Monday, 12 January 2015

Feeling hot, hot, hot!

I thought I'd elaborate a little on these up and down hormones I'm experiencing at the moment; judging by the comments and emails I've received I'm not the only one suffering!

Now suffering is too strong a word I know and actually the symptoms I'm experiencing could be far worse and certainly are for others. However they are a problem and I've been surfing the net to find out more - it makes interesting reading and there's lots I wish I'd known a while ago!

I had no trouble through puberty and never had any problems on a monthly basis, maybe I got a bit "moody" (others will tell you I did) but actually never any pain or discomfort for me and always 28 days apart to the minute!

However at this end of the hormonal scale things are a little different and boy don't they go on for what feels like a lifetime?! As I approached 40 things started to change on a monthly basis, dates became muddled and didn't always follow the calendar and I got very anaemic. I felt generally under the weather, tired and run down and was also gaining weight quite rapidly. It doesn't help when one of you good friends is the practice nurse at your local surgery and when you tell her you haven't eaten for a week and have still gained 5lb's she points out you went out for a pizza and bottle of wine with her 2 nights before!

However as she also pointed out I had 3 young children, a home, a business and had just started a part time office job - no wonder I was a little "under the weather"! After very many doctors appointments and a little discussion about early menopause (family history of this) it was deemed I had started the downward spiral to old age (that's how it felt not actually what it was!) 
However after a while it was also discovered I had an underactive thyroid gland and this 
was causing a good many of the symptoms. 
It took around 2 years to regulate my thyroid and get the dose of thyroxine right, 
and some of the symptoms remained.

I noticed also that global warming had come to Norfolk and would wander around the house in a T-shirt due to the increased temperature. This was a permanent thing, not hot flashes or flushes. I turned the heating down in Winter and asked for the fan heater to be taken out of the room at work. I noticed that others were huddled in their duffel coats but it didn't register at the time! 

It very gradually dawned on me that the temperature thing may be just me. And then the hot sweats started, with avengence! I do find that one of the most embarrassing things, a little trickle of persperation may just run down the side of my very red face from time to time and bears to relation to the temperature of the room, or indeed the freezing conditions I may be standing in. Mopping my brow while everyone else is cold and piling on the layers is so strange! I've tried to find the triggers for the "hot moments" without luck. I've removed caffeine for a while but it didn't help, any hot drink seems to trigger a flush, even hot water. I removed alcohol, which seemed to help very slightly but as I drink about twice a year as a rule (except in the last few months - but that's another story!) it wasn't much help. The worst trigger of all, one I hate, is contact with another person - if I hold hands I get a clammy palm, if The Builder throws an arm around me I immediately go red and feel the hot sweat start from my knees and go upward - 
not a sign of passion either! I don't sleep well anymore (another symptom) but lying in bed with one leg dangling on the floor and wafting the duvet about doesn't help.

However what I have discovered and what has become the most difficult to handle for many reasons is the anxiety. You may remember my complete panic and feelings of inadequacy at the change of job about a year ago. I didn't connect the two at the time but it has recently become clear. This is a common symptom with the menopause, anxiety, depression and feelings of panic - going hand in hand with feelings of being inadequate.

Obviously not everyone gets all the symptoms, I have a friend of 72 who is still waiting for the first sign of menopause (apart from the fact her periods stopped some years ago).

But for me it does explain the fact that our slight hiccup in family and marital life, something which would have been brushed aside years ago is so hard to process and get past. I have got over similar and worse things before although a part of me thinks "actually I'm nearly 50, the kids are getting older, I'm not taking any sh*t anymore". 
But I know my reaction is massively disproportionate to the event, which really is minor. 
The menopause websites and forums do make reassuring reading and I hope that I nearing the end??? other news.... we have a 12 year old birthday to celebrate tomorrow, sadly a school and gymnastics day/evening but she wants a Chinese takeaway on Wednesday and a few friends over for a movie and popcorn on Sunday, with a chocolate cake made to her specification, which was "surprise me with something spectacular" No pressure then!....

And then on Monday I go for my annual check-in to the asylum, I can't get there quick enough!
My friend is picking me up first thing Monday morning and we'll stop for morning coffee on the way, and then stop for lunch (well it is a 3 hour journey!) then she has assured me that the ladies in white coats will wheelchair or carry me from the car to my first treatment bed - if the ladies in white coats are not available my friend has promised to carry me to the nearest horizontal surface herself!
I've packed a bottle of Prosecco (or 2, well we are there for 3 nights, hot flushes here I come!), some fudge and 2 plastic champagne flutes - we've moved up market from drinking
out of the toothbrush mug!

So I'll see you after my short break, I hope all is well with you?

Lots of love

ps  I hope the above wasn't too much information but I'd had lots of comments and emails from people who were feeling similar.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

The start of a New Year, Hello 2015!

Hello all, this is again quite a brief post as I try to bring myself back to somewhere near normal; 
my normal anyway!

Christmas is over and the decorations are down (only just), the pine needles have clogged the hoover and will remain stuck to my slippers for some months!

We had our Christmas Eve traditional visit to Holt, a beautiful market town in Norfolk which is always a feast for the eyes over Christmas. A feast for the tummy too if you know where to go, and we do! Christmas was pretty quiet, we had my Mum over for the day (first time in several years) and much effort was made on both sides to create a little family harmony. Of course Number 1 son was home from University and very quickly dropped back into lazy mode, 
but we enjoyed having him home none the less.

The younger 2 had their final cricket trials just before Christmas, Little Miss attempting to gain entry to the girls Under 13 Norfolk squad and Number 2 son trying for the Under 17's (boys, obviously) - he's only 15 but they don't have an Under 16 team. A difficult one for him as it's exams in the Summer term (cricket term) and as he's trying for Under 17's he's battling against older boys. Number 1 son remains part of the Under 19 squad and didn't have to trial (and it is a trial for us as well as them!)

The good news is that all 3 children are now representing their county for cricket! Hooray for them. The downside is obviously that we'll be trundling about the country even more, and I struggled to cope with the timetable of matches and training last year! And the cost, don't even get me started - new kit, travelling, overnight stays for 2 day matches, petrol, time off work........

New Year was celebrated quietly at a friends house, it should have been a party but only us and 1 other family of 4 turned up - not the wildest night I've ever had!

And after a lot of time off work and studies we are now about to get back to normal, Number 1 son left the house half an hour ago for the journey back to Uni, and I'm very teary eyed!

But onwards and upwards, it's a fresh start!

I'm afraid I didn't take 1 single photo throughout the whole festive holiday, my bloggy head well and truly fell off, and I can't actually remember how to be a blogger at the moment - 
I hope it'll come back to me soon.

Thank you for all the sweet, kind and thoughtful comments and emails they are very much appreciated. I'm still struggling and seem to have got everything way out of proportion, I feel sure these weird hormones are causing much of the upset and panic, despite not being the trigger. The tears are just below the surface all the time, this is so unusual for me.

I've researched a bit and these feelings often go hand in hand with the hot flushes etc although I thought I was fine I do remember my extreme panic a year ago when my job changed and I felt (uncharacteristically) out of my depth.

So with everyone back at their respective places of study by Tuesday and me back to work I will try to catch up on the blogs I've so much enjoyed in 2014 and will leave comments to say Hi.

Thank you once again for the caring messages and a very Healthy, Happy and Safe 2015 
from me to all of you.