Tag Archives: Women’s Health

I just spent twenty of the past twenty-four hours sleeping

What happened you might ask? Well a couple of things, first I awoke yesterday with what only I can describe as a cloud over half of my face, a headache, dizziness, and nausea. I was already on the couch, having moved there during the night because I couldn’t sleep, and didn’t want to disturb hubby. I stayed there all day, in and out of consciousness. Apparently the eldest even went so far as to check if I was breathing or not, and then she did the same with our dog. At least she checked me first, right? Eventually I moved to our bedroom, and slept another ten hours or so, only waking once to visit the washroom.

About ten years ago, around the same time my perimenopausal hot flashes started, it seems I started getting migraines. For the longest time though, I thought I had the flu. Finally I mentioned it to my doctor because I was continually sick and I became worried when the dizziness started. After this test and that test, it was determined I was suffering from migraines in addition to the perimenopause. Well, I am here to tell you that migraines and perimenopause suck big-time.

The hot flashes have decreased over the years but in their place, night sweats, which are even worse. You wake up freezing because you are soaking wet. I have chosen not to take any medication for the perimenopause symptoms or the migraines for the simple reason I am already on quite a few meds for chronic pain, fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, etc. I did try a few medications for the migraines, one didn’t work and the other I was allergic too.

So after missing all of Tuesday, today I am up and feeling much better but it is one of those days where I can’t drive. Thankfully, the eldest is home to take me shopping so I may buy a birthday present for my loving husband, who continues to put up with me with all my aches and pains.

Note: My wonderful and thoughtful husband tried to blame the twenty hours of sleep on the sex we had, which made me smile, until he added I guess we won’t be doing that again! Nice try dear.

Have you ever suffered from migraines or are you going through perimenopause?

They called while I was away, another mammogram was necessary

I had my first mammogram when I was fifty, and when I received the letter to have another at fifty-two, I thought no problem. So last week before leaving for camping I went for a mammogram, and was told if there was an issue, they would call me. Off camping I went with no worries. Well apparently I should have worried because the Breast Screening program phoned, leaving a message with the teenage boy. (I wish I had not gone away, because then I would have received the telephone call, not the teenage boy). He was a tad concerned, wondering why I needed another scan. When he gave me the message, I put on a brave face, telling him that sometimes the scans don’t give proper images, thus the need for new ones. Inside though, I was worried because I knew the first scans were done perfectly.

I was the first appointment of the day. I squirmed in my seat as I waited. Finally, they called me and the first thing I asked was “why?”. Apparently the technician had seen something. I asked “where?”. “Your left breast”, and she pointed to the location. (Now I had been checking and re-checking my breasts the past few days, but I didn’t feel anything out of the normal). The extremely nice woman positioned my breast in the mammogram machine, so she could take the new pictures. It really hurt, but I wasn’t complaining. It didn’t matter how much it hurt this time, I wanted the images to be perfect. After she had the new pictures, I was told to wait in the waiting room while the doctor scanned the pictures and depending on the results, there may be need for an ultrasound.

Well I was waiting a few other women came into the room. Thursday was repeat day. The day for women with questionable scans. There were a few worried faces.

Another ten minutes or so went by before I was called in, an ultrasound was needed. Now I am scared. The ultrasound took very little time. When the technician was done, I was not sent to the waiting room, I was asked to wait where I was. I tried not to freak out. Images of my family went through my mind. I thought of my sister-in-law, who had lost her battle with cervical cancer not too long ago. It seemed like a long time before the technician re-entered the room, and when she reappeared, she just said all was fine, you can go. That was that. No explanation, nothing. Just everything was fine. I worried for no reason. I should have been happy but I wanted a better explanation.

On the way home, I happened to see my eldest daughter working (her summer job is cutting grass for the city). I waved, drove some more, then as soon as I could, I turned the car around. I drove to where I saw her. Then practically running out of the car, I gave her a great big hug and said “all is fine”. It had hit me. I was okay. Thank you Breast Screening Clinic.

To all women/men fighting breast cancer, I send you my strength, and hugs.

How I was affected by Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome

A number of years ago, I was on a return flight home with my sister from a vacation in Ireland, when something happened. The flight itself was pretty nonsequential, until about half-way through I developed what I like to refer to as an “itch”. For some reason, my genitals decided to become aroused and they stayed that way all through the flight. I twisted, and turned in my seat, hoping that it would go away just as suddenly as the itch had appeared, but that wasn’t happening. By the time I arrived home, I was actually in physical pain, and had no idea what the heck was going on with my body.

At home, I soon put my husband to work, but no matter how many times I reached orgasm, the feelings of arousal did not decrease. This persistant state of arousal lasted a full two weeks for me. During that time, my husband tried everything to relieve what was now a painful “itch” and when he was at work, I tried myself, but my private parts refused to co-operate. I had no idea what was going on with me, and I was too embarrassed to tell anyone except my husband, so I Googled.

After searching my symptoms, I was able to find information on Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) (or Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS)). Basically, you are in a constant state of feeling aroused, and even if you are lucky enough to reach orgasm, the symptoms do not always go away. Causes of this disorder are far ranging and was only first written about in 2001 by Dr. Sandra Leiblum. For me, it could have been the long flight, the fact that I was perimenopausal, my medication, or a combination of all three, or we will never know. All I do know, is that for a period of two weeks, I was in agony. Then as quickly as it had appeared, it disappeared. Months went by, and then PGAD came back twice, each time lasting for about three days.

I’m not sure why I decided to leak this very personal information about myself, except that I had read about it again on the news and thought sharing my story could help others that are still suffering from PGAD (PSAS). Following are some links for further information on this disorder:

Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome
What doctors should know
PGAD
Wikipedia – Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder
Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder: An Update of Theory and Practice

Have you been affected by PGAD or have you even heard of PGAD or PSAS?