Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Scared to death

It's no secret I've been feeling quite poorly, especially over the past 2 weeks. I've developed a new symptom: severe, debilitating anxiety. It's not psychological in nature; it's in my body. I feel like I am filled with adrenaline, just like you feel when you wake up from a nightmare or when you are very scared like when you almost get into an accident and have to pull over to collect yourself.

At age 52, I am in the throes of perimenopause and that's what my doctor thinks is the cause. Perimenopause is a condition that causes vast swings in female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and mine are going amok. Nothing unusual for a woman my age, but add the layers of Hepatitis C and getting over a severe virus and there are too many fluctuating chemicals in my body. Interestingly, I can sleep well although I do get the vasomotor effects of menopause - drenching in sweat and alternating with being freezing cold. Drenching in sweat is not uncommon for Hepatitis C either, so it's anyone's guess what is causing that symptom, albeit minor.

I can't go on like this. I feel like I am jumping out of my skin. I've tried everything - calming teas, relaxation meditations, physical workouts to match my body anxiety - everything and nothing is working. My doctor started me on hormone replacement therapy but it will take 2 weeks to notice any difference. In the meantime, it appears I have to suffer through this. Most women have induced menopause after taking chemotherapy. I didn't. Kept getting periods through it all until the last 6 months when I've gone as long as 3 months without one. So I definitely have some hormone thing going on.

I am going to be honest: I don't know if I can handle this. It's the worst possible feeling you can imagine on top of being ill. I could almost sit in one spot - paralyzed by the anxiety I am feeling.
But I'm not going to do that. Instead, I am going to trudge through and do my very best. I've managed to remain kind to my spouse and he is very worried for me. But I'll admit: this just sucks. If anyone has ideas that could help, shoot me a reply. Thanks!