Leeches on your Genitals??

This morning I watched the menopause be discussed on BBC Breakfast. I also listened to Zoe Ball chat about it on Radio 2 with Andrea Mclean. Two events that would have been unheard of for our mothers generation when the topic was so taboo!

Despite this, it can be easy to get despondent about the menopause and the lack of support there is for women as they go through this transition. The average age of female suicide in the UK is 51-55 – the same as the average age of menopause. I doubt that is a co-incidence.

But we are so much luckier than the generations who have gone before us. In their day, the menopause was known as the ‘gateway to death’. Not any more – we can often have a third, maybe even half our lives left when it is over. To be fair we will spend it fat, knackered, a bit bald, hairy faced and highly irritable! But it’s still better than the alternative.

It was Aristotle who first mentioned the menopause. And this was about 300BC. Maybe he should have spent as much time looking at this than he did teaching Alexander the Great and we may have been so much further forward in terms of treatment. But he couldn’t really be bothered so limited his work on the menopause to declaring it a time when women got ‘colder and drier’. Hmmm – Aristotle had clearly never lay in bed with a woman having a hot flush otherwise he would have been more likely to have declared something along the lines of ‘for goodness sake – you are literally melting my skin’ which is a regular declaration from my bed partner while rolling to the furthest end of the bed and dramatically fanning the covers for air. Sometimes I really do prefer my dog who doesn’t mind at all and clambers merrily onto my tummy when it happens – think she sees it as a massive hot water bed to have fun on.

But after Aristotle, no-one really bothered about the menopause much til the mid 1800’s. Possibly because not many women lived much past 40 for much of the intervening years. So if you did – it was probably like winning the lottery.
It was 1823 when a French physician coined the phrase ‘menopause’ meaning ceasing of the month. The first medications were not quite the plethora we have on offer now. In the 1800s cannabis was prescribed. This would have been a preferred option given some of the alternatives – douche of lead, morphine and chloroform anyone? What about testicular juice? Or the filtered juice of a guinea pigs ovaries. I may send these examples in to Ant and Dec for the food challenges in the next I’m a Celeb! Or what about a clitoridectomy (yes that is what you think it is) as recommended by influential surgeon Baker Brown. Or blood letting (some doctors felt it was because women no longer passing blood that triggered the symptoms – so if they took blood out regularly it would ‘fix’ them) Leeches were attached often to genitalia to assist with such treatment (in those days Doctors were nearly all men -I’ll say no more….)

In 1855 Lawson Tait, who was an influential physician, considered menopausal women to be in grave danger of mental derangement and incurable dementia. I can’t blame him – I thought the same when the symptoms started, and so did many people who know me. But his treatment which was simply to lock them up in asylums seems a little extreme. The guy also believed Jack the Ripper was a woman…so perhaps his theories should have been discounted then….
The Purity Movement Writers declared a bad experience of the menopause to be a sign of sin – and said that it showed the woman had been badly behaved when young. Yes- maybe – but I have some great memories to look back on during my sleepless nights – none of them involving working out at the gym with some tofu and sparkling water for dinner!

Moving on through the years it didn’t get much better. When first mentioned on radio in 1948, there was a massive outcry – ‘lowering of broadcasting standards’ and ‘acutely embarrassing’ were two of the many complaints.

In 1966, Dr Robert Wilson declared us all ‘galloping catastrophes’. It was meant in a derogatory way – I’m a feminist but have to be honest and say I love the thought of being a ‘galloping catastrophe’

The topic is no longer taboo – and we have much more information, support and choice of treatment than so many of our female ancestors. I think laughing at yourself and with others on some of the more ridiculous symptoms with a bottle or three of wine is something our grannies and probably our mothers would never have done. And were probably the worse for it.

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Hot Woman Goes Hot Yoga’ing!

I am continuing to try and do lots of things that I have never done before as I approach the Big 50!

This week it was Hot Yoga. I had to go alone as every friend I asked said things along the lines of ‘feck off – just come to the pub” and “no feckin way – it will be full of farting skinny vegans’.

Billed as burning 1200 calories in 90 minutes – I was sold!! Hell that’s a mars bar, a bag of chips, a jack daniels and coke and a glass of wine!!

