Catherine Crichton is a woman who knows what it is to go through the menopause. Writing on her blog Raise the Glass, she told readers how the menopause affected her life, in brutal, and honest fashion…

Celebrity chef style meltdowns

The scene of one of the hormone related outbursts Catherine had was the kitchen at home. Upon straining some spaghetti through a colander, a few strands made it through the holes, into the sink. After much swearing and lamenting kitchen equipment that isn’t fit for purpose, Catherine talks about her lack of knowledge that surrounded the menopause before it happened to her.

“Until about two years ago I had only a vague notion of what the menopause entailed. I knew about the night sweats and hot flushes, but that was about it. Menopause is deemed to have happened when you have gone 12 months without a period. What I now know is that when you reach this milestone, all the drama is over. Perimenopause is where it’s really at. Perimenopause is the term for the fun-filled years leading up to the menopause, and it lasts on average for four or five years.”

After experiencing unpredictable periods, hot flushes and night sweats, Catherine cites other symptoms as much more alarming…

Brain fog

A fuzzy mind, lack of concentration and mental confusion all come together to cause what Catherine calls her menopause brain. These can all signal the beginning of the perimenopause, causing Catherine to seriously bring her own sanity into doubt.

She also finds that stress can make these symptoms worse, ending in long hunts for the car in the car park after a stressful day or a “two month readers block” where she couldn’t concentrate enough to read.

Extreme tiredness

Catherine struggles to do anything past 4pm if she’s “anywhere near soft furniture”. If she just so much as sits on a soft chair, she’ll “instantly and deeply fall asleep”.

She also suffers periods of dizziness that require her to sit down as she feels too weak to stand.

Heavy periods like no other

Not content with giving her mood swings, brain fog and exhaustion, Catherine’s menopause has meant, heavier, longer, more painful periods. She recalls one that lasted over three weeks and having to wear both tampons and sanitary towels to help stem the tide. She’s now awaiting an appointment with a specialist to see if there’s anything that can be done, whilst iron and vitamin B12 injections help the anaemia caused by blood loss.

Whether your perimenopause or menopause is completely different to Catherine’s or not, it’s important to remember you’re not alone! If your symptoms are causing you upset, it’s well worth speaking to your GP.


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