This is a personal post that has nothing to do with weight. Feel free to skip it.
At 55, I am an energizer bunny: the last time I had my period was only 5 months ago. I'm not even officially into menopause because it has to be a year since my last period.
I am finding this time in my life physically and emotionally just HORRIBLE. Besides the hot flashes (which were worse this summer because of the ambient heat, but still a pain in the butt now because they wake me up at night), I am in a scary emotional state.
I think part of the reason I am going through a relapse of Graves disease (hyperthyroidism) is the fact that I'm starting peri-menopause. Graves is totally messing up my hormones, so I am even more emotionally unstable. I work in a very stressful environment. It's just the nature of the work and can't be changed, but my relationship with one co-worker in particular has become absolutely toxic and my ability to stay on an even keel around her is sorely tested. Although I had hoped to be able to overcome the stress of her presence thanks to the thyroid medication, the last time I worked with her (three days ago), I could literally feel my thyroid hormones going totally berserk again. I had my monthly blood test yesterday and wouldn't be surprised if my endocrinologist called to up my medication. I have some, but not total, control over whether I work with her or not. On a bad day, I am ready to quit my profession, but that would be financial suicide.
I have also been suffering from a (mostly) low-level headache for over a month. I saw my GP two days ago and we had quite the talk. We both think the headache--which is, BTW, much alleviated since I saw her--is stress related. She had me do a quick and dirty anxiety/stress measurement test. My score was frightening.
I do love my GP. She's a caring, wonderful woman. But I think she's a bit fast to prescribe pharmaceutical solutions to life's problems. When I was truly depressed over my failed hip surgery, all I needed was the promise of revision surgery to bring me out of the funk. However, I took my GP's advice and went on an anti-depressant (amitriptyline), which just made me gain weight. In retrospect, I know that it was totally unnecessary.
This time, she gave me a prescription for Effexor. Does anyone out there know anything about it? The reading that I did on the Internet has scared the pants off me. When I spoke to my GP, I specificially asked about how easy it was to wean off this drug. Her answer: no problem. That's definitely NOT what I'm reading on the Internet. Anyway, I've done my reading and talked about it with my low-key but very supportive husband and I haven't filled the Rx.
A few weeks ago, I signed up for an 8-week stress-reduction, self-esteem and mindfulness meditation course especially for women that starts at the end of this month. I told my GP about it but she still felt we should kick start my "recovery" through medication. I, on the other hand, feel that with the support of my husband, I want to wait and see how the course goes before plunging into something that may be very difficult to get out of (Effexor). I am also considering a weekend meditation retreat in mid-April. I believe very strongly in the power of one's own mind, although my mind is so "busy" that calming it down seems like a superhuman task.
Anyway, that's where I'm at. Thanks for listening.