It took five months for the last helping of HRT to impact my menstrual cycle and the symptoms that are combined with it, three months to entrench themselves into my psyche and well-being. It has taken fourteen days to change it back. How do I feel ? Remember the 1990 World Cup: Tears in Turin, Gazza got booked , all hopes were dashed as we lost to the Germans. Like that. I feel like my body has given me a red card. I’ve been sent off the pitch. And I am not happy…Why? Although the incessant tiredness was a right royal pain in the arse, I am not overjoyed to regain the resemblance to a sumo wrestler on steroids. Its reminiscent of a barrel; has all of the attributes of a beer drinker’s belly. This is ever so sweetly coupled with the return of my period. For those that are squeamish look away now; skip the next sentence, there is no easy way to say this. I have gone from no flow to free flow. You know the song ‘ he aint heavy , he’s my brother ’? Well this is like ‘she is heavy and she’s in bother’ . If only my skin was as thick as my uterus wall. Note: there are some interesting reads if you type ‘ I hate my uterus’ into Google. Interesting , and disturbing simultaneously. You may be picking up on what mood I am in – sorry. I did think “I won’t write today”. Too tired, too emotional, too angry; I feel like I’ve been through a mangle. But then isn’t that the point? Isn’t that why I started this blog, to share this process ; warts and all? Just to be absolutely clear; I have no actual warts, ok? Moving on.
Another addition in conjunction with the other hindrances to add to my ailments is ‘the hot flush’. This however, is one of the many symptoms of peri-menopause that I feel is not as cataclysmic as the rest. No, I am not mad ; bear with me. I believe myself to be quite an optimistic person, there are moments where I am positively buoyant. This includes wanting to see the best in people. If people make mistakes at work which affect me I would rather be the founder of the lessons learnt than be delighted in their demise. So with this in mind: Ta-da! I give you reasons not to be melancholy about the flushness of hot, the ever ‘Eternal Flame.’
1. Save a fortune on heating bills 2. No need to purchase a winter coat 3. No need for blusher 4. Tights are a thing of the past (even when the temperature drops to -10). The only thing that there is no escape from; and this is not for those in the A team, this is for you sweater stretchers out there, do you suffer from Boob Tash? I do, terribly. I used to call mine ‘Bob Tash’ but I found out the actual Urban Dictionary meaning of this today. It suddenly made sense why Ian looked appalled when I told him I had Bob Tash. I genuinely thought that’s what it meant. I assumed that Bob was short for boob and Tash akin to sweat on your upper lip. I’m glad that I found out the real meaning before popping to Boots and asking for some ‘Bob Tash absorbing pads….’
Yes you can get sweat absorbing breast pads, who knew? I just went on YouTube to see if there was some comical advert for these, alas, not. I might invent some though in the shape of a tash, a variety of colours and sizes that you stick under your boob for any sweaty occasion.
I witnessed another woman having a hot flush recently, Dr Feel Good. She is around the same age as me, she means well and tries her best during our sporadic rendezvous. I say sporadic as I usually wait for Dr Down Under, however on the few occasions when I have needed an imperative evaluation or a hit of HRT then Dr Feel Good is next best dealer. The only issue I have is, where I deem Dr Down Under to be a small time dealer, Dr Feel Good is more of a pusher; and a pushover. She dishes out anti-depressants faster than you can say “heads fucked,” her pen poised for the composing of a fit note the minute you say “I’m not feeling well.” A cracked toe nail can get you a good two week’s grace. And though this may work effortlessly for some, I don’t want more pills; not going to work is not an option. And I need someone to challenge me, not to nurture me.
In I went to notify her of my current situation. Imagine the scene. Liken it to the worst speed date you can imagine or may have been on and you’re still not close.
“Hi Mollie, how can I help?”
“ Dr, I don’t feel well. “
“Feel tired all the time, sometimes feelings of dread, don’t want to leave the house, sleeping too much etc. etc.”
“I don’t think so, this only happens when I’m due to ovulate.”
“I can increase your anti-depressants.”
“I’m not depressed… I don’t feel depressed… I know what depression feels like this isn’t it.. I’m tired irrational… hurt… confused…suicidal… fat, un-healthy… can’t sleep… I don’t feel depressed…I feel unhappy all the time… Bloody pills give me IBS.. I’m sure that they affect my organs.. Is my thyroid playing up?… Can you do a blood test?”
“I know how you feel.”
“Do you…? Are you going through the menopause.. ? Are you depressed..? Do you feel like crying…? You’re not fat.. Are you taking HRT..? Depression pills.. ? What do you do….? Can you help.. ? What can I do..? Do you have night sweats…. ? You’re dead skinny… You haven’t put weight on…. Have you lost your sex drive…? How do you cope with your hubby…..?”
On and on. Questions spilling out my mouth like an FBI agent interrogating a murder suspect.
As I stopped for air, Dr Feel Good looked up whilst fanning herself with the ‘Talking Therapies’ leaflet that she’d picked up.
“Oooh Mollie, you’ve given me a hot flush!”
As I made my apologies (in between laughs) I asked her again, “Seriously though what can I do?”
“You’d be best seeing Dr Down Under, this is her area of expertise. And here’s a prescription to increase your anti-depressants,” as she also handed me the leaflet she’d used to diminish her hot flush.
“Doctor, one more thing I need to ask” (Ian’s words ringing in my head) “my partner wants to know is there anything more we can do about the lack of libido?”
“Tell him to join my husband at the back of the queue!”
I haven’t picked up the courage to ring the ‘Talking Therapies’ number nor have I had the full results of blodd test or completed the five-page questionnaire on whether I feel down or worry a lot, yet…
P.S – that is not my nipple and mine are not hairy, yet…