I get there and it appears that people group according to their ‘tribe’. At the front the slim and the beautiful with very trendy tight shorts and crop tops for the women and sppedos for the men (yes seriously!!). At the back it is the chubby tribe with baggy t shirts and leggings. These are my people and I join them. It is roasting – like 1000 degrees roasting. Like inferno and worst hot flush ever roasting. Like spontaneous combustion roasting. JUST ROASTING. And all I have done is roll out my mat and lie on it.

We start with five mins of waggling our elbows like a chicken. Five minutes in and I am literally pouring with my sweat and I suspect the sweat of others though I am trying hard not to think about that. It is ROASTING!!!!!

It is then time for deep breathing. And I get the benefits of deep breathing – I really do. But this isn’t inhaling the fresh crisp Highland air – this is deep breathing the CO2 gases from others, body odour and what I suspect to be farty smells from the vegans who seemed to have had a lot of cauliflower soup in the last 24 hours.

I remember at primary school Davey Gibbons wrote a story about living inside a fart and was sent out of the classroom for being ‘disgusting’. But I think of his story now – identifying with it 45 years later! (how I can remember this event from 45 years ago but can’t remember what day it is today. Menopausal Brain Fog works in mysterious ways!!)

There is now not one single bit of my body that isn’t dripping in sweat. Eve my eyeballs are sweating. My bra is soaking and digging into me. I had wine the night before and seriously it is now leaking out of my pores clashing with the vegan stale kale pong. The guy in front of me has soaking wet shorts and what I hope to feck is sweat rolling down his legs. I make a mental note to never bring anyone I fancy or anyone I want to fancy me along to these classes.

The guy beside me is lying down very still. Virago or whatever the feck the teachers name was had told us not to leave the room but just to lie down if we were struggling so I am hoping that is what he is doing. But he is very still. Menopausal anxiety is kicking in – what if he has died? What if I end up a figure of hate on youtube doing my yoga while the guy beside me is dead and I just don’t care. This leads to more worrying. What if my exes me see me fat and sweaty on youtube and think ‘thank god I let that fat wobbly sweaty nasty inconsiderate woman go’? Virago is showing absolutely no concern for the maybe dead man so maybe I should just focus.

I look at the clock. We are 20 mins in. How the actual fuck can that be? I seriously doubt that I can do another 70 minutes of this bollocks. To my eternal shame if I was given a choice between a cool flannel cloth or a successful Brexit … well put it this way – Theresa would just have to soldier on!

We then have to do an eagle – which involves pretty much wrapping one leg twice round the other and sticking your arse out – I have seen eagles and they bear no resemblance to this. None. The instructor comes to try and adjust me – I have to point out that I have things called thighs – proper thighs – not little pipecleaner legs with a big space betwen them like hers and the front row tribe. So it’s not that I don’t get the concept of wrapping one leg round the other twice – it is just for me a physical impossibility .

Two girls get up and walk out – despite Viragos insistence they stay. I think one said Fuck Off but it might have been Namaste. I feel a little smug to be still there – the leavers are half my age and a quarter of my size. But I have a year of hot flushes on my side – so take that Bitches – and get used to it – coz this — THIS is your future! Actually hot yoga is a good way to practice being menopausal – the heat the sweating the exhaustion – the water running down your inside leg… wanting to tell the skinny bendy instructor to fuck off and just keep fucking off til her entire bendy body has fucked right off….

We then have to half bend and hold – it is a busy class and I may as well be the gynaecologist for the girl in front of me who has worn loose shorts and no pants.

We then (thank god) do some sitting down exercises and again Virago comes to ‘adjust’ me – and again I explain that I totally get the pose in theory but having a menopausal midriff means there isn’t a feckin hope in hell that my head will touch my feckin knee. She gives up and I find I cannot bear my bra digging in anymore so in my best Irene Cara move I whip my sodding wet bra off through my t shirt sleeve and shove it under the towel. Blessed relief! Virago declares it is time for Savasana – I hope and hope it does not involve standing up again. And Hooray it doesn’t – it simply means lying down – and I am so good at that. The maybe dead guy beside me decides to sit up just as we all lie back – he looks dazed – maybe he was just asleep.

