Advice on Menopause & other health issues t... - Women's Health

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Advice on Menopause & other health issues to help save my Marriage please??

SillyPhil
SillyPhil

Hi, I'm a 'Mere Male' asking for help. I have brain damage from a traumatic brain injury 20 years ago. I met my Wife in 2014 and we Married in 2016. I have challenging behaviour and need a Carer to 'enable' me to achieve stuff, otherwise I 'get jammed' and cannot do stuff. Problems with memory, fatigue, short fuse, planning, organising, sorting.. My Wife used to deal with it pretty well. She was my Carer then we got Married. Now she has started the Menopause. And she has Hypercalcaemia and may have to have 1 or more Parathyroid Glands removed. The symptoms of both are similar. My Wife is now very often tired due to lack of sleep, grumpy, irrational, argumentative, has 'brain fog'... I DO sympathise. She says she won't consider HRT until August (1 year since last period) but I doubt she will even then. The trouble is that my lovely Wife has almost ceased to be able to help me like she used to. So I feel that I have lost the support that I need to function. I know that sounds selfish but after 20 years I know my problems very well and I NEED help. We row a lot now. Also she takes an hour and a half to get ready EVERY DAY. Even if we are not leaving the house. It seems a bit OCD - she must follow the same routine. So she is tired in the morning and wants to lay in. Then an hour and a half passes whilst she showers, does her hair and does her makeup. By then my daily fatigue has started and I need to go and rest. So most of the day is gone. I am really struggling to deal with the 'new' Wife. And the way that we used to interact to help and support each other. I want to go to Counselling but she is very reluctant as she knows that she takes ages to get ready due to issues from her childhood and resultant lack of confidence/anxiety. The irony is that she is Gorgeous WITHOUT doing her hair OR makeup. I love her but, due to my ruddy brain damage, I am struggling. My Wife fears Counselling because of what it may drag up. But I don't know if our Marriage can cope without it. Any advice please Ladies? I intend to share it with my Wife and then see if I can get her to join your Group and I will 'Unjoin'. Thank you in advance x

33 Replies

Hi SillyPhil,

I’m sorry to hear that your wife is having some issues right now. Would it be possible to have her see her Gynecologist and have them talk with the both of you? Ask her Gynecologist to recommend a couples therapist so you can get what you want said off your chest. I hope this is a good start for advice on the issues for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to continue asking them!😀

Hi Activity2004, thanks for the reply. We've done the Gynae and Parathyroid appointments. I urged my Wife to try HRT as that is less invasive than having her throat cut (!) to remove glands. I got her to try Wellspring Oestrogen cream. But the problem remains. I really think that she NEEDS counselling to deal with her issues. I have tried everything possible over the years to be the best 'Me' that I can possibly be after my accident - counselling, Headway, an operation to reduce stress, yoga, mindfulness, antidepressants... and it drives me nuts that my Wife a) is struggling with symptoms of Menopause and won't get help and b) will not look at counselling to deal with the issues that cause her to have to spend an hour and a half every day getting herself able to face the world :-(

Is it okay for me to send you a message soon?

Sure. I'm off for my daily 'my brain has run out of battery power' sleep. Catch you later...

Okay!😀. Give me some time and I will send you the email soon.

I will have to send you the message later. Sorry for the delay. Really bad WiFi connection.😩

Sent the message now, SillyPhil.😀

sweetsusie
sweetsusie in reply to SillyPhil

Antidepressants will most likely kill any sex drive she may have left...I've taken them over the years, and my sex drive vanished into thin air....

SillyPhil
SillyPhil in reply to SillyPhil

Further to my original Post, my darling Wife practically screamed at me that she is '... SO TIRED, EXHAUSTED, I CAN'T THINK STRAIGHT. AND IT IS NOT, NOT, NOT HYPERCALCAEMIA OR THE BLOODY MENOPAUSE - I' M JUST SO, SO TIRED!!!! '. How do I get her to accept that the tiredness due to not sleeping properly is surely either HyperParathyroidism or Menopause OR a bit of both? She' s just so tetchy, irritable, irrational, argumentative.. but she won't seem to understand why. Help.?!?!

Hi Phil,

I am sorry that you and your wife are going through this. I was wondering if you can get help from the government, I mean a carer that comes in to do all you need for you. When that is out of the way, you don't need to rely on your wife anymore and she gets to take things easy which will take away the tension. Also counselling will do you both alot of good, but most importantly understand she's now come to that point where she can't be that 'carer' anymore because she has her own challenges too.

