Dear diary, menopause is making me cry…

Dear diary, menopause is making me cry…

This may be my most honest blog yet.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to feel. I need to take some time away because I am not processing this well, or as I feel I should be. I was told the news by my GP and I have since carried on as normal. Well, tried to but these symptoms are making damn sure that I cannot forget what is happening to me.

Today has been ok, I have been at work but I have had moments of feeling overwhelmed and dizzy. After work at 8pm I came home and had a long shower to relax. I sat down and thought to myself, I will read some of that book that my lovely housemate (and she really is lovely) bought for me. It’s called;

‘Natural alternatives to HRT’

I have read 10 pages and I am a mess. I have been so OBLIVIOUS to what menopause actually is and rightly so as I am only 26. But after reading what it is and what happens to your body I just feel so overwhelmed. I read the symptoms;

hot flushes, night sweats, irritability, declining libido, osteoporosis, weight gain, vaginal dryness, ageing skin, changes in hair, hair loss, headaches, mood swings, lack of energy and joint pain.

I have most of these symptoms and have done for ages. This really upset me because I have realised that actually I have been living with this for a very long time, way before my actual diagnosis, possibly years. How scary is that? I urge you to see your GP if you notice any hormonal changes, don’t leave it for years like I have. Please.

As I read each symptom I felt my eyes water, next thing I know I am sobbing into my pyjama top, not just a few tears, but literally that sobbing you get when your breathing becomes difficult and you cannot actually stop yourself. But that is ok, it is ok to be upset. It is healthy to be upset. It’s just not nice that’s all.

To go through these changes as a woman is horrible at any age, but when you are so young and having to accept that your skin will age sooner, your breasts will lose elasticity so they will sag younger, experience of hair loss, weight changes and potential bone conditions, well, it can be damaging to your psychological health BIG TIME and this upset me immensely. The menopause is not called the ‘change’ for nothing. Because everything changes. Imagine how damaging this is to your self-esteem and worth. Sometimes, I feel worthless.

However, it is not the book that has upset me, if anything I am learning from it and I recommend others get it to. It is the realisation that no, this is not a dream and this is really happening to me that has caused my tears. Why me?….well I just don’t know. Although I feel I have experienced many of the negatives of the menopause already, I am sure there are more to come. And obviously this fills me with anticipation of the unknown, fear of what could be and tears, lots more tears.

This is such an upsetting time to go through and I wanted to share with you all briefly the reality of the menopause. I cannot even begin to think about the inevitable that I will not be able to conceive naturally. But then I am not at that point in my life yet anyway. I do want to stress though that not every experience is like the one I describe, every woman is different and there are many benefits and positives that come from the menopause. It is also a NATURAL process we go through, so not to be treated like an illness. It is a natural event that as women we all face in our lives.

It is important to look after yourself. Your physical well-being. And in my opinion most importantly your psychological well being. Your mind is more powerful than you will ever give it credit for, so in particular look after your mind! Rest, meditate, start yoga, eat well, drink less of the bad stuff and just feel well.

This is now all I hope for.

Love

Steph x

 

 

 

 

 

PMT to Empty……No one can understand, because unless they are me going through it, how can they?

PMT to Empty……No one can understand, because unless they are me going through it, how can they?

So,

It’s now been over one week since being told about my menopause but it feels like a lifetime! I have never felt so tired.

Today, I am mostly talking about support or more the lack of. It astounds me sometimes at the amount of lovely comments people have shared to me and the experiences that some of you have trusted me with too. Hearing that I am not alone in this means the world……but yet it is still such a lonely experience.

This menopause has made me feel so weak and tired, emotions that I am not used to as I am a very strong woman. But this is tough, I am finding this very hard at times and just want to feel ‘well’. I will never take advantage of just feeling ‘well’ again…..