Finally it is over – I have done it. I grab my shoes and tear our into the fresh air. It is freezing but I don’t care. My nipples do though – and fly out like torpedos through my sodding wet t shirt. Fuck it – I walk home owning it – I am Kim Kardashian. I am Jordan. I am any one of the ‘here’s my tits now give me money celebrities’ – I swagger down the road refusing to look in any show windows as I know Bernard Manning is more likely to look back than Pamela Anderson. .

I weigh myself the next day

2lbs ON.

ON!!!

ON!!

how is that even feckin possible!

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Sweet Dog Gets a Promotion

Hello
 
It is Sweet Dog here again – I have appointed myself not only Guest Blogger but also ‘Manager’ as think that is a good job for me.
 
My Human ‘Galloping Catastrophe’ says I am employed on a results only basis and will be paid in biscuits and walks. I have to get 10 pledges for our fabulous illustrated humour book on our Menopausal Musings in order to get 3 biscuits and a walk to my favourite river to cool down.
 
As you can see from the picture I have been thinking deeply how to do this. And I think I have some great ideas
 
First – I called the publisher and they gave me a discount code – GALLOPING10 – it lasts til Wednesday and will give you a 10% discount off the book.
 
Secondly – for anyone who pledges before Wednesday and likes shares and puts a comment below this post – you will all be entered into a draw and the winner will get a fabulous ‘Galloping Catastrophe’ mug and mousemat
 
I am very impressed with my manager skills. And very much hoping to hit the target.
 
Want to help me? Click on the link below – click on Pledge – and choose what you’d like to pledge for. Don’t forget to put GALLOPING10 at the checkout for your discount.
 
 
Thanks and lots of lovely licks and wuffs
 
Sweet Dog
x

The Menopausal Fuckit Buckit

I’ve been watching the excellent ‘After Life’ with Ricky Gervais.

I am loving it for a number of reasons – but in particular for his behaviour now he is all out of fucks.

As a menopausal woman I can relate to that. My fucks are disappearing in direct correlation to the disappearance of my memory, eggs, eyebrows, waist and wrinkle free skin.

But the loss of fucks I find something to celebrate. I gave so many fucks when I was younger. Far too many fucks – but now they are flying into my metaphorical Fuck Bucket – which is fit to overflow now. I look back fondly sometimes at those fucks but in the same way as I look fondly back at my pink legwarmers and sequinned boob tubes. With no desire to resurrect them but with an understanding that I was young and daft then.

The Fucks I used to give if people didn’t like me – gone! As I now realise that people will like me or not like me – and most of the time it will be nothing at all to do with me.

Fucks about giving my opinion. Gone. I’d rather be hated for being me than liked for pretending to be someone else. I spent years worrying what people thought of me – then I stopped worrying about it. Now I realise no-one was really thinking about me as much as I was thinking they did!

No fucks about buying the latest most expensive cosmetics Coz no-one no one is looking at my eyes and thinking ‘maybe that mascara is Sisley or maybe it’s Maybelline’

Zero fucks about getting ‘bikini body ready’ and zero fucks about the fashion stylists saying a one piece is more flattering for the ‘older’ woman. Fuck that – my pink bikini goes on and voila – there is my bikini body ready to go! I give zero fucks about magazines that aim to bring women down and treat them like second class citizens unless they portray what they believe a woman should look like (I mean wtf with these eyebrows that start at the tear duct and end at the lug!)

I look back on my life and realise it was the fucks I didn’t give that enhanced my life. The fucks I didn’t give about packing my job in and travelling.. the fucks I didn’t give about toxic people I eliminated from my life.. I could go on and on. But in conclusion – freedom truly is another word for very few fucks left to give. I’m through with self doubt and ‘playing nice’.

And I do have a few fucks left – but I spend them wisely now. And the power of a Fuck consciously directed by a menopausal women should not be underestimated. The Charity that continually harassed my elderly neighbour when his wife died with phone calls and letters asking for more and more money which he, feeling vulnerable, was giving although he was living on a tiny pension (this harassment apparently due to the fact he’d done a collection for them in her memory at the funeral!). I gave a huge fuck about that. I mean a MASSIVE fuck. That fuck is probably still reverberating round that charities office now.

