Monday, 4 June 2012
It's not over till it's over.....period.
Gentlemen, you might want to look away now, I’m going to talk about the menopause....…..
For those of you who have followed my
recent theatrical adventures, thank you for your kind words ....good news, I have tickets for Love, Love, Love
next week. Being old and irritable I rang the Royal Court again, to weep and
gnash my teeth and the lovely girl said: oh yes we do have some tickets
available for people who were cancelled. Really, I said, no one mentioned it
before. Oh yes, she said, we didn’t then but we do now…..better seats but you
can have them at the same price you originally paid…… result. Sometimes being
old and irritable has it's moments.......
The first rule of being menopausal: you don’t talk about the menopause
Weird isn’t it ….I know it's getting a bit more fashionable….but the bottom line is no one wants to be menopausal. And no one wants to discuss it. It’s not sexy, it’s not glamorous, you don’t look good, you don’t feel good….by varying degrees. I had never even heard of perimenopausal until I was. These are just some ….. yes some …… of the symptoms: hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety, depression, mood swings, sleep problems, weight gain, wrinkles, thinning and greying hair, headaches, diminished sex drive, allergies, vaginal dryness, feelings of isolation, bloating, tiredness, and spots. And you lose your mind. Suddenly and without warning. It happened to me. I had it when I came in the house and by the time I’d walked into the kitchen I had no idea where I'd left it, why I was in there, where my keys were or what my name was. Or anyone else’s.
If you’re in a relationship then just at the point when your kids are flapping their wings, you are morphing into a grizzled-greying-exhausted-fat-sweating-husk of your former self, and your man will probably be eyeing up a Moto Guzzi and or a Ferrari, the twenty-something office temp called Carly, gym membership, chunky-silver-skull-themed jewellery and a piercing....or two. And if you’re single….. well good luck with that. Perhaps it should better be called: men-on-pause.......
Tracey Emin recently said the menopause is the beginning of dying and I have to agree with her, it can feel like that, it is the death of your reproductive years. According to Jill Shaw Ruddock, in her book: The Second Half of Your Life, we are all going to live a whole lot longer so we need to get through it and embrace the new found vim and vigour that could be waiting on the other side. Technically, the menopause is declared ‘official’ exactly 12 months to the day after your last menstrual cycle. The day after that…..you’re post-menopausal. However, the stop/start nature if this imprecise period, usually somewhere between 43-59, means you don’t know which period is your last period until you never have another one. And the symptoms may continue. The typical length of the whole transition is 5 years.
I hadn’t had a period for almost 2 years. Till Sunday. Just when I thought I was post-menopausal……..back to square one. But, oddly, I felt younger.
Top tip: Tracey Emin: She Lay Down Deep Beneath The Sea at Turner Contemporary, Margate.......go see her work the menopause.