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The Darling Menopause
9 minutes | Aug 24, 2015
Hot Flush on Selander Bridge – My Very First Blog One Year Ago
My daughter has started a new school. This involves me in a drive across Selander Bridge to collect her. Mornings are fine as it is very early. Pick up at 2pm - a killer. At 35 degrees and in an old Toyota land cruiser with broken air con, I felt my ho...
3 minutes | Sep 7, 2014
34B to 36DD
34B to 36DD I kid you not. Do you want to know how you too can achieve this? Remember I told you about the first guinea-pigologist I saw four years ago? The one who mentioned in passing the ten year change process…IN PASSING, AS IF IT WASN'T THAT BIG A DEAL. One paragraph in and I'm ranting already. Anyway, he prescribed estradiol transdermal gel and told me to use it on my legs once a day. I duly trotted off to the pharmacy and bought a tube; and all the other 6 tubes remaining in stock; in case they ran out. It is Dar es Salaam after all. I had to go to the cash point for the second lot, as they cost lots of USDs. I rushed home to apply it and waited. It seemed that within about half an hour, my boobs took on a life of their own and were straining at my bra. Fuck though, the pain was tremendous. I had to wear my maternity bra in bed - (imagine bringing your maternity bra with you in your container from the UK)? Well, I say it was a good thing I did. If my daughter touched me anywhere between my tummy button and my neck it was so sore. Cuddling was like torture. Going to bed was torture, breathing was torture. Being was torture. My boobs were rock hard, huge and agony. I thought I must have used too much, so I assumed that if I used less, it would be fine. In hindsight, the words - very stupid - come to mind, but at the time I never thought to go back to the doctor. I carried on for 2 weeks. I am ashamed to write this, then I FINALLY called the guinea-pig-ologist. Only he wasn't there. My main man who said he would be available to monitor me when I really needed it wasn't around. Not only was he not around, he was not in Dar, he was in the UK, having surgery as he was elderly and had in fact retired. I went to the "ordinary" doctor, who said "oh dear", we will pass on the information. I never heard from either of them again. This was the beginning of my interaction with front line medical services in relation to being peri-menopausal. I stopped the gel, my boobs went back to normal and I was able to breath, walk, cuddle and go to bed and other activities that normal people engage in during the course of an ordinary day. But I still had all the peri-menopausal symptoms - so I changed doctors. By the way, if anyone needs any estradiol transdermal gel I still have 6 tubes of the stuff, complete with the little plastic measuring applicator device, which is unfortunately not very precise. There is no rush, they expire
2 minutes | Sep 4, 2014
Many paws. I do hope you all get it. It is so great. My daughter asked me again about the "many paws" last night. She is only 9, and does so well to remember the list of symptoms and that none of it is her fault; blah, blah blah. For her, of course it is really simple, the nice mum and the evil one. She then noticed that it sounded like "manypaws" and laughed her head off. We have three dogs you see. I read my blog posts out loud to her last night. Not your average bedtime story I would say, but she asked. I warned her that I had used some rude words. She was riveted and I have to say she loved all of them and thought that I was very clever. The very nice mum finished putting her to bed. Actually I was asleep before her. Squeezed into her single bed, I was vaguely aware of some sort of noise in my ear. It was her talking, but I simply couldn't answer. I woke up at 3am, with my leg half out of the wooden frame; and with what felt like wooden slat marks etched into my body; where, I had squashed the foam mattress down into the bedframe with my weight. It took what felt like an hour to move her off me, collect my bits of body, disengage myself from parts of the mosquito net, and get up. Mindful of seeing the good and all that stuff, I decided that I was going to meditate and have deep thoughts. BUT, I am afraid I saw my husband's computer just looking at me. Before I knew it, Episode 1, Season 4 of Game of Thrones was on, fantastic. I settled into the comfiest part of the sofa. Not for long sadly. Busted. My husband was up and wandering around and told me to get back to bed - my own this time. I knew I couldn't say no, as I had buggered off and fallen asleep again last night and not seen him.
2 minutes | Sep 4, 2014
Be At One With Nature
Be at one with nature. My yoga teacher, who I admire greatly, used that phrase yesterday. We both had sore bums, from holding our poses for so long the day before. She asked me, if I had felt different emotionally after the class. I said I didn't know because I was on HRT and so couldn't tell what was me and what was medication.. She replied that, humans fight nature every step of the way, and that menopause was part of a natural cycle of life and that I shouldn't take tablets. I don't doubt her at all, my dilemma though is that the phrase "be at one with nature" evokes positive not negative thoughts. How come then that the screaming habdabs because of lack of sleep are also part of that lovely, darling natural cycle of menopausal life as well? But those very habdabs aren't very nice for me or my family or anyone left still talking to me. Bring on the drugs I say, unfortunately, I am not convinced they work for me completely either. Maybe I am just one in a million. Or another way to look at it is, I am totally snookered. We didn't have much time to talk more and she has now left on a trip. I will ask her when she gets back, what you are supposed to do instead of the tablets to "smooth" out those darling little mood swings. Oh yes, and how to get some bloody sleep for longer than 20 minutes at a time; and just to be really greedy; in bed and at nighttime, rather than on the sofa, in the car, on a chair or just about anywhere else. The problem is that, IF she mentions lavender oil, hot milk and lots of "me" time, I just might freak out. I don't WANT lots of me time and massages; I just want to be able to finish a fricking sentence without gazing into middle earth. Or have someone ask me gently if I am alright. I want to walk down the corridor and know why I am bloody doing it. And I want to NOT yell at my loved ones. Is the peri-menopause "new"? Is it because women are living longer? Was it better when we all died off young - a rather drastic way to avoid it I admit. I will wait and see what the teacher says and then share.