One benefit of getting older is that you realise that freedom is just another word for very few fucks left to give. And we find ourselves unfuckwithable due their disappearance!

Anyone else chucking more and more fucks into the fuck bucket?

Ps I do give a bit of a fuck about getting my Menopausal Musings published .. I am crowdfunding with unbound to get it released .. thanks to the 120 of you who already pledged to support it .. I need about another 250 .. u will get the great book and the satisfaction of knowing your fuck helped to get it out there in the shops .. click here if you would like to give that fuck … xx Thanku … https://unbound.com/books/galloping-catastrophe/

xx

Twitter: @gallopingcatast

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The ‘Dogopaws’!

Hiya – Sweet Dog again – after the success of my last post I have decided to come along and be a guest contributer again. I did well last time and my human was annoyed coz I got more likes that her. Ha Ha. Might start my own doggyblog!

Well I don’t know if I mentioned earlier but I am seven and a half years old. This means I am 52.5 in human years. And I suspect I might be going through the dogopaws (see what I did there…).

I am definitely getting middle aged spread. Got weighed at the vets the other week and he was horrible and said I was overweight and that my human should feed me less. I was raging – it is hormonal. My human has cut my food almost in half and thinks I don’t notice. Well I do – and I note she is still troughing through the hobnobs and swigging the Jack Daniels despite her midriff expanding way more than mine!

I am grumpier too. I shocked myself the other day when I growled at a dog that tried to steal my ball. I am normally a very sweet dog. But my buttons were being pushed. I also had a hairy canary the other night and ripped my toy parrot apart and scattered the insides all over the kitchen floor.
And when not grumpy I am tearful. I can no longer watch ‘for the love of dogs’ with the lovely Paul O’Grady (who I wish would adopt me coz I just know he wouldn’t cut my biscuits quota in half). It is just all too much.

I am very tired too – the other day I missed who won Crufts as I fell asleep just before the final. Dogopawsal brainfog means I can’t remember how to use catch up!

I was sure I was having hot flushes but then I ended up at the Dog Groomers and remembered that I hadn’t had a haircut for ages. Once my hair was all cut off I started not getting them. But my goodness – the hair. I have so much hair in places I never used to have hair before. I mean is that just me? In between my toes on my paws. Under my tummy.

So I asked my human to take me to the vet and get HRT – a doggy version like my humans. I actually ended up having some of hers as her patch fell off her and it somehow ended up on my tail and then I got it off and ate it. But it didn’t affect me. It is a big thing for me to go to the vets. Because I hate the vet. My human pretends we are going on a walk when we go but I am not stupid I can tell when we are going to the vet and refuse to get out of the car so she has to carry me in. I sometimes ham it up a bit as it can mean extra biscuits. But anyway – do you know what my human says (the one with HRT patches coming out her feckin ears) – she said ‘feck right off – £600 last time to get your inoculations, a tooth out and your medicine. We aren’t going back’. Which I think is really harsh – I mean I didn’t ask to be born did I? She chose to have me! And I know she spent £750 on a wedding outfit even though she told my other human that it was £180. If only I could bloody talk! I would not be averse to blackmail.

I am hoping that fame will change my fortunes. My human and I wrote a book and we want it published. But to do that we need to get 300 people to buy it upfront. This is a big ask – but if you would like to support me and maybe see me on a book tour where I can sign your book with a loving paw – just click in here and pledge to buy our lovely book… Thank you all who have pledged so far.

unbound.com/books/galloping-catastrophe/

Wuff Wuff and lots of doggy love

Twitter: @gallopingcatast

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Menopausal Public Transport

So – I am trying thinking of giving my car up. I have told Hemp Oil Harriet that I am doing it for the environment but the truth is that menopausal poverty (last bill £75 for supplements and a replacement ladycare magnet) means that running a car I don’t use that often is becoming a luxury I can’t afford!

Before making such a drastic move – I decided to have a practice. Last night I was off to South Queensferry to meet a friend for dinner. One big benefit of trying the bus out rather than drive is that I can partake of cocktails and wine. Big Tick for public transport.

