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As soon as I turned 40, there was a change in my body and mind. My perimenopause started with mood swings, hot flushes and pain!
There is this monster that afflicts most women in their 40s. If it has not done anything to you, count your blessings every single day.
After popping out two kids and suffering a lifetime of periods, I thought I could take on anything that life tosses at me. Well, I was so wrong!
As soon as I touched the magical figure of 40, there was a clear transition in my body and mind. It started slowly and piled me with miseries as the years progressed.
It began with exaggerated PMS symptoms. Excessive mood swings, beginning of hot flushes, aches and pains in joints and muscles.
Now, if you thought that I was eating junk and not working out, let me assure you that I was working out regularly and have been anal about eating properly. Heck, I was even cooking all the meals personally.
Since then, it has been an ugly rollercoaster ride. I officially feel hot all the time. I run the air-conditioner all through the night, even when the weather is pleasant.
The weird part is that I go from feeling very hot to too cold to hot on a cyclical basis. Needless to say, this nonsense starting interfering with my sleep. So bad sleep meant cranky mood and interference with daily productivity.
Crazy bloating, vaginal dryness, dry eyes, headaches, depression, irregular heartbeat, chin hair (which I never knew women could have) to disrupted sleep and insomnia. And yes, periods that had been like clockwork went awry.
So much so that I no longer know when a period would abruptly begin, how long will it last and how bad will be the flow. I know of women who have turned to adult diapers because the flow is so bad.
There was also crazy kinds of pain all over the body. Joints would be sore one day. Another day, muscles would be. It was unnerving to live in this vortex of regular miseries.
I can only thank my lucky stars that I did not work in a conventional office. I don’t know how I would have coped with all these debilitating physical discomforts and emotional upheavals.
The biggest issue by far was anxiety. I realized that I started feeling anxious for no reason and had an uneven heart rate too. Trust me, I tried everything. Meditation, Yoga, diet, but I guess the fluctuating hormones are unrelenting.
What is the worst is that most women are unaware because it is not a regular topic of conversation.
And gynaecologists are not much help whatsoever. Can’t tell you how many times I have heard that this is a natural phase and one must bear it. I had to push them to give me some medication, especially when daily functioning was getting difficult.
Now, I actively await for this hell to get over. I can rant on and on about why it is so unfair that men to just breeze through middle age and women to suffer like hell.
For them, middle age crisis often if about life-changing decisions like which bigger car to buy or whether to dye their hair or not. For women, leaving your hair grey is often no choice unless you want to hear ‘buddhi” or old woman tossed at you all the while.
Yes, a lot of times even people close to you get just start attributing every pain of yours to, “Oh, that’s regular for you.”
As women struggle through hormonal imbalances and psychological issues, their rat race intensifies.
Professional work, handling teenage children and incessant household chores could feel like too much often. I know I have been here.
To other women like me, talk about it with friends, especially women. I am also a part of a few groups online where women going through the same phase talk and listen without judgment.
Don’t be disappointed if your partners or male friends do not get it. They have had it easier, so I guess they can choose to ignore.
My biggest advice would be to focus on your mental health. Reach out to therapists and psychiatrist. Take that medication. It can help you cope with the new transitional phase of your life.
If your gynaec advises you HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) or something else that helps you, take it. Please do not suffer. You don’t have to be a martyr. Also, the biggest thing is, learn to say NO and seek help with chores or anything else when you are really feeling overwhelmed.
I wish every woman a peaceful phase into menopause while I wait for mine.
I would love to hear if you are facing any perimenopause symptoms and how you are coping with them.
Image Source: Alexandre P Junior, pixelshot via Canva Pro
Rachna Parmar is a Certified Nutritionist, cookbook writer, Editor and Health Coach.
She is an enthusiastic cook, wife, fitness freak, Yoga enthusiast, and mother to two naughty sons and a Labrador. She counts reading, writing, read more...
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