Over the summer, right before my family and I were about to head to the East Coast, I was feeling off kilter. Filled with anxiety. Forgetful. My symptoms would hang around for about a week and then go away. The symptoms would come back like a month or so later. Of course I self-diagnosed myself with a brain tumor. When I shared with my significant other, he suggested menopause as an alternative to the hypochondriac diagnosis. This seemed potentially plausible to me given my additional symptoms. My periods, after being so reliable, had turned against me. Stretching out for ungodly amounts of time. Or not. I felt betrayed after we had had such a steady relationship for so many years.
Of course, my gynecologist had closed her practice months prior. She had contacted me to let me know via mail. More than once. Told me who to call to find a new doctor. I never took any action. Honestly, the entire thing depressed me. She delivered my son. Administered all of my pre-natal care. Calmed down my significant other in the hallway outside of the operating room right before my c-section. She had this semi-annoying habit, when we would visit after our son was born, to look at him and tell us that he had my nose or eyebrows or whatever and his dad’s chin, eyes and cheekbones. Annoying after a while but she was worth it. Now I was in a situation where I wanted to see a doctor and I didn’t have one. I used the handy doctor finder online and called one who was listed as taking new patients. Sure she was taking new patients but she was not seeing them till February (this was in November or so). When I was making these calls, I was having what I was calling, one of my “spells.” My boss had told me to call her doctor. Same new patient deal. Unfortunately I needed an appointment pretty quickly. I was becoming desperate. My hairdresser had told me to call her gynecologist and tell her that she had given me her name. I actually called and when they asked who had referred me I said my hairdresser. They put me on hold, probably to laugh, and then told me that I could not have an appointment.
Truly desperate, I called my primary care physician for a referral and got one. Although I had to wait as a new patient, they agreed to see me the following week regarding my issue. I told my new doctor my symptoms. I told her perhaps I was pre-menopausal. She told me that I was too young but she did order a blood test to examine my hormone levels. Long story short, my significant other’s diagnosis was spot on – peri-menopause. My estrogen was all out of whack which was making me seriously off. I opted for low dose hormone pills to take the edge off. They work well. I feel more like me more of the time.
And it was all fine until last month when my fits and starts period never actually started. No period. Period. Does this mean, that’s that? That I am actually in menopause now? I don’t know. I figured I’d give it another month before I contact my doctor again. Honestly, there is something deeply sad about being menopausal. I have never had a desire to have another child. Ever. One is good. I really am too old for another. But to have that there, to still think that if one day I wanted to I could…..was nice. And that is gone. If it is true. I think it is but I’m not ready for it to be true yet. Because if it is, I know that I will mourn the loss of my fertility. That I will be deeply and unreasonably saddened.