Tag Archives: menopause

Freedom is scary

Four years ago my life as I knew it ended, he left and ended my love, my children’s childhoods, my sense of where I was in my world, my home, my job, my security, my ability to trust. I survived and slowly I’m rebuilding but now I face another period of endings.

My youngest will soon leave home, my poor dog is on her last legs and the cat not far behind, even my dear mum is struggling. My menopause is here and I’m losing my youth and probably my libido too. My partner is moving to the other side of the country.

With the loss of things In the past I gained freedom, but it’s scary stuff. I can move to almost anywhere, start again except I’m starting as a middle aged person, not a mum with kids in the same school. It’s going to be hard to break into the inevitable middle class, middle age cliques, a place I don’t fit at the best of times, but, I can reinvent myself – Madonna style. I don’t think I have the energy to be anyone other than me though.

My last enforced freedom had me jumping out of planes and into bed with near strangers, luckily one of those strangers saw through all that and had the patience and understanding to hold me.

I’m worried I’ll have the strength to face the next set of endings that seem to be converging, beyond my control to the same few days in my near future, a real punch to my belly. Can I face the horrors of loss and stand up again somewhere new, I won’t be alone this time but my gallant knight has a few rust spots and belly wounds as well, that’s why he was so understanding.

It’s a chance to move away from the pain, but the pain has a certain familiarity.

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More on vaginal atrophy and the menopause

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No drink, no nice food and forget about sex.

A recent article in The Guardian about the menopause suggests instead of hrt…

advises that all women around the menopause could reduce hot flushes by regular exercise (aerobic, such as running or swimming), weight loss, wearing lighter clothes and avoiding caffeine, smoking and alcohol. Regular, sufficient sleep can help reduce mood swings.’

Really?
No alcohol, starving yourself more than I already have for the last 30 years (probably avoiding dairy – any link to osteoporosis do yah think?) no more coffees or teas or nights out with the girls or my partner, hot sweats and disturbed sleep patterns (like we hadn’t already had that with kids) and not wearing your jumper, and no sex due to vaginal atrophy will make me less grumpy?
Really?

Vaginal Atrophy – what a terrible term

Vaginal Atrophy – what a terrible term

The Dr has confirmed I’m at this next stage of womanhood. The menopause. The world of hot flushes, aching joints, ageing skin and shock horror, the horribly named vaginal atrophy is upon me.

Atrophy – the Google definition.
verb
1.
(of body tissue or an organ) waste away, especially as a result of the degeneration of cells, or become vestigial during evolution.
“the calf muscles will atrophy”
synonyms: waste away, waste, become emaciated, wither, shrivel, shrivel up, shrink, become shrunken, dry up, decay, wilt.

2.
gradually decline in effectiveness or vigour due to underuse or neglect.
“the imagination can atrophy from lack of use”
synonyms: peter out, taper off, tail off, dwindle, deteriorate, decline, wane, fade, fade away, fade out, give in, give up, give way, crumble, disintegrate, collapse, slump, go downhill, draw to a close, subside.

I am offered HRT but have a number of hoops to jump through to get this elusive drug that will prop up my vagina for a few more years (I joke half heartedly with my lover that if it drops out could he pick it up for me). A family history of heart problems and thrombosis is likely to put HRT out of reach. I’m not ready to give up on having a lover, not ready to wither, crumble and disintegrate. Not smart enough to have a purely academic relationship, I want to be physical and am wary my relatively new partner would soon look elsewhere should my vagina become vestigial!

No wonder our poor sex was accused of witch craft as we searched for some elusive ‘eye of newt’ cure. As I struggle to keep my new ‘soulmate’ when ripe young things are there to tempt him and I realise that my grumpiness knows no bounds. 

I fear I’ll be that dried up old hag in just a few more full moons.