All the best for both of you :)

SillyPhil
SillyPhil in reply to me08

Thanks me08. Yes, I've considered getting another Pa (carer). It is a possibility. It would cost us tho. But may be worth it. I still feel that we need counselling to help us to deal with the new dynamic in our Marriage. One person with 'issues' ie me is more than enough - but now it's like we have TWO people with brain damage living together and it is really hard. And I think that my Wife needs to address why she is SO lacking in confidence that she feels that he HAS to spend an hour and a half preening before she has the confidence to face the world. When she is Gorgeous when she wakes up. It is sad. Thanks again.

wobblybee
wobblybeeAdministrator

Hi SillyPhil🙂 While I empathise, I wonder if you actually are really aware of all the symptoms associated with Hypercalcaemia🤔 In all seriousness, your Wife could be struggling pretty much like yourself, remember she’s also coping with menopause, it must be awful for her.

Contact Social Services, ask for information about having a Carer for your specific circumstances. Or, have a frank talk with your GP about how to arrange this option. No wonder things have deteriorated in your marriage when both of you have challenging conditions to cope with.

I’m fully aware of the extreme challenges associated with TBI, I cope with very similar challenges myself. So I can see where you’re coming from. Honestly, you both need to allieve the stress you are inadvertently causing each other. If at all possible, make an attempt to address your basic need first, you need the support of an experienced Carer 🤔 xB

SillyPhil
SillyPhil in reply to wobblybee

Splendid reply wobbly bee. Thank you. Yes, I AM fully aware of the horrible symptoms of Hypercalcaemia and of the Menopause. We have done lots of research and seen Specialists. My Wife is trying Wellspring Serenity oestrogen and progesterone cream at my suggestion. Possible slight improvement. But I think she needs more help. She may have to have a gland or two removed but we'd obviously try to avoid that. I'm hoping that in a month or two she may try HRT and get some relief - for both of us! My next move is to see our GP and see if we can get an appointment with a counsellor as I am really struggling with dealing with the moodiness and mood swings. I want my Wife back. I KNOW I'm difficult. I had my TBI 20 years ago and struggle daily. It sounds like you understand that x.

bantam12
bantam12 in reply to SillyPhil

If your wife has primary hyperparathyroidism caused by an adenoma she needs to have surgery, taking hrt won't do anything because the problem is the adenoma.

I had parathyroid surgery a few years ago and it's a fairly minor op, tiny incision which heals quickly and the improvement afterwards can be dramatic. I ran a parathyroid forum for some years and the majority of members felt immediately better post op. Some surgeons will do the op as a day case so in and out same day.

Hypercalcemia can be dangerous as I'm sure you are aware and the symptoms are debilitating, a minor op could solve the problem.

SillyPhil
SillyPhil in reply to bantam12

I know I'm only a 'Mere Male' but I do understand that HRT won't cure HyperParathyroidism Bantam 12

:-). My Wife has had her calcium etc levels checked for years and (I can't remember the numbers) but is having a scan next month to check the glands. But she is ALSO going through the Menopause. Some of the symptoms are similar - like the lack of sleep, lethergy... etc. I was hoping that trying HRT may alleviate some of the Menopause symptoms. Thanks for your reply.

bantam12
bantam12 in reply to SillyPhil

I know what the symptoms are of both but she likely won't feel better until the parathyroid problem is sorted, been there and got the t-shirt myself 😊

SillyPhil
SillyPhil in reply to bantam12

My Wife finds that when she feels particularly rotten her bloods show higher for calcium and the parathyroid levels. Her highest calcium level was 2.78 and i think her highest parathyroid level was 11-ish. We shall see what a scan shows. She's also supposed to be having a bone density scan. My problem is trying to unravel what is causing my Wife to have changed from the one I Married ! And trying to get as much help as we can. Thanks for your reply.

bantam12
bantam12 in reply to SillyPhil

It shouldn't be a problem for you to unravel, if her calcium and pth are consistently high then that's the answer. I don't think you quite understand how bad hyperparathyroidism can make peopl feel, we have had many members who are housebound and unable to function.

I hope the scans prove useful although be aware they don't always show the adenoma, a sestamibi is the better scan but even then not 100%.

If your wife needs surgery it's vital she has an experienced surgeon who does lots of parathyroid ops.

