Uncategorized

About me

I’m a young woman, 33 and recently found out I’m going through early menopause or Premature ovarian failure. Both phrases I detest. Menopause you associate with 50+ women, premature ovarian failure, exactly what I felt like when the gynaecologist gave me her diagnosis, a failure.

I hadn’t googled my symptoms prior, I’m not silly! But once I was sent away with a few leaflets on early menopause I began seeking support from other women going through it. I found some forums online but I still felt so alone and quite often still do.

Much of what I had found was from women who already had children or were diagnosed at an even younger age so had come to terms with it sooner.

Now I’m not saying my circumstances are any worse than any of those women but I was struggling to understand what the hell I was going to do now? Why me? Will I ever feel myself again?

What I did see was that everything I was feeling was pretty standard. Complete devastation, sadness, anger any other horrible, gut wrenching feeling you can possibly experience. The 2 days after my diagnosis I only stopped crying when I was asleep!

Now I don’t have children, but I was always going to have a family, it was in my life plan. Yes I’m a planner and also since my news back on 20th March 2017 I’ve come to realise I like to be in control! Now what I am going through I have no control over and initially I was freaking out about my future, I just couldn’t picture it without children.

Since my diagnosis I have been scribbling in a notebook thoughts and feelings as I knew at some point I wanted to start a blog to help other young women going through the same as me. I also knew I couldn’t cry forever so writing became my therapy and almost a log of my emotional state. I knew I could look back at it and see how strong I am!

I don’t claim to be the best writer so please forgive me, I definitely write how I speak! (I get that from my Nan, who also went through early menopause at 38) and I’m not here to try and inspire an army of menopausal females (that would be scaryily powerful though right?!) I just hope to ease the pain and loneliness for other young women out there that may be experiencing the same and looking for support and advise.

I can of course only speak on my journey and I’m definitely not a medical professional so I will be sharing what works for me and my journey through this bullshit hand I’ve been dealt. (Yes there maybe some cursing along the way, sorry Nan)

Lots of love,

CC aka Young “Hot” Single (get it!?)

Early Menopause · Fertility · Infertility

I made it out the other side!

D4C6DC14-67D2-4ACA-BEDE-0C4FB14C2E05

Well, I’m finally back. It’s really been that long since I last posted and I’ve been through so much, like every emotion going.

I’ll be honest, after Grandad passed I was all over the show. Generally feeling so down I didn’t think I’d ever feel like me again. I forgotten what happy felt like and when I did have a flash of that feeling it then made me so sad.

For a longtime my infertility consumed me. I’d think about it every minute of every day. It wasn’t going away. I knew I couldn’t go on like that and after I completely lost it at work and could not stop crying (I hid in the toilets and behind my sunglasses so my staff didn’t see me!) I realised I probably needed some help to get on track again so went to the doctors and was prescribed anti depressants, just a very small dose. I had always worried about taking tablets and didn’t want to end up relying on them but after everything that had happened in those 3 months I was in a hole I couldn’t get out of. Let’s not forget that depression and anxiety are a side efffect of the menopause. Yes, Ive heard of doctors prescribing tablets too soon to menopausal women but I knew this was different for me, I just couldn’t cope with the grief. The loss of my fertility and Grandad all at once I’d forgotten how to be happy again.

So for the next few months after that I focused on doing things that I liked and that made me happy before. I spent time with family, going out dancing with them and having a drink and singing at the top of my voice! I began saying yes to things, nights out and even a trip to Amsterdam and Bruges. I just thought fuck it, you only live once and although I felt guilty for spending the money when I should be putting my money in the baby fund, life really is too short.

Since October last year Ive felt much better and wasn’t crying every time I had to talk about my infertility and menopause. I was feeling strong but knew I needed a plan. I had poked about the internet and stumbled across the London Woman’s Clinic and attended one of their single women seminars. It was completely free and specialists spoke about fertility MOT’s, egg freezing and IVF, not really of any use to me. I had been doing a lot of research on donor conception and the process but there’s so many terms, it was all a bit overwhelming. I just sat there screaming in my head, “ just tell me what I need and how much is it going to cost me!?” I felt pretty shitty after and the sadness and frustration came back and consumed me for a few days once again. It did however lead me to start using my twitter account more to follow the London Women’s Clinic, donor conception network and The Fetility Network which in turn led me to discover their show a couple of weekends later.

I attended the Fertility Network show at the Olympia. I hadn’t actually planned on going (I was anticipating a hangover from the night before to be fair) but I woke up feeling surprisingly ok and rather empowered so off I set across London on my own.

