Forgetfulness & Memory Lapses

So today started fairly ok. I had to get up at 3am and have a shower due to either hot flush or the flu. Am not sure which. But then I went back to sleep and slept solidly til 9am. I felt most smug when I got up as I have Christmas sorted this year. One of the few benefits I am finding of the menopause is that less and less fucks are given as time goes on. So instead of weeks of prep I ordered a massive steak pie from the butcher and bought frozen roast potatoes and frozen parsnips from Tesco. I then asked all my guests to bring between them a starter, a pudding, cheese and biscuits – and all their own booze. Done!! I can now laze about all day. Aided by my lovely dog walking friend who has no dogs of her own and so wants to come and take my dog up a munro – double hooray.

Following on with my natural approach to my menopause symptoms, I mix a soya yogurt with an egg and chia seeds and some porridge oats and frozen fruit and pop it all in the oven for 40 minutes. I am still a bit fluey (not sure if due to that lady care magnet but giving it benefit of doubt for now and still wearing) and I spy a little tiny bottle of whisky. I mix it into a cup with lemon and some honey – blitz it in microwave and head through to watch some telly while my breakfast gets ready. I feel quite proud of my ‘no stress’ christmas – get me at 20 to 11 drinking whisky with nothing to do.

20 to 11…. 20 to 11…. FUCK…. FUCKITY FUCK…. The bastarding steak pie that I ordered last week. The butcher warned me that i MUST get it by 11am or he will be closed. He called me yesterday to remind me. I forget everything so I put it on a postit on the kettle. But I didn’t have tea did I… No I had to have bloody whisky.

I drag on some jogging trousers, tuck my nightie in, pull on my trainers and grab the car keys. Oh no – the bloody whisky!! Am I over the limit? Can’t risk it. Grab dog as she needs a walk and may as well kill two birds with one stone and tear our the house. Tear back two mins later to turn off oven containing my lovely healthy breakfast. Tear back out again. Five minutes into fast walk/slow jog Dog starts to ominously start twirling that always ends in a massive shit. And FUCK I have no poo bags. None – I forgot to lift them. A fellow dogwalker takes sympathy and gives me two – just in case. I almost cry with gratitude, scoop up the massive shit and toss it in the bin and keep running. I have to get to the butcher or we have no christmas main course. I try not to berate myself as the mindfulness part of my menopause book says to be kind to yourself. But for gods sake – I had ONE BLOODY JOB!!

I get there at 2 mins past 11 – and thank god there are two people in front of me. I take a breath and realise I have forgot my phone… And remember the dog walking lady… NO NO NO – I cannot miss her – I’d forgotten she was coming. I need Dog tired out. And now I can’t phone her.

The butchers daughter comes out with a tub of celebrations – chocolate is good. And she is only 11 and doesn’t say anything or judge when I take 4. I go to pop one in my mouth and smell something horrible. It is dog poo….. on my nail. The rushed scooping lead to a smear of shit – on ME!. I wipe it on my jogging trousers and scoff the chocolates. I get my steak pie and head off at a run to try and get back for Dog Walking Lady.

But Dog can smell the steak pie. Dog wants steak pie. Dog jumps up and adds muddy dog prints to her shit stains onto my trousers. Dog continues in this manner all the way home. She is nothing if not persistent. Resist urge to kick bloody dog. It is pissing down and me, Dog and pie all getting soaked.

We get back. I strip my shit covered paw stained trousers and all the rest of my clothes and fling them in the washing machine – chuck in the bold and turn it on. My healthy breakfast is all disgustingly half cooked and cold so I chuck it out. Fuck it – I am having what I had planned for christmas breakfast tomorrow – my favourite – morning roll with thick butter, tomato ketchup, lorne sausage and a potato scone. I stick the sausage in the oven – bit healthier if I grill rather than fry it – and fling some chia seeds on the butter in the roll. I need to at least make an effort. I run upstairs – quick shower and dressing gown on – then tank back down for my breakfast.

