Here you are, mid-forties, a little bit frazzled, a little bit irritable and somewhere in between the ‘can’t be bothereds’ and the bloating, you decide to go to your local medico for some advice. Somehow your body is changing; it doesn’t feel the same, it doesn’t look the same, and it certainly doesn’t behave the way it used to.
Your ten-minute appointment at your local health centre is delayed by an hour and a half, and during this time, you realise that while you may not have gone into the clinic technically sick, you may come out with every disease known to man. Your appointment is rushed, your GP says the M word, closely followed by “it’s a normal part of getting older”, writes a script for some hormone therapy such and such and hurries you out the door.
That’s it; you get home, you put on your reading glasses so you can see yourself in the mirror properly and notice that, seemingly overnight, your hair has shiny grey highlights and your skin has developed a characteristic Maggie Smith Downton Abbey-ness to it. This wasn’t part of your plan; things aren’t meant to happen like this overnight.
Trying to distract yourself from your nightmare reality, you look to your phone for comfort and notice the little light flashing. You check for messages – none, FB notifications – surprisingly none, then you notice that your period tracking app. is trying to tell you something. Ok, your period is late, like really late; Flo should have shown up over a week ago. Immediately you think, oh, I’m pregnant, then realise that your partner hasn’t actually seen you naked for at least three months. Things are only just starting to spiral out of control.
You take a look at the script from your GP; it looks harmless. But then it sinks in. You’re middle-aged and on an express train to menopause. You Google ‘perimenopause’ and promptly regret even looking at any of the symptoms. Everything from low libido, dry vagina, mental fogginess, hot flushes, abdominal bloating and everything in between seems to be associated with this monster.
You take a breath, let things soak in and begin to accept that things are changing. Ok, so you’re not totally over it, but you are willing to look at things from a more open perspective. You discover that with such diverse symptoms and intensity, differing age of onset and duration of symptoms, (peri)menopause seems to be variable. Using a one-size-fits-all method for health symptoms may not be the best approach.
As we all learn and grow, we can recognise ourselves in others. When someone is struggling, women can understand and empathise with hormonal changes, but we also understand that these experiences are different for each of us. It is what makes us unique; it creates diversity, beauty and a love for that which makes you, you. While a single hormone medication may be the right fit for a few women, it simply isn’t right for many of us. When we turn to Mother Nature for guidance, and we embrace our own uniqueness, we can be empowered with the strength to gain a better understanding of our body, how our hormones change our moods, how foods can change our energy and when to slow down and sink into the remarkable transformation of menopause and the journey of the Wise Woman.
The information provided in this article is for information purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. We recommend you consult with a GP or other healthcare professional before taking any action based on this article. While the author uses best endeavours to provide accurate and true content, the author makes no guarantees or promises regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information presented. If you rely on any information provided in this article, you do so at your own risk.