Needless to say I was actually looking forward to and slightly excited about the onset of menopause. It would end the curse! For years, I had fended off doctors who advised me to just go ahead and have a hysterectomy. Well, I didn't WANT to have a hysterectomy. I wanted to make it to and through menopause with all my parts in place and have nature take care of my lifelong problem (o.k. not totally lifelong, but when you start having periods at 10 years old, by age 50, it seems like a lifetime). But even though I was "looking forward" to menopause, mainly as the final cure to my endometriosis, I'd heard stories about the difficulty of actually getting through those menopausal years. Research was suggesting that perhaps synthetic hormone replacement therapy wasn't the 'holy grail' for treatment of menopause. So, I dutifully did my own research so I could figure out what would be the most effective and safest course of treatment for me.
After scouring the internet for alternatives to synthetic hormone replacement therapy and after having read Suzanne Somers book The Sexy Years, I decided that I would try a natural approach. I must say that Suzanne's book was informative as well as down right funny at times. Her description of the Seven Dwarfs of Menopause (Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Forgetful, Bloated, Sleepy and All-Dried-Up) was hilarious and so true for many women! So, once I started going through menopause, I dutifully scheduled a doctor’s appointment and the tests she took came back saying, yup, you’ve started menopause). I explained to my doctor that I had already decided that I would not be taking synthetic hormone replacement therapy that I wanted to try a natural approach. She gently reminded me it could take years to actually get through menopause. Gulp. I knew that …right? Okay, I breathed deeply and said yes, be that as it may, I was determined to use diet and exercise and bio identicals to get me through. My doctor smiled knowingly (I'm sure she'd heard THAT before...just like some first time moms who think they want to go through a drug free, natural childbirth). She warmly advised me that she would be available should I change my mind and went over alternatives to natural approach, just in case I changed my mind. My doc was NOT a rookie!
About two months later, after hot flashes that felt like my insides were literally on fire, and I’d broken out in a sweat during the most inopportune times (like while at work with customers at my desk, then all of a sudden I’d go from fresh faced to soaked in perspiration…a sheen that couldn’t be missed). That was fun, I can only wonder what those poor people thought was happening to me…I mean I didn’t want to say, “excuse me, I’m just having a hot flash…don’t worry, it’ll be over shortly”!) Then, I experienced hot flashes that shot me straight up in my bed from a deep sleep, soaked and burning up at the same time. And, I had a love life that was on life support (my body felt like it had been invaded by an alien...making love was not on my top 10 list). I finally decided to cry “UNCLE” and decided to do something that would involve drugs a.k.a. synthetic hormone replacement therapy regime. To be honest, I wasn't following the advice I'd gotten from the Suzanne Somers book, or my own research. I was winging it, which is NOT a good idea when going through menopause. For some reason I started living in my head, which is never a good place to live, too many one-sided conversations. Also, I was cranky, unorganized and just felt old, and forgetful and muddled and uninspired! I just wanted my groove back, and I wanted this menopause curse to be over! So, frustrated, I called my doctor. I am certain she was not surprised to hear from me but she was very professional, gracious and non judgmental (didn't say told-you-so).