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 !