Now to the end, literally, of fertility, “the menopause, a natural life change, represents the beginning of a new phase of a woman’s life in which, with a positive attitude, she may fulfil many life ambitions that she has previously not had the opportunity to pursue”. I want to hunt down the person who wrote this trite little piece of propaganda. It’s all well and good having a positive attitude, I’m trying to, really I am but how the hell it is going to enable me to do things I’ve not got round to before, and why it should be opening up more possibilities I cannot begin to guess at.
It’s all really cheery stuff really, and not just for me but, apparently for those unfortunate enough to cross my path. My main gripe at the moment is hot flushes and also the terminology used to describe them, flushes, flashes, tropical moments, power surges. I had always interpreted these phrases as descriptive of a change in body temperature lasting a few seconds, I was wrong, ‘tropical tsunami’ is a better representation. It’s there, building slowly but inexorably, pushing forwards until it makes itself obvious by making your entire skin surface feel, and look, as if it is suffering from sun-burn and make you feel as if you are in a sauna, fully clothed. You are covered in a sweaty sheen and exhausted for about 5 minutes and, if you are me, instantly short-tempered. Your whole body is out of control, these nasty ‘symptoms’ of the change follow their own rules, there may not be one for a couple of hours and then three will come along in quick succession, and at night it’s so debilitating. I already have sleep issues, I’ve had ‘restless legs‘ for years but now I can also look forward to waking, I always wake just before a tsunami happens, and having to get up, otherwise I would make the bed damp from the sweat, and then find somewhere cool to stand until it passes. Something else happens with the instant saunas, palpitations. These are not just little flutters, they pound through your chest, it feels as if the sound of them must be resounding through the room, that your body must be jolting with their ferocity and at first it was really scary, I thought my heart might explode!
I’m attempting to be positive about these demonstrations of the changes in my autonomic nervous system and hormone levels but it is difficult, after all they are your bodies constant reminder that you are getting older, that your whole body is undergoing change, and not for the better, just a look at the diagram below tells me that!