Charting anyone?

For those of you who are just beginning this wonderful process, here we can narrow down the symptoms and ask questions like "am I starting perimenopause?"

Charting anyone?

Postby maebear » Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:31 pm

I am 42 and my life changed in December when I went rushing to the eye doctor swearing I was going blind or developing a brain tumor. After a complete eye exam and a field of vision test she assured me all I needed was a new prescription. It wasn't all I needed. Through this winter I have endured blood tests, balance tests and a cat scan (and ten horrible days on Lexapro). I thought I was losing my mind. I finally came across this site and for the first time in months I don't feel like I am waiting for a terminal diagnosis. I can't tell you how many times I played over in my head the scene of me telling my children (2,3,6,9) good-bye or reading a harmless horoscope and panicking if it wasn't good. I was a great big ball of muscle twitching, dizzy, achey, tired anxiety. My doctor and my family were wonderfully understanding but basically no help, except for the constant reassurance from my doctor that I didn't have MS or ALS, or a tumor.

After reading this site it was like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. I still have symptoms but I am charting them and I can now see a pattern with my menstrual cycle. I guess I should have figured something hormonal was cooking when I was rushed to the doctor 3 years ago with PVCs. After a normal stress echo, I started charting those and now expect my heart to do a little dance on days 8-15. My muscle twitching is also bad on those days and falls off after I ovulate (or whatever my ovaries are doing now). My period comes every 23-33 days and stays for 10-13 days. I am considering buying panty liner stock.

Here's my beef. After all of this emotionally, physically, mentally, draining stressed out time I now mention my symptoms to women who are farther along in this than I am and they get this lightbulb moment. My pharmicist pulled me aside to confide in me that she had been dizzy and went on hormone replacement because she was afraid to carry her son down the stairs. Then she told me that her friend had the same reaction to Lexapro that I did and she is now on HRT. My doctor's secretary (who took all of my sobbing calls) had seen the same ENT doc and had the balance tests and cat scan for the same reasons. She didn't tell me about it until a couple of months into this nightmare. WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME? Geesh!

My mom had a hysterectomy at 39 and immediately went on HRT so she was clueless. Here's my solutiion. Do you remember how as girls we got shuttled off to the nurses office at 10 or 11 to learn about our periods? Well I think all 38-40 year old should be recalled to the same office and let in on the whole menopause thing. It would really be a public service. It would have saved me months of anxiety.

Now I am on evening primrose oil, food based B vitamins and a cal/mag capsule. My headaches have disappeared completely. My dizziness is just part of my life and the muscle twitching still bugs me but I put up with it. I haven't run into a bathroom to check my pupils in weeks and my husband hasn't found me in our bedroom trying to balance on one foot, with my eyes closed in a month. I guess I am getting used to this. I only take a Xanax when I fly or get a mammogram!

Thanks to this board for making me feel normal again. You really saved my life!

Postby Guest » Tue Apr 12, 2005 7:54 pm

Welcome to the sisterhood :). I've met so many wonderful women in the last 3 years that I've been going through perimenopause. It's ashame that we had to meet under such conditions instead of at the mall or while sharing a cup of sugar free ice cream :). I fully agree with you that someone should have warned us, it would have save many of us from anxiety, panic attacks and depression. That is why I'm making it one of my missions to talk freely about what I've experienced. I refuse to be quiet and I plan to warn and hopefully help the upcoming generation.

Postby maebear » Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:15 pm

Thanks for your reply. I agree about talking freely about my experiences. I copied the symptoms and gave them to a couple of friends who were feeling like me. The look of relief on their faces when they read the list! It helps to chart symptoms too because they are so cyclical, there is peace in having the knowledge.
Tracy :)

Postby colopam » Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:54 pm

I agree with the educating re: peri/menopause. I've shared the list of symptoms (and this site) with several friends including a man who worked with me whose girlfriend was going peri- and all he waned to do was understand and help her and their relationship (she didn't recognize her plight on her own, but what a guy!). The more we know and the more we're involved wih our healthcare the better, for EVERYONE!!
Hugs Pam
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Postby Zero » Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:43 pm

Thanks to this board for making me feel normal again. You really saved my life!

