Tag Archives: menopause

Design Flaws

Sometimes I think that women have some serious design flaws.

I mean, really, is it necessary at the end of our useful reproductive life to have to go through the hot flushes, mood swings, weight gain and all the other stuff that comes with menopause? Does childbearing and birthing have to wreak such havoc on a woman’s body? Wouldn’t it be much better just to have it all spring back into shape as if nothing had happened?

It wouldn’t be so bad if the menopause happened over a two week period and that was the end of that. You know, like a mega menstrual cycle to get rid of all the stuff you don’t need any more. But oh no, that’s too simple. Mother nature decided that once we are no longer useful for reproducing things don’t need to be in tip top condition. It can all run to rack and ruin. I suppose the rationale being that once we aren’t useful for breeding then the caveman will move on to a younger, fitter woman and the old birds can just die. Not being able to run so fast and not having a caveman to protect us probably meant we would be eaten by a dinosaur and that would be the end of that. Survival of the fittest and all that. No need to keep things ticketyboo in the old birds.

Does mother nature, and by mother nature I mean that nasty old bitch, nature, not know that times have changed? These days we are more likely to live past the age of forty and our useful life isn’t at an end. Not only that, these days most people don’t end up as dinosaur fodder when they slow down a bit. It would be nice if the decline into old age was a bit gentler and kinder.

What the hell am I talking about? I’ll tell you, dear reader.

I won’t tell you in all the gory details so don’t worry, I’ll keep detail to a minimum.

It’s no secret that I am a woman of *ahem* a certain age. Few several years now I have suffered the indignity of hot flushes, blah, blah, blah, you name it, bring on the menopause symptoms. Note the use of the word ‘years’. Years! For God’s sake!

Anyway, that aside, over the last year or two there have been other things going on in my body. Wrinkles have caused my once fairly pretty face to look stern and old. My once voluptuous breasts now look like boulders in a giant sock. My friend with not quite so extravagant mammaries says hers now look like spaniels ears. My once pert bottom now looks like a saggy, dimply lump of jelly and my stomach, let’s not even talk about that. Everything has headed south. Not only headed south but headed south and taken everything useful or beautiful with it and massively fucked off. If I ever win the lottery I’ll book myself in for plastic surgery and tell the surgeon to pick me up by my hair, give me a good shake, trim off all the excess skin, sew it back up and that should sort it all out.

Changes on the outside are one thing. Changes on the inside are another thing entirely. Gravity, weak muscles and the damage wreaked from giving birth to and nurturing three kids has apparently caused my innards to give up the ghost and collapse into a heap onto my pelvic floor like a pile of dirty washing. Thanks for your brilliant design, mother nature. Bitch.

Eventually realising that things weren’t quite right in the nether regions I went to see my doctor who in turn referred me to a specialist.

Rather too jolly and farmer-ish for my delicate sensibilities he announced in a loud and booming voice to everyone within a three mile radius, “Right, bit of a mess in there. I can’t tell if your uterus needs to come out till I give it a good pull and see what happens. I can’t really do that while you’re awake. So we’ll put you to sleep. It if moves I’ll remove it. I mean, it’s not like you need it any more, is it? Hahahahahah!!!!!”

Not usually sensitive but I found myself upset and wounded by his words, telling myself to get over it. It isn’t as if I need it any more, is it?

So. I was duly put on the waiting list to have my innards tidied up and a possible hysterectomy. That was about nine weeks ago. A few days ago I got a phone call telling me that a place was available. I had my operation this Wednesday.

I’ve never been in hospital other to have my kids. I was terrified.

People moan about the NHS. I can’t fault it. Every single person I came across was friendly, professional and very capable. I felt completely safe in their hands. After chatting with the anaesthetist the next thing I remember is waking up in a ward hours later. It must be odd being an anaesthetist, conversations being cut short all day long. I remember we were talking about her lovely necklace and then…nothing.

So, it turns out that I had not one, not two but three operations Wednesday. Suffice to say I’m a bit sore at the moment. They tidied round, threw out some stuff they didn’t need, did a couple of repair jobs and some embroidery, generally making everything neat and tidy.

Now I sit here thinking about the looooooooong weeks ahead of me where I can’t go out, drive, do housework ( ok, not too upset about that bit) or any kind of exertion for the next 6-8 weeks. After that I have been told I must never lift anything heavy again or I will undo all the work that has been done and end up worse that I was before. That’s going to be difficult for woman who generally behaves like Tigger on speed. Sitting still really isn’t my forte. Maybe I should take up basket weaving?


I only wanted a doctor’s appointment

So. After a few days of feeling absolutely wretched and having a strange tingly, numbness and heaviness attacking various parts of my anatomy added to my delightful half hourly menopausal tropical moments, I finally fell apart emotionally and spent most of Saturday morning in tears.

Mother nature is one nasty bitch, isn’t she?  As if it’s not bad enough realising that you’re well on the way  on the journey from Goddess to Crone she has to throw in emotional turmoil, forgetfulness, palpitations, permanent knackeredness and worst of all, hot flushes. Oh, how I enjoy those tropical moments. NOT! I only have to think a wrong thought and I’m off again. Well, thanks for all that, Mother Nature. Fook you too.

