Perimenopause and work...

Posted , 11 users are following.

Do any of you ladies feel that you are having trouble managing all the symptoms and variables of peri and working? 

I used to love my job. Now I feel very 'visible' if that makes sense. Like everyone knows something is wrong--the hot flashes, the slowed movements, the brain fog that makes me forget the basics, the sick days I take when my period still beats the heck out of me. And that everyone at work can see and judge my compromised performance. 

They aren't wrong. I am not as good as I was 5 years ago. And I hate it. And all the women around me who are roughly the same age seem like they are at their over-achieving best.

At the same time, I am so over pretending things are normal. I feel terrible--physically and psychologically. More days than not, I can barely drag myself out of bed and get dressed. (Even if I feel OK physically, psychologically I am dying inside from over-work stress and health anxiety.)

The good news is, I essentially quit my second job (one more class to teach in the summer) and this winter is my last overtime class at my full time job. I am hoping that helps. 

Any strategies for managing perimenopause and work life? 

Love you!

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  • Posted

    Omg, you have totally described me. When I try to explain it to my husband, he looks at me like I'm from another planet. I work one FT job and work 3 other PT jobs. I'm ready to break. Christmas is here and I can't wait for it to be over. Is that bad? A very difficult time but so very thankful for all these posts that help me to feel somewhat normal. Take care of yourself during these times.

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    • Posted

      You take care too, mbs12!  It's normal to wish for the stress of the holidays to be over--especially with all the work piling up on the one day we are off!

      I'm trying to put some self care in place. Like at least brushing my teeth and wish washing my face before bed. (Sometimes I just drop and wake up in my clothes later.) And I am very grateful for you and all the other wonderful ladies I've met here over the past year. I feel like I have an emotional safe space to be my real self here.

      PS--wouldn't working overtime be easier if we had wives? cheesygrin

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  • Posted

    I quit working full-time, I went part-time on contract so it was my choice to say yes or no on any job that came across me. I can certainly sympathize with you because I know what that's like. Only thing that might help is going on low dose birth control pills. If you have no family history of mental psychosis then you can try St John's Wort which is what I used and it worked wonderfully for me but I didn't take it everyday I only took it when I needed it when I felt really bad and usually I took like 1 in the morning then then 1 at night then I would be fine for the week and so that seem to settle my symptoms where I was able to actually work. But whenever I got the heart palps I would definitely take it. I only took it when I needed it I didn't take it everyday and I wasn't going to take it for 3 months like it was suggested because after 3 months it doesn't work anymore. So in taking it only as I needed it would allow me to use for a longer period of time according to my doctor. The other thing I took was a vegetarian multivitamin for women over 50 and I also took vitamin D3 which was excellent also for lifting up your mood. Love you too! But I hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      oops sorry for repeating myself in the last part of my sentences. I hope they put an edit button soon! Admins are you reading this? We need an edit button!
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  • Posted

    I am currently on birth control.  To be honest, my Dr. never told me that I should discontinue.  I certainly do not need them anymore but just keep taking them anyway.  I've also had someone else recommend St. John's Wort so I will go pick some up and try that as well.  Thank you for your post.  I truly appreciate you and the time you've taken to post.  Try to make it a great day!

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    • Posted

      Hi Zoe,

      I will be 51 next month....I still get a period every 29 days like I did when I was 15.  My GP prescribed very low dose birth control pills, but I didn't respond to them the way I had when I was younger. (I loved my birth control pills, but went off because of nausea.)   And my GYN says no one over 50 takes BCPs...  (I live in the US and that is the protocol here--or so I am told.) So I don't know who is right, my GP or GYN.

      Are you on HRT? What has been your experience? 

      My GYN also said she didn't recommend HRT for me, but didn't give  a real reason. I am too afraid of HRT given the scholarly non-consensus about its effects.  And the thought of potentially compromising my health with HRT to (at least in part) make life better for my employer makes my Marxist sense go haywire! biggrin

      I took Sochima's advice and started with a little Vit D yesterrday. My joints feel a little better today at least.  And I know I should cut out all the diet soda I drink....the caffeine and fake sugar cannot help. But I am really struggling with that one! And I do think if/when I can cut back on how much time I spend working, I will get to be more deliberate and careful in my self-maintenance; and hopefully a better handle on who I am becoming both psychologically and physically. 

      I just want at least some indication that my period will end before I die.  rolleyes   

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    • Posted

      I am 43 and have been on HRT for 6 months. It's not perfect but I am certainly better than I was.

      I am followed up at a menopause clinic and they are very good at checking you over. They have no issues with giving any lady who needs, wants and can have HRT no matter what their age.

      They start you on the lowest dose and see how you go for 3months.

