Move on up.

When things are going better, the temptation to not write about my experiences with Lady M intensifies. To do that would be wrong, as I started this blog for a number of reasons. To share reflection’s, as a therapy tool, and to share the good, bad and indifferent. As I have said previously, this wasn’t all to do with sharing the knowledge, however if I can help one women banish her Lady M back to her own ramshackle mansion, then that’s good enough for me.

I was not sure if this blog was giving anyone else out there who follows my Facebook page or WordPress any help. However, over the past two weeks certain everts have taken place, which I am rather pleased about. Firstly, I started to post on my page the alternative remedies I have started to explore, approximately six weeks ago. Since this I have had people ask me, are they working? Do you feel better? One of my friends has started taking one of my recommendations and another has adopted the exact same approach. I embrace this. It’s one of my principles. And ladies, I am not selling anything. Although I may buy shares in Amazon. And who knows,  if I get rich off those shares, I might treat Lady M to a new roof! If only to provide a sturdy enough platform for me to throw her off. See ya later biaatch!!!  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves I haven’t chopped down all those thick bushes yet. Lady M’s bush remains as rough and prickly as mine after a two week all-inclusive with no waxing, her lady garden is as sturdy as ever, I’ve only cleared the border, those vines are as difficult to trim  as ever. However  I have sharpened my shears and I am not afraid to use them. Where has this turnabout came from?  Where has the panic-stricken, crying miserable wreck of last few  month’s  gone? Simple answer. SUPPLEMENTS.

During the time I was having the panic attacks and driving up and down the A1 in my Cruella-meets Alice-Cooper like get up, I had an epiphany. I couldn’t go on like this. Two weeks semi normal; two weeks a wreck. Changes needed to be made, drastic ones. I began to do my research. This research was carried out in two ways. One utilising the Facebook pages I had started to follow since Lady M starting squatting in my attic. And two, the Internet – pages upon pages of research. This is not my style. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading and all things literate, but reading papers created by others, no; it’s not me. I am a self-confessed know-it-all. I am one of those annoying people who always knows what’s best for me. It’s my body, right, how can anyone else possibly know what’s good for it? I was wrong. I was taking the wrong approach, my own approach; coupled with the odd bit of insight off Dr Feel Good and Dr Down Under. I was happy with our little ménage-a-trois. But here’s the thing, [i]after some refection, conversations with Ian, and a deep-dive into what positive changes three years plus of  HRT and Anti-depressants had made to our life, we arrived at our destination. And nothing had changed. Liken it to going to the same place on  holiday every year;  nothing gets any better, the landscape remains the same, become  a little more ruined, but the ambience and the food stays  the same. Would you go back?  I’m guessing not. And neither am I. I am moving on up.

Researching is funny, you read papers, log onto forums and converse with people you’ve never met. I have done all three, and what a hoot. I’ve been told to FUCK OFF, I’ve had my Facebook page and blog tagged with the strapline attached ‘ this if that mother***** who challenged me.’  And I have  also been shown some love and guidance. All of  this was just what took place on the Facebook page.  Let me give you some insight into what a Facebook page is like with 15k peri-menopausal/ menopausal woman. One word. Hilarious. Tip – don’t go on and dis-agree unless you’re prepared to be slayed. All of the sites I follow are set up in America. There are many ladies akin to myself that will share their knowledge, but not many from the UK, mostly American’s  and jeez they are tough sons-of-bitches. Some of them.

 

I will share some of my experiences. Week one of my research. I was trailing through comments on the Menopausal-misery-bitches page I had been accepted too. (HINT – clues in the name.) I stumbled upon a post where a women had put this long winded post about her, wait for it……….. Vet Bill. To cut a very long story short, her dogs were sick, it had cost a fortune, she was skint and it was all her f***witted husbands fault for letting them in the garden not long after he had killed some rats. She wanted to kill him. As I was reading it; one word popped into my head. CROWDFUNDING. I very innocently commented ( you know me by now, so I’ll let you decide my motives ) ’what did this have to do with the menopause?’ Seriously I wish I could’ve screenshotted her initial response;  this was followed by my face being copied into the comments, my blog being talked about and lots of words used to describe me that, well, I couldn’t possibly repeat. Now I love a good goading , I have been known to goad Celebes on the awld Twitter, but this was another level. She then went on my Instagram, twitter and copied a picture of me with BIAAAATCH wrote over my face. Thank god she had spent all of her money of her dogs;  no way would she be able to afford a flight to the UK.  Crazy. Anyway I reported her to admin and blocked her just as soon as I had the time to put a picture of lassie under her post. Don’t die lassie!!!!! Sorry had to be done. Just to be clear no real animals were harmed during this interlude. You have no idea how hilariouy funny it is watching 15 thousand hormonal women going at each other on a website. Hours of entertainment. One wrong comment can send them over the edge.