Having any news in life that shakes your world a little can make you feel quite isolated and in need of a hug or two. When experiencing a bereavement, diagnosis or big change in life, all you want to do is surround yourselves with others that just ‘get it’. It can be extremely difficult and an emotional challenge, to face people whose opinions and compassion is different to yours. However, it is near impossible to avoid people who you could really do without seeing or spending your valuable time with. For example;

WORK- Dealing with difficult people at work is tough at the best of times. But if you have to work knowing you are dealing with emotional and physical strain, then this can feel near impossible at times. Sometimes all you want to do is either walk away or let rip at the individuals who feel it is acceptable, regardless of what you are going through, to cause trivial issues and offload baggage onto you. Obviously your role may be to lead staff and i appreciate that if you are not coping with work, then maybe time off is necessary. However, when you have to support yourself or have others depending on you, how can you afford the time off? Also, even though it may be your job to run a department or just work as a team, if you are going through difficulties it is only natural to expect some sort of understanding and sympathy from colleagues and management. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many work environments and it’s a real shame. Of course the problem could also be that you need a new job!

FAMILY – Family can either be the rock that you cling on to, too suffocating with support or nowhere to be found. When there is a crisis, for you, family are usually the first people that we tend to go to. But as mentioned above, if they just don’t ‘get it’ then what is the point.

“Well, you don’t look that upset”…. Just because I don’t look upset does not mean that I am fine.

“You are overreacting…” Eurgh

FRIENDS – Any conversation that starts with “what if” or “at least” usually does not come from an empathetic point of view. These people usually either do not know how to handle the situation or do not know you at all. For example when being told I was going through the menopause I was instantly filled with “what ifs” and “at least it’s…” when all I needed was sympathy! Some friends approached me and said “That’s really shit”, perfectly understandable answer.

“At least you aren’t going to die” Well, to be honest that did not cross my mind and that feedback is not really helpful right now.

WAVELENGTHS – All negativity aside, I do have lovely supportive people in my life. The flowers in the picture for this blog are from a friend who lives in Wales, yet she is still thinking of me as I go through a hard time. I am very lucky.

It is extremely rare to find people who are on your ‘wavelength’. These people, again, just ‘get it’. There’s no feeling like you have to explain yourself or your thoughts, because regardless of whether they’ve been through it they just ‘get it’. I had a conversation with a friend the other day about feeling ‘the odd one out’ and absolutely I can agree with that. When you feel that you think differently to others, it can be a very lonely time, causing unwanted isolation. You don’t want nor have asked to feel the way you do and you don’t want to be closed or referred to as being ‘moody’. But when no one is in your head or your heart, or happen to be going through what you are experiencing, how can anyone understand?…..

Please take time to listen to people, try and understand them, be kind and be patient. You never know what someone may be going through.

Steph x

 

 

 

 

 

Early Menopause and ME

Early Menopause and ME

Justovaryacting

Hi everybody…..

WOW……..just WOW

I cannot believe the response I have had already from this. It has sent me through a rollercoaster of emotions and I am so lucky to know such fantastic people. I am also lucky to welcome new faces who are reading my blogs and joining my facebook page; ‘justovaryacting’

Today (Weds 13th April)

I have felt ridiculously fatigued, sick and dizzy today. So, when getting petrol I bought myself a Lucozade. MISTAKE….. It turns out that dizziness is a common symptom of the menopause but doesn’t affect every woman. In order to prevent feeling dizzy you should avoid caffeine. I obviously thought that by putting caffeine into my body I would feel better, I felt 100 times worse. I couldn’t look side to side because it was almost like my vision was catching up with my head movements, I felt weak and unable to support myself sometimes. Imagine, or remember a time when you have been so…

View original post 929 more words

Early Menopause and ME

Early Menopause and ME

Hi everybody…..