There is an ominous clunk clunk coming from the washing machine. FUCK – it is my fanny magnet. My £35 fanny magnet. Not even 48 hours old. In the washing machine. I frantically google to find out if it is still effective after such an ordeal. But of course this is related to the menopause so answers to such sensible questions are not to be found.

Give up and retreat to the TV to watch the Bette Davies and Joan Crawford feud that I recorded from last night (there are two women who were defo menopausal during Baby Jane!) with my amazing breakfast which does cheer me up.

In all the stuff I have read about symptoms of the menopause, ‘memory lapses and fuzzy thinking’ appear as a simple bullet point. This post is just one tiny example of what that little bullet point means in real life!!!

Christmas Eve – so signing off and off to open the wine. The advice is that alcohol is not good for menopausal women.

I beg to feckin differ!!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Magnito Growler!!

Got a fanny magnet yesterday! Well actually it’s official name is a ‘ladycare’ magnet. I have decided to try and get through the perimenopause and the menopause through natural means.

My pal ‘Five Corona Claire’ (on account of the fact everyone counts the beers she drinks when out and makes an excuse to leave when she hits number five as she then transforms from a lovely kind person to a mentalcase who wants to fight anyone within a 100 yard raidius) swears by it. It was £35 quid in Boots and the sales assistant who located it for me advised me that I should do HRT as she used it and it gave her back her sex drive which I did think was maybe too much information to divulge when we had barely met. But I got 140 boots advantage points and I am not convinced I want to take drugs yet so am giving it a go.

I opened it up in the loo in the pub and carefully put it on the front of my knickers as instructed. It is a lovely purpley glittery colour. Then I went to meet my pal for lunch in same pub feeling most grown up. I am taking control of my symptoms. My pal finally arrived and leant forward to give me a hug. As she did so – her lovely long metal pendant swung forward and attached itself to my groin!! She yanked it off ‘what the fuck’ she said. I explained my magnet and we got out the instructions. It is a ‘powerful static magnetic device’. She had some nail scissors in her bag – we tried attaching them and a spoon. The spoon didn’t hold but the nail scissors did!.

She asked how much it was as she might get one for her kids christmas. I told her and she said ‘what the fuck?’ again and told me she had a ton of crap fridge magnets the kids had collected over the years and she would have gladly give me them for free. She texted her husband to tell him, a bit pissed off coz I would not let her photograph it to put on instagram. He replied saying he was changing my name in his phone to ‘Magnito Growler’. My pal thought this hysterical. I, to be honest, was less amused. After a few glasses of wine, I started finding it more funny. And we found all manner of metal objects to attach to my groin – each one funnier than the last. I finally headed for home a little worse for wear.

I felt worse than I thought I would this morning. I normally go for lunchtime drinking where possible as the hangover then takes place when you are asleep thus leaving you refreshed for the next day. But I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I read a bit more of the instructions of the magnet. Apparently the only side effect is ‘slight flu like symptoms’ in the first couple of days. Well as today has gone on I have felt worse and worse. Could be co-incidence as everyone and his dog has a bug of some sort just now. But am not feeling good with swollen glands, sore throat, runny nose and thick head. Also – you are supposed to wear it 24/7 – I don’t really like wearing knickers at night. But it won’t stay on otherwise. I will keep going for a month though and see how it pans out. Who knows – this might be all I need. The packaging does say it ‘may’ help with hot flushes, bloating, mood swings and fatigue. It also says it ‘may’ help with improved skin tone, sleep and libido. The words ‘may’ appear a lot. It also says it it does this by ‘reducing excessive sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity and increasing parasympathetic nervous system (PMS) activity. So that’s the science for anyone who has a clue what that means….I will keep you posted on its effectiveness!

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Judging Books….

You can judge a book by it’s cover – so the saying goes.

I told you in my last blog about Waterstones not having a single book on the menopause! Not one!  And I need answers to a number of questions.  So I decide to look on line for a book to help me.  And am surprised.  But not pleasantly so…

It’s the covers.  If they are to be believed then the menopause is a time when your hair will become thick, shiny and glossy.  You will have a wide smile showing even white teeth.  Your body will be slim and lithe.  According to one cover, when you enter the menopause your husband will start giving you piggy backs through meadows while you both laugh gleefully.  One even referred to the menopausal years as the ‘sexy years’.  This made me laugh so much I wee’d myself a bit.