Most of the insight though is very useful. And due to the fact it is mostly our American cousins they are, if not crazier, a lot more advanced, open and willing to try new things to combat their Lady M’s. Some of the suggestions so far, Horny goat weed, CBD oil, Ashwagandha, estragon gel, estragon cream, Black Kohosh, some sort of fanny suppositories. I had my own assumptions as to why the American ladies were more willing to try the alternative remedies. More adventurous that us Brits, better read, better educated, ahead of their time. The most honest answer I can give. Health Insurance. HRT prescriptions in America can cost on average up to $88 a month. God bless America. And thank you Britain. Regardless of this my love affair with HRT has come to an end, three years in, 2 stone heavier, tears flowing like a well pumped oil mine, sex a distant memory. I have had enough. I am moving on up, to a new destination and it is thanks to those lovey, and not so lovely American women!!!!

Securitising those alternative remedies, I decided that CBD wasn’t for me, I tried cannabis in my youth,

didn’t like it then, why would I now, Horny goat…. No thanks I want to be horny but not if it involves a four legged animal who much on your undies the same time. I’ve gone for the safer option. It is  the use of supplements;  and during the last six week  I have never looked back,  (unless you count the last few weeks in our bedroom when the missionary was no longer required.)  Thank you vitamins. I won’t go into the minute details of the bedroom antics, why? Not many of  them involved the bedroom. But I can say this; I’m horny, horny, horny, horny. This isn’t the only feel good affect I have experienced again.  Sleepless nights;  a thing of the past, I am no longer paranoid, irrational, irritated, emotional. Six weeks in and I feel great. Brain fog still there at times, but that’s another story ( hey Jules ). What’s changed. No HRT, reduced Anti-depressants. SUPPLEMENTS. I am now taking supplements every day. Magnesium Citrate, Cod Liver  Oil, Vitamin D and Vitamin B to name a few. The impact. Since lady M first took up residence in my attic I have never felt better, I am sleeping better, no hot flashes , love my partner again, love sex again, no crying, no paranoia. I am moving on up, to my new destination. And I am feeling good.

Take a look at me now.

I have Musical Tourette’s. I am not sure if this is a real condition, however Its doubtful. I finished this sentence and just out of curiosity I googled Musical Tourette’s. Guess what? just like Bob Tash, it actually is a thing. Or in in the words of James Brown, A Thaaaaaang. Below is the description as quoted by the Urban Dictionary:

An artificial form of Tourette syndrome in which the singing or speaking of a line from a song by one individual produces the spontaneous and not entirely voluntary singing or speaking of further lines of said song by another individual. This phenomenon is most often seen among people in good moods. Who knew? I just googled the meaning of Urban in the Urban dictionary :City-like. From the Latin wordurbs“, which means “city“.

So I guess without knowing it I am U.R.B.A.N. And you lot reading this are a step closer to becoming Urban too; you’re welcome. You may be wondering what the hell this has to do with the Menopause? Each title of my blog has so far been the title of a song. A song that has popped into my head just as I sharpen my quill, dip it in ink and put it to paper, or alternatively a song that I have woken up to that day. My Singing Tourette’s however only happens on random days at random times. It drives some of my work colleagues nutty and provides entertainment for those who appreciate a little madness. Only now, I don’t feel so mad. Which is great considering the title of today’s blog was going to be ‘Crazy’. The track I woke up with this morning, was Phil Collins. Oh, sorry I didn’t really explain, in addition to my daily musical interludes I also wake up most days with a random track in my head, don’t know where they come from and they can be anything from Beyoncé to the Bay City Rollers. It’s only ever one line, continuously on a loop. A well-planned exorcism is required to banish it back to camp Hippo. The thing is some of these tracks I don’t recall ever having heard before, but I must have right, otherwise where do they come from,  the Hippodrome? Hilarious. The relevance of this rambling is this;  the happier the song the better the mood that day, well that is my theory. I’m seriously going to start writing these tracks down for proof of concept. I don’t remember yesterday’s track, I just remember waking up with a particular line, as usual on a loop in my head and thinking. ‘what the f*** ‘?  Guess what? The rest of that day’s events followed in pretty much the same theme.

