doing pretty well. The lower abdominal pain that ushered me to the ER a couple weeks ago has completely disappeared. I'm now on month 3 without a period. Up to this point, I had only skipped one month at a time a couple times. This is kind of strange, like I'm unpinned from my moorings. I never realized I used my period as a marker of time. I feel like my schedule is wide open . . . I can't believe I actually feel sort of sad that my period is gone. Not missing the cramps and physicalness of it, but realizing things are definitely changing.

I really do get that I will make it through to the other side and things will level out. I've had huge swings in anxiety and weepiness over the past few years, but in the last couple of months I'm starting to feel a calmness and evenness. This is giving me hope. I won't be the same but perhaps this new way will be good -- different, but good. I'm sure I'll be swinging all over the place again before this is through, but for now I feel comforted seeing what might exist beyond these extremes.

I am trying to work on my problems sleeping. Lack of regular sleep effects my moods more than anything, making me more anxious. I've slept well for the last few nights and I'm feeling positive. I'm finally off the xanax (4 nights), but on the Ambien train for the next few weeks.

Hope everyone is hanging in there.

Tina


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I haven't had my period for 7 months. In a way, I miss it(definitely not the cramps, though). Lack of sleep makes me cranky and anxious also. Can't wait to find the light at the end of this menopause tunnel.


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Been working outside in the garden for the past few weeks- it's finally cool enough to do so. Just in the 90's, lol, but definitely better than Summer in this area. Still some occasional really weepy days, but better. I find that I don't have the irritable want-to-scream-at-someone moods, but I cry out of the blue. Really embarrassing to break into tears while I'm at work. Getting outside and being alone with the bugs and the dirt has helped me, I think. Besides, it's a good place to have a good cry where no one knows I am feeling particularly down. Overall, though, the past year has been getting better. Two years ago, I wouldn't have given you a plug nickel for me. :)
Mrs H


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Hi Cheerful
I really hope you feel better. Hang in there! I know this women stuff is awful. I also have trouble sleeping. Most nights I take something like tylenol PM to help me. But it doesn't always work...gggrrr....I know last night I was finally sleeping then my cell phone starting ringing at 1:30am. Wrong number.....I was so upset because I could not go back to sleep to save my life. Layed there and tossed and turned till my husband got up for work at 4:30. Figured might as well get up. So hopefull tonight I will sleep.

As for the hotflashes. Mine come and go. Don't really have them as much lately. Now that I said that of course I will. lol....but I also have been trying this stuff called Estroven with Energy. Been taking that for about 12 days now. Not sure if it's helping or if it's in my head. lol...

As for periods. Had a complete hyst 5 years ago. Don't miss those at all. It's nice not to have to worry about that anymore. But, honestly if I had only knew what I was in store for I would have probably kept my pain. But who knew!!

I hope you Doctor's appt is ok. I pretty much try to wing it, because every time I go to the doctor she just wants to put my on hormones and I won't do that. I'm always searching for something to help me. Maybe one day I'll find it....lol.... But let me know what he/she says. It was nice to hear from you. Keep in touch!
Marie


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Hi Tina
I know I've tried ambien too. My sister gave me a few and they really helped me sleep. I need to make a doctor's appt to get a script. But for now I pretty much take over the counter sleep stuff. Sometimes it helps and sometime NOT. I know that lack of sleep really plays a huge roll in everything. I'm glad you're feeling better! Get some sleep!!
Keep in touch!!
Marie


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Hi Mrs. H
Our weather here is starting to get cool. Which is not really a bad thing...lol....just not looking forward to the really cold weather. I really don't like being stuck in the house. This is my first winter being home and I'm not really sure how that is going to go. I'm making a list of stuff to do to keep me busy this winter.....lol....

I really hope you get to feeling better. I know a couple of months ago I went through some blue days. I't really not fun. My husband asked me what in the world I had to be so down about? Trust me at that moment he was taking his life in his own hands....lol.....when I was sane again. I tried to explain this stuff to him...he is really supportive and understanding, but still, it's not the same talking to him about this, because he just doesn't get it.......trust me I really love being a women, however there are times being a man sounds pretty good.....lol............I know that when I was working I had moments there too. However, I had a very supportive team there and that really helped......Cry when you need to. Sometime, that's what we have to do. Remember to keep talking to anyone that will listen. I know that really helps me. Especially this forum. This really helps me feel alot better. I call it my support therapy!!
I hope you feel better!!
Take Care
Marie


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Thanks, Marie, but it's fine. Really it is. I've just accepted that it's part of this stage of life, and actually, it makes me feel better, in a cathartic kind of way. :)
Mrs H


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