Y’all know I have battled with perimenopause since 2018. Drives me nuts that according to the internet, this word doesn’t even exist. I started reading a book called “Hot & Bothered” by Jancee Dunn and it’s giving me life. According to Dunn, the word perimenopause wasn’t even coined until the mid 70’s, and first published in The New York Times in the 90’s. Such little research has been conducted in this area for females, yet 6,000 women enter this life-changing phase of their life every day.
Fortunately for me I’ve not yet had the joy of having severe hot flashes and night sweats. I’ve only had a handful of hot flashes in the last 12 months, but nothing like Dunn writes about. However my debilitating insomnia has pretty much ruined my life. I’ve been keeping a health journal on and off since being diagnosed with Graves disease in May 2017. From there, it was hard to discern which was causing what. Because Graves disease (the autoimmune version of hypothyroidism, where your thyroid speeds up, not slows down) side effects mimic perimenopause so much, it was always challenging to figure out what was what.
The long of the short of it is that I’ve spent thousands of dollars on endocrinologists, GP’s, OBGYN’s and HRT clinics. It wasn’t until I started working with my most recent functional medicine doctor that I heard my progesterone should be sitting at 15ml. My doctor said there are a lot of different “thought leaders” in this space, but the man he follows claims 15ml for women of my age bracket (35-55) should be such. What’s most interesting was I was paying a HRT (hormone replacement therapy) clinic every month here in Las Vegas to have no one say my measurement of 1ml could potentially be the number one reason I wasn’t sleeping.
To date, I’m taking a double dose of my 100mg pill of progesterone and seemingly have been sleeping better. I still have the 1 odd night here and there where I’m wired at night and don’t sleep more than 2-3 hours, but generally speaking, so far it’s improved dramatically.
If I hadn’t dicked around for so long, I would have blogged about my experience over the last few months with doing an autoimmune protocol for diet. For 2 months I followed this protocol with nothing jumping off the page in regards to results, but that might also have something to do with it. Because I’ve spent the last 8 years building www.grrrl.com I’ve truly slacked on sharing about my experience with my health outside of instagram where I often post story posts of myself crying at 3am lol.
Anyway, hope this helps someone out there!
What’s up fam. I haven’t written in over a year I don’t think. So why have I finally decided to start blogging today? Because I’m feeling suicidal. For those of you who’ve followed my journey on social media for a long time, you’d know that I was diagnosed with Graves disease in May of 2017. Ever since then, everything has been a hot mess. Coincidentally, I had my first brush with “period issues” in March 2018. So it’s truly difficult to pin down what the issue truly is that’s causing me so much … well- shit.
I never had an issue with my period. No cramps, no mood swings, no nothing. In fact, because of being so heavily into working out, my period was so light most months I’d hardly notice it. But in 2018, I was working out while staying at my grandmother’s house when suddenly I felt like a dump truck slammed straight into my guts. I was doubled over in pain on the gym floor, looking like I was rubbing one out. Trying to push the pain away, I remember <vividly> how horrible I felt doubting all the girls in high school who used to complain about period pain. I can hardly remember what I was doing 5 minutes ago, so when I say “vividly”, I mean like as clear as fucking day I can recall how much pain I was in.
Since that time, I can recall having spells of not sleeping that would last a week. Then in 2019 I can remember having my first spell that lasted 2 weeks. I felt like I was going to jump out of a window. Then from there, I had my second thyroid relapse December 24th 2020 and wound up in the emergency room (which was fine because it got me out of Australian hotel quarantine). During that time, I didn’t sleep for over a month.
I threw thousands and thousands of dollars at tests, doctors and meds trying to find a solution. Then when I got back to America in May 2021, I started on low dose naltraxone. For 30 days I had a miracle transformation. No anxiety, no depression, slept well, no appetite, and had massive workouts. It was insane. Then I got a sinus infection and suddenly the medication stopped working. (come to find out people can have a “euphoric” reaction for the first 2-4 weeks)
Fast forward to January 2022 and I started in on the next bought of no sleeping. It literally went for two months. I felt like I was going psychotic. I’d wake up at 1am or 3am on the dot. And when I woke up, it was an immediate awakening from a deep sleep with my adrenaline PUMPING. This also happened when I was in Australia. By time I got back in March, it started to normalise. All was going ok until July 22nd. That’s when I stopped sleeping again.
Then up until 3 days ago, I was doing the same exact thing that was happening back at the beginning of the year, except like the last spell, my thyroid was within range. So what the fuck is causing this?
I could type so much- try and write out a timeline and play investigator dan- but I’m not interested. I don’t care anymore. I’m so tired of trying to figure it out. I am in fact in peri menopause. That much I know. Being a woman is so fucked up. Ever since 2017 or 2018, not sure which, I’ve been fucked up. I’m sure by time I stop typing this I’ll feel differently but at present, I don’t want to do anything. I quite literally don’t want to be apart of society, I don’t find joy in anything that used to make me happy, and I could easily punch everyone in the mouth.
