To HRT or not to HRT…that is the question???

Hi all

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!!

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/

 

Enjoy your weekend when it comes ladies.

Love Meena XX

The bearded lady

Image result for the bearded lady

 

Today I tweezed a chin hair that I fully believe could have been the next toughest material to diamond!!

I expected hot flushes, and maybe a bit of casual madness within menopause, but NOBODY warned me that I would literally turn in to a beardy bloke.

I’ve been noticing the changes over the last few years to be honest. I come from a fairly hursuit family; my brother is unmistakeably from the gorilla family with his hairy shoulders and back, and so I’ve always had to do my fair share of feminine maintenance. But more recently I noticed big differences in the type and amount of hair that was growing from my face.

Poor Jenny, my beautician, has fought valiantly against the tide of Dennis Healy eyebrow hair (see below), and again more recently the thick black lone hairs that spring forth from my “misstash” they are hideous and my bi-weekly trip to the said poor Jenny are more essential than ever.

However, I feel more than anything, that the menopausal beard is a site to behold!! Well it would be except that ageing has a duel cruelty…….you get the hair, but you can no longer see the sodding things to remove without your reading glasses on…….. for me, I was short sighted to begin with and I had genuinely hoped that, with age, I would become less short sited – nothing of the sort – now I can’t see far or near. THANKS MOTHER NATURE.

So now on a daily basis I have the unenviable job of FEELING for the hairs of doom, the Jean Claud Van Dam of the hair world, the ones that if I let them grow, I could probably slice cheese with……

I fear that by next year, the said poor Jenny, will be coming at my face with a strimmer!!!

Happy New Year

Love from Meena xx

 

Dry eyes

I started having watery eyes some months ago. The optician reckoned it was a gland dysfunction under my eye. Given I’m sat in tears again at my computer I’m figuring I’ve just ran out of water!!

Today it was because everyone at work has been invited to a Christmas party but I haven’t. Not one.

It’s like school all over again, being unpopular.

I’m tired again so I guess that makes it harder to swallow. Feel quite pathetic. Bloody menopause!!

 

PS made a fuss at work. Got party invite!! Happy now. #beigearmy

I’m soooooo tired

Well the week has had it’s ups and downs. On Tuesday I finished work at 4.15 after a pretty busy 9 hour day. I logged on at 8.30am Wednesday to find I had 35 EMAILS!!!! WTF…..

I have to stop one minute to comment on the advert I’ve just seen for Vagisan. The reference to a “bothersome vagina” just cracks me up every time 😂😂😂….

I worked part time after having my first child and it was good actually. Enough time to feel massively guilty about doing work and motherhood really badly LOL.

More recently in the last 2 years I’ve worked full time. This along with 2 kids and a list of illnesses that would floor a Yetti meant I’ve never had much stamina.

The menopause has really added to this. I don’t know if this impacts others in the same way, presumably because we are all too busy buying stuff for our dry vaginas to talk about the fact we are utterly knackered.

(Do you actually have a dry vagina? I really don’t know how you tell Jenny Eclaire???)

Maybe it’s aging. Maybe it’s spawning brats way to late in life but I’ve genuinely lost my mojo. (Now I’m picturing Austin Powers, although the scene where he does a 50 point turn on his tiny car is more like me in reality).

I wonder if you ever get the energy and zest for life back? I hope so. I want to grow old disgracefully like Helen Mirren or Judy Dench on a moped flicking the “v’s” at a vicar.

I definitely don’t want to age and be beige. So there is my quest. To exercise more, lose my enormous belly, get fitter and find my mojo again.

#fightthebeige

Love Meena xx

 

 

 

Rage against the machine!!!

Image result for rage against the machine

So the above picture is of a rock group called Rage Against the Machine. I have to be honest I’ve never listened to any of their stuff, but I seem to recall they knocked an X-factor winner off the Christmas number 1 a few years ago with lots of SHOUTING, which is highly pertinent to my topic for today…….menopausal RAGE!!! ( I fear I should be pointing out the naked guy on the left, but actually my only thought is that he should pull his trousers up!!)

It’s a weird one this. I’ve never been one for even arguing at home. So my other half has always been able to do as they want in life, and I’ve done what I want. My parents divorced when I was 13 and I laid in bed listening to them arguing every night for about a year, hence my dislike of it then. In my previous career I argued for a living as a litigation lawyer, so I then REALLY didn’t want to argue at home. So it was with a level of surprise that a couple of years ago I started losing my shit over stuff, and I am talking proper losing it. Not often, to be fair the massive blow outs only happen a couple of times a year, but I more regularly find myself just losing my shit in a smaller way. Usually at the mess left around the house because my husband and kids seem to lose the use of their arms at times. my daughter leaving her makeup on the floor, my son leaving every toy he possesses on the floor, my husband leaving his part worn cycling kit in various piles by the side of the bed and (forgive me) his sweaty helmet in the utility room, instead of the garage (still better there than in the bedroom!!!) There are times when a burglar would have to tidy up before they could rob the house. This makes me really quite cross. WHY DO THE PANTS GO NEXT TO THE WASHING BASKET, WHY WHY WHY???????