WOW……..just WOW

I cannot believe the response I have had already from this. It has sent me through a rollercoaster of emotions and I am so lucky to know such fantastic people. I am also lucky to welcome new faces who are reading my blogs and joining my facebook page; ‘justovaryacting’

Today (Weds 13th April)

I have felt ridiculously fatigued, sick and dizzy today. So, when getting petrol I bought myself a Lucozade. MISTAKE….. It turns out that dizziness is a common symptom of the menopause but doesn’t affect every woman. In order to prevent feeling dizzy you should avoid caffeine. I obviously thought that by putting caffeine into my body I would feel better, I felt 100 times worse. I couldn’t look side to side because it was almost like my vision was catching up with my head movements, I felt weak and unable to support myself sometimes. Imagine, or remember a time when you have been so drunk, everything is spinning. It was just like that but sober.

The thing is, I was scared. Not being able to control what is happening is just awful. Wondering if you are going to faint, where you are going to faint and also if anyone will be around to help if you do. I visited my local gym on Tuesday (12th) and had to leave because I felt so dizzy, I was petrified something was going to happen to me. For those who know me, I love the gym. It gives me an emotional release as well as obvious health benefits, so for me to feel like that somewhere I love being, I just feel that this menopause is taking over my life.

So when did this start?

I would say that my symptoms started a year ago if not before. That’s one whole year of not having a clue that this was happening to my body. All of those conversations I’ve had with my girl mates about babies, periods and life in general and talking to other friends about my future wishes etc, it’s just so hard to get your head around.

The important thing I want to raise is that the symptoms I had all seemed like separate concerns, when actually they are all more than likely linked. The sweats I noticed first and is the most noticeable symptom in my opinion. All I have to do is walk into a coffee shop and my face goes red and I get beads of sweat on my face, making my hair wet and make up smudged. It may seem quite trivial and vain, but imagine being on a date when this happens and you have no explanation for it……….yeah that happened! I even looked into BOTOX as I had heard it prevents your face from sweating. This is how much it has affected me and makes me feel down. It’s hard to explain but sometimes out of nowhere I feel like I cannot breathe in my own body. I am either too hot or too cold and it can be described as a claustrophobic feeling in your own skin. I have since found out that your skin temperature and tolerance can change during menopause too, which explains why I feel so cold most of the time when I used to always feel the heat!

I had UTI’s that didn’t seem to go away. When I went back to the GP with the same problem, the female doctor assumed that because of my age I drink a lot of alcohol. So was disappointed that I had seemed to have brought on another UTI myself. FYI, I have a binge weekend every now and then, but other than that I don’t even have a drink once a week! Then I was having trouble sleeping, so I was prescribed zopiclone which didn’t work because I was fatigued too. So I was literally zapped of all my energy after taking those and had two days off work sick. Great though if you literally want two days solid in bed.

Then I went back to the GP with fatigue, this was a few months ago now. I told him I am having trouble sleeping but feeling so tired too. He decided to do a blood test and wanted to rule out everything. I was hoping it was to do with my thyroid actually as it would explain the issues I have with my weight (that’s a whole other blog in itself by the way, which I will do soon) Anyway, I went to see the nurse after the blood tests to get some Sumitriptan, migraine relief tablets, another symptom of  menopause. She explained to me that my results came back fine. So, disappointed but also relieved I left the surgery.

The week after, I was enjoying a trip in Bournemouth with my friend when my GP phoned to say he wasn’t happy with my results, even though the nurse had informed me they were fine. So, we repeated the blood tests again but this time 6 weeks after the first lot to see if they were a ‘one off’ result.

They weren’t. And this is where I am at today. I may or may not need to see a specialist, I hope so and I definitely will ensure I do because I am just so young to go through this and I want some answers. Potential next steps are to start hormone replacement therapy (HRT) which will prevent me from getting Osteoporosis. BUT…. the GP told me that they don’t like you taking HRT for over 10 years because it means you are at high risk of getting Cancer (that bloody awful C word! The only C word I like is C U NEXT TUESDAY……..) 😉

As I am 26, I would need to take HRT until the natural age of menopause, which they say is 52. Therefore that is 26 years of HRT. Obviously this is more than 10 years………. I am sure you can work out the rest.

