Mental Health Awareness Week – Premature Ovarian Insufficiency.

Mental Health Awareness Week – Premature Ovarian Insufficiency.

POF is enough to drive anyone crazy and I don’t mean the dating site!…

Jokes aside, having premature ovarian failure/insufficiency has a HUGE impact on an individuals mental health.

When we think of mental health, we instantly assume the worst. Whether it’s mild depression to someone actively attempting suicide due to feeling so desperate and helpless.

We forget though, that our mental health and state of mind can be good too. And we have all experienced GOOD mental health, we just forget what this feels like far quicker than we forget what it feels like to experience poor mental health. For example, if I asked you now to think of a time when you felt really sad, I am sure it is far easier to recall, than if I asked you to think of a time you where you were really happy.

Why is this? Have we become so consumed by what we haven’t got rather than what we have got? Are we obsessed with greed?

This past week I have made a point of looking at the sky everyday and being thankful just to be alive. I will look at the moon and remind myself how beautiful the night sky can be and how grateful I am to see it.

However, I cannot deny the negativity I have felt over the past two years or so since my POI diagnosis. I can definitely recall a few times where I felt my mental health was in the worst possible state I had ever known. I will not deny that sometimes I felt like dying. And I will not deny feeling incredibly pissed off at the world, at God, at my family, my friends and at myself.

I have failed.

I have failed at motherhood before it even began and I have failed at detecting the early warning signs of my condition. I have failed at becoming a grandparent, I have failed at providing my parents with grandchildren. I have failed at giving my siblings opportunities to become aunts and uncles.

I have failed at living my life for my age, menopause free. I have failed at experiencing this life changing transition when i am supposed to, at the average age of 51…

I have just failed.

These are all feelings that overpowered my mind at diagnosis. And even now they can still creep up on me, sometimes It feels like only yesterday I was informed.

The difference is, hindsight and reflection is teaching me the importance of good mental health.

To have failure we must also experience achievement.

I have achieved at keeping my head above water, even when I felt like I was on my last breath mid-drown.

I have achieved at carrying my body when I felt I couldn’t even stand.

I have achieved at waking up every morning.

I have achieved working full time and studying, regardless of having a fatigue condition.

I have achieved at raising awareness and creating bonds with others who have POI/infertility.

I have achieved at smiling through unimaginable pain.

And my biggest achievement has to be biting my tongue and holding it together, when others do not censor what they say or how they act towards someone going through a life changing experience. And believe that shit is tough!

I have felt the upset, the rage, the guilt, the throbbing in my womb and the throbbing in my heart since diagnosis. But I have also felt growth, wisdom, unconditional love and the warmth from empathetic reactions.

I am grateful for my mental health. It has put up with a lot. But also taught me more than I could ever imagine.

My eyes are open, my heart is pure.

Whatever stage you are at in life, if you have POI, infertility or neither of these. Ask yourself, how is your mental health today?



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….