3 minutes | Sep 4, 2014
See The Good At 4am
Yes well, I have been trying to see the good. But sometimes I just forget, often for several days. This morning, I was awake at 4am and trying to find the good in that. It was hard, as frankly, I was pissed off. It seems wrong, to start the day feeling cross about being awake when you don't want to be. I lay there thinking about seeing the good and really was challenged to find any. Then it came to me. I realised that if I got up and went into the living room I wouldn't get bitten by mosquitoes. It is the cool season and the house is wonderfully free of mosses at the moment. I think that is a good attempt at seeing the good at 4am. Shallow but not bad. As I've mentioned before; difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, difficulty returning to sleep and waking up too early in the morning; these are all part of the FUN of the peri-menopausal DECADE before you reach fully fledged menopausal - dom. I googled, "why does menopause give you insomnia" and the long, JOLLY list of articles and books is wonderful. Full of titles such as; The Change Before the Change: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Healthy in the Decade Before Menopause by Laura E. Corio, Linda G. Kahn · BANTAM DELL · Paperback · 448 pages · ISBN 0553380311 Could It Be Perimenopause?: How Women 35-50 Can Overcome Forgetfulness, Mood Swings, Insomnia, Weight Gain, Sexual Dysfunction, and Other Telltale Signs of Hormonal Imbalance.by Steven R. Goldstein, Laurie Ashner · Vermilion · Paperback · 242 pages · ISBN 0091816696 I have read neither, I am sure they are brilliant. BUT don't the titles make you want to run from them screaming? I still can't get over the fact that I DIDN'T KNOW peri-menopause was coming to get me - and thousands of others. How come I didn't know? I feel sure that a hint, an idea, a warning, a clue should have been given to me by someone, a doctor perhaps? I should have seen something, a glossy pamphlet or brochure? You don't need to read anything, except THIS blog; because I will tell you, why you can't sleep for 10 years. Your flipping ovaries decrease the production of progesterone - which is a sleep-promoting hormone. I know in time that, I have to come to terms with my lot; but not yet; no bloody way. I am still outraged. How come I knew so little about these wonderful hormones? I never appreciated them when I had enough of them, as I thought they were mine
2 minutes | Sep 3, 2014
Hair Loss IS Sexy
Of course hair loss isn't sexy, but I thought that might catch your eye. I went to the gym today and did 90 minutes of Yoga. Fabulous, absolutely fabulous. My yin and yang were doing what they were supposed to do; I was breathing properly without feeling faint; all marvellous. When I got back home we still had power. Unusual for this time of year and we have no generator. I turned on the hot water switch and decided to splash out (pardon the pun) on a full body shower and hair wash. I know that makes me sound rather unclean. I am not, I promise but when there is no power, there is no water, as the power is needed for the water pump. I hear connections going off in people's heads and them thinking ahhh….I see. No problem to have a cold wash using the water from the bucket in the bathroom kept specially for those occasions. However, I have to confess, despite my hardiness for washing with a jug and living without hot water; this doesn't extend to washing my hair in cold water. In my view, people wash their hair far too much. Once or twice a week is plenty even for sweaty children and models. I am so lucky, I also have another reason. I know, I know, you have been waiting for that Menopause Moment - an MM. Yes, hair loss is another of those darling little symptoms. So you can understand now, my own very good reason, NOT to be rushing for the shampoo each day. Mind you, I have never checked with the doctor. Does all the hair WAIT until you wash it; and then come out in a larger clump in the weekly wash, just to spite you? Oh well as I am shallow, I will leave that train of thought well alone. My shower today with hot water was lovely, and so is my hair.
3 minutes | Aug 26, 2014
Which is What and Dangerous Lifts
The problem, or one of them, with the menopause is that you don’t know what are stress related symptoms and what are menopausal symptoms. I started thinking I was getting alzheimer's again, when I suddenly felt panicky getting into a lift recently on holiday. I don’t like lifts, I got stuck in 2 when I was young, and the image is still strong. I have also lived and worked in far too many developing countries with poor or no electricity supply to ever trust any lift anywhere. The problem in posh hotels is that there are only lifts on offer. The emergency stairs are hidden - not sure why. We stopped in Istanbul en route to UK in June. We stayed at the Hilton - posh, lovely food. Mirrored lifts - they help with the impression you are in a room not a lift. I did still go to the loo each time before, I got in the lift in case we got stuck. Those are the sort of lifts that you are supposed to never get stuck in. Bugger me of course we did. For about a nano second, but that is enough for a chest pang. We were on the 24th floor and it stayed on the 16th and wouldn't let us out. I called the help button and said we were stuck. The door opened and they said they would send an engineer. Meanwhile as I was with my daughter, I was pretending it was fine and that these things happen. She wasn't fazed, but neither of us really wanted to spend the day on the 16th floor lobby. I had to call twice more before the engineer came. He took us to the 24th floor and told us that we had to use our room card when we got in the lift and then press our floor button. I was indignant - why hadn't they told us at reception when we'd checked in? I then read on the website of a well woman clinic; the one where I finally saw the doctor; and it listed agrophobia and claustrophobia are also symptoms of menopause. I thought I had bottomed out on the list of symptoms and was becoming seasoned. But NO. Back to today. I just gave my husband a lift to his office. Remember the 2 car family, with one car operational at any one time. I overshot the turning to his office. I rarely get anywhere without doing that, he is not usually in the car though, I have to say. It is more often children; who thankfully are often not aware of where they are or where they are going to. Such is their faith in the grown up driving them. Poor darlings. They don't know the risks they run with peri-menopausal women. I tend to have to suddenly swerve into lots of dirt roa
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