Wednesday, April 20, 2011

See, I Told You So

You know when you go to the doc, you always get the nurse first who takes your blood pressure and asks why you need to see the doctor?  Well, par for the course, that’s where I started.  Not wanting to go into great detail with her (especially since I could tell she couldn’t give a shit why I was there), I just told her I was three days late and I knew I wasn’t pregnant (I knew we’d been careful, but knowing the doc would ask I took a test so I could prove to her I was right).  So when the doc came in, that is all she knew.  Before I could get a word out, she told me I was stressed about my wedding and I was just a few days late – nothing to worry about. 
Ok- here are a few things you should know about me.  1.  I don’t get stressed – and I was thrilled and not worried at all about the wedding; 2.  I’m not a hypochondriac;  3. I know when something is not right with my body; and 4.  With the help of my good friend, webmd, I often think I know more than doctors.  So… once she gave me a chance to speak, I explained to her there was more going on and that I’d been burning up with hot flashes since I trashed those darn pills. 
And her expression changed.  Maybe now I’m not the crazy bridezilla she thought she was seeing today.  She then went on to explain to me all about early menopause aka premature ovarian failure.  Here’s my health lesson for the day.  Basically, when you are born you have all the eggs you will ever have.  Every time you go through your menstrual cycle, you lose some.  She explained that every month there is one chosen egg that has a number of cheerleader eggs (her words, not mine) cheering it on.  That one egg matures and is ready to be fertilized.  If not fertilized, it passes with your period and the next month another chosen egg and its cheerleaders make a run for it.  Eventually, you run out.  When you start to run out, your body goes into menopause/ ovarian failure (and I hate the word failure, makes me feel like a loser).  Anyway, having been on the pill, we have no idea how long this could have been going on (assuming this is the problem) as the pill gives your body hormones and masks all the symptoms.  She tells me some times premature ovarian failure just happens and sometimes it is genetic.  Now I talk to my mom regularly and feel like we have a great relationship, but somehow, the topic of when she started menopause never came up (come to find out – early 40s.  Earlier than most, but not 37!).  So, the next step is to take a blood test to measure my FSH level.  I wouId note that my doc tried to talk me out of doing this before the wedding as she didn’t want to risk burdening me with bad news at such a happy time, but I’m not one to wait.  If something is wrong with me, I need to know so I can do what I can to fix it. 
So, I learned that normal women in childbearing age have an FSH of 10 or below, but as you run low on eggs, your FSH goes up as this is the hormone that tells your body to ovulate and with fewer eggs, it has to work harder.  My FSH ended up being 124. 
So, Doc, in response to you telling me I was just stressed, I'd like to say, “I told you so.”

1 comment:

  1. How annoying! I have a friend that is going through early menopause also. She is 38. What happened to early menopause being around age 45? I mean when I was a kid, that is what I remember being a big deal......We are just NOT OLD ENOUGH to be hitting the big "M"!

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