Category Archives: Menopause

Weekly Roundup

My Mum’s zen hasn’t lasted long and she’s back to henpecking my Dad and telling everyone what they’re doing wrong.  I preferred the laid back version, even if it freaked me out 😉

She can now get to the front door with her zimmer but really struggles to get over the front door step especially as the vestibule is really narrow and there isn’t room for someone to steady her, so I spent Monday fitting a grab rail so that she has something to hold on to while she navigates getting her feet over the stoop.  I naively thought it would be the job of the OT from the rehab team to sort stuff like that out but no such luck.

By Wednesday Mum was looking really rough so I rang the surgery to request a call from the duty doctor, which  took 2 hours. She prescribed some tablets which didn’t help and by the next day Mum was no better so I then spent 4 hours waiting for the Doctor to visit.   Her meds were adjusted and she seems to be picking up again.  I’m never grateful I’m chronically ill, but there are times I’m grateful I’m not working full time because Lord knows what would happen to my parents if I were and couldn’t spend the time with them during the day that I do.

Her own GP had promised last week to come back on Monday to monitor her mental health following her alcohol withdrawal but has she put in an appearance?  That would be a big fat no.  Mental health in the elderly is simply ignored, so it’s no bloody wonder we have an epidemic of alcoholism amongst our old folk.

Just when I thought my days of trailing 60 miles to the city to visit someone in hospital were over my 90 year old next door neighbour was admitted this week.  She broke her arm 6 weeks ago so that’s in plaster and this week when she went to get out of her chair she found she couldn’t stand or walk.  She broke her hip 2 years ago, so the initial thought was that it had fractured again, but scans show no problem so they’re still a bit flummoxed as to what the issue is.  Her son lives in the village but can barely be arsed to bother with her and her daughter lives 400 miles away in Southampton.  I’m a keyholder, visit once a week and do what I can for her but to be fair I’m sick myself and already have a lot on my plate looking after my own parents.  Everyone tells me she’s not my problem and they’re right, however someone has to care for her and being as though no-one else is stepping up to the plate that person is me.  She was admitted to hospital last Saturday.  I went to see her on Friday as that was the first chance I had due to taking care of my Mum and I was the first visitor she had had, despite the fact her son and all but one of her neighbours are retired and do bugger all all day.  They’re a disgrace.

She has a cleaner once a week, but I’ve no idea what it is exactly she cleans because my neighbour lives in squalor.  At the start of the summer I took it upon myself to blitz her kitchen, despite the fact I pay somone to clean my own house because I find it so exhausting and painful.  I simply couldn’t bare the thought, though, of her living in that kind of filth.  This week I had to go into the house to collect toiletries, slippers etc. to take through to the hospital for her and while I was there tidied and cleaned the kitchen which was, once again, a shit tip.  She can no longer reach the top cupboards, so food is permanently left on the counters.  There were opened packets of cereal, bread, biscuits, crisps, margarine and jam and surrounding those were tiny little brown pellets.  Yep, she unsurprising has a mouse infestation and I scooped 2 handfuls of poop off just one kitchen counter.  Mice carry any number of diseases and to think they may have been crawling about in her cereal packets which she has then eaten doesn’t bear thinking about.

I’m in touch with her daughter down south so told her what I’d found.  “Oh, yeah” she replied, “when we were up last month I moved the chair in the lounge to hoover and found mouse droppings so I know she has them”.  WT-actual-F?!  So she knew her Mum’s home was infested by mice and just buggered back off to Southampton without doing anything about the situation.  Not only that, but if her cleaner had ever stepped foot in the kitchen she would have seen the droppings.  Plus she has carers who go in 3 times a day and who make her lunch.  How can you make food but not wipe the kitchen counter afterwards?! People never cease to amaze me and my very old, frail, vulnerable neighbour is being let down on a spectacular level.  There is no way on earth she should be allowed to return home and should be in residential care.

So my week has been dominated by old, sick people.  Not that I mind, but it is tiring and I was exhausted enough to start with.  We have several healthy, active neighbours who could be helping out with my 90 year old but do they give a toss?  Nope.  Selfish fuckers – I hope when they’re old they all get sick and no-one cares for them.

