At long last my appointment for the Menopause Clinic came around. You may remember when I told you about having to pretty much stage a menopausal coup at the GP’s surgery to get this referral. (you may also NOT remember this if you are anything like me and suffering regular CRAFT (Can’t Remember a Fucking Thing) moments). But in any case the coup was successful due to my relatively recently developed skill of complete obstinate stubbornness. I simply refused to leave the surgery til I had the referral.
So it’s taken six months from then to this momentous date. I decided to get up early and walk. Am determined to get my 10,000 steps a day in. So 40 minutes later I am almost at Chambers Street with 10 mins to spare. But I can’t bloody find it. I check… OFFS – it isn’t Chambers Street it is Chalmers Street. Chalmers Street – WTF – I check my Google Maps and find it – thank god for technology. I have forgotten my earphones so will just have to play the directions out loud and if people don’t like it they can feck off – it will make up for the number of times I have had to listen to crap coming out of other peoples mobiles.
‘STARTING ROUTE TO… CHALMERS SEXUAL HEALTH CENTRE’ Oh God Oh God – where is the volume – I forgot I had put it up when I was listening to Spotify this morning and dancing like no-one was watching to my new favourite singer Florence and the Machine. A bunch of workmen smirk but say nothing. It is Edinburgh after all. If it was Glasgow I feel the response may have been rather more raucous.
I am sure this isn’t the right way and am starting to get irritable. Very irritable. Stupid Google Maps is only showing driving instructions despite me hitting the walking person symbol several times. I have had a hot flush and am soaked. I am knackered and my foot is hurting from all the walking. And I am going to be late. And I don’t want to have to wait another six months for another appointment.
My phone rings – well ‘facetimes’. My niece downloaded it for me as I am clueless and here she is – brill she knows Edinburgh like the back of her hand. ‘Hi Honey’ I say – waiting for her cheery response.
“I AM LOOKING AT YOUR EAR AGAIN!’ she shouts.
OFFS – I keep forgetting that with facetime you don’t put your phone to your ear. I swing it back round.
I remember taking the piss out my mum when she got her first computer and carefully printed a letter out then tippexed over the mistakes. I suspect the younger generation look at me in a similar way.
Anyway she hasn’t a clue where Chalmers Street and although that means I am still lost – I am very glad she doesn’t know where it is. She hangs up when I ask if she saw any wax in my ear – I worry a bit about this as my hair is up a lot just now due to the heat and hot flashes.
I see a taxi – thank god – and flag it down. ‘Where to Love?’ the Driver says.
Oh No – I can’t say the Sexual Health Centre. I can’t. So I say “Chalmers Street please – number 2”.
But he is not deterred. ‘Is that the Dental Clinic love’ he says. Oh god this is soohhh embarrassing. I decide I will try and come across as a Doctor – that will work – I am a Doctor with a very important job at the Sexual Health Clinic. and I say confidently ‘actually I’m off to Sexual Health Clinic’. Then I start worrying about something my partner said the other day – ‘if there was a gift I could give you it would be a higher self esteem’. I said I’d prefer a bottle of Chanel Number 5 or some of that lovely blue Clarins hydrating moisturiser. I thought my self esteem was ok but here I am trying to be a Doctor because I am worried the taxi driver will think I have VD so maybe they had a point.
My phone pipes up interrupting my musings. “Turn RIGHT for Chalmers Sexual Health Centre”. The taxi driver glares at me in his rear view mirror – ‘are you checking the route hen’. I notice I am no longer a love.
‘Sorry Sorry – stupid phone” I say and wonder about doing a pretend call to a pretend secretary about pretend patients. Then I remember I am nearly fifty and then i worry that perhaps I have Walter Mitty syndrome.
Finally get there. Why is the bloody Menopause Clinic part of a Sexual Health Centre? WHY? WHY? It’s like a sick joke – haha menopausal women who are likely to be feeling fat, ugly and with no desire in sex whatsover – come into our sexual health clinic. I am a little jealous of the young who are waiting – because at that age I wouldn’t have needed a sexual health clinic as .. well basically I wasn’t having sex. I regret that now – if I had my time again I would shag whenever the desire took me and wear my grass stains with pride. Feck my body was smoking then and my libido was high. Why didn’t I just give myself up unto the moment? And have lots of moments one after the other. Instead of ‘waiting’. And after all that waiting ending up with a Fucktard with zero Emotional Intelligence. Nah – get out and sow the wild oats is my advice (unless you are my niece in which case hang on til at least the age of 35)
And finally I am seen. And the Doctor is so lovely and kind that I start to cry. This is a new menopausal symptom – I am much more familiar with the mood swings the temper and the irritability.
She is patient and gives me tissues. I can see myself in the mirror behind the Doctor and it’s not pretty. I wish cried like Sinead O’Connor in that video – solitary tears dropping gracefully one by one. I just look like a weeping blotchy burst couch. And my hair has gone all funny.
Anyway we have a lovely chat in the end. Well she talks mainly and I sob and hiccough a lot. I do think if they gave a cup of tea and maybe a couple of jaffa cakes the experience would be much more enjoyable. She shows me the leaflet – A Guide to HRT and the Menopause for Women in Lothian. I am wondering why it is for just Lothian – is it different if you are a Glaswegian? I am distracted wondering how Glaswegians and Edinburgh people would differ in their treatment so miss the next bit of the conversation – I reconnect just as she says having too high standards can sometimes be an issue – she clearly hasn’t seen the state of my home and doesn’t know that I haven’t ironed in 3 years and that I spent most of my working day yesterday on Facebook. But I nod and agree that it is a curse and I will try and lower my standards. This will mean no standards to be honest. But if that’s what the Doctor orders! She recommends HRT patches and I agree. She is so lovely I think i would agree if she suggested that sticking a frogs leg up my nose would help. Am not high risk apart from being a bit of a fatty which I am working on so why not. I have done extensive research – I have watched famous menopausal women on telly and in OK magazine then checked if they took it. Well Davina McCall, Lorraine Kelly, Carol Vorderman & Andrea Mclean all took it – and they all look fab and can string whole sentences together without forgetting what word comes next. (yes I know this isn’t proper scientific research but I feel it is an evidence based approach so good enough)
So Hot Flushes…Disturbed Sleep….Mood Swings…Chronic Tiredness…..Joint Aches….BE GONE WITH YOU… Me and HRT will conquer.
As soon as I am brave enough to stick the first patch on…..