It’s been some time since I last blogged, largely due to the fact that I seem to have the characteristics of a dormouse and just want to hibernate for the winter. I hate the dark and cold and drizzle of a British winter, but I totally LOVE the spring time. Daffodils are my favourite flowers and my drive to work is literally strewn with thousands of them.
As those of you will know if you have read this blog from the start, I had a hysterectomy 4, almost 5 years, ago (my womb was seeking it’s own route out after detaching itself from the top of my body, so my surgeon felt it was a kindness to set it free!!). Despite the warnings that it may put me straight in to surgical menopause, it still took me 2 years to realise I was actually in it and wasn’t just going loco.
Once I realised that I was in peri-menopause (the lead up to the natural menopause, when all of your symptoms and periods are done) I took myself off to the GP to have a chat. She actually recommended a combination of HRT and anti-depressants (probably due to the fact that I couldn’t stop crying in her consulting room, so I may have come across as a little down/raving lunatic).
I supposed I was a bit reluctant to take the anti-depressants because I knew the symptoms fluxed so much that I didn’t think it was depression in it’s true form. So I opted for the HRT only.
Given that I had no womb, it was actually very straight forward, because then you only need to have an oestrogen supplement. If you still have your baby box, then you will need both oestrogen and progestogen. It also comes in a wonderful range of substances, but I opted but a gel. It comes in a small sachet and I rub it on an arm or leg each morning. I got placed on the highest dose straight away (cos I looked completely mental). The doctor took my blood pressure and discussed any family history of cancer both of which were thankfully not a problem. If you do have high blood pressure or a personal or family risk of cancer, particularly breast cancer, then you are unlikely to be prescribed it.
Before I started taking the medication my mood would swing really wildly during the course of a day, from tears on the way to my (at the time, B**tard) of a job to manic laughter by lunchtime and outright rage by dinner. On top of the ranging insomnia, it was exhausting emotionally. So I took the HRT option.
What I’ve found with it is that it doesn’t stop the symptoms but it definitely slows the roller coaster down, so your not left hanging upside down in a cart on a big loop, and you are not attempting to hang anyone else upside down in a fit of rage either…..
For me it has been a life saver, quite literally as my downs were REALLY bad. Now, if I forget to take it during my morning ablutions (and some mornings it is so hard to tame my scary mum face in to something that I could present outside the house) I do forget, then by 3pm, my mood starts sinking rapidly and I know that I have forgotten it.
Having taken it for a few years now, and tried a few days off it, I’m not ready to stop it yet. I find that the down days still come but they seem to be for a 3 day period, probably in line with what my PMT would have been like, maybe a bit more depressing. However, now it is more regulated, I know what it is and how long it will last, and like magic on day 3 it will lift, the clouds will part and I will feel fine again. More importantly I’ve learned not to consider that down as a real down, just to accept it, breath through it, and collect myself at the end.
The ABC, accept breath collect, is actually my strategy for coping with lots of life’s real difficulties and shit storms. It got me through the nightmare of losing my career and starting a new one, all through the time of dealing with kids, mess and menopause – now there’s the title of my autobiography if ever there was one.
I was going to set out lots of information about the pro’s and con’s of HRT but the NHS have done it for me and you, just copy and paste the link below in to the bit at the top of your internet page and press enter (if it won’t link from here)
Apparently it cures a bothersome vagina too if you have one!!
Enjoy your weekend when it comes ladies.
Love Meena XX