SillyPhil
SillyPhil in reply to bantam12

I do THINK that my Wife and I understood how bad it can make you feel. She is sat next to me at the moment. She DOES often feel absolutely crap. But I feel that she puts on a brave face when WE go to her appointments. She is too stoic, too slow to admit that she has a problem. So I think that the Specialist then fobs her off. I would jump up and down for action NOW if it was me! I would like it dealt with NOW (TOO MANY CAPITALS? :-)) Her scan (we're not sure what type) is 30th July. I've never heard of a 'sestamibi' scan. The problem is that I am still as bad as when she met me, but now she feels lousy and can't cope with me. I feel that we need help x

SillyPhil
SillyPhil in reply to bantam12

My Wife and I have just checked-out the sestamibi scan. Thank you. I've already said that if she needs an Op I want to find the best person possible to do it. We've had conflicting advice.. We saw Dr Paul Price in Swindon and he said if to sets of results of calcium levels were over 2.75, or one reading 2.8 or more, then she needed an Op. Then we moved to Wales. The 1st guy here, David Price says that he won't do anything unless they are over 3.0. Her latest level was 2.67. Then she saw another chap who seems better. He agreed with the guy in Swindon and has referred her for neck and bone scans. Any advice you can offer is really welcome, thank you.

bantam12
bantam12 in reply to SillyPhil

My surgeon is at Southmead in Bristol, so depending where you are in Wales possibly not to much of a journey, he's highly experienced and doesn't believe in the watch and wait approach many Endos take.

SillyPhil
SillyPhil in reply to bantam12

Thanks. Can you tell me his/her name and we will see if we can get a 2nd opinion please?

bantam12
bantam12 in reply to SillyPhil

Justin Morgan but you will need a referral from an Endo.

SillyPhil
SillyPhil in reply to bantam12

Yes. Understood. Thank you so much x

wobblybee
wobblybeeAdministrator in reply to SillyPhil

I totally understand what you cope with on a daily basis re your condition, it’s disorientating to say the least, and there’s no easy answer, you just have to go with the flow 😏 I’ve coped with my situation since the mid 1990s, and every day can be like starting afresh 🤨 I’ve worked through confusion, fear, turmoil, depression... eventually coming to realise there’s no other option but just dealing with the situation I find myself in the best way I can 🙂 Looking back, I know my husband must have felt similar to yourself when I battled with the onset of my own condition plus menopause 🤦‍♀️ I’m sure your wife will work through this but she’ll need a lot of support. Best wishes 🙂 xB

SillyPhil
SillyPhil in reply to wobblybee

Thanks B. My accident was Feb 1998. A horrendous roller-coaster ride ensued - lost my Wife, job, friends, dogs, new house I'd just built in Brisbane, Australia... ended up in Mum's spare bedroom back in the UK. 3 suicide attempts. Absolute nightmare. But I've managed to stabilise. Fatigue still a HUGE problem along with Cognitive/Executive problems. I'm sure you know all about them. I still attend Headway for support. I thought I'd got it sussed when I Married my lovely Wife. Then fate dealt us another blow. The main problem is trying to convince my Wife that we need help, that I am close to exploding on occasion, and that she needs to get all the help that she can to deal with the Menopause, the Hypercalcaemia, AND help with her crippling lack of confidence. Thanks for your reply x

Well..I do not understand why she wants to wait a year to start HRT! I'm a 70-year-old woman and just started on them (my 3rd month now), and I've never felt better in my life! The doctor can put her on birth control at first, I think, then switch her to HRT in a year..maybe if you suggest that, she'll see the "light." I'm sorry for the problems that you have, too, and hope that you can convince her to be proactive with the hormones...nothing worse than losing one's estrogen! It's just awful. I am divorced due to going through menopause and not wanting to take the HRT...if only I had known, I might have been able to save my marriage. Good luck..keep us posted, OK...and try to take care of yourself through all of this.

SillyPhil
SillyPhil in reply to sweetsusie

Thanks sweetsusie. My Wife was advised by the lady that the GP referred her to (a 'Health Professional' within the Surgery) to wait for a year from the last period as she said that this would be better for my Wife than putting her on HRT at that time. I've asked my Wife to go back to the Doctors about it earlier but she says no. Sound familiar to you sweetsusie? x

Yes..it's sounds familiar, unfortunately, SillyPhil. Women are very complicated creatures apparently. If she's made up her mind about the HRT, then I wouldn't push her...a year will go by quickly (hopefully!). Good luck...hang in......

SillyPhil
SillyPhil in reply to sweetsusie

Thanks. My Wife tells me that the year is up in September... Thanks for caring.

I do care....just hold your breath and hope she decides to take them. I hope I can take them for the rest of my life....

SillyPhil
SillyPhil in reply to sweetsusie

Thank you. You're sweet, Susie :-)

HA! Thanks...but I have a feeling all 4 of my ex-husbands would not agree with you! Just don't know how to pick them!

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