I’ve Gone Mad and I’m Dying! Wait. What? I’m Perimenopausal? Phew!

The following is my very raw account of my perimenopausal journey so far because I no longer give a fuck about what anyone thinks. 

Half a year ago had you caught me during one of my hormonal moments I might have filled you in on the fact that I feared something was terribly wrong but I was unable to build up the courage to find out the truth.

Most people in my family have had some type of serious illness that they have had to learn to deal with. From cancer to debilitating forms of diseases I am incapable of pronouncing let alone spelling them or remembering the names of. I on the other hand have made it forty something years with not much more than severe food allergies. I should clarify that by severe I am probably exaggerating, but it is rather depressing at times to think about not being able to eat bananas or avocados. Poor me.

Seriously though, I had convinced myself it was my turn. I made it this far virtually unscathed and it was time for me to get a taste of unhealthiness.

For starters, my life time struggle with insomnia got worse. Instead of the five hours of sleep I had grown accustomed to throughout my thirties had quickly shortened into three or less. I was so tired on my commute to work that I would have to pull over for ten minute power naps on the side of the road. The lack of sleep lead to more coffee than the disturbingly risky amount I already drank. How many shots of espresso are too many in a twenty-four hour period? Now this was the question to keep me awake. My tough girl conclusion: It must just be the coffee. Lay off the fucking coffee.

Next up, hair loss. Just google this for yourself. So many possibilities. Stress. Anemia. Hypothyroidism (my moms guess because half of my family has it.) Lack of protein (are all those fucking bacon eaters right?) My conclusion: Stress. Yes, stress. That has to be the cause. Must do more yoga. Must find my ZEN!

Then the combination of a weird feeling in my legs, or actually the veins in my legs and swearing that I could feel the blood flow through them coupled with bloating. Serious bloating. My belly looked like it was ready to deliver. So bloated that a button flew off my favorite pants and rocketed across the room because my belly was just too fucking big. Yeah, and this did wonders for my issues with bulimia! My conclusion: Drink more kombucha. The probiotics have to help. They fix everything, right?

This lead to a series of shitty events. Depression. Heart palpitations. Bleeding gums. Dizziness. Bowel trouble. Painful boobs. Pissing my pants at the slightest movement. More depression. Anger. Memory lapses. Conclusion: Must find a fucking doctor. More honestly, I must beg my husband to find me a doctor because I am too scared.

Wait to see the doctor: Two and a half months.

In the mean time the sex thing. My poor husband. Feast or famine. Either the never-ending period, or my insides hurt so please just hold me, to I need you to fuck me now. I don’t care if you are half asleep. I need it now. Never mind. I will just take care of myself. Conclusion: I have always been a bit on the crazy side. It has nothing to do with any thing else. My husband is my hero!

Oh and then the thing that had me convinced that I had something seriously wrong with me, the electrical shock from the inside shooting through my clitoris. At first it was a fun ride until it didn’t stop and became painful, then just absolutely scary. Try looking it up on google and see if you find anything besides links to adult porn sites. Conclusion: This is freaky. I must be dying. Maybe I should take out my piercing?

In the final stretch, the week before my doctor’s appointment it all became much clearer. The first night I woke up clammy, feeling like I was on the verge of sweating. Like I was running a fever. I layered more blankets on even though I was extremely hot thinking that I could break the sweat and it would all be better, but that never happened. Over the next few days, I got this same feeling throughout the day and night. No warning. They just hit. At one point even though it was 40 degrees and raining outside, and I had the air conditioner in my car cranked full blast at 62 degrees, I couldn’t get comfortable so I opened the sunroof and windows. I wasn’t comfortable until I was soaked. Two nights before the appointment I realized that I was experiencing hot flashes. Conclusion: I am perimenopausal and don’t need to go to the doctor. My husband did not agree and drove me to my appointment so I wouldn’t miss it.

My final conclusion was accurate. I am perimenopausal. Before finding out I was vegan my doctor recommended that I up my estrogen intake with foods like tofu. I got that covered. The hot flashes are still around. My husband kind of likes them because I will strip naked if I am at home when they hit. My daughter finds it hysterical. It sucks when they hit at work but fortunately there is a walk in freezer that I step into for a few so that I can literally chill out. This shit can last for up to two years they tell me.

This is a journey that I would not have volunteered for, but I am here so I might as well share it, and see if anyone else wants to share parts of their adventure. Building a tribe makes everything better even if it is built around a center called perimenopause.

Are you going through the same thing? Have you already passed this phase? Any tips? What about diet? Did you or are you taking supplements? Let’s start a conversation. Any advice is helpful.