Anyway, back to the plot. I came back from walking the dog in floods of tears. The combination of all of the above finally proving too much to for me bear. Poor old Boofuls wondered what the hell was going on as I arrived home  sobbing. As normal he calmly took over.   A phone call to our GP confirmed what we already knew, there was no surgery on Saturday morning. The next opportunity to see our GP would be  Wednesday afternoon as we’d planned our summer holiday, all two days of it,  in the Lake District for Monday and Tuesday and there was no way I was giving up my summer holiday.

“Wednesday? I can’t wait till Wednesday.” I sobbed down the phone to the poor receptionist at the  out of hours service. She promptly made me an appointment for two hours hence at the primary care centre. Normally rarer than rocking horse poo I was so grateful for my appointment I cried even more.   The tingling and numbness was a real concern to me for many a reason I don’t need to share on here.

We turned up at the appointed time and saw a nurse practitioner. “Stand on one leg. Touch your nose, walk across the room.” I’m sure if she was testing for sobriety.

Eventually, she decided that she didn’t know what was wrong with me and said that she wanted to refer me to the medical assessment unit. In my naivety I assumed she meant she was referring me to a doctor. How wrong can you be?

We made our way to the medical assessment unit to be told. “Oh yes, we’re ready for you. Your bed’s over there, I’ll come and admit you in a minute.”

“What? Bed? No! There must be some mistake.  I’m only here to see a doctor.” I spluttered, wide eyed and panicky.

” The doctor will be with you shortly. There’s your bed.”

Oh dear Lord.

So that was me in hospital for eight hours while various samples of bodily fluids were taken from me, tests done, x-rays performed and reflexes checked. They clearly thought I was having either a stroke or a heart attack. Now I’m no expert but I could have told them that I wasn’t. I felt like a complete fraud taking up a hospital bed while women clearly in a lot more distress and with far more serious conditions than mine  were being wheeled in.

They did eventually establish that the tingling etc. is being caused by some damage to my neck so I didn’t feel like such a fraud then. I was eventually discharged with instructions to wait for an appointment for an MRI scan.

You know, we criticise our health service and it certainly is not without it’s flaws but when I needed help, help was available, and quickly. They were very thorough in their investigations and,  having established that what I was suffering,  while certainly unpleasant, wasn’t life threatening, they then made arrangements for me to go back and get it sorted out. Well done NHS – and all I wanted was a doctor’s appointment!

one for the girls

It’ll be my birthday in a couple of hours. Happy birthday to me.

Men. Stop reading now, this is girl talk.

You may or not know that I hit the big five-oh last year so from now on I’m starting to count backwards so I am of course now entering 50 for the second year, next year I’ll be 49.

As the year since my last birthday has progressed I have noticed some not so subtle, some welcome and some not so welcome changes occuring in my body.

My internal temperature gauge seems to have altered itself.

I’m finally gaining an insight into our friend Stu’s life. For as long as we’ve known him, and that’s more years than I care to remember, he has walked round in the middle of winter in shorts telling us all that he’s not cold. Not for him the many layers that everyone else snuggled up in. Now it would seem, not for me either.

Summer for Stu sees him panting gently in a shady corner, the perspiration  dripping off the end of his nose. I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen to me but I fear it might as I already have an extremely low tolerance level for hot weather.

The temperature gauge going up isn’t such a big thing as far  the  female rite of passage into menopause goes.  If that’s as bad as it gets, I thought, I’ll be happy bunny.

Spoke too soon there, didn’t I?

My temperature gauge suddenly decided to go loopy.

One day I was fine, the next day everything has gone haywire.

I’ll be sat here all nice and calm minding my own business and then from out of nowhere comes the heat.

My God!  The heat!

Jumper off, jumper on, jumper off, jumper on and so it carries on.

It’s madness.

It’s even worse at night, I’m wandering round the bedroom starkers, opening the windows and trying not to wake Boofuls from his snory slumber. Five minutes later I’m slamming the windows shut and climbing back into bed for a quick warm up snuggle.

Yesterday I decided enough was enough. I took myself off to the local herbalist’s and spent a good five minutes ranting about how unfair life is when you’re ’30 plus VAT’  years old and the slow life journey from  Goddess to Crone is getting faster by the minute.

They listened.

I knew they were listening because they had their listening faces on.

At least one of them was listening to me. I’m not sure what the other one was listening to while she was looking in my direction but she was certainly listening to something, I worked it out by the tell tale sign of the wires hanging out of her ears and the rhythmic bobbing of her head that made her look a bit like a mad  bobbing thing – or like this owl:

The one who was actually listening to me clucked sympathetically, sold me some ‘Crone Prevention’ tablets and then said, “Hang on, I have something in the back of the shop you can have that will help you.”

Ooh, I thought, That sounds exciting.

The lady disappeared for a minute and then reappeared  with a big smile on her face, “Here you are,” she said as she handed me…….. a fan.

Hahaahaahaaaaaaa!! That cheered me up no end!!

I left the shop with a fistful of pills and potions, an assurance that I’m not the only woman in the world going through this and that actually I’ve got off quite lightly up to now *touch wood* , a  paper fan (very useful and pretty), an empty purse and a big smile on my face.

It doesn’t take a lot to cheer me up. Nettle tea, anyone?