“This isn’t me,” I told my new general practioner. I knew something was wrong but no idea what.
Looking back, I see the signs that things in my body had been changing. But at my age (now 55 this past May), I knew I was in perimenopause (now postmenopause). I knew to expect changes. Thanks to my partner teacher and good friend, I read some of the books that she recommended to find out what to expect.
Now, prior to all of this, I had had a diagnosis (and was being treated for) acid reflux (even had the Nissen Procedure) and Interstitial Cystitis (treated with meds, pelvic floor PT, instillations, and even a Botox injection procedure). I often felt that If I could delete my midsection, I’d be golden.
But then, as mentioned before, the extreme fatigue, foggy brain, and high anxiety started, spring of 2015. Figuring it was hormonal, I went to visit my gynecologist who prescribed me a patch of Estradiol (.0375mg BIW) along with Progestin (QD). This did seem to work until the fall the next year. I was bumped up to a .05 patch and a vaginal Estrace cream (BIW). When I still was having the anxiety, she put me on Lexapro (20mg QD). Again, this helped for a time.
The school year of 2017-18 was a rough one on several levels. Our team of three teachers was cut to two. The class sizes for the group coming up had been at 19 or so. Being it was a really challenging group since arriving at our school in kindergarten, the size had helped. However, with two, we were pushed to 30 per homeroom teacher and each of us had to take on subjects we hadn’t taught previously. If that had been all, I don’t think things would have gotten so bad. However, serious life problems for me and my partner teacher kept hitting us one after another. The final blow for me was when my partner teacher of 16 years got reassigned to a middle school position the last day of school, June 2018. While I was happy for her because this would fit much better with her life, it ended up leaving me deeply sad (a fact I didn’t really register for quite a while).
My husband retired that June. For a celebration, we decided to do a trip we had wanted to do for a long time. We drove out to California the week after school ended. That’s when the pain in my legs began. By the time we were home, it was taking up much of my attention. Nothing I did would relieve them. The pain would move from my hips to my calves sometimes the right side more intensely and then the left.
By the time school started up again in August 2018, the leg and hip pain was just a way of life. The district had put us back to three sections, meaning I had two new teachers to “train”. It was a really bumpy transition (to say the least) which put a lot of strain on me. The pain started to show up intensely in my shoulders, neck, and chest as well as in the legs as before. Again it would roam from side to side and up and down. The pain kept me awake at night and during the day I began a desperate need to massage areas of pain. People around me definitely started to notice. I was extremely emotional and anxious 24/7. When I got home from school at night, I’d crawl into bed too drained to do anything else. By the time Thanksgiving (2018) came around, I was a completely depleted mess. And so I went to the doctor.
Tomorrow: What’s Wrong With Me? Part 2
Thank you for visiting my blog today.
I am committing to posting once a week on Fridays.
However, as you know, my new normal means that sometimes I have
to listen to my body and am not able to follow through as planned.