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We share the third in our series of insights on Menopause and how it has impacted on one of our staff members here at Hillcrest.
I started the menopause approximately 3 – 4 years ago now and to begin with it was just the hot flushes and waking up at nights sweating with the covers on then off then on again – just more of an inconvenience than anything. Along with that I had the aching muscles in the morning which did thankfully wear off as soon as I was up and walking about.
Just before lockdown when you could still see a doctor, I went along to the health centre as I felt like I was forgetting things frequently, would go into a room to look for something then couldn’t remember what, couldn’t remember words, people’s names etc (they would come back to me but I just didn’t have the quick re-call I used to). I was convinced it was early dementia, but the doctor was absolutely adamant that these symptoms were all related to the menopause. She even gave me a quick dementia test to put my mind at rest. She advised me to go to the chemist and purchase some of the menopause tablets available. I did try some but they didn’t agree with me, so I stopped. I just got on with it and felt re-assured by the doctor.
Lately however I have started to not be able to concentrate on what people are saying, I feel like my mind wanders and I just can’t focus on one thing. I find it difficult to process information and can struggle to learn new things. Technology in particular is a minefield – I admire a lot of the young people nowadays that just seem to figure things out so easily when it seems to take me forever! Sometimes I think is it just old age as I never used to be this bad? I do just have to laugh things off at times as there’s nothing else for it! Another thing that has happened to me is an overwhelming feeling of anxiousness at times that I have never experienced before in my life! I’m just looking into this just now as it’s a bit alien to me. On the positive side having no menstrual cycle or that horrible menstrual pain is great. It’s also re-assuring to know that some of my friends are going through exactly the same things as me! Even writing this has made me more determined to look into it and try and do something about these symptoms!
I think it’s great that we are now empowered and encouraged to discuss menopause in the workplace, as it’s so beneficial to share our experiences. People have never been encouraged to talk about it before at Hillcrest, so I think the regular menopause café is a great idea. Only by talking about it and having a menopause champion or a group/café regularly can we move on with the subject in Hillcrest. Advertising the menopause policy and encouraging managers to discuss with their staff is also a good thing.