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First ever blog post

How come it is so hard to put pen to paper when you finally decide that you want to try your hand at writing? In this case the pen and paper is me making good use of my iPad and some cool apps.
So far I’ve managed to find a variety other things to do since attempting to sit down and go for it. Play with my five month old golden Labrador retriever. Clean her paw marks off the back door. Clean her nose prints off the glass doors.
Righty. Let’s get on with it.
My main reason for writing this blog about the fun and games of riding the menopause roller coaster, is to try to take the fear out of this normal life event for other women going through this momentous time.
My own transformation began when I was 45. At the time I just didn’t recognise the signs for what they were. I managed to ignore most of them by trying to be super-mum, super-wife and employee of the month, every month.

It strikes me as odd that there’s such a lack of education for women going through perimenopause. When we were prepubescent youngsters we had personal education lessons to tell us about our bodies and changes to expect during puberty. And who could forget the cringe-worthy films on how babies are made?!
If we are fortunate to become pregnant, there are a range of classes to choose from to educate us on prenatal care, birth and caring for our new babies. Midwives and health visitors are a wonderful source of information and a shoulder to cry on when we’ve reached the end our tethers.
Why is it that there is nothing for women when we approach the biggest change our bodies will go through since puberty? Having spent the first few years of my own change in a state of fear and anxiety, I can’t help thinking that I would have been more relaxed and accepting of the weird and scary things we go through if I’d known what was coming.
We’ve all heard about the flushes (or flashes, depending on where you live) and the sweats. But what about all the other stuff? I’ve wasted months in a state of red alert, convinced I am about to breathe my last. So far I’ve been dying of a stroke, a heart attack, bowel cancer, and a perforated uterus. If only I’d known about teeth clenching, palpitations, irregular bowel habits (yes, I did get this checked out) and ultra-heavy periods! And these are only the tip of the iceberg.
If you run a search on menopause symptoms there are a few excellent sites listing upwards of thirty five different symptoms!
At one point I could put a tick next to most of them and add a few new items. My family doctor saw more of me than my family! The western medical approach was to give me hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a beta-blocker and an antidepressant. I rattled like a maraca and got worse instead of better.
Like many women going through this, I wanted the old me back again. Today I am happy to say that I gave up getting the old me back and took a leap of faith and courage towards a new me. It dawned on me that Western medicine is not the only way to help women through the transition. There is no panacea but there are a multitude of things you can do to help support yourself through the change.

I’d like to share my experiences with you in the hope that it will help at least one women feel less afraid.

Next week I will reveal a little more on how childhood trauma had a dramatic impact on how I coped with the start of perimenopause.

Wishing you all a wonderful week.

Cath

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