The Menopause & Me

Me-And-The-Menopause-Best-Before-End-Date

This Is My Fed Up Face. Can You Tell?

When I first started this blog I said that I would use it as a place to write about my menopause journey and strangely, so far I haven’t. One of the main reasons I haven’t felt ready to write and talk about it here is because when I did I wanted to be totally frank, open and honest.

So Here Goes

I try not to make a big deal about it because to be honest it’s a natural bodily function just like periods, having babies and sex. But my menopause has been a  BIG pain in the arse.

I had horrendous periods so thought {hoped} I might escape ‘the menopause’.

I THINK I could’ve coped with the sweats and hot flushes .. although are bad enough in themselves sometimes. My hair can be wringing wet as if I’ve just stepped out the shower. Having short hair it’s very difficult to hide profuse perspiration of the head!

I started probably in my mid forties with what we all know now is the ‘peri- menopause’. Nobody told me it was called that. I feel with many things us women have to educate ourselves. To be honest it’s only really in the last year or so that I have started to see more open discussion about it.

I Wonder Why?

When you go to your GP and start having a conversation about the menopause they usually ask you when did you last have a period. In my case, I’d had an endometrial ablation in my late 30’s which completely stopped the bleeding part of my monthly. I was obviously still going through my cycle but the symptoms of heavy menstruation were completely halted by the procedure.

Woo Hoo!!

I was still having symptoms like sore boobs and food cravings but what had become the dreaded part of my periods miraculously, was gone. I could enjoy my life again and not have to plan social events around how heavy I might bleed. This had become so debilitating.

All great until I hit my mid forties like I said, and then  .. bam. So, because my worst symptom had disappeared with the procedure I’d had, I couldn’t really answer any time I was asked about my last period.

 

Fast forward to me finally going on HRT in the Autumn of of 2014. I wonder why we wrestle so much with this decision us women? There’s a lot of dis-information around taking it and the possible onset of breast cancer but having read up extensively I decided the benefits would out weigh the risk.

The-Menopause-And-Me

 

The absolute worst symptoms for me have been the typical menopausal symptoms; poor concentration, crushing tiredness and low libido.

The brain fog is horrendous particularly as I work in a sector where part of my average working day involves analysing data.

Periodically, over the last 4 years I’ve dipped in and out of my HRT … to sort of see how far I’m through. I don’t want to be on it forever, even though one of the doctors at my GP surgery said she didn’t want to see me again until I was 65!

This last time is the longest I’ve been off it — just over 4 months. I haven’t timed it very well, though. It was one of  the hottest summers on record in the UK and I also started my own business. Why did I do this to myself? I’ve asked myself this a lot.

I’ve lasted as long as I can this time .. no idea why I’ve punished myself.

This past 4.5 months this has been a list of my life:

  • Hot flushes and sweats compounded by the hot summer.
  • Reduced or no libido … my husband is very patient; he loves me and clearly wants to be intimate with me when I literally have no interest at all.
  • Exhaustion … off the scale. I feel as if someone has tied my body up in Houdini chains and every movement is an effort.
  • Worsening migraines .. I’ve always suffered with migraine but thought they were almost gone; these past months I’ve had some corkers.
  • Vaginal dryness, itching, urinary complications, painful intercourse {when it does happen}.
  • Muscle pain, joint pain, lots of creaking.
  • Skin; dry, itchy, burning, tenderness.
  • Mental symptoms: fatigue, tiredness, irritability.
  • Insomnia … something I’ve rarely suffered from has hit me like a train.
  • Weight gain or should I say inability to exercise due to the off the scale exhaustion.

So there’s either something else really wrong with me or I need to get back on some form of HRT and pronto!!!

My life is a real juxtaposition at the moment. I’m super happy with every aspect of it: my business, my relationships, I’m not depressed. Yet I don’t feel as if I’m functioning at my full potential because of that list of symptoms.

I’m off to see my GP on Tuesday so I’ll keep you all up to date with how I get on. I’ve also been reading some very insightful articles about testosterone and how this can supplement HRT therapy. There was a good article on The Times  but as you have to subscribe I’m sharing this one from The Irish Examiner, instead.

I’m expecting lots of huffing and puffing when I ask about testosterone but let’s see.

I’d love to hear your thoughts .. talk to me about your menopause journey. We need to open up more about this time in our lives. If we’re all going to live a lot longer than we really shouldn’t be spending a vast swathe of it feeling utterly miserable should we?

Sharon xo

 

 

 

19 Comments

  1. Annette
    September 23, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    Well done on another brilliant and honest blog Sharon.
    I can associate with everything you have said, even the endometrial ablation which I had in my early 40s for the same reasons you describe.
    I am struggling with all of the symptoms you describe and would add forgetfulness to the list. The tiredness and brain fog are the worst. I have always managed on around 5 hours sleep and functioned well without feeling too tired but recently, I have felt tiredness I can only describe as akin to early pregnancy – pure, overwhelming exhaustion.
    I have never tried HRT, I was hoping to avoid it because the pill caused some problems for me so I thought the same might apply to HRT but I am probably being naive and need to do more research. I am assuming from what you and others are saying that it makes a significant difference?
    Thank you for raising this under exposed subject. x

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      September 24, 2018 / 5:19 pm

      Thanks Annette PIA isn’t it? I’ll let you know how I get on and then maybe that might help you to go yourself xo

  2. September 24, 2018 / 1:12 am

    The main symptom I had was weight gain. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I exercise or how healthy I eat my weight doesn’t budge.

