Eighteen months ago I was a loud, happy, confident, bubbly 47-year-old. Until the day I made an appointment to see the doctor…!
“Yes Sharon, you are going through the menopause.”
OMG! WHAT? NO! WHO ME? NO WAY? I’M TOO YOUNG! SERIOUSLY? NO! NO! ARRRGGGHHHH!!
Tears, tears and more tears: I could not stop crying. Menopause? You are having a laugh! But this was no laugh. This was the real deal.
I’d been to see my doctor two weeks earlier as I felt really down for no reason. I kept having hot flushes all day, everyday. Everything was a struggle and all I wanted to do was hibernate under the duvet.
So here it is. ‘The Menopause’ is upon me. I had a hysterectomy nine years ago so I knew this would happen one day, but I was not ready for what awaited me and still does…
Well, what can I say? How long have you got?
Hot flushes, all day, everyday, feeling like you are on fire, constantly. Night sweats, duvet on, off, on, off, on, off. Weight-gain the bane of my life, I feel so fat, it really upsets me. In six months, my boobs grew from 34c to 34f. It was emotional to find that out! My bladder, bless it, fills up quicker than anything. I am constantly going to the loo, especially at night. My skin itches constantly. It’s red raw sometimes as I am forever scratching. I am tired all day, everyday. I can sleep for seven hours, wake up and feel worse than I did before. I cry a lot. I do not know why most of the time but those tears just appear. No energy some days, too much energy other days. I suffered badly from agoraphobia, I was too scared to go outside the front door as it was too loud, too many people, too busy, too overwhelming, I just could not cope. I used to go for walks in the evening with my husband for a while when there was no one around. My mum used to take me for a ride in the car for an hour just so I would get out in the fresh air.
The menopause has made me feel empty, useless, undesirable, miserable and deflated.
I am now on anti-depressants which help with the depression part of the menopause, but everything else I have to deal with one day at a time.
I go out more, but I’m still not too keen on major crowds. Maybe in time that will get better.
My family are a constant help and support. I don’t know what I would do without them.
If you get overwhelmed by all your symptoms, talk to your family friends or even the doctor. Try long walks, listening to music, have a dance in your lounge, and laugh. Never stop laughing or smiling.
Menopause is affecting millions of women, but remember, at the end of it, it is definitely a Change of Life for the better.