Okay ladies I’ll be writing freely and honestly about the Menopause, more so the stage I’m at known as the Peri-menopause.
Growing up in an Irish family, silences were not commonplace. Fast forward to now, and silences are still not commonplace. Anything that needs discussing, whether it be about sex, drink or periods, gets discussed. With the kids usually the ones starting the conversations! All embarrassment goes out of the window!
I liken my peri-meno journey to drinking a bottle of wine. A wine I will call Peri-Meno. A bottle that I’m currently 3.4 of my way through. Current status – merry, en route to being totally bolloxed (fully menopausal).
THIS PERI-MENO MALARKEY
Lets be honest, getting old is a bummer. I have to keep reminding myself I’m a mature woman, a woman with kids. Honestly, its a struggle as mentally I’ve only just turned 18. Yet my body with its new found aches and pains, is leaving me feeling about 99.
If that wasn’t bad enough, I have this peri-meno malarkey thingy going on. Watching helplessly as my body starts losing & gaining all at the same time (SEE HAIR LOSS vs CHIN HAIR GROWTH).
These days I spend more time tending my facial hair then I do the hair on my head. And his nibs never misses an opportunity to point out this new found growth on my chin, using it as a reminder for him to shave (See WARNING below).
With a new-found waist the shape of a ring buoy I put it down to middle age spread, the spread my family warned me about when I was young and slim, the spread I never believed would happen to me, the spread that is NOT down to my love of cakes, well maybe only a little bit.
I admit, I had a moment of delight when I googled ‘doughnut shape’ and found it belonged to the long list of peri-meno symptoms.
No more panic attacks worrying I might have to join the gym or worse still give up cakes! It’s going to happen with or without cakes.
Then there’s the joy of a bloated middle drift. The joy of looking pregnant only theres no baby in there! I’ve become an expert at holding my stomach in to look slimmer.
One the proud owner of a flat stomach, I found myself scouring the Internet searching for a pair of knickers that would give me just that. I asked for a pair of Bridget Jones, big pants for Christmas, big pants to instantly flatten my stomach. Finding a pair costing £25 I figured for that money they must be good. Plus I wasnt paying. I’ll sum them up in one word – shit – the only thing lost here is money.
Yes they flattened my stomach a bit, but the spillage over the top was even worse. Only made worse when it came to trying to get them off to go the toilet!
WHAT WAS IT……..OH YES THAT’S IT
This isn’t something new to me I’ve been forgetting things, usually important things most of my parenting life (see KIDS & MISSED FLIGHTS HOME).
Yet ask me to recall a TV advert from the 80s and I’m there, word perfect able to recite it tune and all.
One advert that comes to mind is the Ready Brek advert.
Anyone not familiar with Ready Brek, I’ll explain, it’s edible or inedible, whichever way you look at it, paper Mache. You’ll find it masquerading as cereal in all good supermarkets.
I bloody loved that advert (I was young!!) it was a real eat a bowl and glow. The advert showed happy kid trotting off to school with a protective glow of heat. It was they said – central heating for kids.
No matter how much of that shite I stomached I never glowed, I was gutted.
Fast forward 30+ years and I’m glowing alright, but I don’t bloody want to now.
HOT FLASH (not to be confused with FLUSH)
Googling yet another symptom I have found the reason my face lights up like the red arse of a horny baboon accompanied with a non-attractive, burning in my face is because I’m having a ‘hot flash’.
There are no set patterns to these ‘flashes’ they come from nowhere and their timing is shit.
For anyone not familiar with what a ‘Hot Flash’ (you lucky sod) let me enlighten you:
- You face will suddenly without warning ‘flash’ baboon arse red for a minute or two even three if you overthink it.
- ‘Flashing’ has nothing to do with dirty old gits and overcoats.
- The heat will be equivalent to the inside of a furnace + 100 degrees.
- You will be unable to have a ‘flash’ without saying out loud ‘God I’ve gone all hot again’ even when no one is around.
- You will start pulling at your top to show others you are hot and are attempting to cool down along with blowing air out your mouth in an upwards direction.
Apart from a bit of boob sweat that occasionally accompanies the ‘flash’ I thank God, I don’t suffer with the additional waterfalls of sweat.
1% of women…basically my jammy mum, have already drunk the whole bottle of peri-meno without so much as a headache.
As if things weren’t bad enough, one of my aunts recently described how she would lay in bed at night while her whole body would tremble from head to toe. Believing she was getting Parkinson’s her relief was immense when it was all peri-meno related.
WARNING: FEELINGS OF DESIRE TO KILL OR MAIME YOUR HUSBAND ARE NORMAL.
