Sunday, 3 March 2013
Menopause For Thought
It is a bit of a mystery to me that I haven't yet made it to adulthood, but my body appears to think I am headed to crone status. It's a funny position to be in - on the one hand entering the menopause and on the other largely blogging about a boy I like who is all of 25 since his recent birthday. Without once referring to him as immature :-O
When you google 'menopause' you get lots of pictures like this:
Which SURELY has nothing to do with ME?? Look - THIS is me:
Granted the clothing is a little restrained there, but it WAS my Dad's funeral.....
It seems like being menopausal is more than a hot flush or two - it's a full-on onslaught that turns you into a steely-haired frump.
I've felt it coming on for a few years now - I've had a few hot flushes over the last few years - and it's not just heat. It's being drenched in sweat, heart pounding, head feeling like it's about to explode, so I've had to go and hang out of a window ASAP. At the same time, rather than diminishing, my periods became really heavy, and I don't know how I'd have coped without my mooncup, because tampons just weren't up to the job. They were like twigs being swept downstream in rapids. The only upside was that sometimes the irregularity of my periods meant that whilst occasionally my cycle would be as short as 18 days, sometimes I'd go over 50 days without a period, which was utter bliss. It now occurs to me that I can't remember when my last period was, I think it was before Christmas sometime.
Now I get lots of hot flushes, but they aren't like the ones I've described above - they are pure heat. I wake in the night burning up, but no sweat or other symptoms. So I shuffle over to the blissful cold of the other side of the bed. Then ten minutes later shuffle back, like a very hot inchworm. Repeat for about half an hour, at which point I realise I am freezing and wrap myself up in the duvet. This happens about three times a night or more, and has been doing for the last month. But no-one really talks about menopause symptoms, so I'm not sure how long to expect this to last - apparently 50 is the average age for menopause, so I am assuming I have a couple of years before this is done? And it's meant to be over two years after your last period, so that might just fit in, except you could have a period at any time, you never know.
Can I go TMI for a moment? (Like some of the above really wasnt!) I've had no problems with vaginal dryness, but there has been a noticeable thinning of my erm, *lips*. It was some time last year I was in the bath and thought, 'hmmm, that's new'. It surely must have happened gradually, but I only noticed when it was done. And I shave every time I have a bath, so you'd think it couldn't really sneak up on me. But like a thin-labiaed ninja, it did.
Talking of shaving, so far that has been the worst part of the experience - THE HAIR. If I didn't pluck daily, I'd have a Brian Blessed beard for sure. It is getting to the point where I really am considering shaving - but what stops me is that I am furry, so I'd have to shave my whole damn face. Don't look at me like that - apparently, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor were furry. Downy hair makes you not shine on photos and gives you a natural soft focus effect. According to an article I once read somewhere, so it must be true. But it also means you can't wax or shave without having a weird 'patchy' effect. My sister tried it, so I know. Not a good look, trust me on this.
But aside from the hair, it's so far not been too bad. I am physically fitter than I have ever been in my life, which may be helping. The not having periods is a brilliant as you would imagine, and so far I've not noticed any dry skin. Oh, but the gums, that has been a very recent thing. I'm now brushing at least three times a day and my gums are still bleeding, it's like being pregnant. So that is a bit worrying cos I am absolutely obsessive about teeth. So, aside from the hair and the gums, so far it isn't too bad.
I'll keep you posted. I'm on high alert for incipient frumpiness.