A bit of playing around on the internet and I worked out the times and costs. I headed up to St Andrews Square – 30 minute walk. Feckin knackered. Totally feckin knackered. I was knackered before I left to be fair – I had ‘got ready’ to go out. That was a huge effort and I am coming to the conclusion that I can either get ready to go out or go out – attempting both is just too much.

Did I really used to go through the ‘getting ready’ every day before work? Threw myself into the Bus Station to be told that bus now departs from outside and over the road. Run at 100 miles an hour to get it – sweating despite for once not having a bloody hot flush.

Well – after my return bus trip, I have come to the conclusion that there needs to be a specialist bus for Menopausal Women.

Or at the very least a set of rules that all passengers must abide to when on a bus with said Menopausal Women. They are as follows:

• SEATING: If the bus if feckin empty – do NOT sit on the seat right next to a Menopausal Woman. If you do decide for some god forsaken reason to do so – you do NOT then get your mobile out and have a loud conversation with someone. If you happen to be reading – this is the reason I stood on your foot accidently on purpose while moving to another seat. Yes sorry and all that – but you were so bloody annoying!
• HEADPHONES: Use them! I do not want to listen to Frozen coming from your kids i-pad.
• TISSUES: Yes I know it is the season for colds – but for the love of god the STOP with the fecking sniffing. It does my blooming head in – just take a tissue and blow your bloomin nose.
• NOSE PICKING: Seriously, I am appalled there actually has to be a rule about this. I’m talking about you – tall man that got on around Blackhall. I may have PTSD from watching what you houked from your nose. GADZ – that is all!
• MAKE UP: Apply before getting on the bus or just don’t wear it. I do not want to be covered in bits of face bronzer on my lovely new jeans.
• COMPULSORY SPONSORED SILENCE: on all buses for schoolkids – remind me never ever to get the 4pm bus again. What a pile of crap teenagers talk. Also – I refer them to the tissue comment above
• TEMPERATURE: this is up to the menopausal woman to decide. If she slides open the window – it must be left open.
• TOILETS: any bus trip of more than ten minutes in duration MUST have a toilet. This is especially important when menopausal women are travelling having consumed considerable quantities of alcohol. The dust in the bus caused a few episodes of ‘peezing’ which, let’s be honest isn’t pleasant for anyone!
• STOP WARNINGS – A gentle nudge from someone when your stop approaches as menopausal exhaustion and aforementioned wine can lead to missing stop due to being asleep.
• SAD STORY FILTERS – On Facebook no sad stories should be allowed to filter in as sad donkey stories can cause oceans of tears which isn’t great when trying to see how close you are to your destination.

So the biggest issue with public transport is actually the public. So the penalties would be severe. I was thinking of tarring and brushing miscreants – then attaching them to a rope at the back of the bus and just dragging them along. However Sweet Dog has told me that is a bit extreme and it maybe an on the spot fine of maybe about £1000 would be sufficient.

I’m ok with that – as long as all proceeds to go to easing menopausal poverty!

I will put shortly release a ‘unilateral declaration’ in support of these recommendations. Suspect it will be as useful as the Brexit one but we can but try!

PS – Update on my book – ‘Galloping Catastrophe: Musings of a Menopausal Woman’. First – THANKS so much again to the 71 people who have ‘pledged’ ie pre-ordered the book.
If you haven’t and you would like to (I need about 400 people to pledge in total before it can be printed and sent to the shops…) please use this link…

https://unbound.com/books/galloping-catastrophe/

xx
Twitter @gallopingcatast

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My Bookie Wookie…

Hello Everyone

And firstly – massive thanks for reading this  blog and giving me the confidence to attempt to turn it into a book…

Sweet Dog and I have been working away on said book

And we now have an agent.. and a publisher…

But for the book to become a reality – I need about 300 people to buy the book upfront.

If anyone reading would like to support Galloping Catastrophe  in this endeavor – I would be so grateful… the link is below. Have a look and see what you think.

I will keep you updated on progress.. xxx

https://unbound.com/books/galloping-catastrophe/