My Menopause Symptoms
‘When you don’t feel ready for your body to change’
I never imagined that hitting the menopause and my 50’s would or could cause me so much disruption to my life.
I still felt young, slim, good looking (well not a beauty, but attractive enough!), energetic and full of life.
I guess I should have looked to my dear departed mum who really did suffer. I guess I should have realised it could be genetic and that I would mirror her disruptive symptoms.
What were these, you may wonder? Well, it varied (and note, I use the past tense – obviously for my mum as she has sadly gone, but for me too, as much of it is now under control, thanks to HRT), and differed from day to day, month to month, but overall the main symptoms I suffered were:
So much so that my confidence really dwindled
Part of this made me feel a little paranoid so that I honestly believed people did not like me and my family did not really want me around
- Night Sweats
Total torrents of sweat with heat to overwhelm the most hardy of reptiles!
Washing and changing bedding every night – even had to purchase a waterproof mattress cover, like I was a toddler wetting the bed!. Ghastly!
- Hot Flushes
During the day, my core temperature as no better. I would feel the sudden heating of my body, like a furnace had been turned on. This huge heat would emanate out from my core to every part of my body – I remember that even my shins would sweat. Drips of sweat would fall off my fringe in to my eyes
I would suddenly have to strip off – my dressing would have to incorporate many layers now so that I would be prepared for this sudden onslaught!.
The slightest thing would send me to a red mist vortex!
I would not see reason, just a temper like a really naughty spoilt toddler. Not attractive
Crying at the slightest thing – at work, at home – over anything at all, especially if I had a glass of wine too.
I could not quite understand how low I felt most of the time. I thought that it was just the way my life was going – which was having difficulties – not anything else, so really berated myself for picking myself up and dusting myself down and moving on with things. But I just couldn’t.
- Really bad period pains and very heavy period
It was like I was a teenager again, with everything out of control
I could find that I would bleed many times a month – horrific!. Talk about adding insult to injury! I thought these were supposed to stop, which was one bonus (probably the only one) when I had the menopause.
Food, food, food
- No Energy
I stopped going to the gym as I felt lethargic most of the time
I was tired and found work really hard
- Putting on Weight
I think that due to the above two, I started putting on weight, and gradually over a couple of years, I put on 50% of my previous body weight – over 4 stone (26 kilos). That is from a size 8/10 to a 14/16.
What I really have to mention is just how long it took me to realise that these things were part of the menopause and not related to all the other reasons I conjured up in my head.
I must admit that the hot sweats were a little of a give-away, as I could not relate this to anything else, however, it did take me about 6 months to realise.
The next thing I did not think about it just now long it could take to get things under control. My anger, anxiety, upset and depression were put down to and overall depression that my doctor wanted to treat with anti-depressants and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). Neither of these worked – of course!
This had the result in wasting time – a lot of it – perhaps another 10 months.
My bad periods were treated with scans, thinking I could have fibroids or other issues internally. This was not the cause, and not other issues found.
So, I struggled – night and day, personally and in work. I honestly wanted to die. I could not see a way forward. I was upsetting people around me, and getting myself in to a state that I thought I would never recover from.
I had to do something....