Its official. I’m a fully-fledged menopausal woman, menopause the gift that just keeps on giving. There was a time I believed that once the dreaded periods ceased to exist, life would become sweeter. How wrong was I?
Being menopausal isn’t something that happens once a month, oh no, being menopausal means a new development every week and not in a good way!
As people around us begin to spread awareness about menopause, I can’t help but feel like my middle is spreading just as widely. Hashtags are trending, famous figures are sharing their tales of menopausal woes, and Davina is using every platform available to spread the word. It’s time to put the record straight and start discussing this topic more openly. We’re not crazy, we’re experiencing something that’s all too common.
When I entered into the perimenopausal stage of my life, it was long and drawn out. Yet strangely I never thought as far as the Menopause stage, it was never really on my radar. In fact, I always thought the menopause was what happened to old women!
It was never a topic of conversation at home, I don’t remember my Mum entering her menopausal years. The reason being because she breezed through it without so much as a hot flush or accompanying sweat.
Having inherited a whole host of conditions from her such as split nails, fine hair and gallstone problems. I felt positive I would follow suit and breeze through the menopause.
That didn’t happen. Where once suffering was limited to a few days each month, now, suffering is 24/7. There is no break from one of my ‘having a moment’ moments!
Hot flushes usually at the most inconvenient times. Eyebrows that have decided to multiply and relocate to my chin. An impressive middle drift more akin to a rubber ring, restless nights and memory issues. Only yesterday I was suddenly struck down with a total mind block. I was asked for my mobile number and for the first time ever, I couldn’t remember it.
I was frantic, what the hell was my number? I just couldn’t put the numbers together. It was only later when it suddenly came to me. Even as I write this, I’m just double checking I can still recite it!
Depressingly, I don’t think there is any cure for this apart from waiting it out. Conversations with friends reassures me I’m not the only one! We have moved on from comparing kids to comparing menopause symptoms. One friend trumping with stories of being unable to form the simplest of words, at the most inconvenient times! She knows what she wants to say but for some unknown reason can’t find the words to say it.
Even the thought of having to bend down to retrieve anything I’ve dropped has to be planned, is there something I can hold onto to get back up? Will I even get back up without having to call for help? The pain is real.
Another friend talks about a sudden transformation. Going to bed one person waking up a completely different one. She went from holding down a high position at work to someone afraid of the world. Anxious and jittery. Forcing her to quit her job and take some time out.
Everything changes during the menopause. My usual tolerance level of zero has plummeted to depths I never knew existed, especially when it comes to his-nibs eating crisps or just breathing.
It’s getting hot in here!
I no longer suffer from the cold thanks to my new inbuilt meno jacket, only I can’t take it off when I get too hot. Every night my fan is on overtime with his-nibs wearing his hat in bed! And then there’s my middle drift, similar to what I imagine wearing a permanent rubber ring would look like.
It causes me great pain when life suddenly becomes all about trying to squeeze into trousers and jeans that once went on with ease.
Take the other morning, work trousers all ready and waiting…….me, feeling a tad hot and sweaty on the bed, breathing in whilst trying to get the zip up on a new pair of tailored black work trousers.
No matter how hard I tried, the zip wouldn’t budge. And as is always the case, one of the kids appeared on the scene as I battled with the zip. Needless to say, it was soon public knowledge! Personally, I still think it was something to do with the zip.
Days are spent frantically googling ‘knickers that flatten stomachs’ convinced by those ‘real’ women modelling them. Lulled into the belief they actually work only to be later disappointed and confused that I must have ordered the wrong ones! The reality being 1) I’ve once again fallen for it or 2) they are so tight I can’t barely get them on only to find my blood supply suddenly cut off!
There are no limits to all these menopausal symptoms. Me? I’m just going to find a quiet corner and console myself with a glass of wine and a king size bar of chocolate before one of the kids finds me and guilt trips me about the size of my chocolate bar!