Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself

(Ghandi)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Surrender or Set Sail

This has been a dark week. I tend to have a hormonally challenged week every month (so rocket science there) and this is it. Which means I am glad I didn't decide to resume medication as the distinction between hormone side effects and chemical side effects could have been blurry. So now I have migraines, upset stomach, irritability and lethargy and no noticeable change of mental health. I'm thinking I will give myself until the end of next week before I start the new/old medication, as this week has not been a good litmus test of anything except the cosiness of my new bed sheets. I went to the gym on Monday, no exercise since then, and have only left the house twice in the last 4 days. But I am hopeful that this isn't a relapse or symptom-related episode. I think it really is just hormones.

I turn 40 next year and am seriously considering my options. I know there is a laundry list of reasons against having a hysterectomy, but quite frankly the argument of hormonal hell and mental instability just doesn't wash with me. It's what I have now, right? And I have to take the strongest contraceptive pill on the market just to semi-regulate my cycle, and the side effects and potential health risks of the Pill are not slight. I will never have children, physically can't (proven by 14 months of invasive, debilitating, expensive and ultimately fruitless fertility treatment) and really have no desire to. I know of a couple of women who chose to have hysterectomies in their late 30s and one even had the laparoscopic procedure, so the physical risk of surgery is lessened. I have plans for major plastic surgery next year, to correct the ravages of gaining/losing 80 kg (170 pounds), but may have to postpone that to pay for the insides to be fixed first. I also need to have some prolapses corrected (again, from gaining weight). Sometimes I wish there was somewhere I could check into and just have it all nipped, tucked, tidied and polished and then voila! Out I come all "fixed"...

8 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

Every month I want to rip my uterus out, too. I so hear you. But, I'd do some serious research about hysterectomies. They're not a walk in the park. Have you read Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom? It has some useful stuff in their about hysterectomies. It's by Christiane Northrup; she has a web site, I believe.

The Addict said...

I think Angelina Jolie found that place after she had her twins in France. They stated she stayed in the hospital a week longer than her twins for much needed rest. Yeah, uh huh, the nip tuck kind I'd say.

Sorry your hormones do this to you. I was lucky. In my early 40's I went through the mentalpause. It took me about 3-4 years but I got through it without hormones or anything. The doc said it was unusual to be so young but it was possible because my sister did the same thing. I wish it could be that easy for you Lil.

oxox
b.

Dreamwriter said...

I am 42 years old and I understand where you are coming from..Hysterectomy is something to research, but a lot of women have their difference of opinions about this.

I wonder sometimes if my hormones and estrogen level plays a big part in how I feel...I think I need to get that checked out:)

tricia said...

From someone who has had totally screwed up hormones from the onset I can empathize. I don't think there is any easy answer.

Borderline Lil said...

I really do wonder how much of a link there is between my messed up hormones and my mental health. Although I was depressed and anxious as a child, the real low moods and "acting out" all came after my period started. My GP first mentioned SSRIs to me about 15 years ago, in the context of taking them for one week a month -- which seems bizarre to me now, and who knows if or how it would make a difference? Definitely interesting and I am so happy for y'all sending me sympathetic vibes (and thanks for the book recommendation WC, I will check it out).

preciousrock said...

As is evident from my blog posts lately, I too struggle mightily with hormone fluctuations. I'm lucky to have one normal, clearheaded, functioning week a month. The weeks before, during and after my period are all hell. This is evident to those who read my blog too. I'm up and down like a roller coaster. I considered a hysterectomy, but my doctor pretty much talked me out of it. I'm going to try an IUD. The doc said that would regulate and seriously minimize my symptoms. It's worth a try. In fact, I'd better call the doc right now so I don't forget.

Jena said...

Lil- I'm only 29, and I want to have children and I don't know if I'm able but if I can one day manage to get off my stupid pills then maybe at least I can try. But with that being said, I do understand that we're in totally different categories here.

However, I do want to comment on hormones. I have incredible sensitivity to my mood when I'm PMS'ing. It really messes with my mind. I think my treatment has gone totally wrong and I can't figure why I've suddenly gone mad- often it's extreme stuff like what I had off meds, hallucinations, violent temper, manic high's, suicidal lows, and yet as soon as I get my period it goes away. I just have to basically wait it out. Sometimes it's not bad or even noticeable. Other times, it's crazy. The Pill doesn't do anything for me, it actually worsened my condition so I quit it. Risky, I know, but necessary. I'm just hormonally vulnerable. So, my point is, YES, I do believe that for at least some people, hormones can have a huge effect on mental health/illness.

Maybe having a reproductive psychiatry consult would help answer some of your questions? Just a thought.

Just Be Real said...

Dang, I know what you are talking about the screwed up hormones and the migraines that go with it....well, at least for me! Ugh!