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Perimenopause S/O. Do you feel bitter?


Moxie
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I look at the crap women go through with very little medical assistance and I get bitter. I think, damn, if men dealt with this, there would 100% be a cure. Am I crazy to think this??

 

I don't think you're crazy to think this! I agree! I just hope some progress is made before my daughter's have to go through it.

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No.  I don't think I'm inclined to be a bitter person.  It seems pointless anyway, to feel bitter about my body.

 

Men have their own issues, I guess, but they do seem younger longer than women in many cases.  I do sometimes feel odd about that.  Their ageing is kind of a downhill slope, whereas I am finding there are some things I appreciate about it.

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No, I don't feel bitter about the ways my female body is different from a male body. I also think it's pointless to feel bitter about such things.

I was referring to the lack of medical help with menopausal issues.

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No, it's natural and I'm sure men have their own struggles with their body parts.  :)

 

I really prefer to NOT turn to medical intervention even if it is available, unless that is the only way to keep the boat afloat.

 

I just try to look ahead to the day when the worst of these symptoms will go away forever.  :)

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Roughly a third of US doctors in 2010 were women, and I'm assuming the % has increased since then.  So I really don't like the anti-male tone here.  Women have the ability to do something about this if there is something to be done.

 

I think drug companies would love to sell stuff for this, too.  They loved the hormone thing and made a bundle off of i, before people started to worry it wasn't healthy.

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I took some time to ponder this question.  I don't think I am bitter.  I wonder if I would feel differently if I haven't been dealing with trying to get the medical profession to take my dh's symptoms of his chronic illness seriously for the last dew years.

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I don't know if bitter is quite the right word, but yes I'm aggravated or annoyed by how damn annoying this is.

 

I was talking to my DH about it and I said something like men don't have to go through all this crazy body crap.  So he said something like well they sometimes have issues with their prostate.  So I said ok...and then proceeded to tell him all the stuff that's bugging me.  He was eating dinner.  I said I'd trade prostate problem for that any day of the week.  I think I ruined his appetite.  LOL 

 

 

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Well and then I'm always kinda torn about the idea of being treated like I have a disease for a normal process.  When I was pregnant I felt like I was being treated like I was dying from something very grave.  No joke.  It was constant poking and prodding.  I would prefer to find ways to cope or if there is any medical intervention it does not leave me feeling just crappy in some other way than when I started.  Or worried that the treatment will give me cancer or something.

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I don't feel jealous men don't deal with this.  it is what it is.

 

it's not a one size fits all problem - it has many many biochemical facets.  (re: point being, it's very complex - and varies from patient to patient, sometimes night and day differences.)  some of my worst treatment has been by women drs.  (the last one, who LIED to my face, was a woman.)

Edited by gardenmom5
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I don't feel jealous men don't deal with this.  it is what it is.

 

it's not a one size fits all problem - it has many many biochemical facets.  (re: point being, it's very complex - and varies from patient to patient, sometimes night and day differences.)  some of my worst treatment has been by women drs.  (the last one, who LIED to my face, was a woman.)

 

Yeah this isn't that I'm mad at men or jealous that I'm not a man.  It's that I'm just in general pissed off that I have to deal with these symptoms. 

 

Some of my worse treatment was also by women doctors.  They strike me as far less sympathetic in general.  Male doctors seem to give a crap, for example, when you say I have no sex drive and it bothers me.  The women doctors I went to shrug their shoulders.  There isn't much that can be done, no, but at least don't act like it's nothing.

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Not bitter. I have long since made my peace with the imperfections of the human body.

The female reproductive system is a perfect proof that there is no such thing as "intelligent design", because surely the issue of reproduction could have been designed much more intelligently and elegantly without periods.

 

ETA: But having a niece with cerebral palsy and a brother with a mental impairment, menopause ranks fairly low on my list of things for which I wish there were medical help.

 

ETA: I am also not jealous of men. Women still win on the life expectancy thing - how is that fair?

Edited by regentrude
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Not bitter. I have long since made my peace with the imperfections of the human body.

The female reproductive system is a perfect proof that there is no such thing as "intelligent design", because surely the issue of reproduction could have been designed much more intelligently and elegantly without periods.

 

ETA: I am also not jealous of men. Women still win on the life expectancy thing - how is that fair?