Event number one; I stayed over at the in-laws the night before, just me on my own with Ian’s mother. Now I don’t know about you lot but Lady M has delightfully delivered another disorder to deal with. IBS. I won’t go into the detail of IBS, however you can go from constipation to self-combustion within minutes and seconds. When this happens it is not pretty. Anyhoo, there we were alone in the house. First time ever in ten years we haven’t had Ian as an interluder, ( I don’t think Interluder is an actual word) but given my previous success with the Urban Countdown Conundrum, its staying put. In the morning I had not long been up and was nervously waiting for Ian to arrive back, feeling as anxious as a first time father in a maternity ward. I needed to go! I had done my best at delaying the inevitable, gone to bed early, slept in late, avoided breakfast and any hot drinks. But I couldn’t avoid it any longer. I needed to poo. Before you judge or ask the inevitable, why was I so bothered. Well let me give you an idea of where I was staying.  Think Hyacinth Bucket mixed with Lucy Liu and you’re getting close. Ian mum is fab;  I adore her, she is just different. Her standards are so high and she has her own very unique way of doing everything, different variations of tasks you and I would just do. It is a military operation just folding the bed sheets. And she had just been in the bathroom; cleaning it. The knowledge of this along with their only being two of us in a very quiet house was too much for my already twisted bowels to cope with. I  HAD TO GO.  So I did.  And as expected; without giving the gory details that none of us really need to visualize. The eagle didn’t land, it nose-dived into the water, head first then belly-flopped causing massive waves. There was no reverse thrust, trust me. I spent a good ten minutes in the bathroom afterwards; cleaning. Once satisfied that all traces were gone I returned down stairs content that I had eradicated all of the remnants of my colonic calamity.  Suddenly I was subjected to a shrill sounding Barbara. Genuinely concerned, I bolted up the stairs panicking,  preparing myself to see a fallen figure, slumped on the floor. What I was greeted with was a face so stern it sent me hurtling back to the headmaster’s office thirty years past, twenty lashes impending. I had missed a bit. And I was to clean it up now. If you’re trying to picture my mortification, think Carrie when she gets her period. Not even close. Mortified.  Then Ian turns up, takes me into the front room for a telling off. I had left the hob on at home, returning into the kitchen the words, ‘are you in trouble Mollie, well, we can’t all be perfect all the of the time’ said Barbara In her best sing-songie-sucks-to-be-you voice. I was out of there faster than the road runner after necking a bag of amphetamines.

Event number two: Easter Sunday; popped in to see my grandkids on the way home. Just the tonic I needed, always cheers me up and a chance to drop off Easter gifts and laugh about this with my son. The daring delights of a two year old (well nearly two) and a good old laugh at yourself was just the therapy required  to erase all memories of  ‘poo-gate’. Baby girl was asleep, my son was cooking tea, grandson on the Xbox. Nothing unusual here. Until my son told me off for being noisy as I’d wake up the baby. The floodgates opened I couldn’t hold back the tears. I had to leave. And that’s what I did. I ran out, snots streaming, sniffling noises with tears streaming down each cheek. Don’t ask me why, I have no clue. I got in my car and I drove home. Picture Cruella screeching round corners, tantrum-like-tears replacing anger-filled-fist-shaking. Can you see it? Awful image isn’t it. Don’t ask me why, I have no clue. I am a Sherlock missing a Watson, Cagney minus Lacey. A Starsky short of a Hutch.  No idea.

Event number three: Oh yes, not content was I with two equally embarrassing, gut wrenching insane episodes. I went for the hat-trick. I am the menopausal equivalent of Eric Cantona, Soon my family will be singing ‘ Oh AH Mollie’s barred ’. After returning home from #2, the second episode, not the actual #2, I was a little restless and lonely so I called my sister to see if she was home. She would be back in couple of hours, why didn’t I pop over then for some much needed sisterly love. Great I thought, I’ll pop over I can give her all the gory details, she could tell me I was a knob, then we could put the world to rights over a glass of wine. What could go wrong? I drove over P.J’s and bottle in bag. When I arrived her house was full, nothing out of the norm as she has two sons and between them seven grandkids and a scattering of step-grandkids. Her eldest had been out celebrating his partner’s birthday and they were well-oiled. Now I am not a snob, nor do I look down on anyone, however I don’t swear a lot and never in front of children. My sister’s family do, most of the time I close off to it. Lots of people swear in everyday life now. That’s is how it is. And I can normally, remembering normally is vital here, shut myself off to it, unless it is the C word. I hate it with a passion and truly believing there is never a need for it. Ever. My nephew and his partner have a different view.  And yesterday I chose this time to advise that using that word in front of their kids was not nice. They both took it in good humor and ignored me anyway. Which is/was fine. What followed was someone’s view of the name ‘Grandma’. “Wouldn’t call my mum Grandma, Grandma is for old C***’s and people who think they are posh.”  Now old me (not age old – previous me) would have bantered back, “Old am I, posh am I“? LOL, bants, that type of thing. New me. The person I have become. The person I’m taking a look at now. She didn’t, she left. Or should I say Cruella left, tyres screeching, tears streaming. Please don’t think bad of these people they’re not bad people, but the person I was yesterday thought they were. Thought they were all against me. Deliberately doing it to tip me over the edge. How they could be I will never know, none of them even knows what I am going through. Most of it’s in my head. I have a real funny image of passing the same family on the A1 as I journeyed up and down in floods of tears, eyes like Alice Cooper; hair like Cher on a bad day, brain as foggy as Ozzy Osbourne. Them looking on bewildered as this creature, tears, snots and mascara everywhere, chugged up and the down the motorway relentlessly. The mother saying “darling hasn’t that lady passed us twice today?” What did I do? I came home put on Bridget Jones and ate a tub of ice cream. Don’t judge, It was the one full of protein and only 8 points on Slimming World. Sobbing and scooping thinking everyone involved in my day’s debacles were all against me. Deliberately doing it to tip me over the edge. How they could be I will never know. None of them even knows what I am going through. Most of it’s in my head

