Life after hysterectomy for PMDD / PMS [aged 35]. UK

Life after a hysterectomy for PMDD / severe PMS, aged 35. It's vital that BOTH OVARIES are removed. Yes, it worked!! I am a strong advocate of HRT.

Month: August, 2014

“Which one of us wants to admit to wanting to die 12 times a year”

A moving and powerful comment from a reader of this blog.

‘Hello. Are you still here?

I just had my tubes tied earlier this year and begged for a hysterectomy because PMDD is ruining my life. They were very concerned but had no idea what I was even talking about.

I am 37 and have 5 children as I could never tolerate birth control – it made PMDD worse. I have moved away from entire life to try to solve this but upon finding these posts…

I do not believe there is anything that can be done naturally and that misinformed doctors have done me a horrible disservice. Now I will have to have 2 surgeries and the scar tissue will hurt worse. However, that would be a small price to pay to be able to live a life I have never had.

The patriarchal medical community has been mishandling women since the time time they outlawed midwifery and began to try to figure out the mystery of the female body on their own.

They have no place trying to tell us how our bodies function and they need to stop interfering with the the natural essence of child birth as well. It is NOT a medical emergency and doesn’t even have to be painful for 90% of women. The information in itself is fear based and nonsense for the most part. Women do not have to be wheeled in on a gurney screaming at the top of their lungs because simple understanding has been robbed from them about what their bodies were born to do.

I started my period in the 5th grade and also tried to kill myself that same year. What 5th grader does that?? I have spent my entire life fearing that I was certified as well, but I’m not. I am actually brilliant and my brain gets attacked month after month as I suffer in silence.

I too have been put on antidepressants 10 years ago but PMDD is NOT depression. On the days when your brain is normal, those drugs are doing far more harm than good and robbing you of feeling anything. Turning off the brain of a woman with PMDD is not a viable solution by any means and antidepressants can often intensify suicidal thoughts making this a horrible misdiagnosis and treatment choice.

Which one of us wants to admit to wanting to die 12 times a year because I never have wanted to. What a scary existence to have lived in the shadow of my own life feeling utterly alone and fearful for what it would mean for me as a mother to admit any of this.

Enough is enough and I have not had the opportunity to embrace the full beauty of my life and I did not know why!

Last year a girl named Gia killed herself and it was brought to my attention. This girl had everything going for her and she did not have to die. I think of her everyday and my life is somewhat dedicated to her now. Everything I do, will be for her so that she will not be forgotten. The non-supportive people around us who know even less than the doctors do, can be the biggest danger to us and I have completely isolated myself to avoid these types of triggers. For Gia, it was her father, whom she felt did not love her – the escalated abandonment issues are unbearable in my opinion – and when her boyfriend said that he too did not love her anymore she went straight home and hung herself. Last month, when I could not get up off of my bathroom floor, I googled her again. It was a vacuum.. a vacuum cord and a spiral staircase. Did she use the vacuum for weight…? I just cannot believe it. I keep her very close to my heart and I have moved away to stand up for her. For myself. For all of us.

We need a voice. We must find the way to govern our own bodies. This condition is dangerous and I bet you there are women locked up because of this. We need a voice. That is why I am here. I hope everyone one of you will join me.’

The Beast, 24/8/14

Yes, I’m still here :) ..and I’m very well!

Hi, a note so that you know I am still here. I now log-in only intermittently to approve comments (thank you for your kind words about this blog) – because I don’t want to think about these topics every day, now that they are like a distant bad dream!

It’s now been around 2 years and 6 months since the hysterectomy for PMDD. I’m now 38. Nearly every day I give thanks for my balanced mental state.

Here’s how I’m getting on:

  • I choose to have 6 monthly HRT implants of estrogen and testosterone. These work well for me, as I can forget about it. The implants are inserted into my buttock (or stomach if one prefers).
  • The 5 minute procedure is only very slightly uncomfortable, local anaesthetic is given, and a stitch or two. As I’m in the UK, I get these on the NHS – I pay 2 x prescription charges.
  • Once I feel the implants wearing off, at around 5 and a half months, I use HRT gels (applied to the skin), until the new implants kick in. I get the gels on prescription.
  • I have to get a blood test done 10 days before each new set of implants, to check that my hormone levels have dropped. As I’m in the UK, I don’t pay for this. This is done by either the nurse at my GP surgery, or at a drop-in clinic at the hospital where I have the implants.
  • I choose to take 10mg of citalopram daily (an SSRI anti-depressant), I break the tablet in half and take 5mg in the morning, and 5mg in the afternoon.
  • I’m taking it because I read in an excellent book about depression, ‘Depressive Illness, The Curse of the Strong‘ by Dr. Tim Cantopher, that if one has had severe mood swings / depression, it could be useful to reset serotonin levels by taking an SSRI for a long period of around a year (note: the UK’s NHS now suggest a 2 year period).
  • I have to break the tablet in half, as 10mg is the lowest dose available to me. This dose is usually prescribed for anxiety. (Note: in the UK, the NHS will usually prescribe 20mg for depression, as a start – this was too much for me).
  • I’ve experimented with the dose, and I feel great on this amount. I figured this out myself.
  • I am a highly creative person (including professionally), and my creativity is not stifled / reduced on this dose. I once feared it might be on an SSRI, and I think it would be if I took over 10mg daily.
  • If / when I try stopping the citalopram, I’ll post here about how this works out.

I don’t drink alcohol at all. I now rarely miss it. I gave it up completely as I found that even say half a glass of wine had a negative impact on my mood, the next day. Looking back, I would have been wise to have given it up completely in my 20’s, in terms of it worsening my PMDD symptoms.

In the last six months I have massively improved my diet.

  • In the throes of PMDD, I couldn’t always envisage myself wanting to live long enough to make it into old age. But post-op I can, and I want this body to last me as long as possible!
  • I attend Weight Watchers nearly every week (and stay to the meeting) – this works very well for me, and I’ve lost over 2 stone. It hasn’t been a big battle this time, as post-op, I very rarely have all-consuming urges to binge on chocolate and sweet carbs.
  • I have never felt better in my body than I do at this weight, it’s an absolute joy! And adds to my happiness.
  • I am the slimmest I’ve been since I was twelve (note: I started my periods aged twelve).
  • The weight loss has made me look younger and of course fitter, which is great. I felt very frumpy for a while after the hysterectomy, perhaps because I hadn’t yet come to terms with my new state.
  • My interest in clothes is completely re-ignited. I’ve given bags and bags of now-too-big clothes to friends/charity.
  • My BMI is within the (very) healthy range.
  • My over-eating was emotional / comfort / boredom related. Now I eat mindfully.
  • I’ve bought a Nutri Bullet blender, so I can make juices and smoothies. I’ve never owned something like this before, I cannot recommend this product highly enough! No, I’m not on commission 😉

I send you my best wishes if you are struggling with depression, particularly hormone-related depression / PMDD.

(Updated 9 Dec 2014)