Laughing and crying, you know it's the same release. Joni Mitchell

Laughing and crying, you know it's the same release. Joni Mitchell

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My First Hot Flash!

I was in my doctor's office when it happened. I was due for a pap smear (oh, the indignity) so I was sitting on the exam table with a paper sheet draped around my lower half. It was actually good timing because it reminded me to tell my doctor about the night sweats (one of the reasons I'm not sleeping so well) and missing my period for the first time. I wasn't sure if skipping a period was due to the stress of everything I've been through lately or if I was actually entering menopause. My doctor said that when the ovaries are so close to shutting down, sometimes stress can temporarily stop ovulation but then it starts back up again. She said only time will tell. Either way, I've definitely entered a new phase.

We talked about how I wasn't a candidate for hormone replacement therapy because of the blood clots. I guess it's black cohosh for me. My acupuncturist can probably hook me up with the good stuff.

We also discussed anti-anxiety meds to help me sleep. We looked at options like Ativan and Klonopin, but they can be habit forming and create a backlash of more anxiety - exactly what I don't need. In the end, I went with my old pal, Cymbalta. I called it my "happy drug" when I was on it a few years ago because it helped me with the fibromyalgia, sleep, depression and anxiety. An all-in-one treatment! But it takes awhile to build up to the full dose, so I won't know how well it's working for a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, I just have to hang in there. I'm looking forward to not having a period because it aggravates my fibro so much, not to mention the pms. But I know that the transition from here to there is a rough road. As my friend told me: fasten your seat belt, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Info and remedies for hot flashes and night sweats: Project Aware

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