Quote from Nella
I went through menopause early. My hormone levels were post menopausal by age 43. Periods stopped by then too.
I endured the hot flashes, the sleepless nights, the changes in how I look, hair thinning, the moodiness and irritability. So I understand. I thought I would kill for 1 night of good sleep. I had at least 20 hot flashes every day. Bad enough to make me sweat. Breaking into a sweat 20 times daily certainly made me cranky and felt very unappealing.
I tried soy, and other herbal remedies. Nothing helped.
I did what millions of women have done before me: I got through it. I did not take any hormone replacements and still don't.
Take comfort from the fact that it does end. You know it does. It's a process.
You sound just like me when I was going through the worst of it.
I started perimenopause around 40, and it kicked into high gear just before I turned 43. Sleep through the night? Do we know any more jokes?? I'd wake up at least 3-4 times a night in the middle of a lake........and we won't even TALK about what I went through during the day!
The free-floating anxiety, depression, and forgetfulness got better when I went on Paxil in 2001, and I did even better still a couple of years later when I started taking a milligram of Ativan at night for sleep (I still woke up dripping, I just no longer cared
Now that I'm on the verge of actual menopause---I haven't had a period in almost 6 months---the 'personal summers' aren't anywhere near as frequent and I'm less forgetful than I was even a year ago. (Of course, I've learned to write down everything important---appointments, phone numbers etc. as a reminder, and that helps a lot!) I haven't taken hormones during this whole thing, and I don't intend to.........for one thing, I still have all my plumbing and I'd have to take that combination stuff that would make me have periods for-freakin'-EVER; for another, I didn't tolerate birth-control pills of any kind---one gave me migraines for an entire year, and the others merely made me psychotic---so I'm not exactly eager to run out and get some Prempro.
Besides, I know I'm through the worst of it......it DOES get better, and I think it's best to ride it out if at all possible. Menopause isn't an illness to be managed, it's a natural process, albeit an uncomfortable one (I call it 'Puberty: Part II")........and I'm looking forward to many years of post-menopausal zest!
That said, I wouldn't advise every woman to put up with truly unbearable symptoms; there are times hormones ARE necessary, and thank God and medical science that we have these at our disposal when we do need them.