"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Friday, January 20, 2012

Budgeting Your Energy in Menopause

I remember a time, pre hormonal balance, that budgeting my energy was the only way I could get through a day. I remember thinking at the time that I did not know how the hell I would have gotten through peri/menopause if I had been trying to work full time (I am medically retired because of injuries in a car accident in 1992) and/or raise a family (I'm single).

The first month that I was on progesterone (Dr. Carr started me on one hormone at a time) that my energy level after the first 10 days or so was increased to the point that I so overdid it I put my back/pelvis/hip pain over the moon----my pain level was so increased I was almost hysterical. My pain managment doctor was wonderful and understanding, but made it clear to me that I would have to gradually increase my activity and exercise program so that I could manage my pain level. I learned a lot that first year, and now most of the time I balance my energy with my pain level (I still overdo sometimes, but that's ok, I just schedule myself lightly the next day or two to let my pain level settle back down). I still get kind of frustrated sometimes because I know I could go farther, faster, longer if my back/pelvis/hip didn't hurt so much, but most of the time I can remember how far I have come in the last 5 years.

The tips in today's article from The Huffington Post.com are not new but always worth a reminder: Make yourself a priority, don't be afraid to seek support, and for goodness sake, stop beating yourself up so much (I still need to work on this one!) Regarding the taking care of yourself tip: exercise. Really. And I never thought I would be one to adocate that everyone get out there and get moving, but it really, truly does make a difference----it increases my energy level, reduces stress (I would never, ever have made it through the bullying situation I found myself in last summer/fall without my workouts to help burn off some of the adrenaline surging through me), and keeps the joints flexible. Long term, I know it's what helped cure my osteopenia (along with testosterone and Vitamin D optimization). Both my pain management doctor and Dr. Carr are amazed at the progress I have been able to make physically from my workouts.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Rainy and cloudy here in NC all weekend, tomorrow I am going to take a beading class (I love making beaded jewelry, among my other hobbies) and Sunday I plan to snuggle in the house, catch up on little projects and read some hormone articles to include in the blog!