Updated: Oct 5, 2021
In the beginning................
Back in March I had a particularly bad experience with a female locum doctor who was incredibly rude to me.
I had spoken with her on the phone about changing my HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) and she requested that I make an appointment to see her later that evening. Possibly due to her attitude on the phone, I was quite anxious about the appointment. I'm not normally bothered by wearing a mask but as I sat in the waiting area I wanted to take my mask off to catch my breath. After a few minutes I was called through to the doctor's room, where I took a seat with my written report from a menopause adviser folded neatly on my lap. What followed went something like this:-
Is that paperwork for me?
Yes , it's from a menopause adviser.
Hmmmm.....very unprofessional - she's a quack!
I don't think so
Yes she's made some inaccuracies here - this is rubbish. Why are you on HRT?
Because I am perimenopausal
Do you have periods?
I don't understand why you are on HRT then? The risks are many!
Let me take your blood pressure....
Not surprisingly it was through the roof. I wasn't far off an anxiety attack!
Your BP is very high. I don't think you should be on HRT!
Let's weigh you - you're fat - eat half of what you are eating and that will help. Exercise won't help. You say your hair is falling out? Stop colouring it then!
Oh whatever you do -DON'T GO PRIVATE!
I was told to book to see the nurse in a weeks time to have my bp taken. As there weren't any spaces I was given a BP machine and told to take a reading several times a day and record the results. By this point my heart rate was through the roof. I just wanted to get out of there. I had gone in feeling vulnerable and was gonna leave feeling terrified!
Two days later I discovered the doctor had stopped my HRT without my consent or explaining that she was doing so.
Not only was I experiencing some perimenopausal symptoms but it was about to get a whole lot worse without HRT. Anxiety, nausea, night sweats, fatigue , aches and pains were all on the menu and about to reappear. .
When I arrived home my partner thought I had been given a few weeks to live by they way I burst through the door in floods of tears.
Once I had calmed down I decided I needed to take action. I wrote to the Practice Manager,trying not to sound like a pathetic, neurotic woman. The response was helpful and it was arranged for me to see another locum once I had completed the BP readings.
Days passed and I recorded my BP readings which took a few days to go down and settle. Eventually I saw another locum with a bit more knowledge who put me back on HRT. Mind you during the weeks I had to go cold turkey I started a new job and the brain fog that reappeared was not helpful.
So I have been back on HRT for 3 months and was due a review with a doctor. I was a apprehensive about this but was more determined than ever and was ready with even more knowledge! This bring us to this Tuesday morning and at 10 am I was called through to the Drs room. Welll.......what can I say? The doctor I saw couldn't have been any more opposite to the old bag I had seen weeks before.
This woman listen to me. She acknowledged my battle. She respected me as a woman and she heard my cry for help! What a difference! There were no insults or rudeness. In fact she offered a apology for they way I had been treated and spoken to.
I explained that I was happy with my patches and capsules but would like to try testosterone as I knew from a blood test that mine was low. There were several reasons why I wanted to try it and once I was weighed and my bp taken.......(much lower!) I was told the doctor was happy to refer me to the menopause clinic who would prescribe the testosterone.
OOOOOOOH THE JOY!
I left the surgery in a cloud of elation. I took the time to tell the receptionist and the practice manager that the appointment had been so much better thanks to an informed doctor. So, this is the first of many entries for my Mood Manager this week.
Radio Ga Ga
The next major event was impromptu and had I had time to think about it, it may not have happened.
Wednesday morning I was having a sneaky lie in, enjoying a cup of chamomile tea, listening to Radio Scotland. The topic Jackie Brambles was discussing was the USA gymnast, Simone Biles' decision to pull out of an event due to mental health issues.
The question was asked ' would you would pull out of work etc if you were experiencing MH difficulties?'
I don't know why I did what I did but I picked up my phone and text the show about my struggles and subsequent self help book.
Within a couple of minutes I was called back. Blimey...I couldn't believe it. The researcher asked me some questions and said I would be live with Jackie In a couple of minutes.
My heart was pounding so fast I thought it was gonna explode! I could hear the previous caller making very valid points that I agreed with............children need to be taught resilience and wellbeing skills from a young age etc....................................AND THEN SHE SAID MY NAME
At first I was aware that my breathing had gone haywire but I managed to say hi and listen as Jackie asked me some questions. Me being me didn't take long to get into my usual chatterbox mode and managed to explain some of my issues and how my book came into creation.
To my mind it was all over in a couple of minutes but we actually spoke for around 7 minutes.
Once it was all over I was on such a high. I had managed to sound coherent, knowledgeable and plug my book.WOW!!!!!
Now the only thing I wish I could've said was that I had approx 40 copies of the spiral bound edition that I would love to sell to a charity or support group for a very small amount over cost price. I will admit that initially I was blinded by pound signs but that isn't why I created this book. Money is great but reaching people who are lost, stuck, frightened or hopeless is a far bigger gain for me. So this is where I am at with my Mood Manager entries.
Let's make the next entry about getting these books to people who need them.
FYI the paperback version on Amazon has been reduced to £7.99. For individual spiral bound versions it's £14.99. For charities and support groups the price is even lower so please share or get in touch.