My plan was to get as much information on donor conception abroad. Being diagnosed with premature ovarian failure or early menopause means I get no help from NHS here in the UK as I need donor eggs. Going abroad is really my only option as its significantly cheaper.

I went round every stand getting information on double donation. I was there on my own and was ready to go into parenthood alone too, I want it that bad.

When the option is taken away from you it changes everything and makes you realise what you want.

I still get some anxiety thinking about how ill afford the process, even bringing up a child but slowly I’m beginning to not dwell on that. I have a huge support system and  its likely Ill move back to my home town when it happens as my family is there, 2 strapping brothers that will make the best uncles and my oldest friends, many of which have their own kids. So I know I’ll be ok. I’m going to have to be as this is what I have to do if I want to have children.

Theres lots I can go into about donor conception as I recieved some counselling through the fertility dept at my local NHS hospital I began to get my head around the concept but I will save that for another post. Promise I wont leave it so long next time. I’m back baby!

Anyone going through the same as me, I swear you’ll get through this. Stay focused on your goals and when you are ready, delve deeper into your options.

Look after you,do what you love and don’t do what you don’t! Does that make sense!? You’ll get there.

Lots of love,

CC

PS The Wonder Woman picture is just to remind myself who the fuck I am and how far I’ve come! Plus my Mum got me a Wonder Woman mug for my birthday so it must be true!

 

 

 

Uncategorized

The Story continues…

So we are 2 weeks into the HRT, I am still experiencing the same symptoms but I can cope with that for now (it’s early days yet) I am feeling a lot more normal though, far less emotional and able to deal with stressful situations, and of course feeling safe in the knowledge I am preventing the risks associated with menopause without treatment. (If you follow me on Instagram check out my repost by menopause doctor)

This was put to the ultimate test just one week into medication when my 94 year old Grandad passed away. He had been in hospital prior to me beginning HRT and I really struggled to leave my mum and family to return to work (Mum and my youngest brother were Grandad’s primary carers as he lived with them) We managed to get him well enough to return home but he was never really the same again. This took its toll on Mum and my brother which was hard to see and a constant worry as I live in London, an hour and a half from them.
He deteriorated quite quickly but passed away peacefully in his sleep. Of course the whole family are distraught but Mum and bro especially as they had now been made redundant. We are a very close family so we would check in daily to see how we were all doing and I felt strong enough to keep a level head and continue working the last couple of days I had before a weeks holiday. I feel before the HRT I would of been all over the place but I managed to keep it together. Obviously having a little cry for Grandad now and again but that’s  only natural and quite often were happy tears for all the great memories we have of him.
I was writing this on my flight back from Ibiza where I have been for the last week. No partying in Cream or Amnesia, lol just a week spent with one of my best friends. We booked it back in January and we planned to just relax and literally do nothing. Reminds me of that Micky Flanagan joke he did about laying and doing “fuck all” literally nothing, just laying horizontal for as long as physically possible (except to move our sun beds when the sun said so and of course the short walk to the bar for our midday sangria!)
On the subject of alcohol, I’ve really felt my hot flushes increase the last couple days. Alcohol does effect menopausal symptoms and while I’m not about to go T total I will be avoiding it for the foreseeable future although I have a hen do Saturday but I’ll not drink in excess.
It dawned on me I have 4 weddings and a funeral between now and august!! FFS
These occasions will be happy ones though and reason to celebrate love and life. I am trying to focus on the positive things in my life right now.
Before my holiday I was keen to find out my options before my holiday so I went private to a fertility clinic in London. My NHS appointment isn’t until the 7th June which I will still attend. The lovely lady I saw was very matter of fact and down to earth which I liked.
She agreed while 99% of my situation is shit, I should try focus on the 1% positive. That being I can still physically carry a child, I won’t have to worry about the higher risk of Downs and other complications that can occur in geriatric pregnancies. My clock isn’t ticking, it’s bloody stopped so now I don’t need to worry about when I decide to look into IVF with donor eggs as I’ll be using young fresh eggs!
Right now I have a lot to focus on in my everyday life and although I have some low moments when I am panicking about the future I just have to count my blessings. I have good people around me which has been highlighted even more during this time. I am working on not overthinking and learning to love myself again, it’s not going to happen overnight but I am going to work on myself and get there eventually. I’m thinking I may take up meditation?! Any tips?

in the meantime if you need a laugh and a pick me up check out my lil bros Facebook page, he’s used to post lots of videos with Grandad and they literally make me beam! Oh yes, The G.Dizzle was an internet sensation! Lol

Sam Will Joke- https://en-gb.facebook.com/SammyWillett12/

Lots of Love,

CC

 

In loving memory of Grandad the legend xIMG_0016

Uncategorized

The story so far.