And sadly, now that I’m done writing, I still feel the same.
*update* as soon as I hit save, my shins started sweating. I think I just had my first hot flash.
Last time I slept, I posted a hot girl pic and got a community guideline slap. Let’s see what happens this time.
Yesterday. Got into bed at 3pm, crying.
Called my mom (on her birthday) at 5pm, crying.
I’ve been told by a few mentors that “leaders don’t cry in public or admit weakness”.
Just like I told my members in our group chat, I was once again borderline suicidal yesterday (was the worst it’s been since 2019 when I went nearly 3 weeks without more than 2 hours a night) and was fortunate to have support.
I also said, “I will never apologize for being authentic and standing in my truth”.
This isn’t “the art of war”. I’m not at battle with anyone but myself. People need to understand each other better.
Have adult conversations.
If men can better understand what women go through with thyroid issues (that butterfly gland is called the master gland for a reason- although plenty of men have diagnosed thyroid conditions, it’s far more of a woman’s issue) and hormones re peri/menopause, and understanding how insanely irrational, depressed, hopeless, angry and out of control we can feel, we might stay closer.
Just as if women can stop shouting at men and using children as weapons in divorce, or not understanding the pressure men feel to measure up, be the rock, unable to share their true feelings and fears, etc. We could more easily unite.
Understand what goes on in a woman’s body when she gets pregnant and why she might not be capable of carrying that seed to life because she’ll take her own.
Instead we fall victim to division. Division of choosing sides instead of coming to one another as humans.
Instead of listening to better understand the other person, we listen to gain advantage or to find a way to be right.
Going through this journey has made me sit back and analyze the feminine and masculine energy and how different our experiences are.
Thinking about how we shut the media and our shouting on social out and start with basics- being better humans to each other.
But one thing is for certain, I can’t be at my best when I haven’t slept.
So remember, the person you might be shouting at online or at the register, could have insomnia.
The woman who takes up two seats on an airplane might have lipodema and no matter what she does, will never “shrink to your perceived suitable”.
The person you cut off in traffic may be a Vietnam Vet with crippling PTSD and no one to talk to- but the voices in his head telling him to end it all.
We truly need each other.
I pray this chapter of my life is over soon so I can get back to joining you empowering and uniting us all.
Thought I’d give you an update on where I’m at with my thyroid. My last blood test has proven that my thyroid is now “in balance”, with my T3, T4, and TSH all within range, but my antibodies are still incredibly high (even though they have continued to come down). I was sleeping ok before leaving Australia to come back to the USA, and even slept the first two nights I got here for 6-7 hours. But that all changed two nights ago. I picked up a RX for the low dose naltraxone and took the first pill before bed.
Then came the familiar feeling of staring up at the ceiling, unable to shut my brain off. It was like I just took a hit off a meth pipe. Oddly enough, when I got up yesterday morning, I didn’t feel horrible. In fact, I was even motivated to do my 8 minute ab video and a few other movements. youtube.com/watch?v=JRkhjYAFV58
Last night I was still feeling pretty wired even at 10pm. After laying and watching a documentary series for close to two hours, I finally felt like I was starting to fall asleep around midnight. However, that didn’t last long, and sure enough I had another sleepless night. Again, after getting out of bed, I didn’t feel horrible. I looked at my Clue app which charts my cycles, and it seems I’m 11 days out from period. So at this stage, since I know that my thyroid is in balance, I have to assume that this sleeping issue is either from my cycle, and/or a side effect from the low dose naltraxone.
I have an appointment with Dr Bilstrom Monday and will report back post the appointment to let you know the outcome.
So yesterday I had a bunch of blood work drawn that Dr Bilstrom wanted to see. It was a heap of stuff. Although my appointment with my endocrinologist out here in Australia isn’t until Thursday next week, I got the blood work back early because I had an IVF doctor’s appointment today. Evidently all doctors throughout the country can access anyone else’s lab work and probably notes from previous doctors. I guess that’s a benefit of having a public health system!
Yes, IVF is something I’ve started thinking about, but only to freeze some embryos just in case the earth needs help repopulating after an asteroid hits or something.
After looking at my tests and not being a qualified doctor, I can at least tell that my thyroid antibodies have come down some more, yet my T4 has dropped and my TSH has increased. All of which tell me that now I’m swinging back the other way towards being HYPO thyroid instead of HYPER, because I’m taking medication to block my thyroid. OMG lol.
I’ve been lethargic as hell, and feeling somewhat depressed. Which I think are two big characteristics of being HYPO. I’m going to cut my dose back of carbimazole from 30mg a day to 5mg and hope for the best until Thursday.
If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, find yourself open minded, and willing to try something totally out there, highly suggest bio resonance.