Thursday, 10 December 2015

It's a conspiracy

Men - this might not be for you!
Procurement professionals - this might not be for you!
Normal readers of my blog - this might not be for you!

It's about the menopause, and is shared here because the site I shared it on, aimed at women, has had a clear out of their blogs, and occasionally I do have cause to send it to someone. I've therefore put it here for anyone it might help to see the situation they're in differently.

It's a conspiracy

The common theme with conspiracies is that certain people know something (usually something very bad), and don't want everyone else to know about it. Sort of ‘on a need to know basis only’ or ‘if I told you I'd have to kill you’.

Joking apart I wonder if anyone has died as a result of this conspiracy.

Crikey what a start to a blog.

Let's go back a few years - in my mid 40s I was confident, articulate, fun loving and outgoing. It was all these things that made me me, and I believed made me good at what I did.

As I approached my 50s things changed – extroversion was replaced with introversion, confidence flew out the window, and panic attacks and agoraphobia were frequent friends. Words escaped me and seemingly everything that made me me was slowly slipping though my fingers.

The doctor's advice was “its stress - just stop doing what's stressing you”.

Easier said than done when work hadn't changed – it was just my ability to cope with my work that had changed. Coupled with that I was very tired and struggling with low blood sugar if I didn't eat regularly.

It came to a head when a client said to my colleague “I thought you said she was an expert” after one disastrous meeting.

It felt like my life was imploding.

One morning at 0600 and mid panic attack I rang NHS direct. After 30 mins on the phone, after they checked I wasn't either having a heart attack nor stroke, the doctor said the immortal words

“Sorry to have to tell you this Alison but I do think you're suffering from perimenopausal symptoms” and then went on to tell me I had a lovely laugh, and whilst I might have thought my communication skills were slipping away he’d not spoken to someone so articulate for a while.

When I mentioned many of my symptoms to some female friends I was met with a response of “oh yes it's really bad – my friend thought she was losing her mind” or “it gets worse before it gets better”.

So why hadn't I ever heard of this? Why had no one mentioned it earlier? Why the conspiracy to keep it quiet.

Don't get me wrong I hope you sail through your peri menopause – many women do. This blog however is aimed at those who suddenly start to get their words wrong, find life more of a struggle and just don't feel like themselves. Because I'm here to tell you it can get better not worse - you just need to recognise what's happening and then seek support to get your body, and then mind will follow, back on track.

I know friends who have taken the traditional approach and had HRT. I went the alternative route and saw a herbalist. Within a month I was feeling better. She explained that when our hormones change other bodily systems try to compensate – with the adrenal and blood sugar systems taking over the brunt of the work. The issue is they can't do it indefinitely – yes I could eat more regularly and cut my cloth to suit my energy levels but that was only ever going to be a short term solution. When our hormones are compromised so too our ability to cope with life. If for example stress used to kick in at 9/10, on a scale of life's stresses, then it would now kick in at 3/10. No wonder I was struggling.

I’m sorry the blog is not as upbeat as my usual blog posts but it’s something I’ve wanted to share for a long time - and do when I hear “oh that’s the way its going to be from now on” or “It’s going to be downhill all the way” because that’s just a belief and doesn’t have to be the reality.

I’m sure the solution is as unique as we each are – the key is realising this isn't you. This isn't something you have to put up with, nor is it the way things have to be. You can emerge once again from the end of the tunnel and feel like you again.

Doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, naturopaths, herbalists, acupuncturists, aromatherapists may just have the solution you need. Which of these will you try first?

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