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Life without hormones

on May 9, 2015

It seems life gets in the way of blogging. It’s been a long time since my last update.

I am now 11 months since my operation. I’ve made it through 11 months with no HRT. This has turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be, although I was expecting the worse with this. The one thing I can honestly say about life following a surgical menopause from my point of view, is that hormones suck big time.

I have spent my entire life since puberty battling with various forms of PMT, PMS, PMDD – whatever the current name for that decade has been. I have been able to feel my moods changing, the desire to stab someone in the forehead with a pair of scissors, just for breathing too loud, has been strong. I’ve been given pain killers, vitamin tablets, told to avoid certain foods. The best they could have done was to put me in a padded cell away from other people.

As the battle with the OBGYN people got worse (I will do a separate blog on this), I hit despair. The thing that made me see it clearly though was watching my own children hit puberty. Now I have no hormones it is quite amusing watching them honestly believe that the other one is somehow to blame for them screaming at them, and that the other one has done something so terrible (usually breathing) to cause them to be in a bad mood. With no hormones you do watch PMS in action and you can see exactly where the blame lies and you know, usually for fear of receiving a pair of scissors in the forehead, that you can’t tell that child that they just aren’t seeing things in the right way for the next week.

Hormones are hell. They affect our moods, our interactions with others, how we see and react to situations. I can honestly say, from someone who has spent most of their fertile life with more than her fair share of hormones, they are evil.

As my Mother started the menopause, her mood swings became more extreme. I can’t really put this in a nice way, because there was no nice way, she was a bitch. I don’t know if she finally recognised the problem or my sister pointed it out to her, but she finally got help and HRT. When the HRT didn’t work then my sister was brave enough to suggest my Mum try a different one. That did work. Her personality transformed. My fears about the menopause were the HRT side of things, mainly because my Mum was so bad through the menopause that she never came off the HRT until the day she was diagnosed with cancer. If I had the same personality that my mother had during the menopause, then there would have been no living with me other than if I went on HRT.

Everything I have been through has been so similar to my Mum from day one. My periods, the pain, the sickness, the mood swings, pregnancy and even child birth. I had no reason to think menopause would be any different. I don’t know why my menopause is so different, but I’m just grateful it is. I did have PMS and was finally diagnosed with PMDD – Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder, a severe form of PMS. As I was having between 2-3 periods a month, I was having permanent PMDD symptoms. If I’m totally honest, I don’t remember my Mum being bad before she hit the menopause. Her personality changed around the time menopause hit, so her mood swings would have just been the general monthly mood swings most women get.

I have to wonder why you would give someone with PMDD HRT when the hormones that are causing major issues for them start to deplete. At the hospital following the hysterectomy my past was never talked about, although my medical records show a diagnosis and treatment of PMDD. It’s been more clear to me over the last 3 months or so just how different my life is without hormones.

I am more aware of my bad moods, and they are just bad moods. Someone annoys me or does something that upsets me or causes me more work, I get angry with them. I can see mood swings in my own daughters and in others. I have an ability to stand back and deal with what is going on around me, rather than fly off the handle and make things worse. I know to just let a teenager with PMS rant and storm off, because I know nothing I say is going to make it better, but I know I can deal with her when she has calmed down and can see reason.

There are still times that I want to stab someone in the head with scissors, but I figure that’s most women, with or without hormones.


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