 

Not unless the "intelligent designer" is one sadistic SOB.

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Yeah this isn't that I'm mad at men or jealous that I'm not a man.  It's that I'm just in general pissed off that I have to deal with these symptoms. 

 

Some of my worse treatment was also by women doctors.  They strike me as far less sympathetic in general.  Male doctors seem to give a crap, for example, when you say I have no sex drive and it bothers me.  The women doctors I went to shrug their shoulders.  There isn't much that can be done, no, but at least don't act like it's nothing.

 

have you ever looked into thyroid stuff?  perimenopause hormone changes can also change thyroid - which also affects other related hormones . . . . https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/symptoms/

that is but one symptom.

 

I found yoga did help my hot flashes - even though "it's not supposed to make a difference".

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have you ever looked into thyroid stuff?  perimenopause hormone changes can also change thyroid - which also affects other related hormones . . . . https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/symptoms/

that is but one symptom.

 

I found yoga did help my hot flashes - even though "it's not supposed to make a difference".

 

I don't have hot flashes.

 

I've only had some basic tests, but really I don't have any signs of thyroid issues.

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I look at the crap women go through with very little medical assistance and I get bitter. I think, damn, if men dealt with this, there would 100% be a cure. Am I crazy to think this??

I'm not going to say you are crazy, but I do not agree. Peri-menopause is not a disease requiring a cure. It is a natural part of a woman's life. Yes, it is uncomfortable, but I am not one of those people who require medical intervention to get rid of all my discomforts. I do take herbal supplements to calm my mood swings, but that's because some were severe and I was more than just irritable. So, if those are things you are talking about...well, sure that would be nice.

 

But, over the years, I have seen how little the medical establishment really knows about the human body. My elderly dad had a catatonic episode last year, they ran a battery of tests and never did find out what caused it. I had a case of severe inflammation in my eye several years ago which left my right iris slightly atrophied and one of the top ophthalmologists in the region couldn't diagnose it. She never did find out what caused it. They just treated it and it took several months to go away.

Edited by KrissiK
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Perimenopause isn't something that needs a cure, because it's not a disease.  I don't feel bitter toward men at all (and I really wish the world would ax all the bitterness towards men, the only thing it has gotten us is an enormous number of passive, useless, ambitionless men who don't want to go out and be manly in a world that is bitter towards them).  Men have their own stuff to deal with.  Prostate problems aren't minor, either.  People have literally died of burst bladders.  Most won't, of course, but even for them it's painful not to be able to empty their bladders properly.  They are awakened in the middle of the night with the urge to use the bathroom, and the inability to do much about it, other than take the edge off for another hour or two.

 

Bitterness gets us nothing but misery for the bitter person and anger from the people they are bitter toward (in this case men who have done nothing to deserve the bitterness).  If you want your menopause symptoms treated, every drug company in the world has a website.  Start a campaign and let them know what you want.  What they want is a profit.  If you let them know there is a market, they'll come up with the product.

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I don't have hot flashes.

 

I've only had some basic tests, but really I don't have any signs of thyroid issues.

the thyroid tests that need to be run - are generally not the ones that *are* run.

free t3

free t4

reverse t3

 

total is worthless, tsh is nearly as worthless - but that's what's run.

 

I'm not going to say you are crazy, but I do not agree. Peri-menopause is not a disease requiring a cure. It is a natural part of a woman's life. Yes, it is uncomfortable, but I am not one of those people who require medical intervention to get rid of all my discomforts. I do take herbal supplements to calm my mood swings, but that's because some were severe and I was more than just irritable. So, if those are things you are talking about...well, sure that would be nice.

 

But, over the years, I have seen how little the medical establishment really knows about the human body. My elderly dad had a catatonic episode last year, they ran a battery of tests and never did find out what caused it. I had a case of severe inflammation in my eye several years ago which left my right iris slightly atrophied and one of the top ophthalmologists in the region couldn't diagnose it. She never did find out what caused it. They just treated it and it took several months to go away.

 

DING DING DING  and we have a winner!!!!

I've had drs do *damage* because they didn't know as much as they think they do.

we're really not that far from bleeding and leeches to get rid of ill humours . . . .

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the thyroid tests that need to be run - are generally not the ones that *are* run.

free t3

free t4

reverse t3

 

total is worthless, tsh is nearly as worthless - but that's what's run.