Well menopause authors….Sarah Raynor and Christine Northrup amongst others…I beg to feckin differ!!!

Menopausal women do not tend to have glossy hair, cheery smiles and have piggy backs from their partners before a rampant sex session.  On account of their hair falling out, grumpiness, weight gain and diminishing libido.  Here is a picture that is a more accurate reflection of what a menopausal woman looks like.

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Also the titles….titles like ‘The Wisdom of Menopause’.  Seriously! Trust me .. you do not get wiser with the menopause.  You get thick …. thick as mince!!

And this for me is one of the worst things.  I was the smart one of my friends when growing up.  It was my ‘thing’.  My ‘tag’.  There was the ‘wild one’, the ‘pretty one’ and the ‘quiet one’  (though it turned out the quiet one wasn’t so quiet as we discovered when we visited her in the wee Highland village she settled in.  Suffice to say that the weekend we spent there proved that  old adage ‘the quiet ones are the worst’ and that everything that happened in Forres that weekend we agreed will stay in Forres unless the ‘not so quiet one’ decides to do her own blog – and trust me it would be worth a read if she ever does!).

Anyway back to the point (menopausal women waver from the point quite a lot – deal with it!!).  I was the ‘smart’ one.  I was.  I’ve got a degree and a post grad degree to prove it.  I used to be able to absorb things quickly and could beat an elephant hands down in memory games.  Not now.  Now I forget everything.  Everything.  I can’t remember if I cleaned my teeth… if I rinsed the conditioner out my hair ….. if I turned the straightners off.  The straighteners one is a biggie.  I now have to take a photo of the plug socket so that I can refer to it when inevitably I panic and think I have left it on after I have left the house.

 

I used to read books – loads of books – one after the other, devouring and getting lost in every single one.  But in the last year I have read just two – I just don’t seem to have the focus or concentration.  As I type just now there is thick fog outside.  Pea Soup weather as my Granny used to call it.  Pea Soup brain is what I have.

Anyway – back to the books.  I have ordered one of the books.  Menopause for Dummies.

I am keen to find out:

  • Should I have HRT?  What are the benefits?  What are the side effects?  What happens when you come off it?
  • If I had a hysterectomy – would that get it all over and done with?  Or do you still have to go through it all?
  • What are the natural alternatives to HRT?
  • What is the longest time anyone has ever taken to go through the menopause?
  • How can you tell how long it will take you?
  • If you were to commit a crime, would being in menopause be considered a ‘mitigating circumstance’

Mainly though I am debating whether to go ‘au naturel’ or whether to pump the missing hormones in….

 

 

Definitely Menopausal!

Officially menopausal. Our protagonist has the diagnosis and needs to find out more.

It’s official… I am menopausal…..

Probably have been for over a year.

But I didn’t know.  I have been at the doctors so often over the last year I actually just dropped a Christmas card in for the receptionists (my surgerys receptionists are lovely unlike the stereotypical dragons you often hear about).  The doctors are lovely too – showing great patience as I regularly popped in convinced I had one or a combination of:

  • Altzheimers (as can’t remember anything)
  • Early onset Dementia (as above)
  • Underactive Thyroid (gained 20lbs in a year)
  • Diabetes (craving sugar)
  • Vitamin D deficiency (muscles weak – am so tired)
  • Depression (just want to lie in bed all the time, lost my ‘zest for life’, cry a lot)
  • Bi Polar Syndrome (am manically high then so low)
  • Ovarian Cancer (my belly is so swollen I look 6 months pregnant)
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (I don’t feel like me anymore – someone has taken over my body and my mind)

It was a locum that finally suggested I may be menopausal.  I was highly offended.  ‘Very much MENSTRUAL, thank you very much!  Every 26 days without fail’ I told him.  But the blood test we did ‘just in case’ finally showed a positive result.  Though I can see nothing positive about it.  Perimenopause they call it.  The worst of both worlds.  Still having periods but menopausal at the same time.  A bit like a practice for the real thing the doctor said – less than helpfully.

