Saturday, November 6, 2010

Estradiol and possible fatigue

Honestly, with the many and varied symptoms one can experience due to MS it's so hard to know what might be caused by something else.

My new issue, only to have reared its ugly head over the past 3 days is FATIGUE. OMG kind of debilitating fatigue that I have never had to this degree before. I have to admit that always in the past, when I'd heard of someone complaining of chronic fatigue and the fact that it ruled their life, I just couldn't comprehend. To me it seemed like maybe they should just get another hour or two at night and maybe they'd feel better.

Well, to all of you Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers and anyone else out there battling falling asleep at the drop of a hat, my SINCERE apologies! I have now been indoctrinated in the ways of how the ocean of unconsciousness tries to suck you down and keep you from functioning.

We had family visit last week, but it wasn't like that should have affected me.They didn't stay at the house; they had a motel. They helped with cooking and clean up and even the shopping so the experience should have been a vacation for me rather than any kind of stress inducing event.

The day after they left, however, I took my son to school (the hour long round trip drive to the best school in the county), came home, fed the cats, made the coffee, told Mom I was going to lay down for a bit, and promptly crashed and slept nearly until it was time to go pick him up from school 6 hours later.

Chalking it up to needing to catch up a little on my rest, I just blew it off. That night I worried I'd be up all night, having slept all day, but I got my son in bed at 9:30 and had a hard time staying up long enough to do that. Next day, same scenario.

The weather here in Florida has recently turned cool (I'm freezing my ass off, if you want to know the truth, but I know a  lot of you readers would beg to differ that 45 or 50 degrees is "cold", so I held back). Driving my son to school is now an event that requires the radio to be on and the window to be halfway down. My son thinks I'm torturing him needlessly but once I explained, he was forgiving and understood. I don't want to succumb to the constant drowsiness that threatens to pull me down.

So what does this have to do with Estradiol you ask?

Well, I started on hormones a month or so ago when I found out I have Osteopenia in order to prevent Osteoporosis. I've had a hysterectomy so there's no worry of uterine cancer. I noticed immediately that many of my menopausal symptoms subsided after starting this therapy, among them hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, etc.

My first batch was purchased at Walgreens and a 30 day supply cost me $17. My GYN told me that I could purchase the same med in 90 day qty at Wal-mart for $10. Sounded like a no-brainer.

I got the new Rx filled 4 days ago. I noticed right away the pills didn't look anything like my old ones. The new one is sort of a football shape with a line down the middle and a different shade of light blue from my old, tiny round pills.

Googling them I see they have different manufacturers but profess to be the same thing at the same dosage. I just tried to call the Wal-mart pharmacy to speak to a pharmacist but the phone rings off the hook, totally ignored, as I expected.

All I can figure is that these new pills have somehow activated my fatigue button. I have had this problem for as many days as I have been on the new refill of Estradiol. Last night I went to bed at 9:30, slept until 8:15am and then after lunch I laid down because I felt groggy and ended up sleeping from noon to 4:30 when John woke me up to ask if I planned on making any dinner.

I drank a glass of caffeinated ice tea and tried to pry my eyes open long enough to shake the grogginess and get some grub going.

I honestly don't know what's going on. I had just chalked it up to having too much excitement this past week, but when my mother suggested maybe it had something to do with my new bottle of pills it made me wonder.

Or maybe it's MS rearing its ugly head? If so, fatigue is the only new symptom I have so I seriously doubt it. I normally don't do single symptom relapses. I have to have big dramatic relapses as befits a hypochondriac.

I remember being a kid and fighting sleep and hating that I had to do it. Sleep seemed like such a waste of time. Now, as I sit here glazing over, all I have to do is think of my soft pillow and fuzzy blanket and I'm so tired I could just...........lay...........down...........nowww zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


  1. Hey Jeri,

    Since February I've been supplementing with Reliv products, which have very positively increased my energy, mental clarity and focus.

    Because of my peri-menopausal issues, I added something Reliv calls "Soysentials" which was formulated to help women with menopausal issues (even though I don't have hot flashes, etc and still have a regular period, the PMS and period itself were really getting unpleasant). I found that if I took the Soysentials as directed I got wiped out with fatigue. So I scaled back until I got to a place where my menstruation got to a liveable (livable?) state without the horrid fatigue. Apparently menopause brings insomnia with it and one of this product does is help with sleep. I can only assume prescription hormone therapy does the same.

    So I it possible you are on too high a dose of the hormones? Just a thought...

  2. Thanks for the input, Anne! Doc said my dose of 2mg is way less than what is given as birth control (5mg) so it's probably not the dose.

    Also, the reason I decided to start hormone therapy is due to the Osteoporosis risk and not so much the menopausal symptoms since I didn't really feel I was suffering from them.

    It just turned out that once I started the therapy other things like hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia went away. An added bonus. It was sort of like how good you feel once you stop banging your head on the wall, but not ever realizing you were doing it to begin with. LOL

  3. Well, I guess that I can continue to refuse the MD's suggestion to take estradiol for my hot flashes and mood swings, huh? (I have narcolepsy, and the LAST thing I need is more extreme fatigue or sleepiness!) Deborah

  4. Hi Deborah, don't be too hasty in turning down the Estradiol. It has helped tremendously with my menopausal symptoms and I'm currently testing it out again today (after being off it a week) to see if I have the same fatigue issues.

    I took it at 9am and it's almost noon. So far, so good. Possibly could have just been plain old MS fatigue before.


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