Let me introduce myself to you, I am a middle aged Mum of four children, happily married and living in East Sussex. If you had asked me 8 years ago that I would be blogging to you to highlight the menopause I would probably have dismissed it and laughed, “Not me!” Wrong!
Upon reflection, looking back at my early menopause symptoms, they started around the age of 35 with heavy periods. I put this down to just being “me”, I must of been the only woman to have had continuous problems and suffering with periods, PMT and pain. I had absolutely no idea of what was lying in wait for me … My main symptoms being that I was having heavy periods and pain.
My Doctors and Family suggested that I have a Hysterectomy. I received no information that having this would force me into a Menopause. I had four young children at that time and I was still quite young in terms of family life. The idea of having this procedure could of been a living hell and I just did not feel ready to have such a huge life changing operation at that moment in time. Exactly six months before my 40th Birthday, a milestone that was looming over me.
They say life begins at 40. But for me the bleeding started and it never stopped. This was the start of the horrendous rollercoaster of visits to Doctors, Specialists, various scans, X-Rays and tests but to no avail, it was just “me:” I felt l was swimming in a sea of loneliness and confusion at a very vulnerable time. I had no idea what was happening to my body and my overall well being, I just knew that something was not right.
At 43 years old with an unhelpful GP I battled through. I was keeping diaries, seeing specialists, having scans; tests, taking supplements, diet and exercise. However, there does a come a point when you think to yourself it is just “me” and question “why is this happening to me?” You can’t quite put your finger on it, all you know is that it can be debilitating and life changing. None of my friends or family really could relate or understand, no one else was having such issues. Before my 45th Birthday, my symptoms cranked up big time and I experienced insomnia, fatigue, hot flushes, and anxiety. I was really struggling by this stage.
I luckily changed GP, this was a defining moment for myself. A supportive GP and their time was all it took to help and guide me. I was fortunate enough to be referred to a local Gynaecologist – a man, who simply said to me “have you had your hormones tested?” “no” I replied, “you could be having an early Menopause” “No, not me surely not, I’m too young” That’s when I came to a realisation of the journey that I had been on, it hit me like a car crash as to what I had been dealing with. On one hand I felt relief with the knowledge, but at the same time a sense of great loss of myself poured over me. I felt Waves of emotions that would come and go, it was very distressing and came as a huge shock.
I realised at this point that no one speaks of the Menopause and most definitely not an early Menopause. Whether it is a generation issue or one’s own pride. Women do not talk about it. This needs to change (pardon the pun), women need to know what to expect and be prepared for when it comes. It can feel a very lonely place as you do feel different. I experienced feelings of anger as I felt I was not ready to have this happen to me and that It had never occured to me that I was in the throes of an early Menopause.
I was prescribed HRT and I can honestly say it has changed my quality of life. My hormone levels were alarmingly low and this spurred me to make the decision that I made to take HRT I wanted control back over my life. I did not want the Menopause to control or define me any more. Perimenopost is my vision to help women through this stage of life with knowledge, empowerment, friendship and care. When I went through this, there was no local information.
Locally there is no information available it is still non existent. Perimenopost will be a resource for all women, local and across the country to use for a sense of self worth and to know that they are not alone. I will share with you weekly, what has worked for myself and what is available out there to help women like you.