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  • Posted

    Yes.  I have a full-time career at a university and am the oldest staff member in my immediate group.  I try to keep up and am seldom absent, but when I am it’s for illness, weird physical issues and checkups, or my mom having joint replacements (she’s had 3 surgeries in 2 years, with one more to go).  My manager would gladly replace me with someone younger.  I am my sole support, so I hang in there and make it work.  Some days are really hard.  I have increased the number of things I do for self-care; riding an exercise bike, eating healthier, and getting more sleep have helped a lot.  It’s all about finding what works for you.  Take care!
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    • Posted

      Hi Liz,

      I work at a university too! Intellectually, I know I could have a much more stressful job...but like you I am my sole support. Do you think that sometimes the stress of  being the sole support drives the health anxiety? I get a little symptom, convince myself I am dying, then take a sick day, fear I will get fired and lose my pay, (I have tenure and can't get fired for a sick day) but get more anxious....

      You get where I'm going.  

      I appreciate all of you ladies in the forum! I am going a little mad tonight with isolation from a storm and friends occupied with the holidays. It means everything to me that you all take the time to respond! 

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    • Posted

      Yes, I definitely think the sole support aspect is a big factor in my health anxiety, now that you mention it.  If something serious happens to me, then what?  I’m in an untenured staff position.  A couple of years ago, my sister divorced her deadbeat husband and she and her kids live with our elderly parents.  She also works full time.  The kids’ father is not allowed to have direct contact with them and the rest of his family cut off contact, too, so they just have us for family now.  I have felt for about 3 years that we’re in a perfect storm.  It’s hard even when things seem to be going more normally. I appreciate your support and all the ladies here - couldn’t get through this without it.  This is a really helpful discussion that makes me feel less alone.
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  • Posted

    Ugh.. I can 100% relate!! I see all these 40-somethings (I’m 46) just living life and taking yoga classes, running marathons, starting side businesses..and I’m feeling like crap most days. Emotional, downright crabby, health anxiety through the roof, overwhelmed, not to mention unattractive, with some weight gain, graying dried out hair, yucky skin tone... I am in graduate school right now but that just means I will be interviewing for jobs soon, which I can’t imagine even dealing with getting ready for and getting through an interview ?? I’m shaky, exhausted, and some what miserable most days..I wish I could offer something to help..the only thing that helps a bit is trying to walk for 20-30 minutes, staying hydrated and not eating a lot of garbage food, but all those things are hard when you feel so awful. So many days I just want to cry but my son needs me to be a functioning mother (my youngest is 7, my older 2 are 19 & 22 and probably don’t even notice how I act lol). I wish there was an easy solution or a pill with no side effects that would help,  but so far I have not found it. It does help me to know I’m not alone, not crazy, and probably not going to die before the new year LOL..but it’s completely  out of the blue and unexpected for me, I had no idea what perimenopause would be like… No one ever talks about it so...please know I relate and am here to vent, talk to, etc..take it day by day and know I care! 💕 Hugs! 

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    • Posted

      I feel exactly how you describe, Amy! Crabby, often paralyzed with health anxiety, splotchy skin, wildly emotional. I am so miserable most days. And sick of myself being so miserable.  

      Thanks so much for your advice and just for being here. My perimenopause madness feels so isolating!

      PS--so impressed you are in grad school!  

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  • Posted

    Hi maddysmom2015. I read the other day that 10 percent of women quit their jobs during perimenopause/menopause because of the symptoms. I don't have that luxury. I'm 58, and postmenopausal for seven years, but had no symptoms until 2014. I used to be at work early, all bright eyed and bushy-tailed. But over this past year I have been late most days and barely doing my chores on the weekends. I don't clean house like I used to, it's not dirty but it's not up to my standards. My job requires me to be on call 24/7 every four weeks for two weeks and each time it feels like I'm on call longer and longer(even though it's the same two weeks). If it wasn't for the extra money.......... And I have developed health anxiety.

    After all that talking. Just try to take care of yourself. Get a massage, a mani-pedi. Take yourself shopping, take a good multivitamin, drink plenty of water, exercise and most importantly(for me anyway)Prayer.

    This forum has been a Godsend for me. Sorry to go on so, but you are not alone!🤗🤗🤗🤗

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much, Juanita.  I have been dreaming about leaving my job; so it helps to know at least %10 of other women feel the same way.  

      I hear you about the house! But like you, my health anxiety is persistent. I am up late tonight here in the US just scared.  Scared of random pains, scared that those little, random pains presage something catastrophically wrong, sick of feeling like every little pain is a catastrophy sneaking in like a teenager after curfew.... I am sick of myself. 

      This forum is a heaven sent. I am alone this Christmas which isn't necessarily a bad thing (considering the family I came from), but having all my friends and colleagues occupied leaves me alone to ruminate on disasters--both real and imagined. 

      Sorry to be such a downer on the holiday!  Your support and insight has been amazing. I am crying a little bit because I am so grateful and feel less alone. 

      Meredith

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    • Posted

      I also have been dreaming about leaving my job. Before menopause hit I was thinking about getting my PhD. Not anymore, right now my Master's Degree will suffice. I couldn't imagine dealing with classes, a thesis, etc. at a time when I think every twinge or pain is some disastrous disease!

      I am also my only means of support and that is more stress. Everything falls on you. As for the holidays I'm just going to my sister's house for a few hours and coming back home. My other sister is retired but still works, she's 70. She's just going to stay in her jammies and watch Hallmark movies! Lol! You are not alone! You have us!????🤗🤗🤗

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