Aching, Balding and Blurry

At the start of my Menopausal Me journey, I introduced you to the Seven Dwarfs of Menopause: Itchy, Acne, Weary, Achy, Balding, Blurry and of course the most well-known of all Sweaty.  I’ve chatted about Itchy, Acne and Weary, now, because they are best buddies and really quite inseparable, I’m going to chat about Achy, Balding, Blurry and Sweaty all together.  I first noticed that Achy had crept into my life one day while climbing the stairs.  Suddenly, out of no-where, with every step, my knees gave a strange and annoying little twinge of pain.  Then I found that even bending over to put my shoes on would cause me to grunt and groan in a strange and alarming way.  What is this? I wondered as these “old person” sounds invaded my life, without warning nor invitation.

The next delightful and unsolicited experience was the arrival of Balding I stared at the shower floor in horror as handfuls of my hair clumped and clogged the shower drain, so much so, that I became weary of even brushing my hair. I was genuinely concerned that I might just end up with more hair on the brush and less on my head.  My family even played along, inventing the charming little game called: The Lucky Hair.  Much to my disdain, they found it very amusing as they shouted out “I got the lucky hair” while inevitably fishing a strand of my hair out of their dinner plates. Hmmm, sounds yummy, I know…

Then, while coping with all of this, much to my consternation, Blurry announced herself as I found that to be able read text messages, Whats Apps, food labels, books, almost anything, I would find myself stretching my arm further and further away from my face until the day came that my arm was just not long enough. I tried all sorts of things, blaming the size of the font on labels, adjusting my phone texts to ‘large print’, forever saying that there just wasn’t enough light and searching for the nearest window looking for that ever elusive sunbeam of clarity…. but it was no use, I had to give in and get  reading glasses!

And if all of this wasn’t enough, the last and most invasive of my delightful Menopausal 7 Dwarfs all was the arrival of Sweaty.  Sweaty has earned the title of “One of Mom’s Hot Moments” in our home and can happen anywhere at any time.  I have been known to strip down to my vest while flying overnight between Switzerland and South Africa.  Now, Sweaty is considerate, and has chosen to announce herself by making me nauseous, literally.  The nausea hits and is promptly followed by a heatwave that begins in my solar plexus and radiates throughout my body. This is when I have a desperate and overwhelming need to rip off every scrap of clothing I have on and climb into my deep-freeze.  Now, climbing into a deep-freeze is not always an option but, much to my husband’s delight and my daughter’s alarm, stripping is.

At the end of this tale, I would like to bring you a message of hope.  Ladies and gents know that going through the menopause can be a traumatic and disturbing time of your life.  But it’s not all doom and gloom.  It doesn’t last forever.  And even though at times it’s tough, when you come out of the other side and you have befriended some of the menopausal dwarfs and sent the rest of them packing, you will find that, for the first time in your adult life, you truly know who you are and what you are about.

my joy has returned. I have taken up ballet again and that, together with a short daily exercise routine has sent achy on a road trip hopefully never to return.  Acne and Itchy only visited for a couple of months and decided that I wasn’t fun enough and moved on of their own accord.

I was recommended and use some life saving homeopathic drops made from flowers that allow me to gratefully sink into bed at night, knowing that I will sleep and sleep well.  My hair has all grown back, thicker and lusher than before, I’m sure this is because I have eliminated diary from my diet.  And as for Sweaty, well, I’ve come to realise that I have my own climate.  I still have the occasional ‘hot moment’ which every now and then causes me to walk outside in the snow in my T-shirt, gratefully breathing in huge lungful’s of freezing cold air.  My daughter still rolls her eyes when the top layers of clothing come off and thanks to the ballet and exercise, my husband still delights in it.