 

 

Right, I know, but I don't have really any of the symptoms from that website.  GI stuff yeah..but absent of any of the other symptoms I doubt it.  I'm not tired, my energy is good, my mind is clear, memory is fine, etc.  I have strange pains.  Some of which change areas in my body.  Some seem electrical.  Tingling, numbness, burning pains.  Like currently in one of my boobs.  Although it doesn't seem to be my boob, but behind my boob?  I don't know.  Exercise seems to make it worse.  I haven't stopped exercising, but I have cut back and that has helped. 

GI freak outs...yup.  Which are so fracking frustrating because there is ZERO rhyme or reason for it.  Food doesn't seem to trigger it (I've tried all sorts of different things in that department to try and figure it out). 

 

For awhile my legs and feet were constantly aching, burning, tingling.  Now it's not in my legs, but my arms...and now chest. 

 

But then I have days where I feel no pain at all.  I might feel like a million bucks.  Really.  Just so so great. 

 

It's bizarre.

 

 

 

That doesn't sound like thyroid stuff. 

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I'm not going to say you are crazy, but I do not agree. Peri-menopause is not a disease requiring a cure. It is a natural part of a woman's life. Yes, it is uncomfortable, but I am not one of those people who require medical intervention to get rid of all my discomforts. I do take herbal supplements to calm my mood swings, but that's because some were severe and I was more than just irritable. So, if those are things you are talking about...well, sure that would be nice.

 

But, over the years, I have seen how little the medical establishment really knows about the human body. My elderly dad had a catatonic episode last year, they ran a battery of tests and never did find out what caused it. I had a case of severe inflammation in my eye several years ago which left my right iris slightly atrophied and one of the top ophthalmologists in the region couldn't diagnose it. She never did find out what caused it. They just treated it and it took several months to go away.

 

This is so true.  On the other hand, as many diseases have disappeared or become curable or at least manageable, people can be surprised when the medical establishment doesn't know how to deal with something.  

 

Regarding bitterness:  Long ago I worked with a woman whose husband died quite young - 30's, I think - and rather quickly from a sudden and mysterious illness. She was bitter for years.  I think her bitterness ruined her life, at least during the time I knew her. (Of course she would say that her husband's death ruined her life.)  She never could understand how the doctors couldn't know what he had, or how to fix it.  When I last saw her, she was in her 50's, still angry.  

 

Of course we all want answers, and no one wants to suffer.  (Though of course the definition of "suffering" may differ among us and in general I think has been watered down in our modern, affluent culture.)   

 

It's pretty amazing how much we do know, but there is still so much we don't.  

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My MIL has the right idea.  When she is feeling like this she bugs the crud out of the insurance company until they pay for what is essentially a retreat/spa place.  LOL  (This is in Germany, apparently they will sometimes pay for stuff like that.)

 

 

this is true.  my niece is a musician at a mineral  springs.

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I'm not bitter but I do want to be taken seriously. When I go to the doctor with a list of symptoms I don't want to get the brush off. Sometimes I think they just think I'm nuts. I don't necessarily want meds or something but I would like to know how to manage all these crazy symptoms and how long I can expect to have them. 

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I'm not bitter, it's just life. Undeniably annoying, but not uncommon. I will say that something I've contemplated over the years I've been a parent is that when God told Eve that there would be "pain in childbirth," it really went beyond the event of painful labor. Mothering is heart wrenching in many ways. The physical idiosyncrasies of our reproduction systems are merely one facet of it. But wow, the amazing gift of being able to grow, deliver and rear a child? I'll be grateful for that, even with all the strings attached.

 

Please don't think I'm preaching in response to some comments upthread. This is truly my attitude about it based on challenges faced over 20+ years of parenting. Barbara Johnson said that to be a mother was to wear your heart outside of your body for the rest of your life. Well, she should have added that it also meant having to put up with a bunch of funky body issues, too.

 

That said, perimenopausal symptoms are no fun. I recognize others have far worse symptoms than I do. Personally, this is what annoys me the most: as women, we are taught that symptoms of a heart attack can be non traditional, that we may not suffer that sudden, recognizable chest-clutching experience that men do, and that we are supposed to pay attention to more subtle symptoms. I know this is true, but am I the only one annoyed that every time there's some b@@k pain or tingly appendage, I'm supposed to wonder if maybe my ticker is tocking? I've started really paying attention to my own heart rate and breathing patterns so I can assure myself that those are still okay while I'm experiencing other pains. Those rare little heart palpitations? Caffeine. That achy arm? Oh yeah, I slept all twisted up last night (again! Why do I keep doing that?). That I have to spend time thinking about such things is annoying, but as I said in the other thread, some of this would just come with age, anyway.

