A menopause Journey: How I'm getting my mojo back
Kryste Thompson titled this blog a personal tale and rightly so. No one menopause journey is the same for any 2 women. This real and funny account brings to life some of the symptoms that can be experienced.
It all started out quite innocently. ‘Oh, I’m due for my pill check-up, of course I’ll make an appointment and get myself sorted for the next prescription.’ Except at the appointment Dr stated, ‘Sorry, you are too old for these now, 49, you need to come off them. I will not give you another prescription, it is far too dangerous’
Hmmm, ok, that was the start of the downfall. I was put on the pill as a teenager, not for contraceptives, but to manage my serial killer mood swings and torrents of flooding that happened. This apparently was just something that I would have to deal with.
And so began the psycho episodes every month at home, hubby and son would just look at each other and run. There was also the fact that I was looking like the Michelin woman, wearing that many layers at ‘that time of the month’, to try to prevent any leakages. (wasn’t always successful, ahh that lovely moment when I had been on a supplier visit and flooded everywhere, the bliss of feeling like a bloody leper at the time!), did not help to improve any mood that I may choose to select, ranging from tears, anger, no patience, extremely happy, and a slow burning rage in the background ready to pounce whenever it felt like it.
Right, that’s it, back to the Dr’s to have a good whinge. Consultant arranged, and referral for a hysterectomy, Hoorah. But this is me, you see, so nothing is ever that easy! Ahhhh Mrs Thompson, it would appear you may have a genetic blood disorder and so an operation is absolutely out of the question! Ok, so this time he looked on in horror as the bottom lip started to waver, the eyes brimmed with tears, and I could feel the wail starting from down in my boots. Before I could get in the full swing of things, I do like to go through the full emotional rage if I get the chance, he says wait a mo, we have plan B! Ohhh plan B, what is this you are hovering in front of me. Oh, an injection every 12 weeks for 2/3 years that will start you straight onto the menopause. What do you think? Well, I was there with my pen on the dotted line, like Harry Kane to Man City (I can dream lol).
And so, I went from one set of problems to tackle to a whole new range of things that I really wasn’t prepared for or had looked into dealing with.
Well, this was a bitch. It snuck up out of nowhere, I was never really a stresser about things. I was always of the opinion that if you can fix or change something do your best and if it is something out of your control don’t worry about it. Now I was over thinking things that were not in the least bit important, to the point where I had to go and have a lie down to try to get a grip as I was so overwhelmed. Examples being my son failing his driving test. He wasn’t bothered, I went into a full meltdown! I got myself so caught up that I couldn’t break the cycle and kept turning it over and over in my mind! Had chest pains, WTF, stop it, it doesn’t matter, my brain just kept prodding away and would not let me leave the stress zone. Thinking about something I had said in the day and then suddenly my bloody brain threw in ‘Hey what if they took that the wrong way and you have really upset them? ‘Ohhh no, here we go again, prod, prod, get yourself in a tizz’, go and lie down because you just don’t know what to do with these feelings
Best thing I found was a course on how to manage anxiety. It was a godsend, lots of other people going through anxiety, for various other reasons, but learnt techniques on how to break the cycle. Also did a meditation course which also helped and could use that to grab 30 mins to myself every day to find a calm space. Would recommend it, even if you don’t suffer, as it is a lovely way to relax.
Now some will say that sometimes I can have those moments where people are explaining things to you and it just won’t go in your brain, some people may say that happened to me an awful lot Pre-Menopause. Well now it is just bloody brilliant. My favourite things to happen are the fact that I sometimes struggle to decide on something. Like shopping, so much choice, in the past just grab what I need and go. Now I can stand looking at the shelves and just can’t seem to decide which is best to go for. (Although during the great toilet roll shortage of 2020 that was taken out of my hands, you got whatever was there, even izal, for you older peeps lol).
My absolute favourite thing that has started to occur is my ability to forget what I am talking about in the middle of a conversation, sometimes in the middle of a sentence. Especially handy when your job is training and talking to suppliers all day! I have wrangled myself out of it a few times so far but once or twice I have just shouted ‘Brain Fog, we will come back to that. And 9 times out of 10 I remember! To be honest most of them think I am slightly potty anyway so to them it probably doesn’t seem that much out of character!
The Dreaded Hot Sweats
Now so far, and I don’t want to be tempting fate if the Menopause God is listening, I don’t think I am doing too badly on this front. I have always been a warm person, actually bloody boiling most of the time. So, I don’t seem to have glows or wake up in the night drenched in sweat, I just seem to have gone thermonuclear all the time. Which during winter my hubby loved. Snowing outside, I get to go to bed 1st so all windows open, fans on and, like the Hokey Cokey, leg in, leg out of the duvet. He would walk in the room and swear, a lot, actually a very big lot! Now, a single electric blanket on his side so I can just dial the temp down to not melting any reactor cores. Imagine the kid from the Readybrek advert but a lot bigger, with grey hair, glasses and grumpy, that’s me.
According to the hubby and the child, I have always been a grumpy bugger (thanks for the vote of confidence) now however, there is a real sense of humour loss. I can go full on psycho for the smallest of things. What makes it worse is that my lovely, adorable 19-year-old son finds this highly amusing. And so will torment me until I go, as he so nicely puts it ‘off my head’ as it makes him laugh. Then he feels bad and gives me a hug and says sorry, but I look funny. Hubby, as he will still be living with me, keeps his head down and leaves me to my mostly, irrelevant rants. The smaller the issue, the angrier I will become. Petty is now something I live with, just call me Queen of Petty! Or ‘Karen’ as the son likes to call me when he wants to see me go mental. Other things that have been flip, being told I am from the dark side in Star Wars and also that I would be Kyrste the Grey in Lord of the Rings and not Kyrste the White. As you can see the really important stuff!
Now this one really upsets me; I have always loved my sleep. It gives me great joy to get my pj’s on and sneak up to bed early and snuggle beneath the sheets. Ohhh an early night, a good 8 hours sleep, yes bloody please! WTF, errrrm, sorry, what do you mean brain, you don’t want to stop thinking, it is now 2.00am and you have work tomorrow, just shut your eyes. Nope, look at the clock, ok, if I go to sleep now, I will still get 5 hours and that won’t be too bad, nope! Grrr, I hate this. Weekend Nana naps are what are keeping me going at the moment, I need to look and what to do as falling asleep now is so hard! I am beginning to think people will think I am going away somewhere with the bags I have packed under my eyes. This is one I will crack, some digging needed and will be fun to try different methods to see what works for me.
I realise that we are all different, and some people will be having this so much harder than me or trying to deal with this on their own, don’t. Reach out, ask for help, if the 1st person you speak to isn’t sympathetic keep pushing. It is important that you look after yourself mentally and physically. You still have so much to give, we can do this ladies. Menopause sucks, but then so did periods, and we got through that, just!