Anyway, until I see a specialist it is important that I don’t think about that quite yet. Medicine is changing all the time and a lot can happen and be introduced in 10 years and this I am very hopeful about.

It’s late and I am tired so I am going to leave it there today. Thank you for reading and please do share your thoughts and experiences with me! I will post more about this soon, especially the symptoms. Please look after yourselves and if you are not feeling ‘well’ see your GP. It may be more than you realise.

My sister always says – ‘Your health is your wealth…..’

Much love

Steph X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The day that made me blog…

The day that made me blog…

So, here it goes, my first ever blog.

I have never really known what to think about blogging but I guess I will find out. Hopefully it’ll be a great experience.

Saturday 9th April

After having several blood tests at my GP surgery, I awaited the results with little anticipation. I first went a few months ago after FINALLY having enough of not feeling ‘well’ and fatigued. But as most things in life are put down to stress, I convinced myself that this is what my ill-feeling was, “I’ve been having a hard time lately so I am just tired”…..this is what I told myself.

Little did I know that my reproductive system was shutting down and refusing to play ball….but that wasn’t all.

My GP phoned me on a Saturday…..A SATURDAY! Since when do GP’s phone at weekends? Instantly my first thought was ‘this isn’t going to be good’. So, here is my diagnosis….

I have premature ovarian failure, ironically abbreviated to POF, but nothing like the dating website I can assure you, although almost as frustrating. Basically my ovaries are not functioning as they should be, not producing oestrogen or progesterone. My brain is attempting to tell my body to produce these important hormones, but my ovaries are closed for business. Therefore, I have also had to face the fact that I am, if not definitely, pretty much infertile. I am 26.

To add to this already life changing news, I am also going through the MENOPAUSE. That’s right……THE MENOPAUSE. I feel the need for capitals when I write that because again…… I AM 26 YEARS OLD

Monday 11th April

I arranged an appointment to speak to my GP straight away. The symptoms are all there. The sweats have been horrendous and frankly embarrassing. The shine I get on my chin from hot flushes has become famous…..Then there’s the UTI’s, spending a fortune on antibiotics…. Oh and on migraine relief tablets, as that too is a symptom. Palpitations, joint stiffness, pains and mood changes also add to the catalogue of issues I have suffered, but always with a smile! But the hot flushes……man I cannot wait for those to be over, the only hot flush I want in my life is when I meet Ewan McGregor….Lying to myself is also a symptom 😉

Jokes aside, this has obviously been devastating news for me which is hard to swallow right now. I cry, I sob, I laugh and I deny. It is very rare for this to happen to someone at such a young age and I can totally sympathise with anyone going through the same thing, it’s horrible both physically and emotionally. And the obvious question is…..why me?

I know people who do not want children, but they still can.

I know people who have children, but aren’t good parents.

The choice and function of my body has been taken away from me and with no reason as to why. I am going through something that a woman in her 50’s/60’s dreads, with no reason as to why. I am a great believer in ‘Everything happens for a reason’ but it can seem a struggle to understand what that reason is when something like this happens to you.

So the point of blogging is to raise awareness of something that I certainly had no clue about. It’s to share my journey of what is happening and to read views and opinions from others. It’s to rant and rave about the support given (more the lack of) which is more than likely going to be my next blog. But to be honest it is mostly to enable myself to keep what sanity I have left and share my emotions, thoughts and feelings rather than stay in bed sulking eating ice cream everyday…..(although that does sound great)

So, my first blog is done. I could write all day but like an EastEnders cliff hanger, I like to try and keep things interesting. However, If like me you don’t actually like EastEnders, then i am in trouble and will need to try harder.

Thank you for reading about me….

Love

justovaryacting

x