And thank YOU, Tracy (Maebear) for giving the Minnie Pauz site so much credit! It gives me a warm heart to know that the work I've done has helped so many women, but it's really more about creating a place, an atmosphere and a forum where all of you can bring this info out. It's YOU all, sharing your stories and reaching out to other women that truly saves lives, because if we didn't have SOMETHING that showed us we weren't losing our ever lovin' minds, we would be mentally unfit to cope with just every day living.

It's that "girlfriend" thing that has carried women through the centuries, no matter what the, kids, cooking, careers or hormones...we've all helped each other. All I ask in return for providing this source of information, inspiration, support and fun is for you all to keep bringing more women into the "House of Minnie"!! hehehe....that just came out. :) Really though, there are something like 40 million women who are (or will be) going through some stage of hormonal transition and I've probably reached maybe 15,000 of them over the years.....just think of all the women who may be out there suffering with these unfamiliar symptoms and feeling totally alone and very strange!

There are something like 800,000 members of the Red Hat Society, for crying out loud, and I know they've ALL had hormones at one point, so why don't they all know about the support and FUN and info they can get at I understand that many women don't want to talk about menopause and aging, but part of our theory is to have fun and accept what we can't change, but with a sense of humor. By the way, my research shows me that laughing heartily, at least once a day, can add years to your life, not to mention that it makes you, regular, if you know what I mean. :)

"Well I think all 38-40 year old should be recalled to the same office and let in on the whole menopause thing. It would really be a public service. It would have saved me months of anxiety. "

This is something else I am working on. I call it Minnie Pauz University. :) It's an educational program that will inform young women beyond the "starting your period" and "where babies come from". I want a class on "Between PMS and Menopause" to be mandatory before they graduate from High School. Even the tiniest bit of information would have kept many of us from freaking out like we have.

I agree that charting your symptoms is the best way to really know what is going on, and I'm also working on developing a special way to do would be a combination chart/calendar/journal with a fun, colorful, cartoony cover, of course!

You should check out this site: I'm going to be working with Leslie on some of these issues.

Postby maebear » Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:57 pm

Thanks for your reply. I think part of the problem for women my age is that our mother's were hustled off for hysterectomies every time they sneezed. My mom was a college professor who taught maternity nursing and she had no clue when I started with my symptoms because she had a hys. at 39 and was on HRT until 2 years ago. Sure she gets occasional hot flashes but for the most part my symptoms are perplexing to her. She still brushes them off. My mother in law also had a hysterectomy and HRT, so it's hard to find someone who has been through the whole kit and caboodle. When I got my PVCs I went to my 40 year ob/gyn and he brushed me off saying "women blame hormones for everything." Shortly after he put one of my closest friends on wellbutrin because he said "alot of women her age (38) were overwhelmed by life." Hello? Believe me I hand out the symptom list like candy. Just today, I gave one to a friend who read it and kept saying, "that's me, that's me."

Okay, so where the hell is Oprah when we need her??? :wink: Man, I have seen more news stories on ebola than on menopause. So you have your work cut out for you Dee, but I'm trying to do my part. And, thanks again. It's nice to be just a little neurotic these days and not panic stricken!


Postby lynie pause » Fri Apr 22, 2005 10:17 am

I too chart/journal my symtoms that way I know how close they go in and out or my mood swings. I think it helps to write them down. I again want to say a "BIG O THANK U" to you Dee, you have really done a self service with this site for all those women out there that did not have a clue about what was going on with them and their bodies. I knew somewhat I was heading that way but I didn't know the break down of the Peri cycle. Thanks so much for clueing me in on what to look for and how to accept my new life style for now in this meno mania....have a great day.

Lynie :wink:
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