Thursday, October 12, 2023

The "menopause funk" ain't so funky

The Menopause Life Now

Some days during menopause, even basic tasks are a struggle. Getting out of bed or functioning at a minimum level takes great effort. This is what I've been experiencing - what I call the "menopause funk."

I'm not sure how others experience it, but for me it feels like intense brain fog. My mind just doesn't work right. I'm not very productive, motivated, or able to concentrate on work. It comes and goes depending on my medication and supplements.

The funk was really bad before starting estradiol hormone therapy after a discussion with my primary care doctor. After analyzing risks, I decided estradiol was something I was willing to try. While that cleared up the fogginess and boosted my productivity back up to reasonable levels, it had side effects of its own. (I'll get into the side effects in another post.) I don't want to debate the pros and cons of HRT here, as what works varies per person.

However, when I recently cut back the dose due to side effects, I fell back into the funk. For days, I barely worked or functioned normally. Only after almost a week, did I realize how unproductive and behind on work I'd become as my creativity fell off.

The next time I saw my doctor for a regular check-up, I spoke to him about the side effects from adjusting my estradiol dose lower. He said the side effects I reported were manageable, so we increased my dose back to the original prescribed level. I've been on it for about a week now but still feel a bit "funky" and unproductive.

My productivity, motivation, and creativity have yet to fully return. Constant fatigue continues to be an issue. Thankfully, one side effect the estradiol controls well for me is explosive anger and rage, which can turn me into a raging monster. I think those feelings are subsiding.

That said, it may take 2-3 more weeks for the estradiol levels in my body to reach where I'm no longer funky and can work productively and creatively again. It's been a difficult slog so far - every day presents challenges. It feels like life is hard at every turn.

Coming out of the "menopause funk" takes time. I'm learning to manage its effects through hormone therapy, which provides relief but requires dosage adjustments. Understanding my body's changing needs helps as I navigate unpredictable symptoms.

I also rely on supplements (more on the supplements I'm taking later), self-care, and most importantly, being patient and kind to myself, which is not always easy. While hormone therapies provide relief, finding the right balance takes time and I'm still in the throes of it.

For now, taking it one day at a time and tracking progress is key. Support from my doctor reassures me the funk will pass as treatment takes full effect. I'm still a few weeks away from that, I think. While symptoms persist, knowing this phase will improve sustains my determination to overcome challenges through self-care, patience, and medical guidance.

I know I can't be the only person experiencing this. Tell me how you're doing.

Be well, and remember to be kind to yourself.


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