I figured it out tonight I think, which is just that we all have a box marked “shit” and along with a hormonal imbalance during menopause, we’ve also generally reached an age where the “shit” box is just full, no more space for that shit, so you can’t store it any more and you just have to let it go….. I have:

  1. Punched cushions
  2. Screamed at the top of my voice whilst driving (not at others)
  3. Called other motorists names that I would not want to repeat here
  4. Cried with anger
  5. Shouted at the kids
  6. Shouted at my husband

If you haven’t done all of these do you even dare to call yourself a menopausee!!

It’s like Animal of the Muppets has taken residence in my head and things that didn’t bother me previous JUST DO!!!!

I recently stayed up until 12.30am building a model of Shakespear’s Globe theatre (courtesy of my daughter remembering her homework at 9pm the night before it was due in!!) The next morning I was really tired (insomnia is another joy of the menopause) and I shouted at my daughter so loud, that she didn’t speak to me for 3 days, my son burst in to tears and my husband admitted he was scared……….still he cooked tea that night!! In truth I think I scared myself that I could lose it so badly, but tiredness, frustration and constantly changing hormone levels does that to you.

I saw something on FB saying that sometimes we all have to lose our shit, because if we didn’t, eventually we would just explode and there would be shit every where!!! I take comfort in that LOL.

So there we go, just enjoy the flow and let it all out. Embrace the rage, get that bin bag out and put all your families shit in it and put it on the lawn. I haven’t done it yet, but it is just a matter of time.

Love Meena xx

PS homework is scored on a -3 to +3 basis, I got a 2+ for my theatre – quite pleased with that!!

 

 

Hi, I’m Bob, I’m a goldfish and a goldfish has a memory of…… Hi, I’m Bob, I’m a….

Memory loss. OMG how many times have I forgotten what I was doing this week!! Recently I left my bedroom to go to do something, I didn’t quite get to the bathroom door (some 6 paces away) and I had forgotten what I was going for. I know that as we age this kind of thing gets worse, but seriously I’m not 50 yet.

This is something which massively impacts life for me at the moment and in fact was the first thing that I noticed after I started the menopause. I had two assistants, who were absolutely ace, but I kept giving one of them a job, then forgetting I’d done that, and giving the same job to the other one. Not great for a boss who is supposed to be high functioning. To be honest I at the time I didn’t realise that I was in menopause, I thought I was going mad….. loco, bonkers, insanity type mad.

It has got worse and now most days I will have incidents where I have conversations with someone and either my concentration fails me, or two minutes later I can’t remember what they said. My boss must wonder what the heck I am doing…..sorry M!!

Bearing in mind I spent 20 years in a career where I relied on my memory for conversations, that aspect of my memory was highly developed. I’ve taken the loss of it really quite badly. What worries me more is that I need to undertake some qualifications in my new job and I really fear that I won’t be able to take the information in and find a place in my memory.

One of the reasons I called this blog Meena Menopause and the “change of life”, is a double play on the menopause commonly being referred to as “the change” (presumably referring to the fact that one is changing in to a big fat hairy bloke) but also because I went through a major career change last year.

I used to be a top lawyer, but I was really struggling with the job. It was such a stressful job anyway but in combination with the menopause (when I eventually realised I was in it) was just too much. My memory wasn’t working properly, my emotions were all over the place and I found myself weeping whilst driving to work, only to be manically laughing by the afternoon. I was on a roller coaster of emotions and it was really hard to continue functioning at a high level. I was becoming really quite depressed and I knew I needed to find another job or company. In January 2017 I was sat at my desk with a resting heart rate of 92 beats per minute and something needed to change. Fortunately for me the self important twat sacks that I worked for decided that I was too expensive and forced me out in the most hideous way possible. On the upside, I’m sure they will all rot in hell (although this does depend on a rather more theological debate of whether God and the Devil actually exist……one for another blog, not this one).

So I changed jobs, changed industries, changed profession. I started again in a low level project support job, the change was so difficult, and the first few months brought more tears than Tears for Fears (in a 1980’s neon disco outfit when you got dumped by Martin in year 4), but things improved over time and I finally got confirmed as a project manager just last week.

The downside here is that I’ve had to learn a whole new job, subject and language and trying to do that whilst you memory banks are closed for business has been incredibly difficult. My GP said that high functioning women often find the menopause more difficult because of the cognitive problems and boy was she right.

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