Supporting each other on our menopause journey

Supporting each other on our menopause journey

It’s May 2019 and I’m not too sure exactly when my ‘menopause journey’ started but looking back I think it was about five years ago.

Supporting each other on our menopause journeyI’m 49 now, and I’m feeling better than I have for a long time, I’m on HRT tablets and oestradiol gel as I needed oestrogen.

I started trying HRT 14 months ago, patches at first – they kept peeling off. Then tablets – they weren’t strong enough. So this is my third attempt at getting my balance right. I’ve been very fortunate to have good helpful doctors and a super nurse practitioner! I couldn’t be happier with how nicely and caringly our NHS have treated me.

I’ve also been extremely lucky with a tremendously supportive husband through it all so far. About 18 months ago he’d read a newspaper article written by Yasmin Le Bon who’d described her ‘menopause nightmare’. He suggested I read it as it seemed to be outlining everything I’d been experiencing. A few weeks later he called me into the kitchen as Meg Mathews was talking on the radio about her ‘hellish’ menopause journey. I found myself nodding to pretty much everything she had to say!

It all made perfect sense to me. In fact, the more information and sharing of stories of menopause and perimenopause I’ve followed, the more I can see the light. Luckily for me a lot of my friends are going through it too, joining Good Midlife Vibes and Good Midlife Menopause Musings has been a godsend.

I”m not falling apart/going mad/needing anti-depressant tablets/turning into a complete lunatic or a monster with two heads. In fact, I take comfort from everyone’s stories, hopefully I can help others too with my story. I know I’m luckier than a lot of others with my perimenopause symptoms.

Understanding my mother

I have a much better understanding of how my mother coped with her own menopause journey and she was a lot more unlucky with her doctors. She was given too high a dose of anti-depressants, then was taken off them too quickly, and she struggled for years. I know she appreciates being able to talk to me now as it wasn’t talked about when she was younger. I’ve struggled myself with anxiety, which was a new feeling for me, feeling low, and mood swings which are more like angry toddler tantrums! So not actually swings, more strops. My poor immediate family have taken the brunt and dealt with my tantrums, perimenopausal Tourettes and low moods.

See also  Long-term health and menopause: what you need to know

We adopted our children, siblings, almost four years ago. It should have been the most wonderful time but it has often been tainted by my perimenopausal moods and anger. I would feel annoyance, a general feeling of malaise and funk with life, is this it? After years of wanting, trying, miscarriages and finally our adoption journey why didn’t I feel like Mary Poppins? I’d tell them off for things that truly didn’t matter, screaming inside my head to stop, I was low and fed up, tearful and moody instead of on cloud nine.

Thankfully I’m feeling much better now, happier, lighter in myself, able to cope with me and my perimenopause (mostly!) able to enjoy family life a lot more. I can laugh again with our two children and sometimes I can even laugh with my husband!

I’m not feeling like I’m juggling 20 balls and dropping 18, I’m looking forward to getting more of me back again, life is pretty good.

About Kate Ware

I'm 49, married with two young children, two dogs and a cat! I've been a children's nanny for 28 years, I also work as a lunchtime supervisor in a school, it's hard work but fun too! I absolutely love spending time with my family and fabulous friends, I'm happiest with sunshine, dog walks, friendship and gin!