Right where are we at?

I’ve been up and down like a an absolute lunatic and have changed my mind on what it is I really want and what I am going to do now.

I realised quickly a lot of these irrational feelings are to do with my hormones (or lack of) I’d been checking the post everyday, sometimes twice, waiting for the letter from the gynaecologist which should of been sent to my GP finalising my diagnosis and the medication and dosage she thinks I should be on. Mum began her menopause early at 42 and was HRT with no complaints. In fact it sorted her right out! I remember her changing and becoming an absolute witch! It’s ok I remind her of it now and again.

There was a huge scare about the risks of HRT back in the early 00’s linking it to breast cancer. Shortly after the tests were deemed unreliable. We are lucky enough to have no history of any cancers or heart problems in our family so Mum had no problem continuing her treatment. I recently watched a programme on BBC1 called Kirsty Wark: The menopause and me. It’s still available on IPlayer and definitely worth the watch. Although she was interviewing women of menopausal age they discussed the use of HRT in some depth and the potential risks far out weigh the side effects of the menopause e.g. Osteoporosis, heart problems.

At 33, that’s a long old time to be left untreated and risk bone fractures and with the recent heart palpitations I’ve been getting when I exercise it was a no brainer to begin treatment, but mainly knowing mum had used it I wasn’t concerned (because mums know everything right?!)

In my first post I mentioned about chasing up drs and hospitals etc for reframe and appointments, I can’t stress this enough. The gynaecologist said they had sent the letter to my gp, the dr said they had nothing and the fertility clinic said they had no record of my referral! I was losing my mind, pair that with my totally emotional, irrational mind set it was a nightmare.

I persisted and got there in the end. I got the hospital to email my Dr directly so I could begin the HRT and I emailed the referral letter to fertility clinic direct and they called me with an appointment for June 7th.

I am now 2 weeks into treatment and already feeling better, definitely less emotional and able to deal better with stressful situations. More of that in my next post where I have the ultimate proof of that!! Still getting the hot flushes but will wait and see how I am once I have completed a whole pack of pills. I am taking 2mg of Elleste Duet, which is made up of 2 different types of tablets which to add insult to injury you have to pay 2 lots of prescription fees for! That makes me angry.

I chose pills over patches as I reckon if the patch got a bit manky or began to peel off I’d definitely pick at it.

Right now it’s a case of focusing on my wellbeing and trying not to worry about the future. I’m a long way off having any answers but I shall remain strong and battle on.

Lots of love,

CC

P.S don’t forget to check out Kirsty Wark’s documentary on BBC IPlayer.

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Therapy

So today I’m a bit off. Not feeling great but I’m not going to say “today has been shit!” Because I opened my eyes this morning and got ready for work. Therefore I’m alive, I have a job that puts a roof over my head and a good support network around me. I am lucky and I am strong.

This morning I had a counselling assessment over the phone as I had reached out to my GP asking for some kind of therapy with dealing with my grief of potentially not having children of my own. It makes me feel sick writing that as I WILL have kids, just maybe not how I imagined however a niggling part of my brain keeps saying “but what if it doesn’t happen?” I cannot even comprehend a future without kids at this point and I think that’s why I feel like I do need some help, maybe not initially but maybe for the future, call it damage limitation if you will.

As I mentioned I have some very supportive friends and family around me, all have said the same, it’s ok to have bad days, to cry and to just do what makes you happy, eat the junk food, drink on a Tuesday afternoon! Do all the things that make you feel better. Now for some going out and getting on it could work short term and I don’t judge if that’s what makes you feel better but it’s not for me, I’m not a huge drinker anymore (I’ll get merry probably once or twice a month) but I really have to be in the mood and to be honest I’d rather just a good old dance! Plus I have to psych myself up for the mammoth 2 day hangover after!

I also don’t like to gauge on junk food, since I like to exercise I’d feel I would be undoing my hard work. Wow I sound boring! It is however 2 days before pay day, I’m well into my overdraft but I have come to my favourite place for brunch and a fresh juice, £10 I shouldn’t be spending right now but it’s the therapy I needed and while sat here typing away I’m already feeling ok with not being ok.

Look after you,

Lots of love,

CC

 

 

Uncategorized

The Beginning of the end (That’s what It felt like anyway!)

So after about 3 weeks I finally managed to complete the About Me page of this blog!

Now my first real blog post is here! Hurrah!

As I mentioned, I began writing my thoughts and feelings down in a little notebook after my diagnosis mainly when I was on my own (a place at the time I did not want to be) These often one line scribbles mainly consisted of Why me? What now? What do I say when I’m asked if I have kids? Who’s going to visit me in my shitty nursing home? (Obviously it would be a shitty nursing home as I would have no children to make sure I ended up in a good one) As you can probably imagine by that trail of thought I am an overthinker who likes to be in control of her own destiny!

