Melanie Robinson, 54, runs a venue in Shoreditch. She shares her experience with us.
Three years ago, I had no idea I had any sort of menopause until eventually I dragged myself off to the doctor.
I had been feeling weird, dizzy, very hormonal, spaced out, anxious, aching all over and it got so bad that I had to go find out what was causing it. My blood test revealed I was extremely anaemic and that I was almost in menopause. I was sent on my way with iron pills and told that I would feel better in no time.
The iron eventually went up and I stopped feeling so dizzy but the anxiety, aching, horrendous headaches and other menopause symptoms were still there and continued to get worse. The migraines made me need to go to bed and shut the blinds as they made me feel very sick and most times I would get flashing lights in my eyes.
The anxiety comes in waves. I can feel so so anxious and literally spend my entire day and often most of the night worrying…
This is probably the thing that affects me most as I lead a busy life. I hate to let anyone down, but the migraines a couple of times have been so bad I have had to pause and then I feel really bad. There is no way of shifting them once they start and they can last up to 3 days. I’m not sure if they are always hormonal or if sometimes anxiety causes them.
The anxiety comes in waves. I can feel so so anxious and literally spend my entire day and often most of the night worrying about every single thought that comes into my head, or the anxiety can just be a feeling sort of like dread. I feel very flat and foggy headed; I hate that. I like to be able to concentrate and get on with the day.
I’d rather tell everyone else how to look after themselves, but there comes a point when you have to listen to your body and try to take a little care of it.
More recently if I’m having an off day/few days I try to be honest and tell my husband and family so they don’t just think I’m being hard work or a whinge bag. Quite often I just say to my husband, “I feel really weird today so ignore me if I’m hard work or grumpy”. Luckily, he’s pretty understanding.
About 6 or 7 months ago I took up yoga 3 times a week. This has made a huge difference to my aching body, stiff wrists, and joints. Also, I think it’s good for your mind. I feel really good after I’ve done it. I stopped doing it for a month due to being mad busy with work over Christmas and New Year and all the aching came back really bad. So, I’m now back at it again and sure it will help once more. I can be very lazy when it comes to sorting myself out with going to the doctor etc. I’d rather tell everyone else how to look after themselves, but there comes a point when you have to listen to your body and try to take a little care of it.
I now have a marina coil fitted. My gyno told me this would help with menopause symptoms and I think it may have to an extent. I take supplements with calcium, I’m back at yoga, I try hard to drink lots of water and eat well. I do have to say that not every day is the same. Some days I feel like the weight has lifted and I actually feel clear headed; I remember that on the days I feel weird and anxious or have a migraine. I tell myself it will pass, I don’t have any option in my life not to be busy and I think this helps as it gets you out of that hole of being indoors, slobbing about in PJs (I do do that too quite a bit!). I think that doing a bit of exercise, eating healthy and taking supplements has definitely helped me.
I would also like to say that having the Meg’s Menopause Instagram to read and the Facebook group has helped loads. Just reading Meg’s and other ladies stories makes you feel less alone in the crazy part of your life.