In the beginning, I didn’t know what the heck what happening to me. I really thought that I was dying. I mean, at one point, I had taken a pen and paper and was starting to write out my last will and testament.
My energy was gone and I struggled to do even the most basic things. I was gaining more and more weight. I had chronic sinus headaches and allergies. My periods were heavier than ever and I was super anemic. I was having trouble sleeping and my memory seemed to be slipping. I was anxious and irritable and depression was starting to set in. I felt fragile, desperate and very much out of control.
I would feel a pain and run to the computer to see if I could match the symptoms to a disease on WebMD. There were days when I would diagnose myself with one disease in the morning only to have a completely different problem when my husband came home in the evening. On one particular day, I had Multiple Sclerosis, stage-three brain cancer, and Lupus all within a 24-hour period. My poor husband didn’t know what to think of me. It was awful.
It took me five long years to finally accept that I wasn’t dying and that what I was dealing with was perimenopause.
Sometimes, I think if I could go into hibernation, kind of like bears do in the winter, and take a break from everything—children, grandchildren, work, church, extended family— I could wake up refreshed, renewed, and ready for next season in my life. It would be a sabbatical, of sorts. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, that is not going to happen, but at least I know, I’m not dying.