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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Wagg

Let's talk Menopause!

Why didn’t anyone tell me this? Let’s talk Menopause!

Well, I did a thing yesterday. I went to the GP to talk menopause.

 

 So, what led me there? Lots of things really, culminating in a rather embarrassing moment with my husband in a local coffee shop. We had gone for toasted tea cakes (a favourite of mine) when he came back with the tea cake there was margarine, not butter, MARGARINE on the side. I glared at the margarine, glared at him and burst into tears, ugly snotty, it is not fair tears. Thankfully he is pretty good at allowing space for my feelings, however, he did comment once I had calmed down that was quite a big reaction. I went for coffee with a great friend of mine who when I laughingly told her the “teacake” story didn’t laugh. She gently asked if I had considered it could be connected to my hormones i.e. the start of the menopause or perhaps peri menopause. This led me to reflect that I have been having quite a few big extreme reactions to things. Anxiety and overthinking in friendships, anxiety around how I am as a therapist, feelings of not being good enough taking up head space. Pair that with weird sleep patterns emerging, night time sweats, tiredness and just not feeling me. I was like “ohhhh…how did I miss that?” I work lots with women my age dealing with these changes but somehow had a blind spot to my own stuff; no great surprise there. When I was growing up, I remember whispered conversations by older women in my life. Catching words such as “The change” “Flushes”. It was quite a taboo subject and not one for me to be concerned with as a youngster but maybe if I had been privy to what was happening for them it could have armed me with knowledge so badly needed in my future

 

After a couple of weeks procrastination, I booked in to see a GP.

The consultation went like this:

Doc “What can I do for you?”

Me “I want to talk about the menopause”

She looked at my notes and my age “Of course you do – you are 47 that makes perfect sense.”

I had heard such horror stories from other women who have not had such a great experience the overwhelming feeling was relief.  I struck lucky with this GP; she really got it. She listened to me. She talked me through my options and didn’t pressure me into anything. For me on balance the right thing to do is try some kind of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) and I appreciate that won’t be for everyone – that’s ok.  

So, for any other women considering the possibility that this is where they are at a few tips from me:

1.     Educate yourself – understand the options out there. I love Davina McCall’s book “Menopausing”

2.     Talk to someone – a friend, a relative, a therapist. You won’t be the only one experiencing these feelings.

3.     Talk to your GP – I appreciate this can be challenging, 519 redials (I kid you not!) to get through my practice yesterday. Persevere and if your GP doesn’t take you seriously ask for a second opinion.

4.     Uniqueness – we are all unique and so will our symptoms be; you may not have all of the classic symptoms. Nobody knows you as well as you do.

5.     If you are a man reading this – talk to the women folk in your life. Normalise this experience for them – it can be a pretty scary place to be. Ask them what they need.

 

Finally, I must mention the awesome, male pharmacist I encountered when picking up my prescription. He took me into a side room and signed me up for the NHS Hormone replacement therapy Prescription Prepayment Certificate (Link below). He talked to me like a normal human, completely alleviating any embarrassment I may have felt pointing out that as I was unlikely to be getting any younger I was more than likely going to need more than one prescription of this stuff so rather than pay £9.90 each time I could pay £20 for the year (I need this every 3 months) - I did not know this was a thing!

 

I don’t actually know how I feel about this yet, I have the gel waiting for me beside my bed to apply the first dose tonight which weirdly feels quite daunting! I will let you know how this goes for me.

Let’s normalise this stuff and talk about it! #youmatter #menopause #HRT #yougotthis

I have added a couple of links below to more information:

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