Perimenopause #WorldMenopauseDay2019

by Debra Kidd  @debrakidd

I don’t like going to the doctors. I have to feel really, really shitty to go and so it was unusual to find myself sitting in front of one some three years or so ago. I was so embarrassed I’d learnt the list I would say off by heart: 

Not sleeping

Feeling hot

Achy joints

Losing my hair on my head

Gaining hair on my toes like a bloody hobbit

Gaining weight everywhere

Going mental – like completely loopy

I mean really, really going mental.

And other stuff I had to whisper with a red face

“Ah. Sounds like perimenopause” said the young man in front of me with a practiced look of sympathy on his face.

I sat on my hands so I wouldn’t inadvertently punch him.

“I thought so,” I said. There was a pause.

“Well what I think you should do,” he said with an impressive air of authority, “is try some herbal remedies in the first instance and then if they don’t work, come back and we can try something a little stronger.”

“Oh, what herbal remedies would you recommend?” I choked out in the hope that a) I might have missed a miracle in the 12 months I’d been trying to self-medicate in order to avoid this very conversation and b) that I might have misheard him.

“Not really sure” he said “I’m sure your pharmacist will be able to advise you.”

“Did it not cross your mind that I might have already tried every possible thing I could get my hands on in order to avoid taking a day off to crawl in here, sit in front of a man half my age and whisper the words ‘dry vagina’? Herbal remedies? Really?” My hands are around his throat and I am headbutting him in the face.

Except I’m not. Because in reality I have snuck out – actually thanking the fucker – driven to the pharmacy in tears, spent about £30 on herbal supplements I already know won’t work and consumed a whole bar of Dairy Milk and a McDonalds. I’ve not been back to the doctors since. I tried to buy HRT online from a reputable pharmacy but was refused. There are some dodgier pharmacies that will send me some from a far-flung location in a discreet package with complementary Viagra, but I’ve resisted thus far. One thing for sure though – I’ll rob a chemist at gun point before I ever sit in front of that doctor again.

And since of course, none of those things are actually going to happen, I’ve carried on carrying on. Like millions of other sleep-deprived, over-heated, volatile, weepy, fog-brained women mourning their lost fertility and trying to work out when they last saw their hairy toes, I’ve just muddled through. 15 months since the last period and not counting. And all I want to say really, to doctors out there is this. If a woman comes and lists all those classic menopause symptoms to you, it’s taken a monumental effort to even get to the chair. She needs help. It’s really not that hard. For you.


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