When I stopped going to acupuncture, as the weeks went on I started feeling unwell again & seeing a pattern develop. I went back to the GP & when I suggested perimenopause he would say no you are still getting your period regularly, even though they started becoming a bit irregular. He was always quick to “give me something” for the anxiety but I declined again.
In September 2013, a few days before my period my anxiety & panic attacks became more pronounced. This lasted a few days till my period came. I remember going to see Cirque De Soleil & towards the end of the show I started getting a headache & on the way home I had a full blown panic attack & I started feeling dizzy. I did not know what was happening to me & how a “Date night” was turning into a nightmare.
In October 2013 the panic & anxiety lasted even a few days after my period finished. So this time I had it for more than a week, not just a few days as the previous month. I went to see my gynaecologist for a pap smear & he asked me how I was doing. I told him what I was experiencing & he agreed with me when I said I think it is perimenopause. He told me if it got worse to go back & see him. That month I started the descent into the dark period. I was finding it hard to cope with what I was feeling so decided to go back to the GP. This time I saw a different GP, a female. I told her what I was experiencing & she sent me off for blood tests again. One of the tests was a hormone test. I thought finally, this will confirm what I have been suspecting.
A week later I went back to get my results & all was fine except for my blood sugar levels which were a bit higher than normal. My hormone levels were all within normal range. I was very disappointed. I had no answers as to why I was feeling like this. I felt defeated, that this was not going to end. I would be having panic & anxiety for no reason. I felt robbed. I wasn’t being the mother my children deserved. I did not enjoy my daughter & felt cheated. She was my last child & instead of taking my kids out to play in a park, I could hardly go out. The GP suggested CBT (Congnitive Behaviour Therapy). I agreed. I was feeling desperate & was willing to give anything a go. I told her I wanted to go to my own therapist ( I had seen a therapist years ago after my second miscarriage & she was fantastic).
So late October 2013 I started seeing a therapist. The first session was quite normal. She sat back & asked a few questions & mostly listened to what I had to say. It was pretty standard session where she sat back & listened to see if I was crazy. A few weeks later I went for the second session & the therapist said to me “I am not going to psycho analyse you, there is nothing wrong with you mentally”. “You just need support, what you are going through is obviously hormonal”. I was so relieved to hear that. Finally someone had confirmed what I had been suspecting all this time. She was willing to support me & listen to me during this hard time.
I tried another acupuncturist since mine was still on maternity leave but I did not really like the treatment & decided not to go back. It was now December & I was finding it very hard to function. Driving to work was getting harder due to the panic attacks I was suffering. Once I got to work I was clock watching every 5 minutes looking at the time to see if it was time to go home. When I was not working I could not do normal, everyday things like go grocery shopping due to my anxiety attacks. I could not clean or look after my children. All I could do was lie on the couch & not do anything. I just felt so unwell. You may be wondering why didn’t I go back to my gynaecologist since he told me if I got worse to go back. I could not be bothered with waiting 6 weeks to get an appointment & I didn’t see this as just a gynaecological issue.
I also started getting migraines the day before my period. When I had these migraines I could not work or drive. If I was at work I had to go home. I could not tolerate them. What ever I took had no effect. The only thing that helped was to go to bed & sleep. These lasted for 2 days. Sometimes I had to take 2 days off work. It made my anxiety worse as I thought I was having an aneurysm or I had something wrong with my brain. I am also a hypochondriac, so my imagination was running wild!
At the end of December, I had finished work for the year as we shut down for Christmas, I had so much anxiety that day. I was running on adrenaline! It was just running through me that day. I knew I had reached the end. I could not go on anymore. I could not cope, I was exhausted. I wanted to go to the emergency room or the crazy hospital that day. I could not tolerate my own children, I just wanted to be left alone to deal with it somehow. I got through the day, I survived. I had an average Christmas, I was there in body but not in mind or spirit. I was off having a panic in my head. Something had to be done. I could not live like this anymore! I took matters into my own hands & started looking for the answers.