***Two years later this post still gets a lot of view so I decided it was time for an update. Cutting out coffee (I still drink other forms of caffeine) was a huge help. Hot flashes only visit me now if I indulge in a couple cups. Many of the other symptoms only happen now right before my period. My cycle is obnoxious. Sometimes I have them two weeks apart, other times I bleed for too many days straight (52 being the longest,) and currently I haven’t had one for six weeks but feel like it’s coming on.

It ultimately has gotten better so if this is just the beginning of your journey, don’t lose hope!

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68 Responses to I’ve Gone Mad and I’m Dying! Wait. What? I’m Perimenopausal? Phew!

  1. Suzy says:

    Thanks for the laugh this morning. I’m right there with ya!!!

  2. pumpkin061 says:

    I feel like a lot of this was written for me. I am going through the motions, not taking supplements, but I never was one for a lot of sleep (4-5 hours a night)but I treasure what I have and now it’s less, and I found that smoking pot helps me sleep through the night, so if you are totally against this and I get tnhat some may be, find a doctore that is licensed to write a script for medicinal cannabis

    • I was really hoping that by throwing it out there people would be able to relate. As for pot I don’t have an issue with it my lungs just hate it. Tried edibles and it knocked me on my ass. 😏

  3. Gina says:

    I would completely stop drinking coffee. Hard I know. Coffee throws the hormones way off. Second I would get some Anna’s wild yam cream. That stuff works. I use it. Also watch this video. I learned a lot from this video and Barbara O’Neill. https://youtu.be/MGmpq43YxMA

    Good luck! I’ll be in your shoes at some point. I’ll be 40 this year. What age does this start approximately?

  4. J says:

    Truly appreciate the honesty! This is something I won’t experience directly, but is very good to know for all those folks with said reproductive organs.

  5. Julie Cribbs says:

    Did this years ago. As you said, symptoms are different for everyone. At that time, i was a public school teacher, so stripping down naked during my volcano erruptions was not an option. Poor kids, being taught by a crazy lady is bad enough, but then add hormonal insanity on top, well…
    At first I tried hormones, but with my health history decided that was not a good option for me. Then did hormone creams, and whether they work for some or not, I couldnt even get a placebo affect. I did both natural and prescriptive. So, in the end, I just let Mother Nature take her course. She can be a real b!+€h!!!
    I won’t go in to detail about my journey. I’ll just say there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s attached to a mega train called Menopause, barrelling down that track at a million miles per hour! And when it hits? I’ll just say that ol’ Peri is a nice little warm up for her bigger, badder sister. And the best part of all? This can last from a few years to infinity and beyond! Guess what category I seem to be falling into?!? Although I’ll admit the symptoms are now a little annoyance in the background of life. Did they become less or did I just become used to them? Who knows…
    Again, this journey is different for everyone. I wish you luck! I hope you find things that help. Don’t be afraid to try things, even if they sound crazy. You just never know just what may work. I’ll say a little prayer for you.

  6. Tanya says:

    I’m so sorry that it is so bad for you. But thanks for putting a funny spin on it. I have been trying to convince my doctors I am either hypothyroid or perimenopausal. Night sweats, restless leg, insomnia. I’m on the pill so they say I shouldn’t be feeling any hormonal shifts. Then it’s the thyroid, right? Ugh, who knows.

    The bloating thing is interesting. Never attributed it to anything but what I chose to eat.

    Well, please continue to share. The more stories out there the less we feel weird.

  7. SueK says:

    If these events weren’t so real, it would be funny……I’ve been going through this stuff too, not exactly the same, but nasty things none the less….I started taking maca powder and a supplement that contains black cohosh, wild yam, ginseng, red clover and maca (http://www.amazon.com/Hormone-Balancer-Menopause-Menstrual-Irregular/dp/B00U6SAP5Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452361146&sr=8-1&keywords=ching+chi)…it seems to be helping although I have only been taking these about a month. And husbands do deserve credit…..mine is my hero too………:)

  8. vegancatlady says:

    I am going through this too. My need to pee almost constantly is particularly difficult in a city where no one wants you to use the bathroom without buying something. And Starbucks has started putting coded locks on their doors. Also my anxiety, which was already bad (I have GAD and schizoaffective disorder) became even worse, to the point where the phone ringing caused panic attacks. I found reading about it helpful and knowing my anxiety was so bad for a reason other than I’m just crazy really helped curb it I don’t seem to be experiencing hit flashes but maybe that is a yet because I have almost every other symptom on the perimenopause checklist.