 

I do believe that process of elimination medicine can be helpful. While doctors can't always tell us what IS wrong, they can often tell us what ISN'T wrong, kwim? I think it's sad, though, that FFF is a real thing - Forty/Fifty Fat & Female is something many practitioners fail to look beyond. I have noticed in the years I am paying attention to self care, within good weight limits, and can report that my diet and exercise habits are regular, there seems to be a better exchange of info at those annual physicals. I am very thankful for a GYN who has same-age kids and takes women's life issues seriously as she provides treatment.

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I'm not bitter but I do want to be taken seriously. When I go to the doctor with a list of symptoms I don't want to get the brush off. Sometimes I think they just think I'm nuts. I don't necessarily want meds or something but I would like to know how to manage all these crazy symptoms and how long I can expect to have them. 

 

Yes...I often get the brush off.  I only want to know if I'm normal.  Nobody has ever told me about any of this stuff. 

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My MIL has the right idea. When she is feeling like this she bugs the crud out of the insurance company until they pay for what is essentially a retreat/spa place. LOL (This is in Germany, apparently they will sometimes pay for stuff like that.)

We need to figure that one out!!!!

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I think the fact that there are so few female biomedical engineers is a big reason why so many devices that are exclusively for women totally s*ck. Mammogram machines, pumps for nursing moms, those torture implements used for pelvic exams and Pap smears- men wouldn't put up with those uncomfortable-to-downright-painful things :glare:

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I wouldn't have used the word bitter for myself... but I do think there's a weird linkage in this thread between suffering and children. Like, if you don't "suck it up" then you must be ungrateful for your children or that you must be jealous of men. I don't buy that. Menopause and childbearing are obviously medically related, but the fact that medical treatments aren't as advanced as they probably could be and the fact that the medical establishment is dismissive of women's concerns about pain are things that could be changed without women's ability to bear children being changed. They're also real things. Doctors - yes, even female doctors - often treat women's symptoms as less acute or important as men's.

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I don't really feel bitter about it, per say, but that is probably because my dh has to deal with far more pain and fatigue on a daily basis than I do on my worst days.  

 

I do get grumpy about being thought of as the weaker sex, or emotionally unstable because I actually have moods  :cursing: (because my dh sometimes has the emotional range of a rock).  

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This has come up before, but I'm always amazed at how many people here have lousy doctors.  In my adult life, I can think of one doctor who dismissed my concerns.  I dumped him and found a new doctor.  

 

Now, doctors can't always fix things, but they listen and they respond, even if it's to say "yeah, this is normal, and there aren't many good options for treatment."  

 

Now please don't anyone take this to mean I think you're all lying about your doctors.  I just find it odd that I have been so lucky, or whatever, not to have had that problem.  And, lest you think I have zero health problems... I am 15 years post-menopause, but I have related issues that affect my quality of life/comfort/activities.  We're working on them... but have been for 15  years.  

ETA: I have decent insurance, but it's not a gold plated plan or whatever they call the top-of-the-line plans.  It's not an HMO but it's not an unlimited, go-whereever-you-want policy either. 

Edited by marbel
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Not bitter towards men but just really sick of the whole thing.  I haven't hit the worst of the changes yet but the heavy periods are ridiculous.  I am bitter about not feeling comfortable in public on heavy days for fear of an accident, etc.  I think to myself "thirty years I have been dealing with this nonsense monthly.  THIRTY years. And I am not close to done. "  I get a little bitter and then I just feel bad that my daughter will have to deal with it.  

 

 

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I wouldn't have used the word bitter for myself... but I do think there's a weird linkage in this thread between suffering and children. Like, if you don't "suck it up" then you must be ungrateful for your children or that you must be jealous of men. I don't buy that. Menopause and childbearing are obviously medically related, but the fact that medical treatments aren't as advanced as they probably could be and the fact that the medical establishment is dismissive of women's concerns about pain are things that could be changed without women's ability to bear children being changed. They're also real things. Doctors - yes, even female doctors - often treat women's symptoms as less acute or important as men's.

