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Menopause from hell

Posted on May 2, 2018 at 10:26 am

Then there was this fire inside that started in my stomach and rushed right up to the top of my head. I felt so hot even though I was outside and it was snowing.

Then came the headaches, something unusual to me as I don’t usually have headaches. And of course I didn’t make anything of it till Monday morning when I went to work.

That Monday morning was 13 years ago, work was in St Ives, Cornwall and home was Gulval, also in Cornwall.

I mentioned the strange thing that happened over the weekend to my colleague Carol who started laughing even before I finished my story and said: “Welcome to the M Club!” to which I asked “What M Club?” and she said with a grin on her face, “the Menopause Club.” I didn’t even know there was a club for that.

The Menopause Club consisted mostly of women of course who had gone through menopause with a grin and bear it, part of life, get over yourself, live with it attitude.

Even though I agreed that menopause was a natural part of my life at that point in time, strange things were happening in my body, which I didn’t understand and therefore didn’t want to just live with it. So I asked them for some advice.

The first advice they gave me was to stay away from HRT, which had a very bad press amongst the club members. Some of them told me to do nothing that it would go away eventually, others told me to take some herbs.

In hindsight the only useful advice they gave me was a card that read “Congratulations, now you have your own weather system.”

At first I decided to take the herbal approach by means of Black Cohosh and Aloe Vera juice. They helped a lot with the physical symptoms but not with the emotional ones: the fear and worst of all the emptiness inside.

I remember one morning looking a myself in the mirror and thinking “Who are you?’ I didn’t recognise myself. It felt as if I had left my body and a stranger had taken over. The emptiness inside was scary. I felt nothing, no love or hate, no caring, no sadness, nothing. I also lost sight of my purpose, the reason why I was doing what I was doing and my motivation.

In short, I stopped living. I was just going through the motions.

So I decided to ditch the herbs and go on HRT. My GP told me to stay on it for 5 years which I did. I did get better but for quite a few years I didn’t feel like myself.

In amongst all of the turmoil of emotions, herbs and HRT I moved to London where I live and work now.

Eventually as part of the natural cycle of a woman’s life the menopause has gone and I am back.

Looking back at my experience with menopause I know now that I knew nothing about it. I did not understand the changes in my body; I didn’t know why I was feeling so empty and why I couldn’t find myself in my own body. I had a lot of questions and I didn’t know where to look for the answers.

Now, as I am a different person and therefore see the world from a different perspective, things are much different. There is a lot of help out there, nutrition, exercise, information and support.

I know now that perhaps there’s no need to go through difficult times in our lives alone, that we don’t have to grin and bear and live with it, and that menopause does not have to be hell, just a natural part of a woman’s life.


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