I will give you a little insight into how my head is working right now. It’s a bit like Korea, North vs South, Democracy Vs Dictatorship. I am South Korea, I love a bit of democracy and usually I make all decisions using a sound body and mind. Weighing up all pros and cons until the votes are counted. Lady M however she rules by dictatorship and when she gets her chance to rule, us democrats have no chance. Lady M instills images of Imelda Marcos. Whereas I feel I am akin to Emily Davison. Who knows maybe Emily was in the throes of a personal summer when she sacrificed her life, jumping in front of the King’s horse at the Derby? Obviously I am nothing like a suffragette, although I do like to think that I would have been one if I had been born of that time. And I can only hope that if my little blog here helps one woman understand a little better what she is going through then that is a good enough donation for my part in any women’s cause.

What’s all this got to do with Musical Tourette’s? Well here’s my theory. I have concluded that if I am singing out loud at work, that’s a good thing right? According to my mate ‘Urban’ that means I am in a good mood. Surely this should be encouraged, not ridiculed or suppressed. And if I wake up with song in my head and think ‘what a shit song’ then I am going to have a shit day. Like yesterday, in more ways than one. Absolute shit-fest.   Reflecting  on yesterday’s events. I woke up with a shitty song in my head. Poo-gate, Baby-gate,  and then Grandma-gate followed through. Then today I woke up with Phil in my head. I feel like I am ‘ taking a look at me now’, and most of the time there is, ‘just an empty space’. And like the song, ‘You’re the only one who really knows me at all’,  this is me singing to me by the way, not you, I mean I can sing for you if you want, if I work near you there is a chance I have. However most of yesterday’s events will have been modified at the time by Lady M, manipulating my thoughts as she does. On a normal day none of this would have even scratched my physic surface, they would have been brushed off faster than a wasp off a window.  I can only hope that once Lady M fucks off back to her ramshackle mansion I imagine her living in,  I can do a Curtis Mayfield. And ‘ Move on up’ .

Baby it’s cold outside.

I am writing this a little earlier than normal as I was just having a bath and a wave of thoughts came into my head, I jumped out the bath bolted for the laptop. Then Ian ( my partner ) put the telly on and all my thoughts crashed to the ground like a badly stacked Jenga. They have all gone! I could  literally kill him; for two reasons.  One: weather conditions in the north of England mean we have had to work from home for the last two days, two:  he is breathing. I am so angry! I have joined three groups on Facebook this week,  for many reasons. To shamefully promote this blog, and I really need to talk to more ladies going through this, I need support, I have a yearning for sisterhood liked never before. I do have a small network of females similar to me. I say small, think black hole. However I have recently been blessed with a new addition to my lady garden. No, not my tootie, my lady garden as in my small patch of roses in a garden of weeds. I will refer to this person as  Clarus. Which makes a lot of sense right now to me.  Anyway Clarus has been a bit of a saviour recently, I was struggling , and as usual full of self-doubt and let’s just say thanks to this person, things are becoming a lot clearer. Back to the research what I have realised whilst talking to these likeminded women is dydrogestrone  is the devil, its evil , it should be re-named. Dydrorestinpeacetrone.  It makes me , and thanks to the power of Social Media,  I have since confirmed many others. VILE.

