Sometimes it is hard to a woman as the song goes and boy it is!! Especially when you hit a certain age and the menopause starts to hit you.
It is still a taboo subject and we are all expected to just get on with it and deal with it as part of life. When you look for hashtags on social media there isn’t that much related to the subject. All women suffer with some degree – maybe it is the demographic on Instagram but I think that things need to change and we need to talk about it much more – not for any sympathy but just to be able to support each other and share what we are going through.
When I first started getting symptoms I thought that I was loosing my mind – not being able to remember what I was doing, brain fog and lack of concentration. Hot flushes that would come out of nowhere and night sweats made having a good night sleep almost impossible.
Overwhelming feelings of despair and not wanting to go on with life – for someone who loves dressing up all I wanted to do was to sit in my PJs – vintage silk ones but that aside the feelings were real!! I live just off a main road and sometimes I would sit and think that maybe I should just walk in the middle and let a bus hit me or whilst lying in the bath putting my head under the water and not coming up for breath. This comes from someone who has always had a positive outlook and comes across a confident and outgoing. It all came to a head when my husband came home from work and I was wandering around the house with a carving knife in my hand – it sounds comical but I could have done some serious harm to myself or him.
The next morning I went to the doctor and poured my feelings out to him – in floods of tears he agreed that HRT would be an option, he was fairly sympathetic but didn’t really know how to deal with the emotional woman in front of him. I understand that a man can’t fully understand but I do feel that maybe GP’s need to be a little more informed.
HRT is not for everyone and I did try the natural option but my symptoms were very severe – apparently 1 in 4 women have a tough time with the menopause. I am finding that my mood swings have become less erratic and the feelings of despair a very few and far between now, I can concentrate and string more that two words together. My hot flushes and night sweats have almost disappeared so sleep is actually happening.
Just when I thought that I was on top of the symptoms I woke up the other morning with no feeling in my arms and legs all down my right hand side – as you can imagine all kinds of thoughts go through your head, firstly I thought it was the aftermath of a cold virus and the doctor seemed to think that this was the case BUT it was only after a casual mention of it to a friend of similar age said “that is part of the menopause – it happened to me!!”” After googling it seems that it is a lesser known symptom. My GP made no mention of the fact that it could have been due to the loss of oestrogen.
As women who are going through this stage of our life need to be more vocal and talk about what is happening – it is not something we just have to get on with and deal with on our one. BBC news did an amazing week-long discussion on the subject so lets carry that on and shout about what is happening to our bodies and support each other.
This blog post is sharing how the menopause has effected me and how I am dealing with it. Hopefully some of you will read it and realise you are not alone with what you are going through and be re-assured that everything will be ok. I will sharing more over the next few months over on my IG feed and stories. My aim now is to do some IG TV videos and hastag #menopause in my posts – obviously not every single one but the relevant ones of course!! I will talk about what I have been going through in an honest way, share what is working for me and generally chatting about how I am dealing with it. According to my blood tests I am slap bang in the middle of mine so only have a possible 10 years to go – yes it can last that long!! Joking aside I will be coming back to the subject on future posts on progress and coming out the other side.
In the meantime if you are suffering take a look on IG with #menopause hashtag or try The Menopause Doctor is a specialist in the subject and has lots of advice on her website. Liz Earle is another advocate for the healthy and natural approach and worth checking out.