This isn’t my first attempt at blogging, but the first time I gave it a go I was a little discouraged, and I also hadn’t been ready to really go public with my story. I was still feeling a lot of shame. Still feeling uneasy about both the M word and the F word or the I word or the collective letters of POF…and no, I don’t mean the social dating network.
Last fall, another page I follow on Facebook posted a video on World Menopause Day. Yes, in case you hadn’t guessed yet by my blog name, I am going through [early] menopause. (and love merlot, I am actually surprised to not be writing this after a nice courage glass or two) I admired her voice and courage to post a video about pretty much all the embarrassing, emotional, physical and juicy details of being so young outside but feeling so old inside. Premature Ovarian Failure isn’t exactly your typical or traditional menopause.
I was diagnosed 2 years and 17 days ago at the age of 30, and I’m not likely to ever forget that date. (Unless menopause brain kicks in, I’ve learned there’s such a thing). I don’t recall ever being in the top 1% of anything, but this one I really nailed. It took almost a year for a lot of specialists and tests and MRIs and other acronyms to figure out what was wrong with me. My symptoms began with a weird vertigo, I walked around everyday for months feeling like I was on walking on a boat. Nobody understood that, and I’m pretty sure most people thought I was off the reservation. I also stopped getting my period after several months of actually getting it two or three times in a single a month. But everyone, including me, dismissed the lack of period to stress from the vertigo – it should have been the first thing we looked at. They thought labyrinthitis, mal de debarquement syndrome (that was a curious one), migraine associated vertigo, severe sinusitis, maybe an inner ear infection, multiple sclerosis…pregnancy. I had vertigo, constant migraines, no period, weight gain, very emotional mood swings, brain fog..sometimes I couldn’t even think of a simple word like “pencil.” I started feeling anxiety at times I never would have before. Every time I got nervous or anxious I was filled with dread and red splotches of heat flushing all over my body. I chalked that one up to being a pale skinned Irish redhead, but this was different and I knew it. I also never had a real problem with anxiety before. I was always extremely outgoing and not someone who crossed her arms a whole lot out of fear and discomfort being around other people all of a sudden. I’ve never Google diagnosed so much in my life. In fact I Googled POF and diagnosed myself about a week before the actual diagnosis. Kind of just, knew it in my heart. I finally saw my OBGYN after having zero signs of a returning cycle over a 9 month period (oh the irony of the number 9) and received a call from my doctor while I was on my lunch break at work. Dude. Do they always manage to call with bad news while you’re at work? Thank God my manager and I had grown close enough that I just ran to her for support, because I had no idea what words I just heard or what it meant or if it was a false read. My blood work showed post menopause, and I had to see a reproductive endocrinologist to start hormone replacement therapy. Post menowhat? Hormones? What is a reproductive endocrinologist? Post meno..I literally just turned 30 years old not even five minutes ago.
Last time I tried blogging, it was sort of a fake comfortable, if you will, as I wrote each word. I felt like I should be this super strong woman the second I got diagnosed, mostly because I felt dismissed by a lot of people and even doctors who didn’t know what POF was. Family, friends, everyone.
You’ll get over it. You’re strong, you’ve been through some shit, just take your hormones, you can always adopt, it’s just a little sweating, oh yeah I get hot all the time too, I probably have hot flashes hahaha, my mother got early menopause at 50, my coworkers brothers mailman’s daughter and her husband just prayed and a miracle happened, you don’t look sick, you look fine, but imagine if it were like ACTUALLY something bad, at least it’s not anything truly that bad, ugh you’re so lucky you don’t have a period, ugh you’re so lucky you don’t have to deal with kids, or Elf on the Shelf, math homework, ugh it’s so hard being pregnant you’re so lucky you don’t have to deal with body changes like this, you can borrow one of mine, you’re too young for menopause, have you thought about adoption, do you realize how many children out there need a family, have you prayed to God, have you asked His forgiveness for all your wrong doings, at least now you can travel, what are you two going to do with your lives without children?
After two years of that, I really do feel better talking about it now, and I really do hope I can connect with others who are going through the same, or similar. I’ve also started an Instagram – menopauseandmerlot, because what’s life without a little humor and night sweats ammirite? 😭🤣
I have plenty of responses, and I don’t need anyone to minimize what I am or what anyone else, is Feeling. So I’ll blog about my Fears. What I see for my Future. As hard as it will be to talk about…Failure, and when it feels as if what I go through has been Forgotten. I want to talk about Family and Friends and Finding my voice through my story. Those are all my F words. What are yours?