In my quest to become a better person and also because I do think reflection and feedback are key contributors to being a great leader. I have shared my new medication regime and the symptoms with my team and consequesnty asked for feedback; give it to me, I can take it.  I like feedback like I like my men …straight up. I review this act a little like an episode of family fortunes. I ask for a survey.  We questioned one hundred members of the general public and they all answered. A. You’re a twat. That type of thing. I pre warned my colleagues at work that a new type of HRT was on the horizon and that I would be ever so pleased if they could inform me if they noticed any immediate changes to behaviour. You know the usual,  crying at the desk, shouting at the huddle board, storming out of meetings.  So far I have received the following feedback. Your very reasonable;  fluffy,  approachable, calm . That was so last Tuesday. I am on a variation of HRT that is similar to combi pill – e.g. 10 days of estradiol ,clouds are fluffy, kittens are cute,  world deems brighter, I love all mankind. 10 days of dydrogestrone . Kill the cat, scream at the sky, we’re all doomed and I want to kill everyone, whilst crying at nothing.  Seriously I am Fucking  MAD!  Fuck off!

I can’t help it , well that’s not exactly true, I know I am going to say or do something horrible, I have the ability to stop it. 90% of the time. This can vary on who I am dealing with. I have a team of people that work for me. They are a good bunch and want to their best. Most of the time I respect and love them all,  most of the time.  Example:  I have a people pleaser in my team, this person will do anything for anyone, it’s all meant form a good place and I adore them for it.  Until  I am in this mood, then I think they are weak not willing; ridiculous not reliable, and manipulate not motivated. And once I have digested these emotions. What do I do next? Cry. I Cry.

I started to write the above three weeks ago. My intention was to finish it later that weekend. Then life got in the way. I was going to delete the above text  however it was a true reflection of how I was feeling at the time. All seems pointless now. How do I feel today?  Three weeks later. Sad, but I cannot share with you all why, as it’s too private and nothing to do with the menopause.

So back to the dreaded ‘ change of life’ . It is I am discovering, as I research this more, just that. A change of life. I have continued my research over the past few weeks as my symptoms don’t get any better. I have been taking Femoston the duel HRT for 33 days now and although I don’t feel as tired as I was on the previous meds there are some equally wearisome side effects. These side effects are not life threating, I don’t feel ill. Just spent. Like a teenagers pocket money on a Friday, it’s all gone and there is very little to show for it. I just googled the meaning for menopause and it gave me this,

‘ menopause means the end’. Sums it up really.

Before you all shout ‘ Stop feeling sorry for yourself ‘ and ‘ Don’t do it’ at the screen. I don’t mean the end, as is I am about to do a Kurt Cobain. I guess I am just exploring catharsis. I know I have expressed this before. I use this blog as a release. This is my catharsis. In the quest to find the answer. Help can be given is out there;  aside from the prescribed drugs from Dr Feel Good and Dr Down Under. I googled, researched , purchased books and joined support groups on Facebook. I call them support groups with trepidation, and presentiment. Why?  Well I admit I have never been fan of support groups, counselling , getting help. I have always been quite old school. It’s the way I was raised. Well I say it was the way I was raised. I should  rephrase that. It was the way my dad raised me. Don’t get me wrong he never professed any dislike to getting help. As a family growing up we certainly needed all the help we could get. You see my mum has for as long as I can remember needed help mentally. She has/is a person who suffers from depression. As a young women, headstrong , independent , a bit of a know-it-all, I never understood. I do now.

I go through waves of depression, self-doubt, anxiety, frequently.  Jesus a trip to get my  hair done often starts with a ‘ you can do this ‘ speech to myself in the mirror these days. So now at the grand old age of 46 . I get it. What I don’t get,  Is when, why , how,  this awful feeling skulked in. How is it  you go from a self-assured female, still empathetic, yet confident, to a complete wreck. This,  is how I feel most days; a wreck. I say most day’s I am probably fifty/fifty. Half time normal , whatever that means. The rest of the time. No rationale at all. It’s vanished. If I were a magician,  people would pay good money to watch my self-confidence diminish by the second. Like an old fashioned circus act. Her is the new emotional act, Miss Mollie De-Camp , watch how she goes from self-assured feminist to a shivering wreak of weakling  in just  six seconds. How different are we from Maude Wagner, Tattooed lady , Annie Jones, the bearded lady, and the Hilton sister’s;  the famous conjoined twins. No, not Paris.  This is the exact  type of car crash telly we all consume on a weekly basis, very rarely realising that ‘ we are not the first’ . I am certain that many women lived, breathed and worked through the menopause with barley a whisper of recognition in the past. Is it just its more talked about now. Or is it because we love a ‘ title’ as we hurtle towards the 21st century. There has always been people, ‘ outside the norm’ . Surely I’m not the first lady be worried about a beard, won’t be the last. It’s just titled better now. Jesus, watching a good episode of ‘ call the midwife’  will give you the best insight into progression. Not just about mental health, but society, self-awareness and embracing change.

