Monday, October 4, 2010

Menopause, What Have You Done To Me?

I have not slept through the night since I had my hysterectomy back in October of 2007! My ovaries had to be removed, which hurled me violently into menopause at the MUCH TOO YOUNG FOR THIS CRAP age of 41. Some nights, I sleep better than others, but a good night for me is generally waking up only twice, and falling back to sleep in under an hour. I never wake up in the morning feeling completely rested anymore. I don't even remember what "rested" feels like! Sleeping pills are not the answer for me. I have tried them, and while initially they do make me fall asleep quickly...I still wake up several times during the night, feeling extremely drowsy, and frustrated because I cannot get back to sleep.

Hormone replacement therapy has helped with some of the other symptoms. But, Hormone Replacement Therapy comes with it's own risks...some of which can be very serious and occasionally even life threatening. HRT is not for everyone, but I have opted to take them. For me, the benefits outweigh the risks. I take an Estrogen/Testosterone combination. Yes, I mean the male hormone, and no... I will not start to resemble the male gender. It's just a low dose. Woman normally have a low level of Testosterone, it is produced by the ovaries. Just as men normally have a low level of estrogen. When the ovaries cease to function or are removed, the Testosterone is gone, and for many women, so is their libido. In addition, loss of testosterone in women can contribute to fatigue, muscle and bone loss, and depression. Loss of Estrogen increases a woman's risk for heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and fractures.

One year before the hysterectomy, for my 40th birthday, I quit smoking. Although, I know that it is the best gift I have ever given to myself, sometimes I think that many things were so much easier when I smoked. Weight loss for one thing! Of course, going back to that nasty habit is not even an option. Like many others who have quit before me...I merely replaced my smoking habit with something else. In my case, that replacement has been FOOD! As pride crushing and embarrassing as it is to admit...the result has been a weight gain that is inching closer and closer to the 100lb mark. Of course I have been trying to lose it...but so far my efforts have not been very successful. When I start a diet...I am always raring to go! I'll lose a few pounds, VERY Slowly, and then lose the willpower to continue. Menopause slows the metabolism, but I am fairly sure that my metabolism has died or at the very least, lapsed into a coma.


  1. You know what Hell I've been through the last couple of months with insomnia, so I can SO sympathize. I refuse to take sleeping pills. Absolutely refuse. I've started drinking chamomile tea with a little raw honey before bedtime and it's helping, but I've found that any amount of alcohol just insures a sleepless night. So no more red wine or martoonis - life is so unfair sometimes.

    I, too, quit smoking several years ago and have gained a depressing amount of weight. As for the weight loss, I try to tell myself I'm not dieting, because that just means I'll gain it all back when I'm no longer dieting - I've changed my eating habits. Most of the time I don't mind, but the weight...she comes off slowly.

    I am going to talk to my doctor about HRT since I'm no longer smoking. I'm tired of feeling like I'm about to jump out of my skin and that murder should be legally and socially acceptable. LOL And, truth be told, my libido has gone on vacation and I miss it and want it to come home, please, right now.

  2. Although your metabolism has slowed down due to aging, you can still fight menopause weight gain by exercising regularly and by maintaining a healthy diet.

  3. That is true! I do pretty well with my eating habits...but I do not do nearly enough when it comes to exercise. I MUST change that! I'm pretty sure exercise would also help me to sleep better as well.

    I think I may possibly have the waking up thing solved. I think it may be my bladder waking me up!

    Jan...give the HRT a does help tremendously. I don't have hot flashes anymore, it helps keep my mood in check and the testosterone has fired up the libido!

  4. Hi My Friend,
    Thank you for always leaving me such sweet comments! You make my day, gal!

    Well, I am through the majority of menopause, and not sleeping was one of my biggest problems, too. Recently I had to go on B-12 to help with that tingling sensation they thought was brain problems. I found out that B-12 regulates your production of melatonin, the hormone that governs sleep.
    Since I started taking it, I have gone completely back to good quality sleep, and it has made all the difference! During menopause I also took a supplement of melatonin which helped.

    Hope you find something that works. A lot of people have lower B-12 than they should. I get my spray B-12 from I would definitely consider trying that or the melatonin supplement which you can get at any health food store.

    Love and hugs to you, Monica! Have a wonderful day, and know that I love ya!