If you ask his Nibs about me + mood swings he will say “she’s not aware of how bad she is, it’s like breathing it comes natural to her”.
It’s like a cloud of raging irritability that hovers over me raining down every time someone, namely his nibs, eats loudly or sometimes, just the sound of his breathing can cause an explosion of irrational behaviour.
I sometimes feel a pang of guilt, but it’s shortlived.
And there’s the sensitivity. I’ve always been sensitive (see DISBELIEVING KIDS) but it’s become worse. My eyes drip almost as much as my bladder. It’s a real struggle just getting through an episode of Bake Off without being in bits when someone goes can be tough.
When I asked His nibs for what he thought was the biggest peri-meno difference for me he answered ‘your always tired’. (see EXCUSE).
Back to real tiredness and I don’t think I’m any more tired now than I have been for the last 18 years since becoming a mum and playing house.
I imagine the tiredness is probably like a wave of heaviness setting over you until you can’t keep your eyes open any longer. The way I feel when getting up in the morning vowing to go to bed early that night!
HELP….THERES SOMEONE IN THE HOUSE!
The first time I woke up in the dead of night for what I thought was absolutely no reason at all terrified me.
I lay motionless…..face burning real HOT, why the hell had I woken up, I NEVER wake up, there could be only two reasons either someone was in the house or I was about to experience something that would see me on the next episode of ‘A Haunting – it happened to me’.
Cooling my face down I eventually drifted back off to sleep. I only used to wake up occasionally but now its practically every night up to several times a night.
However, when I wake its not for long and I’m able to easily fall back to sleep. One sure thing is I wouldn’t be without my fan, no way can I go to bed now without having my fan on.
And I dream a lot more than I ever did, weird horrible dreams. More worryingly is I remember them in detail the next day and I have to try really hard not to Google what my dream meant just in case it predicts something bloody awful!
THE HIDDEN TENA IN MY TROLLEY
The need to visit toilets becomes more frequent. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you went before you left home you will be safe for a few hours, this is not always the case.
Once upon a time, before having kids I proudly had the bladder of a camel. I could carry a full load all day and not lose a drop even when in the midst of hysterical laughter.
Four kids later and the peri-meno to boot, let’s just say I’m not proud anymore.
I’ve switched from buying Always Night-time to buying Tena Ladies, hiding ‘my problem’ deep in the trolley (funnily enough spellcheck wanted to change Tenas to Tunas……..annoying, but I see the connection!).
Even the simplest of things like sneezing, laughing even walking can cause unwanted leakage.
THE VOICE OF REASON
Back in the good ‘ole days I was a good player. After all, I had played for the school team.
Having been a few years since I last played netball, the last being at school, I felt it best I observed from the sidelines first to refresh myself before signing up.
After one evening of observation, I felt ready. It felt good knowing I would be gracing the netball courts again, I shared my enthusiam with friends, we laughed as I talked about tournaments and trophies. I was buzzing.
All I needed to complete my ‘serious’ look was a bit of fancy clothing you pay shit loads for but gives the impression of a serious athlete. Completing the look was some proper netball trainers.
His Nibs with his annoying ‘voice of reason’ has a habit of butting in at the most inconvenient times. I didn’t want to hear sensible talk I wanted proper overpriced, netball trainers. I was in for the long haul. Why couldn’t he just believe in me. Not once did I hear, ‘you go for it, you’ll be a great player an asset to the team’.
I left the shop overpriced trainers in hand, I was good to go.
Me, Court 2, a Goal Attack tabard and the sinking realisation I was not the netball player I once was. Starting with my first problem, no friggin idea where to take up position court. Not a good start. Laughing, I kind of hovered, laughing anxiously hoping I was kinda standing where I should be.
As the whistle blew, so did my dream of being the player I once was. A cold fear gripped at me as I began to run around like a headless chicken avoiding the ball at all costs. It was bad.
When someone made a mistake and threw ME the ball, I caught it and quickly disposed of it. Only problem was i was so keen to get rid of it I threw it to the other team.
Fortunately, no one threw me the ball after that, I was glad. I had my work cut out defending the opposition.
I never made it to the half time whistle I found myself feigning a knee injury just to get off the court and have a bloody rest. The added problem was my ‘Tena’ was proving unable to hold up. My bladder proved as weak as my netball skills.
So you see, its been in all the news. I think it’s important we all talk about ‘the change’ why not its nothing to be ashamed of?
Why suffer in silence?
As for me well I’m not having people think I’m a right miserable old cow without attaching a bloody good reason to it!!
As for those netball trainers, all reasonable offers will be considered!