  9. Laurie says:

    Awesome article, thanks for the laughs too! I’m more in the same space as Julie Cribbs, and agree with her that peri is just a peek at what is really coming. I bout died when I found out it could last ten or more years but what is the alternative? Hang in there and again thanks for the laughs!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Get thee to a naturopath! I was miserable until I saw one and she helped a great deal.

  11. Michelle says:

    I’ve ended up on anti depressants and birth control because of exactly what you describe. It’s awful. Even worse when no one understands what is happening to you. I also get brain fog. I forget words or which way to go to drive home. Scary stuff. You aren’t alone.

  12. Cathy says:

    I turned 50 early last year and up until September nothing to do my cycle seemed to be changing at all!! My friends could not believe it and my doctor also a little un believing told me to enjoy the oestrogen while it lasted. How things have changed since September. I can relate to all you are experiencing. Sleepless nights constantly throwing off and replacing the covers.The worst for me is an increase in migraines, unbelievable muscle tension and tiredness and after missing a period the next was the heaviest and most painful period ever. Thanks so much for telling us of your journey so far it made me feel less anxious with all that is going on for me.

    • I have never been prone to headaches but my husband prior to going vegan suffered from migraines and it is something I am really scared of! Maybe since you started later it won’t last as long!!

  13. Jennifer says:

    I have been having similar problems although not as severe as yours. The only thing I have found that helps with hot flashes is Paroxetine. Also you could consider bio-identical hormones – this is not available in my country so I have no personal experience. I think there are some that are plant-based. Do research on the internet. Perimenopause, menopause, post menopause – for symptoms as severe as yours you have to take action – we’re talking five to ten years.

  14. Hey! I just stumbled across your blog and as a Holistic Nutritionist I would recommend an herbal supplement such as AOR FEM CALM, or MENOsmart by Lorna Vanderhaeghe, both of which are vegan. There are more supplements available, but without knowing what country you live in, its hard to make the appropriate product recommendation. I also agree that cutting back on coffee will help a great deal, maximum two cups a day and none after 3pm. Try melatonin for awhile to help with your insomnia. Please feel free to email me at: sophia.pflieger@gmail.com 🙂 I’m happy to help!

  15. Lisa says:

    I’m with you sister. I’ve had most of those symptoms. While noticeable, they haven’t been at catastrophic levels, so thus far I’m maintaining. Thankfully, no hot flashes yet. {{knock wood}}

  16. Pam N says:

    OMG, I had NO idea how awful this “journey” was going to be! It started off so mild and I didn’t really know what was going on with me. Then I realized, “holy crap I’m gonna be 50 so maybe I should have some bloodwork.” Yep, the ole perimenopausal b**** was visiting me. My early 40-something male internest told me, except he inacurately said “post menopausal”! The boiling blood and rage is the worst and I actually hit my kitchen table with the side of my fist this morning so now the side of my hand hurts like a MF! OH, and my husband and I decided a few weeks ago I should homeschool our dyslexic 9 year old because the public school isn’t doing enough to help. Thank goodness I am letting him sleep in late! Does anyone know if Texas has medicinal cannabis because if I don’t get something to calm myself down, I may just get on a plane and fly to Colorado. :*( So far, 50 sucks!

  17. Andy says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Stories like yours keep me from going insane 😁.
    For me it all started around 38…and now I am
    46! The last 5 years has been better since I know I am not fucking dying! But I gained 20lb.I hate the way I look, but I am grateful for not having anxiety and insomnia anymore. The other shot from hair falling to being dry …literally everywhere I got used to. Some days are good and some days I feel like I partied all night long! It is a awful journey but at least I am not alone😀.
    What upsets me the most is how uneducated the doctors are. Like for example I did not even knew about perimenopause! But they should. My experience with the Dr. are terrible! When I first mentioned to my Ob that I am sweating at night so much and that my periods ate so heavy…perhaps my hormones are of balance, she told me that I am too young for that and send me home. Later about 3 years I could not take it because I really though I am dying she told me to contact my GP for some antidepressants! Fucking bitch. If she just told me what is going on with me I would be ok. I can deal with things when I know what they are! My GP was no help neither . Did no test for my hormones, but told me that I am low on iron. No kidding. At that point I was wearing a diaper on my periods! So he gave me 2 super big iron infusions which did not agree with me and my symptoms got like 1000 times worst!. What a awful period of my life. Later thanks to internet I realised that I am premenopausal! Hopefully I am close to the end 😀
    Ladies keep hanging there! We can do it. Oh also being Vegan helps and getting of coffee too 😀

    • Thanks for sharing❣️

    • Cheryl says:

      I feel the exact same way Andy. Doctors just don’t know and it is very sad and very scary. They seriously need more education into reality. I am 44 and for the past 4 months especially I have had many of the symptoms described in this blog. One additional symptom is heart pain but of course when I told my doctor this she refers me to cardiac clinic to do all these tests (coming up this week). Hopefully I am ok but when I told her all my other symptoms, she tried to refer me to psychologist. Seriously? My anxiety is bad but I believe it is the hormones as this is new and I never really had anxiety before my 40s. I tend to get headaches regularly but now they are way more frequent. It is nice to be part of this blog. Hopefully people are still active and can pass along more advice.