So as we all reflect on the change, evolution, changing how we perceive each other. I will leave with you with this thought. As quickly as the weather changed outside in the last three weeks, so has my life. I bet so has some of your’ s and during that time some people have gained new titles. There will be a new fattest women, a new set of twins, a women’s beard being plucked as we all speak.

 

Does it really matter, none of it was new.

 

Eternal Flame

bobtash

 

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. “

 

“How?”

 

“Feel tired all the time, sometimes feelings of dread, don’t want to leave the house, sleeping too much etc. etc.”

 

“You’re depressed.”

 

“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…

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t you (forget about me).

 

I had hoped to make this blog, my story, linear. However there are a few reasons why that won’t work. One, as I previously shared, I am now into my third year of Perimenopause. Two, my short-term memory is so bad these days that if I don’t tell you now then you won’t find out until for a good couple of years. Ask me anything about last year and I can recite the details no issues, ask me anything about last week I’ll have to get back to you. I forget doctor’s appointments, dentist appointments, days out, birthdays, you name it;  I forget it. The forgetfulness has varying degrees of verve. Normally influenced by a motley crew of components:  HRT – Hormone Replacement Treatment. To date I have been on five different types of HRT, 2 types of anti – depressants, the contraceptive pill (even though I am sterilised) and the Mirena coil. I was going to request a timeline from my doctor of medications I have had bestowed upon me to include in this blog. But I forgot to ask.

Anyway where was I? Oh yes, memory loss. This has afforded many a source of hilarity and befuddlement for friends, family and co-workers over the last few years. I work as a Floor Manager in a Contact Centre. My job involves dealing with people, process, customer service, industry regulations and policies aplenty. There is a lot to remember, and I have been in my current role for one year, Support and Controls Manager. You can probably see what I am eluding too. I NEED TO REMEMBER THE DETAIL. I am known for my organisational skills, being a bit of a control freak and I love developing  people. A perfect match. But memory to me is like summertime to the British, mostly cloudy with the odd breakthrough of sunshine. Not all doom and gloom though, many people have had lots of fun with it:  no mum I definitely paid you back that £20.00, yes love you definitely drank the last of the gin, and yes I did ask you to complete that task. I am like a stand-up comedian with no come back, a singer with no song, a writer’s mental block and dare I admit it – my mother. I have a question for all those women out there reading this, either Perimenopausal or Post. Does your memory make a comeback, is a revival on the cards, can I expect to be as excited as I was when Take That announced their reunion??

A previous boss (I am going to call  him Amin, this is an Arabic name, ‘meaning faithful and trustworthy,’) took to keeping a tally sheet of things I had forgotten to do. Oh how we laughed as the finishing touches to another five bar gate were completed. I never told him but I hated that chart. It was akin to a list of ex-boyfriends that had rejected me (not to brag but there are not that many thank you). Have you ever watched ‘Meet the Fockers’?  Fockers parents are so proud of him despite him being terrible, that they proudly display all his trophies of his under-achievements. Well that’s how this made me feel. Now please don’t think ‘ What an arsehole‘ about my boss. He wasn’t, isn’t, couldn’t be: not in his DNA. This was his way of dealing with me and to be fair I do joke about my menopause a lot. It’s how I cope. You will get to know lots more about this wonderful man, he’s a great friend, wiped away many tears, and is now au-fait with the over 40-‘s physical and physiological  functions of a Perimenopausal woman. Much to his dismay. The vagina monologues is not top of his list of ‘plays I must see’. If you get what I mean. Why would this bother me, if I make fun of myself shouldn’t others be allowed to participate. Of course and here’s the thing;  the logical me embodied deep in my spirit,  laughed, nay roared at this amusing undertaking. It’s the emotional me who scrutinises, dwells and distorts. The hemispheres of my brain mimicking the act of a contortionist.

I have never been a worrier, always been a fly by the seat of my pants type of girl. I think people who meet me assume I am confident, very confident. I was. Before HRT. Before menopause. My younger carefree self is screaming at me to ‘get a grip’. Take it all in my stride. Wear my Teflon coat with pride. The simple fact is, I can’t. Well not all of the time. The things I agonise over are; am I going to lose my job, does my boss hate me, does my boss like me, do my friends like me, am I useless, am I uncaring, am I too honest, not honest enough, the list is exhaustive and exhausting . And I am powerless to stop it. I can at times control it depending on the magnitude, and the time of the month. Yes it gets worse as I near my ovulation. ‘ I may be ovary acting.’