Im a positive Pollyanna, always seeing the glass as half full and although single I knew I would meet someone one day and have a family, yes I was aware time was getting on but I believe if you picture what you want it will happen, law of attraction and all that.

So after my diagnosis I was floored. I felt alone and like the life had been sucked out of me. Writing things down definitely helped me as I can see in a short time (just over 3 weeks) how far I’ve come in this grieving process. It can also help to make a note of any questions you may have for your next gynocology or infertility appointment.

As I am single (ish, save that for another post ey) and always wanted children I was keen to be referred straight away to an infertility specialist to look into my options. I am an emotional person but I am very strong and independent so after a lot of tears I came to realise I want to be a mother not just have a partner and kids which I’ve come to terms with, may not happen as the clock really is ticking (as we are all so often reminded of as single women in our 30’s, yeh thanks for that!)

My advise to anyone at this point are as follows:

Keep busy, I went back to work after a few days off. I deal with the public so was dreading pretending to be happy but after a while it really did help take my mind of it. I have no control of what is happening to me but work I can control and thankfully that was going really well and I have a great team so it helped to focus on the positives.

Talk about it, Tell your close friends and family how you are feeling so they understand what you are going through and of course it’s ok to cry. One of the side effects is low mood or mood swings so some days I feel like myself then others I just feel so sad. It helps that loved ones know so they can be there for you but on the flip side know when to leave you be.

Keep healthy and active, Thankfully I enjoy exercise and cooking healthy meals.  A healthy and nutritious diet plays a big part and it’s important you are getting the vitamins and nutrients you need that can help your body adapt to the changes it is going though. You should ensure that you are getting enough of the right foods to provide specific nutrients to keep you healthy during this time. I can go into more detail on this in another post as I could go on forever. I am however taking  Vitabiotics Menopace plus Botanicals that I got from Holland and Barrett. It is a combination of the regular Menopace tablet which acts as a multi-vitamin and the active botanical tablet that contains green tea and sage extract along with soya which help to regulate some of the symptoms. Once I begin HRT I may stop these but will see what my G.P advises. I am also taking cod liver oil which I’ll probably continue with once on medication. As with any supplements these must not replace a varied, balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

Exercise is important too, I tend to do about 3-4 different classes a week which admittedly I fell off the last couple weeks due to feeling so low but instead I went on long walks ( I walked 7 miles  with one of my best friends the weekend after my diagnosis) it’s great therapy, grab a mate and just walk and talk or try a yoga or Pilates class which are both low impact and relaxing.

I don’t know if since being diagnosed I was more aware of my symptoms. I have been suffering with aching joints particularly in my knees and hips, something I hadn’t noticed too much before as I would put it down to just aching from exercise. I’m also tired a lot of the time, even after 7-8 hours sleep a night. If I’m not at work and sat at home doing nothing I will definitely nap! The hot flashes are a given, I think I’m quite lucky there, I read online of one lady sleeping outside on a sun lounger! I suggest wearing light layers that you can remove if needed and have a bottle of water handy always. I get the old S.T.L (sweaty top lip) so I carry a translucent powder in my bag to get rid of any shininess on my face without having to plaster on more make up.

Treat yourself, I really noticed my skin and hair looking dull, again maybe something I noticed more once diagnosed but I got myself a hair conditioning treatment from boots that I do once a week and also had a couple of facials. These don’t need to be expensive. I got a good discount through work on a Dermologica facial and a free one from a salon I often use. You could always look at local colleges near to you that need models for training or buy a face mask from a shop, anything to make you feel better.

Pester your G.P! This is so important. Since beginning this post I’ve had my second appointment with the gynaecologist who had previously written to my G.P asking them to refer me to her colleagues at the Infertility clinic. I went to my G.P to ensure they had received the letter and fulfilled the request, I also asked for some counselling but I can fill you in on that next time as I’m having a telephone assessment next week. Anyway I called the hospital after my last gyno appointment and they did not have the referral for infertility clinic so I called the surgery who said they had definitely sent it so are looking into it. I will be calling them first thing Monday for sure to find out what’s going on. I don’t care if I’m that annoying patient, I need that appointment to help me move on and look to the future. Already I’ve moved to Bali for a year, got a dog and moved home with my mum to bring up a baby on my own! (The latter actually being a strong possibility)

I hope this post of my ramblings has helped someone some what. For now I am taking each day as it comes. I’ll let you know how the counselling goes.

Goodnight , god bless,

CC aka Young “Hot” Single