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      September 24, 2018 / 5:18 pm

      Oh I know that feeling!! xo

  3. September 24, 2018 / 8:23 am

    Low libido? Be happy,I have no libido! At all! 😁😁😁Just awfull and those hot flashes are just ridiculous. Who, in the right mind, decides that we women should suffer this!

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      September 24, 2018 / 5:18 pm

      Lol by low I meant zero!! It’s horrendous what we have to go through isn’t it, Nancy? Hopefully, I’ll get sorted at the doctors xo

  4. Clare
    September 24, 2018 / 8:51 am

    I sympathise with you so much, when I was going through all this I just kept waiting for it to end, unfortunately I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia which has many the same symptoms in particular the aching and exhaustion. It might be worth asking dr about this.

    Though have to say I do hope you don’t have it as menopause does end and fibro doesn’t

    Good luck

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      September 24, 2018 / 5:17 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Clare. Sorry to hear about your diagnosis xo

    • Victoria
      October 18, 2018 / 8:06 pm

      Another fibro sufferer here. Apart from the sweats and migraines, all those symptoms are fibro symptoms that I have. Only 39 so hoping to last a while longer before menopause but I’m hoping that it won’t affect me as much because I already have all those symptoms. I don’t feel jet lag because it’s the way I always feel and I can’t tell any difference, so hoping menopause might be the same.

      I’m about to go back on testosterone blocking hormones for alopecia so I’ll take a look at that article.

  5. September 25, 2018 / 12:23 am

    Great post Sharon. I got away very lightly with hot flushes and night sweats. And phyto soya worked for those..bought in Boots. But apart from vaginal dryness( coconut oil is fab) I did not suffer like you. I hope you get it sorted. I wrote about it 2 years ago…the elephant in the room!!

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      October 14, 2018 / 7:06 pm

      I’ve been reading that about coconut oil, Hilda. Might have to try. Hopefully I will be through it all soon. It’s something we should talk about xo

  6. September 25, 2018 / 6:42 pm

    Hi Sharon,
    I’m onto my second type of HRT. I’m just not ready to come off it yet. I like you have had quite a journey and felt so unwell a few years ago – at the same time I was diagnosed with an under active thyroid and thought I was going loopy! I’m also lucky that I have a hubby that understood and showed a lot of caring when needed. Good luck at the docs. Let me know how you get on.
    Alison
    x

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      October 14, 2018 / 7:05 pm

      It’s awful isn’t Alison? I’m on a new type since I wrote this and feeling a lot better thankyou. the blood tests revealed something else though that I have to have more blood taken for this coming week. Nothing scary and that hopefully can be sorted quickly xo

  7. September 26, 2018 / 9:43 pm

    I’ve not tried HRT yet… I’m sure that is coming soon for me though! I’m in the midst of dreadful peri menopause. My worst symptoms are the mental fog (horrible for a writer), the forgetfulness (which I feel shame for) and anxiety/panic attacks, which I’ve never had before now. Apparently, anxiety is a perimenopause thing.. and so is the insomnia and the heart palpitations. Such a beastly thing to go through.

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      October 14, 2018 / 7:03 pm

      It’s the pits Lisa isn’t it? I fought the fog for quite a few years but just couldn’t function in my work. I’m pleased to say since I wrote this I’m now back on HRT and feeling more like myself again xo

  8. Leah
    September 30, 2018 / 12:04 pm

    As a 45 year old peri menopausal woman I can relate to almost all of this (except the libido & husband part as I got rid of him a long time ago LOL).
    I am so pleased to finally find women being open & honest about the menopause.
    This part of my life is proving to be a hard slog. It makes me feel like a completely different person, lost, just going through the motions trying to get through the day relatively unscathed.
    It’s a really shitty part of a woman’s life, & I often find there is a lack of empathy & understanding.
    Even from other women!
    So thank you Sharon. Really enjoyed reading this., & reading all the comments to.

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      October 14, 2018 / 7:00 pm

      Thankyou so much Leah for taking the time to read and comment. Good to hear you got read of something that was dragging you down too!! xo

  9. October 3, 2018 / 10:43 pm

    Wow – I officially love you, yes – absolutely yes! we need to talk about menopause and we need to talk about menopause as it is completely normal. I have so far just chugged along and “dealt with it” women are meant to be cope-rs right? But unless we talk about it, then we will continue to cope rather than live. I have had the off flakey moment – always been flakey, the odd hot flush but I have always had the wonky thermostat, but what I HAVE struggled with is depression – I had no idea depression can be part of the menopause. Who knew – no one talked to me about menopause. Well done missus – I totally salute and respect you. Hopefully you can get help – I really hope so

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      October 14, 2018 / 6:57 pm

      That is so lovely of you, Juliet, thankyou. You are right we all need to talk more and open up xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Never Miss A Post!

Get Bbed Straight To Your Inbox