Ever feel Ambushed by your own body? I’m about you tell you a little story about what it’s like.
It all started back in 2013. I was a new mom all over again, trying to juggle my new life, run, workout, eat clean and also play my role as a loving wife. We decided in 2012 to start the process towards having a baby. Our marriage was great, our business was thriving, and so it only made sense that Mario and I have a baby. Something we could nurture, cherish and call our own. I already had two grown children, but Mario didn’t have any children. I knew I always wanted to give him a child of his own. He’d be an incredible father! Oh, lots of people said I was crazy for wanting to start that part of my life all over again. I had a sick body, lots of energy and glowing skin. My husband and I were a hot couple who had sex at least two times a week. Life was Perfect. In my mind, it would only be better, besides I LOVE babies, I am a patient, loving nurturing mother and a doting wife. It’s well within my soul to do it all again.
One day after a run, I grabbed Sasha from the child care at our gym. I started limping and in some pain on the bottom of my foot. I didn’t think anything of it, just brushed it off. I had more important things to worry about, like feeding my then six-month-old baby. I remember later that night I started feeling this throbbing pain, so I figured I would take Aleve, put Sasha to sleep and get to bed myself. Well, in the middle of the night, robbed of my desperately need sleep, I woke to excruciating pain in my foot. The pain left me in tears. I got up, grabbed some ice, more Aleve and prayed to fall back asleep.
Wouldn’t it just be my luck that Mario had to be up and out of the house by 5:30 in the morning. I woke up to Sasha crying for me, so I jumped up forgetting the pain in my foot. It has swelled up, and I could no longer put an ounce of pressure on it. From the time I stood up to try and hop on one foot to get the baby, my heart started to race as if I were sprinting; I suddenly began to sweat profusely, and right at that moment, I thought I had a heart attack. Before I grabbed Sasha, I tried to reach Mario at work, but no success. I called 911, explaining that I think I am going to have a heart attack. My husband finally calls me back, and together we thought the best plan of action would be to have my nearby sister in law watch the baby. Imagine the police coming to your door, you live on the second floor and have to walk down the stairs to unlock it for them. IN YOUR bra-less white tank top and boy shorts! REALLY!
Long story short, while in the emergency room, the doctor treated me for plantar fasciitis and said that I did not have a heart attack, but a horrible panic attack. He explained that it probably happened because of the pain in my foot and how I was probably worrying about how I would take care of Sasha. Hmmmmm. He was the doctor and so I never questioned him. Life went on.
A side note: I was and am still getting my period. At the time of the panic attack, the last thing I thought about was menopause, perimenopause or anything of that nature. I was super fit, maybe a little too lean, but still, regular periods, lusting for my husband and had the energy of a twenty-year-old. Life was STILL perfect in my eyes.
In the summer of 2015, we decided to move and go on vacation. We moved our apartment to a more prominent more spacious place, brand new and so beautiful. The move was on a Saturday. We would then leave on Sunday morning for Martha’s Vineyard. Between non-stop unpacking and packing for vacation, I was burnt out. I ended up getting sick on vacation and was in bed for three days. I tried my hardest to suck it up, but there I was on a beautiful trip with my family with beautiful weather, and all I could do was sleep. I think my nerves and immune system shut down. When we got home four days later, it didn’t stop. The night we got back, I out Sasha to sleep and we got to bed early. I started to feel this itchy tingling sensation on my scalp and neck, and to my horror, my entire body had broken out in these atrocious hives. I started to sweat, and my heart began to beat fast. I had Mario call 911. I KNEW this time I was having a heart attack! When the police arrived, I was soaked through my shirt and answered all the questions they asked. The ambulance arrived, and I ended up getting an Ephedrine shot. They said I had some crazy allergic reaction to God knows what!
The doctors tested me for everything in the hospital, and the tests included an EKG. My heart was perfect. I didn’t have a heart attack like I KNEW I was, LOL! They couldn’t find any reason why the hives attacked my body, but there they were. For the next few weeks, all I could think about was not running or working out due to this plantar fasciitis. The panic attack had left my mind, and again, I choked it up to being under stress and being an OCD mama.
As I sit and think back in time from 2015 to about three months ago, I could sit and list a bunch of red flags that were telling me that something was off with my hormones.
Here are the symptoms I was suffering from:
- Thinning hair
- Night Sweats
- Water retention
- Decreased energy
- Hot flashes
- Low libido
- Panic attacks
- Concentration problems
- Depressed mood
- Mood Swings
I finally went to see an endocrinologist in November of 2017. Talking with this doctor, I explained that I felt as if my own body was ambushing me. I gave her the list of symptoms as I mentioned above in this post. She gently smiled and said, “Oh yes, your peri-menopausal.” She asked me what sort of lifestyle I lived, asked if I drank or smoked. Asked if I take Vitamins and what kind. Here is what I told her- verbatim
Lifestyle: Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer
Diet: All organic, unprocessed foods. Home cooked meals all day every day. NOTHING processed.
Alcohol: NO THANKS! I love my liver clean and functional.
Smoke: MOST disgusting thing ever! NEVER!
Workout: I workout more than most people. It’s my life and my sanity.
Vitamins: Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Astaxanthin, Omega 3-fish oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Probiotics, Magnesium, Collagen + Biotin.
I was proud of my answers and proud of myself! Why couldn’t she be more nurturing and understanding and if she couldn’t help me with a solution, then send me to someone who could? But she seemed envious and cold and the looks she was giving me almost making me feel as if I were crazy. I hated her!
I left her office feeling worse than before I went. At one point I got so heated I wanted to punch her right in the throat! During my visit, she looked me up and down telling me that I was underweight when I told her I feel bloated all the time. She suggested birth control for the hot flashes. She offered anti-depressants for the mood swings I was having. I looked at her with confusion and anger in my eyes, and just calmly said” There is no way I would ever take anti-depressants or birth control, so basically I have to suck it up. Is that what you’re telling me?” And with the same look I gave her, she said: “yes, all women go through this, it’s part of human nature.” I felt like I just wasted an hour of my life in her office. Driving home, I remember crying and just feeling empty inside.
By the time I got to Sasha’s school, I was done crying. I couldn’t let her see me upset. I became angry inside. There was NO WAY I was going to live another ten years being uncomfortable in my skin, with all of those symptoms. I was smart enough to know there was someone out there who could help. Knowing what I had to do, I ended up spending endless nights laying awake reading and researching symptoms, medicine, doctors, blogs, forums. You name it, I read it. I was gathering as much information as I could.
Fast forward to January of this year, 2018. The mood-swings were out of control. I hated leaving my house. Anti-Social had my face next to it in the dictionary. I’m sure my husband fantasized about killing me a thousand times, because I was such a moody bitch, for no reason most of the time. I would sit at dinner and suddenly start profusely sweating as if I ran ten miles. I was just a prisoner in my own body; it was so horrible. I was on the cusp of depression. The only time I felt somewhat normal was when I would workout. I worked out so hard, I was beyond exhausted. I think I was working hard for that endorphin rush- you know, the one that leaves you feeling happy, light, and free? Yea, well, an overtrained body full of pent-up anxiety and frustration was all I had.
I’ll stop this post here. In my next post, I will fill you in on my new doctor, my treatment, and how I am feeling today.