Hormonal or forgetful?

By Amy Jeetley @amyjeetley

I’ve always prided myself on my sharpness of mind, clarity and understanding. I could pick up things quickly, work things out at a fast pace and recall many things. Over the last couple of years I’ve seen a decline in all this. I was thinking something is wrong. I started losing my confidence, and felt I was incapable of doing things I could a few years back.

I didn’t seem to have the energy, drive or focus. That was definitely not me….and yet that’s what I was displaying. Now looking back on it I know it was hormonal change. The confirmation came when I had to have surgery earlier in the year that put me straight into surgical  menopause. 

It was scary. I lost complete confidence as I couldn’t recall things or even think properly. I struggled to process when people were talking to me and I started to blank out. I would even lose my trail of thought and almost have a mental disconnection if I got tired.

In fact, it wasn’t the getting tired as much as complete fatigue. I would fall off a flat floor. I would then need to recharge through sleep and rest. Then there were cramps …. my body even now will cramp and ache throughout the day. I was angry…so so angry, to the point my sister was concerned as she’s never seen so much anger in meAll these were effects of menopause.

Prior to my surgery I read up on it a lot … nothing prepared me for it ( or the surgery)! I decided not to take HRT and deal with it in a natural way. Various sites were saying go gluten free (which I am), eat healthily, meditate and exercise. Experiencing peri menopause and then surgical menopause has had a huge impact on my career. It’s come to a grinding halt. Even now when I get tired my brain will just go into walking sleep mode. Some days are a struggle.

I am now aware all that I was experiencing was hormonal. It’s a huge thing. And when we look at teaching, and workloads we are expected to carry on regardless, of what our bodies are going through. It’s true as the saying goes “Everyone is fighting a battle you don’t know.”

I would want awareness raised about menopause because in my instance had I not known myself so well, I would have left teaching, thinking I can’t cope, that I’ve lost my touch and yet all the time it was leading up to menopause, and then straight into it. The good thing is I’m much better than I was in the summer. My capacity to think, and make connections in my head is improving. And it will get better. Body still aches and cramps. Still get to exhaustion and tiredness and can’t push my body as much as I could before.

Employers need to be aware of this. Awareness needs to be raised. Support has to be put into place along with compassion and understanding.
There are some that sail through menopause, and others who struggle for years. My advice is be patient and kind to yourself and listen to your body.
I’d love to hear people’s experiences and if anyone wants a chat please feel free to message me #Menopause

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