,To many people menopause is a topic for jokes ( especially from men ) and something that happened to your grandma years ago. We read about it in women’s magazines but other than that it is largely ignored. We are told ” its natural ” ” don’t worry about it ” or ” just get on with your life as normal ” and so on.
But what is the reality ? And why is it not talked about more ? Why is the internet and You Tube filled with help and advice for parents with young children and yet there seems to be nothing for us older ladies ? We go through something that is equally, if not more difficult to cope with. Are we the forgotten generation when we reach a certain age and the menopause ?
I am 53 years old and in the menopause. I can say this for certain as I have had the test done recently which confirmed what I already knew. Part of my reason for starting this blog was to try and talk about these issues that affect so many women, issues that largely are not openly discussed. Yes, we can find medical advice but they usually churn out the same old statements. We all know about hot flushes, but the menopause is SO much more than that.
For me the emotional consequences of the menopause cause more issues for me then any physical symptoms and this has been true for many years. In fact. it was the emotional changes that I noticed first, and at a very traumatic time in my life.
Think about it. The menopause usually hits us at a time when there are massive changes in our personal life. Most women are around the age of 50 when the menopause arrives. But this is the average age when children are leaving home ( I will talk about Empty Nest Syndrome in a future blog ). We may also be experiencing bereavement from our parents dying or even our friends or work colleagues.
This all happened to me around the age of 50. Two of my children had left home and my eldest had even moved to London which is a long way from our home in North Yorkshire. In my 50th year my darling father passed away suddenly, along with two other friends who were not much older than myself. All this happening to me, along with the onslaught of menopause symptoms caused a massive emotional change in my life.
I suddenly felt old, vulnerable and scared for the future. All I had known in my lovely little world had suddenly changed and I felt very lonely and afraid. Couple this with all the hormone changes going on through my body, and is it any wonder that I felt so bad ? Surely I am not the only woman to feel like this ?
I tried so hard to ignore the feelings but my anxiety suddenly increased at such a rapid rate I found myself acting like a startled rabbit in headlights. My physical symptoms increased around this time too. I started to ache all over for no reason and found my energy levels were at zero some days. I would suffer from a sudden crushing tiredness that meant I had to sit down where ever I was, and sometimes only a short nap would help relieve the feeling. Adding the forgetfulness, memory loss, dizziness, hot flushes, dry skin, hair falling out, headaches, emotional outbursts, depression and other symptoms and you can see why it is overwhelming.
Yes, there are chemical supplements such as HRT that can be taken to relieve these symptoms and I know friends have taken this with great success. I chose not to take HRT as I have had previous breast lump problems and I am concerned of their recurrence so I would rather not take anything. In all honesty I would rather deal with the menopause using more natural methods anyway. I do believe some menopause symptoms can re occur after finishing HRT.
So where does that leave me ? Well I realise I have to take matters into my own hands. I have to find ways of helping me feel better and that is my goal for the next few weeks and months. I have started by making a list of possible solutions to the way I am feeling. Many of these are common sense, but quite often I feel devoid of any sense at all, so writing them down helps me to focus. So, this is my list which is by no means complete but it is a work in progress.
So that is my list ( so far) for improving my menopause symptoms. Please let me know if you have any good ideas or you have tried something and it worked for you. By talking openly about the menopause, I am hoping that we can help each other cope with the ongoing symptoms.
Please comment below your thoughts and ideas and let me know your own journey through the menopause. If you aren’t going through the menopause but you know someone who is then please direct them to this post. The website link below is a fabulous menopause site that my GP recommended so please have a read.
Until next time my dear friends