So the new HRT is called Femoston, my partner swears I have had a variation of this one previously and that ‘I was a f****ing nightmare’. I can’t remember, one plus to memory loss. There are 50 types of HRT according to the ‘Women’s Health Concern’. That means I have 88% of potential amalgamation’s to try. Hip Hip Hoorah. I saw my favourite doctor at my last appointment – waited 14 days for an appointment with her. I will call her Dr Down Under. She is my dealer, I rely on her for my hit, she has control of my emotive and physical being. Last visit I advised her that I had progressively been feeling worse, taking to my bed more, needing 10 hours sleep minimum and my cycle had recently only lasted one day. Don’t get the ‘congratulations your transition is over’ banners out just yet. She proceeded with the usual checks, consulted her screen then hit me with findings. I was on a HRT for a woman over 50 that was post-menopausal, the HRT had tricked me and my body into thinking  that I was a 55-year-old woman. That explains the recent temptation to Sky-plus Loose Women!

This has lead to the change in medication, I have been on it now for eight days, no new symptoms yet, tiredness still prevailing,  Libido still oscillating. However  I remain hopeful, try to eat well, much less alcohol, hope to be back to the gym once my energy returns. And rely on my memory to not serve me well. Sometimes I do want to forget about me.

You’ve lost that loving feeling…..

As I previously said my experience started a while ago. How did I first know something was amiss? Well aside from the fact I had started to cry too ‘Come dine with me‘ other noticeable changes  were coming to the surface. After confirming with my partner that a vital part of  our relationship was lacking I booked an appointment at our doctors.

Ian my partner does actually have the patience of saint, he put up with me sans menopause which at times is no mean feat. However this rebellious addition to the menopause clan did have the potential to ‘rock the boat’ or not; as the case may be.

Speaking of ‘rocking the boat’ I will give you some background. I /We didn’t just come to this conclusion (see what I did there) it was after much soul searching,  some squabbling and mulling over the options that eventually led to acceptance.

Soul searching – this involves looking at yourself and delving into the deepest darkest parts of your sexual psyche. Am I too fat, too thin (fat chance), too old,  too moody (not sure any of these would have put him off ) too frigid, unattractive. These are some of the endless possibilities of why the carnal desire is no longer there. Ladies try looking at yourself first before your partner on these ones – it cuts out the waste. I’m joking. Once all vows confirmed, yes I do still love you, no I don’t want anyone else, no you’re not too fat, of course I don’t prefer the women in porn videos (we have all asked right) then it can only mean one thing, Houston we do have a problem.

Squabbling – I would like to say that my Ian and I don’t do this, no need, we can talk about all our issues like the adults we are. Forget it ladies all rationale is going to go out of the window. If I had a fiver for every time I have threated to leave. Which is ironic because it is normally me being the TWAT. (sorry there is no non swear word equivalent).  Anyway we did and it got nowhere, well I say nowhere it did cause what was sometimes a welcome distraction to the silence.

Mulling over the options – this has included the consideration of the following in no particular order: Chinese herbal remedy – booked an appointment, chickened out at the thought of snorting tigers tail or inhaling elephants husks. Discussion with the friends.  All my friends are either too young or are not perimenopausal, yet. And some of them (not naming names) are quite happy to give up on a sex life all together. Sorry not for me. I am not dead yet.

I remember discussing sex life in your forties with my mum. I have a very open relationship with my mum, much to her dismay. She doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, has only had one sexual partner her whole life and her main relationship is with Jesus.  So the expression “ you’re  just like your mum” doesn’t leave many of her church going friends lips.

Anyway I once asked her A. Did she and my dad still have sex. B. Why did they give up. C. Had she heard of the ‘ Rabbit’. I have a funny story that will give you some insight  to the prompting of such intimate  questions.

My dad was diagnosed with diabetes, type two, many years ago. He and mum were probably my age now at the time of this story. Anyway let’s just say this interfered with certain aspects of my dad’s anatomy that impacted both of them. I was at the time of this story living at home and would have been in my early twenties. As a family we were used to seeing all sorts of meds and syringes in the fridge due to my dad’s illness and normally I wouldn’t have taken any particular notice. However on this occasion I noticed a weird looking contraption, a bit like a needle with liquid in; I assumed it was a new type of hypodermic for dad’s daily injection. The same weekend I came home from a night out earlier than planned to find my dad lying on the sofa with cold, wet towels wrapped around his ankles. Was he ok, did he need medical attention I was genially concerned, anyway he waved me away telling me he was fine and to bugger off. RUDE.

