My friend’s mother said that she had much more energy in her 60s and 70s, than she had had in her 50s. That is such a great, cheery thought isn’t it? I am nearly 54 so not much longer then eh. It will all be fine in 20 years..
By “coming out” that I am menopausal, it is first interesting to watch people’s reactions and second great to hear all the stories from women of different ages. Older women recount the secrecy and depression and the relief of finding others who were going through THE DECADE. Younger women in their 40s are shocked that it is a DECADE and really don’t know what will hit them – poor darlings. Even younger ones in their 30s remember their mothers having IT and without exception, their mothers being quite mad. Mood swings are up there as a major feature.
Looking back now, I realise that my mother also seemed to be quite potty at times. Alternately yelly and lovely. That is so familiar these days for me; but at the time I thought she was just ghastly. As my daughter does with me. The only thing that is better is that I am more informed and therefore so is my daughter. The yelling is the same though. Better though now as I take my tablets regularly, aided by my phone which beep alarms and reminders at me all day so I don’t forget.
I remember my mother muttering from time to time; “I won’t let “them” put me on valium for three years and end up like Auntie Ida”.
“Whose them, mum” I recall asking? “Doctors, male doctors, that’s what they do to women”, she replied with some vigour. Well now I think maybe Auntie Ida had the better deal and floated through her decade. I certainly wouldn’t blame her.
I floated through some of last year very nicely on the upgraded version of valium called Xanax. The doctor here prescribed it to me when the HRT wasn’t working but the yelling was. I think a strip of them should be in every girls handbag. When I was particularly forgetful on my old HRT, and couldn’t count; my very lovely friend; always had some for me if I had run out. Especially on Sundays and at events when I suddenly realised I couldn’t guarantee that I could control myself. What more could a friend do than share her last few Xanax’s?
Sunday lunches for example when we were all out; would became highly stressful events for me if we didn’t get the order in quickly enough. The drinks order would be all wrong, the children’s food order would be all wrong. Whingey, hungry children – not good.
Once she asked me if I had taken a tab as I was getting VERY visibly twitchy and grumpy.
“No” I replied,
“You must”, she advised, “for these sort of events, I can’t get through them otherwise”.
I had never thought of it. She was SO right, 15 minutes later I didn’t care who was eating what as long as I got my gluten-free pizza.