Bye and Hi

The last couple of months have been a roller coaster of emotions.

The HRT patch I have been using for over 2 years has been discontinued and the new one I am taking does not agree with me, from anxiety, to swollen limbs and feeling lethargic I have decided to change it – I think I am lucky, as I have something good to compare it to. 

It is the 2nd time a brand of HRT I have been taking has been discontinued…pharmaceutical companies really should be made aware of the impact this has on a woman. The one I was taking was discontinued last year, but I had enough in reserve to see me through…until 2 months ago. I will admit I left it pretty close to when I had almost run out – call it hope that it was just a blip in manufacturing, or denial that my body did not want to try something else as what I was taking worked for me.

I have also handed in my notice at work…why? Several reasons; I commute over an hour each way to and from work, I have a long day from a 9am start to a 6pm finish and have been doing this for 5 years. I have been thinking for a while that it is time for a change and it is time I focus more on me, my health and finding a job that allows me to do that. I live in central London, so my future commute should be easy.
At first I thought “what have I done?”, but then I thought life is for living and a woman going through the menopause should not feel held back and scared. The menopause can be so debilitating, but I want to change that for me and find out “what can I do?” to help me (and others) break down the taboo that is the menopause. For a while I have been thinking does my ethnicity, lifestyle, mental attitude play a part in my menopause symptoms? I have to use different products for my hair and for my skin, should I be looking into what different races use, the attitudes towards the menopause in different countries and the diet of different cultures?

I feel like I am at the start of a new chapter in my life – a slight sadness regarding letting go of some things, but excited to take steps in a new direction, learn and to see what that brings.

The Start of it…

The menopause comes in all sizes, ages, shapes and colours.
Who knew going through the  menopause could be so debilitating, so funny, send me on a path to learning and make me so hot!

We talk about women having periods and we talk about women having
babies…Menopause is something that all women will go through, at some point in their life. We need to talk about it more, we need to support each other and share tips and ideas. It does not have to be scary, as knowledge is power.

It use to be whispered…but not anymore!
As the first among my girlfriends to experience the menopause, I have decided to share what I have learnt and what I am still learning.

One week into a new job, sat at my desk in a room full of men (for a single girl that would normally be heaven and as good as it sounds – we were just about to move offices and the only desk free was with the tech guys) I felt a whoosh of heat, from the top of my chest to top of my head. I did not really think about it, until it happened a few more times and then it dawned on me “shit I am having hot flushes”!!
Suddenly getting hot flushes and the realisation I was starting the menopause, had me googling like a demented person.

I was in my 40’s and it was not that I thought I had years before the “change” would start…I was more worried about how to control my internal heat. I have always been someone prone to sweats, but this was different. I tried some alternative remedies; magnesium, Black Cohosh, Maca and two separate people swore by putting a magnet in my knickers. Not any old magnet…this was a lady care magnet at over £30, putting a magnet in my knickers did not appeal to me – everyone to their own, but I passed on that one.

Trying to keep the sweats under control and master a new job as an EA was not easy. Why when you are nervous, do the menopausal hot flushes take on a life of their own?
By far though the worst experience for me, was using the underground to get to work. It was hell and I quickly realised commuting in the rush hour, was not going to be kind to me.
Living in London my journey to work involves a tube and a train. My train journey was not too bad, but I found being in a confined space brought on my hot flushes more had me looking like I had just got out the shower when I got off the tube.

After a month I abandoned the tube in the rush hour and left home earlier to get the bus.
That was still hot, but top tip: have a small bottle of water in the fridge, when you wake up stick it in the freezer. Don’t forget to take it when you leave (I have forgotten a few times and regretted it) for work and is ideal to hold against your pulse points to cool you down. Also all that sweating means you end up dehydrated, so handy to have for a drink.