So I am about to talk about a subject that I am not meant to talk about in polite conversation. So be warned.
I am approaching the end of my fertilely productive life and I am not having a good time at all.
Now as women there are different periods in our life that our body does its’ thing. And every woman can experience these times differently.
We may have sailed through adolescent, very sweetly and calmly, with nary a blemish, or a tummy pain – or we could have been a pimply, greasy, bitch from hell, lying on the couch with a hot water bottle.
Once we come through that, we then have to deal with the whole body image of big boobs, no boobs, big hips, no hips, blah, blah, damn me, isn’t it hard enough already!!!
We may have got pregnant as easily as sneezing, or endured years of trying, or losing babies, unexpected babies or even had to deal with the social stigma of choosing not to have babies. The emotional trauma of some of these are heart breaking, but something that we don’t talk about and usually privately just struggle through.
If we decide to have a baby, then we have to deal with social expectations of caesarean vs natural, drugs vs no drugs, home vs hospital, breastfeeding vs bottle, etc. etc. etc. We have no right to judge any woman for her choices – we have no knowledge of the back story, the reasons and it is none of our business. For example – some women cannot breastfeed, both physically and emotionally and so we have no right to judge.
By this point in our bodies life – it has gone through a lot. And I am not exaggerating – for goodness sake, our pelvic bone breaks apart to give birth!!! Bursting appendices have been ignored by women because they thought it was just normal period pain – NORMAL PAIN.
But then our body decides to throw us into further turmoil to keep us on our toes (or piss us off – depending on how you feel about it).
Now for some woman, the end of their fertile life is like a walk in the park – with maybe a few fleeting hot flushes. Personally and privately (because I have no right to judge – hahahaha), I bloody well hate these woman!
Some woman have to endure night sweats – enough that you have to change the sheets and PJ’s a couple of times a night (and no I am not exaggerating), cramping – bad enough that you end up curled in a ball on the floor, sobbing and rocking – they are lots of fun, trust me!! Also bloating, dry, itching skin, massive pimples, hair loss etc. etc. But for me, it’s the migraines, bad mood and hot flushes – oh my, oh my!!
The term “hot flushes” is such an innocuous term. Sounds like you just get a bit hot and need to fan yourself a bit. No, my dears, it is much more dramatic than that. I was all rugged up once, in the middle of January, on an outing with the family. I was standing next to my brother-in-law and just started handing him all my clothes – I think he was seriously worried I would get down to my bra and knickers. I nearly fainted and vomited, because it was so intense. Poor boy, he didn’t know what was going on and asked if I had these regularly – I shocked him when I said “Oh yes, couple of times a day.”
The change in my mood – well honestly, let’s just say I am being very nasty and there is nothing I can do about it and poor Hubby is getting it in the neck. I can only apologise – for some of it, but other bits of it, well they are things I have always wanted to say, so maybe this is a good opportunity to air them. Just saying…
Now the migraines, this is the one I struggle with. This is a picture of me on the floor in Singapore airport. I was travelling alone with my 2 children. I had taken my tablets, that just didn’t kick in, so I bought the children some donuts, a fizzy drink and found a corner in front of a departure screen. I showed them our flight and asked them to keep an eye on it and told them to wake me for any reason. They are old enough now to be okay, but this picture was taken by my daughter and it makes me feel dreadful. I was in no fit state to look after them and it is just not right.
After seeing that photo, I decided that I need to act. I am in the process of demanding more help from the medical profession – who had previously just fobbed me off saying – “oh yes it’s the menopause and you have to just get on with it.” Well, I have tried just getting on with it and I am trying all the alternative therapies and I am tired of it all. Oh and guess what people this can last up to 10 years!!! I am not going to exist like this for that long! And… And…. After all that, we have osteoporosis, brittle bones, and a whole lot of other health issues to deal with – insert swear word of your choice here! No wonder I am cranky!
So I don’t want your sympathy, because I am not dying and I am going to get it sorted, but I do want us to be a bit more empathetic, understanding and caring of ourselves and other women in whatever stage of fertile life they/we are in. Because it can be damn hard and sometimes just not bloody fair!