The next day I noticed that the weird looking medicine was in the bin; all of it. Concerned and being a nosy bint, I asked them both why? Sheepishly they said not to worry. I pressed on, worried dad was abstaining from a vital med, but he wouldn’t give an inch. Later on with dad out the room I asked mum again (she’s a terrible liar). Turns out it was a new sort of male enhancer aimed at men with diabetes. Did it work? No she said. The only bloody thing  to swell up had been my dad’s ankles!  And he was never trying again. Poor mum. If only she knew about the Rabbit.

Ok where was I, oh yeah, Chinese medicine – tick. All of the obvious; new underwear, nights away, new clothes for Ian, role-play, diet, no alcohol, loads of alcohol – tick, tick , tick.  The problem was it wasn’t the want; it was the will, the desire had gone. Trust me Tom Hardy could’ve offered up his services  and there would’ve been no point.  (Tom if you’re reading this, I would, for research purposes be willing to test out this theory now). In the pursuit of ruling out all options I tried to see if I was able to turn on my own lamp, so to speak. Nothing! not even an industrial sized generator could ignite a spark. Trust me I know,  I’m still banned from all building sites in Gateshead and the surrounding areas!  Recently I was trying to describe it to some friends and the only way I can is this. It’s like switching on a light switch but the bulb has gone and you can’t replace it.

Ok acceptance – off to the doctors I went. Took a while to get here didn’t it. In the interest of DPA (remember my profile, I work in a contact centre) I will call him Dr Beat. For those of you similar age to me, you’ll get why. If you’re too young to understand  the connection, file this away for a few years. This doesn’t concern you.

Dr Beat was/is; he’s not dead, a Jewish, grey haired man in his mid-50s. Nothing wrong with any of this unless you are a mid-40s, dark haired woman, wanting to discuss why you feel dead from the hips down. I say hips as the urge to dance has diminished due to the constant tiredness. Buts that another story….

“What seems to be the problem Mrs De-Camp”

“ MISS it’s MISS!.”  Off to a good start, “I don’t think I am well” .

“Good, good he said you’re in the right place.” Pause for laughter.

“I seem to have lost my sex drive, I am constantly crying for no reason and am very irritable for no apparent reason.”

“ Mmmm let me see, how old are you”

“43“

“ Perfectly normal at your age; and you’re probably depressed”

“Sorry, you are saying it’s perfectly normal to not want to have sex at 43, and for the record I have never suffered from depression, have no reason to be depressed and have no worries.”

“ Yes, yes, we just have to accept some things will change once we hit a certain age”

“ So do you not have sex anymore?” I always ask doctors if they have or had suffered symptoms the same as me, I’m not sure why.  But sometimes you get some interesting  answers. Dr Beat didn’t miss one.

“ Irrelevant he said, do you want anti-depressants?”

“Why, so the fact I don’t feel anything downstairs  will counter act the fact that upstairs won’t know or care”

Was what I should’ve have said. I didn’t; I skulked out and booked the next available appointment with a female doctor.

 

A little bit of a taster…

Hi name is Mollie and I discovered about two years ago that I was going through early menopause. I thought to myself I must start a journal. So here I am.Now you might be thinking what, 2 years later.

To be honest it could be 3 years
but I’ve never been that good at timekeeping.  ‘Why now? ’Well when the doctors fed up of listening, your partner switched off; mmm let me see about 2 years ago.

(The only time Ian pricks up is when he hears,  ‘love the doctor’s trying me on a new type of HRT’ ,  he knows from experience  this could lead to an intermittent flash flood of libido)   and none YES none of your friends are joining you on this journey.   Then the time feels right to open up to complete and utter strangers who might just empathise and enjoy a light
hearted giggle in the midst of this all this impending doom.   I did think about joining a help group but the thought of putting on a woolly cardy and not waxing my beard for a week terrifies me

Ok, I will tell you a little bit about myself, one it will ease us in gently and two I can use it for my bio on the bloggers site I have just registered for. YES; you read that correctly, I have just signed up to a bloggers site about 10
minutes ago. I have never read a blog, reviewed a blog, or wrote a blog. What could possibly go wrong!

Right back to me, I am 46 years old, live with my partner of 10 years Ian,  have one grown up son aged 29 and 2 beautiful grandchildren.  I sometimes wonder if the early onset of menopause is a punishment for ‘starting too early’ I
can almost hear the deadly whisper of Mother Nature now,  “become a single mother at 17 will you, become a grandma at 45 will you” .   No more sex, drugs or sausage rolls for you , your nights will be spent eating Pumpkin not Pastry, necking Rennie , not Ecstasy and abandon all hope of any Rumpy- de -pumpy !