So, Twitter is a skip fire, and has been for a while, it’s undoubtedly getting worse under its current ownership … but all that said, it’s still a fantastic place to have the sort of conversation it’s hard to imagine having anywhere else
It’s often said that people don’t talk about the menopause enough. In my experience, this isn’t quite true. As a woman in her 50s, in my experience, you seem to talk about little else, as every little new niggle and bizarre symptom turns out to be, yep, ‘just your age’. Dry eyes? Menopause. Suddenly being prone to heartburn? Menopause. Night waking, sudden fatigue, old trout whiskers that grow at lightning speed? Menopause, menopause, menopause. The optician, the physio, the practice nurse – all of them falling over themselves to explain how, yep, declining hormone levels were to blame. Who knew that oestrogen was the magic molecule that kept everything running smoothly until suddenly it didn’t? And how on earth do men manage at all without it?
Anyway, in my experience, the problem isn’t that we don’t talk about it, it’s that we’re talking about it to the wrong people. Women in their fifties get inducted into the menopause club – the secret handshake can be a bit sweaty, sorry about that – as they huddle in corners to swap bizarre symptoms and recommend remedies. Women in their early 40s, on the other hand, are left in blissful ignorance of what might be around the corner. They’ll each have to work out for themselves that suddenly suffering electric shocks, flat feet, hair loss, or whatever else comes up on the random symptom generator isn’t them going mad, it could simply be the menopause. It’s not just the hot flushes of popular imagination. If the experiences other Twitter users have shared with me in response to my tweet, it could be practically anything – and that includes nothing at all, and, indeed, some that might be positively welcome:
(Perhaps that is how men manage?)
Anyway, having joked about what I’d got on my menopause bingo card, @tweetcaroliine said I should make one, and so I decided to do so. And what better way, than to crowdsource it on Twitter? I had an amazing response to my question and some of the replies were eye opening for me even though I’m already inducted into the menopause club.
So here it is. I think I included everything although there were so many it was hard to keep track of all the replies. I should add that I know nothing about the topic other than what I’ve read on Twitter so please don’t ask me for advice* or take any of this as gospel. But I hope it will be eye-opening – and useful – to anyone coming up to this challenging time of life. And to the men who love them.
Anyone got a full house?
* Unless the question is ‘should I take up cycling?’