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3 Year Milestone – Let’s Talk

on June 12, 2017

hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt

I have made it to the 3 year milestone.  I’ve never once used HRT during this time, so it’s highly unlikely HRT will be in my future.  I have managed a natural menopause.  I should be celebrating, but the past 3 years have taught me the menopause is never what you expect it to be and there are hidden surprises just waiting for you.

The medical professions attempt to force me to take HRT in the first place did make me question my decision, but in the UK they aim to get you off HRT by 50.   I was only 3 years away from 50 when I had the hysterectomy.  In hospital after my surgery, my notes were marked “patient refuses to take medication” just because I didn’t want HRT.

3 years

So, what would I change if I could go back 3 years?  The first thing to say is I don’t regret my choice.  Not having HRT was right for me, that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone though.  Younger woman should really do their research as the benefits of HRT can far outweigh the cons in a lot of the population.  I thought I was ready for the menopause, but I wasn’t fully prepared.  I focussed on the hot flushes and the mood swings too much, purely as I believed these would be my tipping point and send me running to my GP for HRT.  I was wrong, I found out quickly how to control them (again this is for me, other people have very severe flushes which adversely impacts their life.  I was lucky).

I missed depression/anxiety, aches and pains and I also didn’t fully look into diet and the menopause.  The whole “natural menopause” advice on eating high Soya products, taking supplements, etc, didn’t make any difference to me.  I have Vitamin D deficiency, so I do take Vit D, it’s the only supplement I now take.  The depression and anxiety were my most difficult issues.  Had I realised sooner they were linked to the hysterectomy, I would have addressed it sooner.  In fact, I should have just done something about it no matter what the cause.  There is an embarrassment when dealing with any mental health issues, and I just didn’t want to appear weak to my family by saying I needed anti-depressants to get by.  However I did, and I strained a lot of relationships by not sorting this out.

mental health

There are a whole host of wonderful menopause symptoms out there and I now understand it’s like entering a lucky dip competition, you have no idea which one you will get or how it will impact you. Every single person is different and the menopause is your own personal challenge.  I do now have a better understanding of diet and how what you eat impacts your life in more ways than weight gain.  Controlling your blood sugar levels is not only good for diabetes, it’s good for the menopause.  Your body is clever, it can sort itself out if you allow it to.  There are aches and pains which come with the menopause, and losing some weight and keeping active becomes important.  Just a 10% loss in weight has significant health benefits.  I have found keeping active is vital to my life minus my uterus.  My biggest tip to anyone though would be to talk.  I kept a lot of things bottled up, mainly around the depression and anxiety.  It took me to breaking point before I asked for help, by which point I had caused a lot of problems at home, as I took it out on those closest to me.  When you talk to people you do start questioning why you feel that way, is this normal, do they feel the same way to?  Generally they have a friend, or a friend of a friend who has been there.  It was because of talking to a friend, and then with the help of another friend, who just happens to be diabetic, I have managed to control my depression and anxiety dramatically by controlling my diet.  Talking to my husband wasn’t easy as he didn’t fully understand what I was going through, but I was given Counselling and they taught me how to broach the subject and how to deal with his lack of understanding and try to get him to support me more.

If I could go back in time, I’d tell the me sat in a hospital bed right now, to talk about it all. The flushes, the insomnia, the night sweats, the back ache, the pain shooting down my legs, but most importantly the feeling of uselessness, the inability to cope with every day life, the panic at the thought of leaving the house, of being told someone is coming over to the house, of having to sort out a house full of people each and every day and trying to battle the voices in my head telling me it would be so much easier to just get in the car and drive far, far away and make it all stop.

After 3 years I feel I can now deal with whatever is thrown at me next.  I am the first of my friendship group to go through this, so hopefully I can make other people’s menopause less of an issue.  This blog and people I have met through this, and the Hyster Sister’s website have been a massive help too.  We all need to talk, even if it is to someone via the Internet.

34-menopause-symptoms-list

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2 responses to “3 Year Milestone – Let’s Talk

  1. This is an excellent, informative article for men and women to read. Really content-rich!

  2. […] Source: 3 Year Milestone – Let’s Talk […]

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