I will chime in here since my earlier comment may have factored into your post. I certainly didn't mean to be dismissive, or devisive. Women's medical issues should be taken seriously, we're all in the same boat on that challenge.

 

However, I, personally, cannot answer a question like the OP posed without considering that there is a spiritual element to the way I contemplate such things. It is not proscriptive for anyone else, but my attitude about menopause, as well as how I process other life events, is definitely shaped by spiritual beliefs.

 

Now if someone were to tell me it was my "duty" as a "good Christian woman," to endure without seeking relief, ie, set a sub-standard and try to justify it with religious verbiage, that would stink! I hope no one felt I was trying to do that! I only answered the question honestly with my personally-processed response. Which is all the OP asked for, as I understood the question.

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I need to clarify. I'm not bitter at men. I'm bitter at the medical establishment that doesn't take women's issues as seriously as men's. I see lots of ED commercials but I don't recall seeing any for HRT. Viagra and the like are covered by most insurance; HRT is often not.

 

And, please, I've never heard a man say "I have to stay home one or two days a month because of my prostate issues" but I regularly hear women talk about being housebound due to heavy periods. Like that is a normal, acceptable way to live!

 

And, I do not give AF if menopause is natural. We medicate lots of natural things. I've already researched ablation and have chosen a doctor for the day my periods mess up my life.

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To me the word "bitter" implies anger at someone.  So that is why I don't think it applies.  Maybe the OP and others don't mean it that way though.

 

As for having babies - I've never had one, so I don't really connect that - it's just that the sexes are different and there had to be some way of transitioning us from childbearing years to non-childbearing years.  (Unless some of you want to keep having periods until you are 100.)  Just like puberty is kind of a big pain in the butt, but kind of necessary.

 

And sure I've had sucky symptoms, really sucky ones, and I bitch about it.  Last week I was telling my younger sister and the words "F You" [directed at nobody in particular] were involved.  :P  I don't blame anyone though.  I don't agree that the reason we don't have better solutions is because men don't care enough.

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Yeah it makes me wonder if some people just don't have symptoms that are that bad.  Or maybe they are less sensitive.  I don't know.

 

This is true. I had none of the debilitating symptoms like hot flashes. Even though my friend has given me detailed descriptions of how this feels, there is no way I can really imagine it - especially since it is happening to her more than once a day or once a week. I am rather vigilant in finding solutions on my own because -while I respect doctors - I don't think they are all equal in knowledge and skill. I chose to see a naturopath because I like their approach better for many issues than allopathic docs.

Perhaps some of those symptoms never reared their ugly heads because my naturopath immediately anticipated what I'd need and gave me a few supplements and a BHRT rx. I don't know how bad it would have been otherwise. I also considered myself lucky that I knew exactly when I would go into menopause so I could plan for it and do the research ahead of time.

 

Individual perception may also figure into this. Some people are willing to put up with more pain / discomfort than others. I like neither, hence the vigilant approach.

 

To answer OP's question. I am not bitter. I am a woman and some things are to be expected. I do, however, expect medical personnel to treat me respectfully, give me honest answers and provide options if there any.

 

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Well, the dismissiveness in this thread made me more bitter.

I don't think anyone is being dismissive. I think many of us simply believe that perimemopause is a normal part of life and that there isn't always a need for medical intervention for every symptom.

 

My gyn is excellent. He's understanding, kind, and knowledgeable, and he encourages me to ask questions at my appointments and to call if I have any concerns between regular appointments. He takes me seriously and if I say I have a stupid question, he tells me there are no stupid questions, and he always takes the time to give me detailed answers.

 

I realize that some people have lousy doctors, but not all of us do, so if one doctor isn't responding to your worries or concerns, it may be time to find another doctor because good ones are out there.

 

Perimenopause isn't a disease that needs to be cured. The symptoms can be scary, unpredictable, and confusing at times, but most of them are manageable once we know they're "normal," and if a woman feels her symptoms are unbearable, there are treatments available for many of them.

 

I guess I'm not sure what else we can expect. I'm not being dismissive; I'm just being realistic. Our mothers and grandmothers made it through perimenopause and menopause without a medical "cure," so I'm pretty confident that we can do it, too.

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