Is this perimenopause?
Sorry guys, this post may not be one for you but stay tuned, I will return to more gender-neutral posts tomorrow. And there is good stuff coming up such as a review of Designer Whey and Saucony Virratas!
But now I am venturing into a topic that may be of interest to some of you gals.... .
I can't remember what sent me into the doctor months ago, or what motivated my doctor to check my FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) levels, but essentially, she was looking to see if they were high enough to conclude I was officially in perimenopause. The test didn't conclusively indicate a new phase in my life and there is debate about the accuracy of this test. You can read more about FSH as it relates to perimenopause HERE or google it. You will find a plethora of articles.
But I am a firm believer in listening to your body and through running as much as I do, I have become pretty darn good at hearing what it has to say. I know when things are off. I may not always know why but I know something isn't quite right. And that is where I stand today.
For the past 5 months I have been feeling like a teenage girl again, but not in the best of ways. I am back to intense menstrual cramps and heavy flow. The conditions that enticed me to take off of work when I was 19 to stay curled up in bed. I don't have that luxury anymore. I have a few more bills and more responsibilities now but the feeling is still there. Throughout my high school years I was convinced that childbirth could not be any worse than my cramps. Those intense cramps are back and I can tell you now that they are definitely comparable to contractions....but childbirth for me was still worse due to my placenta ripping off of my uterus and forcing an emergency c-section. That second part wasn't too bad if you forget about the allergic reaction to the tape that left a large portion of my body covered with the itchiest rash ever. But I have strayed....
In addition to cramps, heavy flow, and lightheadedness I have night sweats now. And our house is not warm at all at night. Dear hubby sleeps under two comforters. I did speak to the OB/GYN RN a couple of months ago. She delicately, or perhaps not so delicately, told me this is normal as I enter my fourth decade of life. Okay, that made me feel old and I had just turned 40. She went on to explain she knew it wasn't easy for me, and can be quite difficult, but it was normal. Call if it gets worse. Okay, so she agreed I was suffering but not suffering enough to look for any remedies.
"Give me a break!" once or twice on my drive to work. They are intense. And it stands to reason that one day this particular day of my "new fourth decade" cycle is going to coincide with race day. And then what? Today I decided, I will run that race and accept the fact that I won't be PR'ing. Quite crushing if it means weeks of training to PR slip away to nothingness. But I will load myself up with supplies, run the course, take the million pit stops, moan in agony if necessary, and complete the race. What would you do?
And is this perimenopause? The blood test months ago said no. I say, pretty sure it is. I know my body is changing. From talking to friends it sounds we are traveling down a similar path. A path women will all take one day or another. A path that I wish I could have waited a few more years to discover because honestly, I just stepped into my fourth decade in October. But who am I to argue with nature?
P.S. I have my annual physical scheduled at the end of the month with my PCP, who happens to be a running mom too, and yes, I will be talking about the lightheadedness with her. It does raise concern for me....in particular, I am thinking iron levels.
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for pain killers on days like today.
Daily Affirmation: I know my body.