Menopause.  Yes of course I had heard of it – and I knew I would probably have to go through it at some point.  Jean from Finance at work was going through it last year, she called it ‘the change’  and bored the arse of anyone who shows even a vague interest.  She used to  sweat profusely, regularly pull a fan from her drawer and whizz it dramatically in front of her four or five times a day.  She then went off sick and we were told not to ask why.  But she was old – with grey frizzy hair. And elasticated beige trousers.  So although I knew at some point I would go through it – it seemed a very long way into the future.

When I did think about it – which was rare – I suppose I felt I would be a bit more ‘Helen Mirren’ about the whole thing.  Elegant and Slim.  Floating my way through it gently like a summer breeze.  I certainly wouldn’t be like Jean.

Except I am now like Jean.  Not the grey frizzy hair.  My hairdresser and my straightners are very much still in use.  But the sweats are there – I thought I was just coming down with things and that was my body fighting the infection.  And I also have the need to find out more and talk about it.  I want to talk about it – a lot.

I went off to Waterstones – one of the last bookshops in town – to find out more.  I was raging and sweating when i got there.  I had forgotten where it was despite having been there several times in the last few months.  I reassure myself that at least I know now (thanks to google) that this is a symptom of the menopause and not Altzheimers (which incidentally I aced the test for at the doctors – defo not altzheimers!!).  For the last year I thought I was going mad – I would get calls from friends asking where I was – I’d just totally forgotten to meet them.  At work I’d be half way through a meeting and realise I’d forgotten what happened at the start of the meeting.   I’d get half way through a book and forget what happened at the start.  I regularly got lost travelling to familiar destinations.  I was sweating just because that happens all the bloody time despite having done zilch exercise but walk 200 yards from car to the shop.  I was raging because I had caught sight of my reflection looking a lot more like Jean then Helen Mirren.

Found the health and self help section no problem as I had regularly visited it over the last year desperately looking for new meaning in my life.  But never to find books on the menopause.  But yet here I am.  And there is nothing.  NOTHING!  Thats right – NOTHING.  I am now more raging.  (I have been getting raging a lot over the last year).  I can find out how angels can help my life.  I can discover the power of crystals.  I can even learn a bit about the Kama Sutra.  Apparently I can make myself happy, feel the fear and do it anyway, cleanse my aura, learn the rules of love and get slim on a million different diets.  But I cannot find out about the menopause.  The sales assistant (male and about 20) is ‘working’ ie reading books on cars nearby.  But I can’t bring myself to ask.  I scan the shelves again – every woman in the country will go through this – surely there is a demand for books on the topic.

I give up and go to meet my pal for lunch.  Am a bit late as I forget where we are meeting and need to scan through whatsapp then my texts then my emails and finally find the location on facebook (thankfully she is facebook obsessed and checks in everywhere she goes – it is a big help).  She is the same age as me – in fact 2 months older!  I am going to ask her and am looking forward to a long chat about our symptoms (I am realising I am more like Jean than I would like).  We get wine and settle down and I ask if she is menopausal.  She almost drops her wine.  ‘We are in a restaurant’ she whispers looking around in horror.  ‘But are you?’ I say… desperate to find out and talk about it.  ‘No’ she says and then ‘Lets decide what we are having to eat’.  I am dismissed.  This is the woman who 30 years ago told me in great detail in Macdonalds about her genital warts diagnosis and treatment while referring to the guy who gave her it as that ‘fucking riddled cunty bastard’ in a voice loud enough to be heard a mile away.  And now…. she can’t bring herself to talk about the menopause!! I am about to remind her of that story but I stop myself.  I am finding myself in trouble a lot for not filtering whats in my head before it comes out my mouth.  I think now is one of those moments where silence might be the best option.

But it isn’t just me .. is it?  And thats why I am doing this blog.  For everyone woman out there who thinks she is going mental and can’t find a book or blog or someone to talk to.