I have been preparing for the menopause after my geneticist advised that my ovaries and Fallopian tubes should be removed by the time I was 35 as I am BRCA 1 positive. I have two children and my husband and I have finished having a family. 15 weeks ago I had my ovaries and tubes removed, everything went well despite an infection which hung around for 3 weeks. Recovering from surgery it was difficult to decide if my symptoms were from surgery or menopause. My consultant didn’t seem in a rush to put me on HRT but I knew eventually I would go on it as I am 35.
4 weeks after my op I went to the doctors. I felt like I was shrivelling up. My mouth was dry, my skin was dry, my eyes were dry. Thankfully no dryness down below but I was still bleeding. Had a lot of hot moments but it was hard to know if that was related to my infection. The first 2 weeks on HRT my symptoms didn’t get any better, if anything they got worse. The hardest part was my memory loss and confusion and inability to multitask. Normally I am a very busy, hardworking Mum who can juggle work, being a mummy and wife and everything else! One morning I went into my sons room and made his bed (apparently), walked out, walked back in and then thanked him for being so helpful making his bed - it was a very rare sight. He looked at me as if I’d lost the plot! I was really concerned that I had no recollection of even being in his room let alone making his bed! He thought it was hilarious. There were many times I forgot things.
I really struggled at work - I work in a hospital. I found it hard to concentrate and focus. I even forgot to turn up to a shift. I was mortified - this wasn’t me. I felt like I’d changed and I was never going to be ‘me’ again. No one had really prepared for this. I cried in my bosses office. She reassured me, but I knew there was no going back. I was in full-blown menopause but also feeling really low; that I was a different person.
I went back to the Dr, who increased my HRT. It was almost instant. I felt amazing, I felt like me again and I was relieved. I am so grateful. I am now performing well again at work and am having more good days than bad. I still suffer with hot flushes and sleepless nights but I’m learning to cope with it. I’ve also been more open about going through the menopause and people just let me ‘have a moment’.
Since talking about it, I have found out so much about other peoples experiences. Menopause can be miserable but it’s also made me realise I’m a tough cookie. I am also able to take full advantage of my cars air conditioning all year round! I’ve actually found writing all this quite therapeutic!