Okay, you’re stuck in traffic, as you inch forward you feel a wave of heat creep over your scalp dampening your hair. As the rest of your body catches up there’s that tell-tale prickly feeling of dampness crawling up your body. The car feels like a trap. Even the air-conditioning makes no difference, in fact it irritates the hell out of you. In fact everything irritates the hell out of you! Welcome to menopause.

Menopause is one of those things in life you have to resign yourself to. Your mum might have told you about it, or you may have heard about it from other older women in your family.

No matter, it’’s something you knew you couldn’t avoid. My mother reckoned hers went on into her eighties, not something that filled me with confidence. I always thought it would only last a few years, five years tops, but all your middle-aged to elderly life - no way!

Menopause and HRT

When I’d just turned 53 I became aware of the first signs, I’d suddenly feel hot and frantically peel off my top layer to cool myself. Then I wouldn’t feel it again for a couple of days. I was living in Sydney at the time and it was a humid summer so I told myself it was humidity not menopause pouncing ready to strike.

A few months later I was sitting at my desk typing away furiously on a tight deadline with a towel wrapped around my torso under my T-shirt to catch the sweat.

Yeah, it had got that bad. I couldn’t ignore it anymore. After Googling research and speaking to my doctor I made the decision to start HRT. Part of me felt I was giving in, I mean my mother hadn’t had the advantage of hormone replacement, she just got on with it. But I did and after careful consideration I decided my quality of life was worth more than the crappy mood swings and constant damp skin I was suffering.

So what if it meant I was 2% more likely to develop breast cancer (or whatever the stats were then) I refused to live in a sodden angry world any longer.

After almost nine years of HRT I’ve finally eased my way off. Of course it’s not until you get off it that you even know if you’re still experiencing menopause. It’s a gamble, but I was pretty sure I’d be over it by now.

I was on a low dose but I took care to slowly ease off over a month so my body didn’t get confused - or I didn’t get confused, one or the other - and after a few moments of panic where I was convinced I was breaking out into a sweat I discovered much to my delight, yes the bloody thing is over! Yay!

What Did We Do Wrong?

You see that’s how I’ve always seen it, it’s punishment, for what I don’t know, but us women must have done something bad somewhere along the line for Mother Nature to imprison us in this fresh hell of heat and utter frustration. But what if it’s something else, something like Mother Nature kicking us in the butt? It could be a wakeup call as we head into old age not to get complacent, to do something worthy with our lives, to forge on through the heat and make something great happen…..Nah, I’m joking, it’s just crap and you and I both know it!



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