Of course the topic of menopause won't interest everyone, but it's affecting me greatly at the moment so I wanted to share my experiences and raise awareness.
When I had a hysterectomy in 2013 it was certainly a big deal. I was only 38 so quite young but it was a decision I had no choice but to make. I had adenomyosis which was making becoming pregnant near enough impossible and my periods were horrendous, like something out of a horror film. My whole life was being affected and I was in pain two out of every four weeks. I cried when I went into surgery that day and remember vividly sitting with my surgeon feeling anxious, while he was trying to reassure me, then him walking me into theatre. Two reasons were driving my fear, one being the fact the last time I had been in hospital was for emergency surgery for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and the other was knowing that this operation would put an end to me having my own natural child.
Ultimately I knew it was the best decision for me. I would be pain free and I could go back to enjoying being me again without being paranoid about leaving the house. Sadly I did have complications after surgery and ended up back in hospital for a week, but I was just so relieved to not have the burden of having periods. That is what they had felt like to me, something stopping me living my life.
I was told it could be a few years before I went into menopause or it could take a lot longer. Age was on my side so I was hopeful it would be the latter. I was relieved to hear this in all honesty as I had heard horrible things about night sweats and hot flushes. Thankfully I enjoyed a pain free life for about 4 years and then unexpectedly I started to get painful twinges again. I had various tests, saw many consultants and in the end I was told it was likely to be endometrosis. Again? Apparently as I had not had my ovaries removed it was still possible, and ovaries feed endometriosis so I was told. Great! I was given birth control pills (quite ironic really) and some pain relief, told I could hopefully manage the symptoms until I naturally went into menopause and then the pain would go away.
Roll on to today, I am 46 and the pain still hasn't been resolved. I am now taking Zoladex injections which shuts down my system. I have gone into fast speed menopause and am experiencing all the symptoms escalated by about 1000 (ok, that may be a little dramatic but that's how it feels to me). The night sweats means I'm up at 3am having to change my PJ's, my fuse is short, I'm mega grumpy, I can burst into tears at the smallest things and the brain fog is just the worst. I have so many things I want to achieve and I feel stifled, frustrated and sad a lot of the time.
I don't tell you this to feel sorry for me. Or so you can have a low down of my health history. I want to raise awareness about menopause and how truly life debilitating it can be. I know some women who don't suffer badly, but I believe the majority of women have a fair few of these symptoms. Most grin and bear the symptoms and carry on as best they can but some find it life changing and just become anxious and depressed. I have even heard of women who have contemplated suicide as they just can't cope with the affects. Sadly I am finding myself in bed several times a week as I just have no energy at all. My brain is wanting me to do more, but my body is telling me it has had enough and wants to rest. It is hard to fight and somedays I win and somedays I just give in and throw the duvet over my head. All women have to go through this at some point in their lives, and I sometimes feel we get a raw deal...as if periods weren't bad enough!
I am struggling but fighting everyday. Menopausing...I've got the T-shirt!