I am going to warn those of you who don’t like swear words, and I will apologise in advance because there may be one or two in this story.
Don’t blame me, blame my raging hormonal body that feels like it’s been taken over by a grumpy, over-sensitive, bloated, sweaty, spotty, (did I mention bloated?) devil who needs to pee every five minutes (and God help me if I can’t get to the toilet on time).
Yep, that just about sums it up. AND I hate using the word ‘yep’, it’s so lazy, childish and would usually send shivers up my spine and I’d want to slap someone silly for using it, but I just don’t care – not today anyway.
I haven’t gone through actual menopause yet, because I still get periods. Well, I’m still waiting for the latest one, it’s taking its time. Goodness knows what’s going on. But what I do know is everything seems to be changing and I don’t like it. AND if I hear one more person say, ‘Oh, it’s just part of ageing’…… grrrrrrrrrrrr (steam is coming out of my ears).
In regards to my changing hormones and periods, one minute I am all ‘I’ll go with the flow’ and then the next minute I am all like, ‘I’ll exercise like crazy, eat right and I am not going to let this beat me’. Then I’m like, ‘I feel like shit, I need ice cream, a rest, a fan, the aircon on high and for everyone to leave me the hell alone’.
It’s a right fu*cken nightmare. Even I’m driving myself crazy. I don’t know if I’m Arthur or Martha. Lord only knows how the hub is handling me, because let’s make no bones about it, I am horrid!
Doctors are next to useless (well, mine is anyway) they don’t help, or don’t seem to provide the right advice. I feel like I am in a world of my own with very little support. Which is silly, because so many people I know, and let’s face it every woman goes through it.
What I struggle with is what is normal with perimenopause and menopause and what isn’t. Are the excruciating pains normal (so bad I have had to be taken to hospital – before you all freak out and tell me to go see someone, I am), the back pains, bloating, skin changes, bladder issues, bowel changes, anxiety, sadness?
Why isn’t there more bloody support? Why aren’t doctors more clued up? I know some are, but they are hard to find! WTF is going on.
We need more discussion, we need more facts, we need more support and we bloody well need to talk about it more.
We need to share experiences, so we can either laugh together, have a good cry, a glass of wine and just share our stories. Because if we normalise it, keep the discussions going, we’ll feel better, we’ll feel like a community of women supporting each other.
Let’s not feel ashamed because our incredible bodies are changing, but let’s empower each other, and keep the conversation going, because we are amazing, our bodies are amazing and heading into a new stage of life should be celebrated (okay, maybe I need a good slap here, because I’m not feeling too wonderful about it at the moment and certainly not celebrating – but once I get over this little hurdle and hot flush I am sure I will be as chipper as ever…).
I asked Mum how she went with her menopause. ‘Oh, no problems at all, just a few night sweats’.
Hmmmmm. MUM – that’s a crock of shit! I remember you changing your nighty at least two, sometimes three times a night, while bloody whale music was blasting through the house! Maybe she just forgot, but I certainly didn’t!
For those of you (my friend is one of them) who didn’t have any symptoms – one day her period just stopped and that was it, oh how lucky you are. My sister has Crohne’s and she went through menopause really early, but didn’t even know she’d gone through it, due to medication she was taking. Every experience is different.
Talking about sisters, mine just had a very personal discussion with me, about her dry vagina and sex not being what it was pre-menopause, the horrific pain she felt and how she just stopped having it. She’s going to write a story about her experience which I’ll put on the site. She’ll talk about the medication she got, the steps she took to take control back. Which she has – her sex life has improved 500%. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination!
Because if we normalise it, keep the discussions going, we’ll feel better, we’ll feel like a community of women supporting each other.
I just love that she shared this. I had no idea about vaginal dryness after menopause, and she certainly didn’t know there was a pill she could take to help. All this information is powerful, not scary. If we share, then we’ll be informed and that’s a positive and powerful thing to be.
If you want to share your story, write it down, send it to me and I’ll post on a new section called Hormones. It will be under our Health tab.
What I have found really helpful for me, is reading other people’s stories, they made me feel less alone; some I got really good tips from, and others were a comfort, and just hearing normal people talk about their experience, in a way that was non-clinical was helpful.
So, please share your stories. I’d love to hear from you and would love to put them on the site, because I and other woman may well benefit from it. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re in it together.
Now, where’s the bloody fan, my glass of wine and that bar of chocolate!