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I’m Ready to Talk About It: My Experience with Perimenopause

Perimenopause, Uterine Fibroids, and PCOS, oh my!

I am ready to talk about why I struggled with my weight loss in 2022. While I was happy I maintained through the year; I had goals for 2022 that were squashed thanks to various health problems I battled from 2022 through 2023. While I am not out of the woods in 2024, I can say I have felt better than I have in a long time.

Story time (and it will be a little all over the place as I start to sort out the details.) It’s time to tell the tale. I have been trying to tell this tale for over a year now.

See this girl? She’s doing things and making changes.

Now, you see this other pic here, right? I am not soliciting for an OF account. I will come so far out of my comfort zone that I will probably anxiety delete this 20 seconds after posting.

So these Harry Potter and Mickey Mouse undies have been sitting at the bottom of my drawer with their tags still attached after I bought them for a Disney vacation I was to go on in the fall of 2022 with my partner as an early Christmas present.

Who plans a Disney trip in the middle of a medical ???? storm? Oh hai. Me.

Any who – those undies sat in my drawer. I finally feel safe enough to wear them without the medical trauma that ruined me through 2022 and 2023 and caused me a lot of anxiety, along with triggering my PTSD.

Now, I know seeing some undies and seeing what I just told you isn’t going to make much sense. I haven’t kept up with this website, and telling this tale was the last thing on my mind when I did write. I had to sit with it for a while and process it. 

A lot of that is, well, it’s gross. And it was embarrassing. Not only that, but there is also this stigma attached to it, so not many people talk about it.

Say it with me now – PERIMENOPAUSE.

I’m just going to say- I don’t wish what I went through on any woman—even my worst enemy.

Let’s say it again – PERIMENOPAUSE

So, it’s time to come clean. It’s time for me to use my voice to speak again. I hope no one has to go through what I went through, and if they are going through it, I want them to know they are not alone — because I was very much alone.

You see, I have PCOS, and I’ve had it for basically my entire teen to adult life. I also have uterine fibroids. While each causes a whole set of wonky problems, together, it’s magnified by so many leaps and bounds I cannot even explain it to you.

Now, in addition to that, I’m almost 50. And that means I’m knee-deep in the perimenopause phase of life. And that word – menopause – is a word a lot of people don’t want to acknowledge or talk about.

Let me tell you what this means. In 2022, I bled for 347 days out of the 365 days we have in a calendar year. Yes, you saw that right. THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY-SEVEN DAYS.

And if you’re not easily grossed out and made it this far – I wish I had a cookie to give you. 

Also, hang on because it’s about to get better.

I didn’t know myself with these three things going on with my body. My brain was foggy. My skin was crawling. My veins always felt like they were on fire. But, I continued forward, trying to smile for the world. I stopped going out because every time I did, I was so traumatized from having these horrible gushes and bleeding through my clothes that I just decided it was better to stay home than have people see me standing there with blood running down my pant legs. Even bringing a bag of extra clothes got exhausting.

I hated myself. I felt so disgusting, and my relationship with my partner suffered greatly.

I was in pain.

I was tired.

I was angry.

I was frustrated.

My hormones were out of wack.

My eyelashes fell out.

My hair was falling out.

My eyebrows were a joke.

My skin hurt from any air blowing on me.

I couldn’t keep up with the blood loss.

I was miserable.

My Dr, she tried. We went through SIX different hormone treatments to try to get the bleeding to stop.

The clots I was passing.

The blood loss I was having.

It messed with my mind, too.

I lashed out in agony. I didn’t mean to, but I did.

My body was on fire, and every few months, there was a surge of something new that fed fuel to that fire only to, instead of putting the fire out, it made things worse.

Treatment 5 was the last time I saw my new friends. It was the last time I saw my Murder City family. That weekend, my body had cramps. It had contractions. It had expelled that treatment — well, trying to. I saw the Dr a few days later, and she confirmed.

Then began treatment 6—same thing. I was ruining so much clothing I had to resort to old clothes I had held on to before the weight loss — undies included.

I bet you’re wondering at this point why I just did not have a hysterectomy. There is a story there, too, and we will get into that in another post. 

Right around this time, I was laid off from my job as the Project Manager of a Digital Marketing company. I had worked my way up to COO, but budget cuts took me back to PM. Eventually, the whole team was laid off, and no return date was in sight. 

Then, the anemia set in. My gums receded more, and my dentist noticed. 

Treatment 5 had a side effect – possible extreme hair loss and alopecia. My hair was falling out more, and photos showed it.

I’ll save the distorted rib and its attached tumor for another day.

I no longer knew who I was.

I could tell you where the restroom was at all the stores within my area. 

I did know I was tired of Drs and their tests. Cancer. Endometriosis.  My fibroids were growing at a rapid rate. My Dr was confused. She couldn’t figure out why nothing was working for me.

Standing in the reception area of the OB/GYN to check out, I bled all over myself and their floor. I wanted to die. I think, maybe a little, I did inside. 

I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t keep it together with all the surges raging through my body.  

And that brings me to January 1, 2023—the will to live. I relapsed with my mental health. I wanted to die.  The chemicals in my body eventually took over the chemical imbalance in my brain. As I drove home after a horrible fight with my partner, I felt as if everyone around me would be better off not dealing with me or my battle with my mental health. 

I live in the country. I took all the back roads home. As I drove, I cried. I cried for the way I felt when I saw this man cower because he thought I was going to  hit him (he had an abusive ex.) I cried for the woman I was. I had fought so hard to get her, and she was lost. I cried for many reasons, and then, as I stared into the darkness ahead, I shut my headlights off and drove. 

I do not know how I made it home. My dissociation is very real. 

I crawled into bed and felt my whole world shatter. 

I survived that night, and the next day, and the next. 

Within a week, I was in therapy – with a new therapist. 

The will to fight my battle while hanging by a thread was there.

The will to make sure this medical trauma I went through makes someone else not feel so alone in this world.

To join with others to end the stigma about women’s health and menopause.

No one should be safety pinning their old underwear out of fear of ruining their new stuff. 

No. One.

I’m also here to tell you – those period panties – don’t work.

I am not 100%with my health – physical or mental. But I am better than I was a year ago.

I’ve been going out more. Trying to push through the PTSD, this situation has added to my already existing cPTSD. Trying to tell myself I’m okay. I won’t bleed all over the floor of the establishment I am at.

And that’s hard. I’m slow to get out because I’m still traumatized, and the few times I’ve been out this year, I immediately find the bathroom. I know this is going to take time.

The undies I post here today and the removal of their tags symbolize how I’ve been feeling the last few days. Even though the Disney trip didn’t happen, those undies never got worn for fear of ruining them, knowing they’d soon be at the bottom of the trash can.

That’s not where I wanted them to be.

Today, I can break free from the chains binding me. I can leave my house without worry. So, off the tags went, and on the undies went.

Today, I feel somewhat normal again.

Today, I feel like it’s going to be okay.


Today, I smile a little bit more.

Thank you for reading this far.

My hope is to let women know – they are not alone. 

My hope is that more women will speak up about their symptoms. Together, we can move mountains. 

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