      • The heart stuff sounds scary! I hope they are related. Maybe a psychologist would be good only because this shit makes you crazy😜

        • Jasmen Gharibi says:

          As I mentioned in my comment, I was hospitalized for high blood pressure and heart palpitations. They did heart scan and echo and special blood tests and my heart is fine but I am taking medication for blood pressure and heart palpitations.

  18. Lila says:

    Hahaha I can’t stop laughing. Your article is soo funny and it describes me exactly as you write it here. I am going through the same (maybe not as bad) but at least I know I am not alone. This dying feeling is for 2 years? Ha! I think I have had it for 8 years now and who knows how many more. I am 44 years old. This perimenopause is definitely not a fun ride. But at least we are not actually dying, right?

    • True, the fact that it isn’t a death sentence is wonderful. The past few months my symptoms have really calm down. My periods are super inconsistent still which is annoying but other than that it’s been tolerable lately!

  19. Michele Catalano Johnson says:

    I feel like I’m dying. Started with a missed period. Sick feeling inside jittery no sex drive. Headaches anxiety like really bad. Joint pain nausea. Once in a while I wake at night with a hot flush or bad anxiety. Going to the doctor in s week. But I’m scared. These horrible feelings of anxiety is killing me. Im not depressed I just want to feel normal again

  20. Jasmen Gharibi says:

    I am going through it and feel like hell. Terrible mood swings, depressed, wired headaches, have feelings of kind of electrical shock going through my body. Am I dying? Been in the hospital for 2 days for high blood pressure and heart palpitations. They said my heart is ok prescribed medication for high blood pressure and heart palpitations. I can’t if function. I just can’t take it. Hellllppppp

  21. Marie says:

    Omg!!! I feel like I am dying and really think I have some incurable disease… and NO I don’t want to know if I do. I am 3 months away from being 52 my periods have been off and on again for a little over a year. Really hate the guessing game with it, is it gonna start today, do I need to take extra cloths with me every place I go? Why do my boobs hurt, why do I have cramps. Thinking it’s some joke mother nature is playing on me. Night sweats, my poor husband, hot flashes are starting throughout the day..brain fog is what bothers me the most, I even got scared one time because I couldn’t remember the name of my own street so I had to Google a map of my area to see what the name was. Thought I was having a stroke.blurred vision, not even sure how I am typing this. Dull headache all day everyday, anxiety is so bad I feel like I can crawl out of my skin and want to throat punch everyone who even looks at me and Lord help them if they speak to me. Nausea comes and goes along with dizziness. I sleep when I sleep but my dream have gotten very weird. My body hurts all the time joints, mussels, teeth and yes gum bleeding sometimes, my eating habits have changed, ice cubes can be my dinner. pooping is not normal but that could be from eating ice for dinner lol. I have chest pain that I think I am having a mild heartattch. My feet burn, heck my tounge even burns sometimes. I look in the mirror and think what the hell happened to you girl, did 50 smack you in the face. And why do I look pregnant…
    So after reading all this I guess I am not alone in this, whatever stage of life we are going through
    Guess I should talk to my doctor…
    Good luck to us all

    • Thank you for sharing the street name forgetfulness! I’ve had to look at me driver’s license more than once to remind me of my zip code. I hope that it is menopause causing your issues rather than something more serious.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Cut out the fowl language, it does not help! Everything else was well spoken!

    • Simply using language to the fullest extent. I personally do not find words foul, but rather the purpose they are used for. There was no ill intent. I find people telling other people how to behave in their own space more distasteful.

    • Anonymous as well says:

      Fowl is a bird. 😀 Language is in the eye/ear of the beholder. This blog is a huge help. Truth that we are all in this together and we will get through together. ❤

  23. Maria Maglionico-Sweeney says:

    Please tell me uou hsvr survived premenopause?

  24. Grace says:

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better thank you for sharing your experiences of the body snatcher AKA the perimenopause

  25. Nikki says:

    Thank you sooo much for sharing your story! I googled feeling like I’m dying during menopause and you helped tons! Xoxoxo

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