When I published my post ‘Menopause We Need To Talk’ I ended it with ‘I’ll keep you posted’. Here we are SEVEN MONTHS later (how did that happen?) and an update is ridiculously overdue.
After a visit to my GP, I decided to give myself until the end of the year (that was 2019). I’d suffer in silence and hope ‘things’ would go away – but they didn’t. Instead, work ramped up in the new year and January was a busy month with a major event and February was the excitement of a ‘hens do’ and plans for a wedding. And then COVID-19 happened and the wedding didn’t. The stress got real and my perimenopause symptoms were off-the-scale. I didn’t know myself and hot flushes turned into night sweats and no kidding, it was just like this.
I was waking up at least seven times a night with a feeling I was about to combust; I couldn’t get myself to work without breaking out in an un-lady-like sweat. The little desk fan was on constantly even though the air-conditioning was set at an unnecessary cold temperature and I was on the verge of either tears, rage or anger and sometimes all three.
My ill-informed knowledge of HRT was something along the lines of ‘oh! that’s something women-of-a-certain-age take to keep themselves young’, not paying any attention at all to the symptoms it helps to alleviate. In anticipation of becoming a woman-of-a-certain-age, I’d decided to age as nature had intended, after all, age is something to celebrate, especially when people around us are dying way before their time.
When the obvious signs of my perimenopause kicked in I had made up my mind to go down the natural as possible treatment avenue; this meant natural supplements, trying meditation, exercise and good diet.
I soon realised that this mindset was rather like approaching childbirth with an announcement to the world that you are going to have a natural birth, and your ‘birthing plan’ (is this still a thing?) consists of whale music, zero drugs, dimmed lights a pool with floating candles. But the reality is, by the time you’re through, you’ve told everyone in the room to ef-off, you’re so high and numb from all the drugs, you have an out of body experience believing you’re giving birth to George Clooney’s love child! (this was not me!) The disappointment you feel when your plan doesn’t, well, go to plan, is enormous and the sense of failure is all-consuming.
Imagine my disappointment then, when by the end of March absolutely nothing I tried was helping me feel human and come mid-April I was on my first round of HRT. Within two weeks I was feeling more myself once again and Chief was secretly sending thanks to the hormone gods. It didn’t stop me from feeling like I’d failed though – sometimes it isn’t helpful to have a plan and it’s best to just go with the flow and what’s right for you at the time. I’ve learned that now.