My hormones are still playing silly buggers.  This month I ovulated really early then had period pain so bad on day 18 I literally couldn’t stand upright, so I was convinced I was going to have a very short cycle this month.  But I’m now on day 27 and no sign of Aunt Flo.  I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.

Unsurprisingly my histamine level is really high and consequently I’m not sleeping, which isn’t helping my energy levels one iota.  Add to that vertigo attacks, migraines, itchy hives and all sorts of pain issues and I’m a bit fed up, plus it’s not looking like my much needed 2 week stay-cation is going to happen any time soon.

There are times I wish something nice would happen.  Something wonderful to lift my spirits and which would feel like a reward for all the drudgery.  Like a multi-million pound lotto win, or meeting the man of my dreams in the Quorn aisle of the supermarket.  Or even just 8 hours kip or a lie in past 6am.  I don’t feel it’s asking too much 😉

 

 

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Yet another year of Peri

Even though we’re only half-way through 2017 I already have an entire year’s data on my ever changing menstrual cycle.  That’s because my cycles are now regularly shorter than 28 days, so I’m managing to fit in double the amount of periods than I used to.  Lucky me, especially bearing in mind I have endometriosis and adenomyosis and they are excruciating.

When my periods first started to change back in 2012 at the age of 44 and I realized I had probably started peri-menopause, I wanted to know about other women’s experiences.  There were legions of horror stories online, very little about the positive and hardly any actual hard data.  “It’s different for everyone” was a common theme, which is all well and good but I still wanted to know what was physically happening to other women to give me some companionship in my own journey through The Change.

Being as though I didn’t find a single story which tracked progression through peri-menopause I thought I’d track my own, so began compiling data on my menstrual cycle.  I’ve been a regular 27/28 day cycle person my entire life but in 2012 my cycle length started to subtly change and I initially experienced slightly longer cycles than usual.

MC2012

In 2013 things went totally haywire.  As you can see from the chart below I basically had alternating long and short cycles, with a couple of very short cycles (for me at any rate).  I had my first daytime hot flush this year, but only the one, and no other real symptoms.  I did have my hormones tested and they came back as “normal” which isn’t at all unusual in the early stages of peri-menopause.

MC2013

In 2014 my cycles were still abnormal, but not quite as erratic as the year before.  Again, no other symptoms of peri-menopause that I could put my finger on.

MC2014

The start of 2015 saw my cycles even out, only to become erratic again in the second half of the year.  I also saw a couple of symptoms appear – vaginal dryness around my period, which doesn’t half make your ladygarden itch and is well uncomfortable as your undies rub against your bits, and changes in my mood.  I had sudden and inexplicable rages which were absolutely overwhelming.  Having never suffered from PMT I found being so out of control of my emotions really difficult, though thankfully the hooha only usually lasted a day or two around my period.

mc2015

In 2016 I continued to have vaginal dryness and mood changes, but the dreadful rages I felt in 2015 thankfully disappeared.  I did still have a short fuse at certain times in the month but it was nothing I couldn’t control.  I also had some really weepy episodes, usually in the few days before my period started and by the end of the year was starting to feel quite overwhelmed.  As someone who usually has very stable moods this was unusual for me.  I didn’t know how much was down to the perimenopause and how much was down to what was going on in my personal life, ie the situations with my parents and my Mum’s drinking, so decided to see a therapist to help me work through it.  Three months later and I was feeling much calmer, so you really shouldn’t put everything down to your hormones!

mc2016

This year as you can see from the chart below, my periods are becoming even more erratic.  I don’t have a clue when The Curse will arrive, which makes planning difficult.  I am grateful my moods have fairly much evened out and I’m back to feeling more like myself, though I have periods of anxiety for no apparent reason which is fairly common for peri-menopause.  I still haven’t had any hot flushes though my sleep has definitely been affected and there are times I struggle with insomnia.  My migraines around ovulation and menstruation have definitely become worse and can last for days which is crippling.  My energy levels have taken a nosedive and my brain fog some days is dreadful, however this may be due to the fact that I am borderline anaemic and now on supplements for my iron levels rather than being solely down to my hormones.  The biggest two things I’ve noticed this year have been weight gain and painful, itchy breasts which have been checked out via mammogram and are fine.

I’m definitely having symptoms of peri-menopause but they’re so far nowhere near as bad as I was expecting and nothing like the horror stories I’ve read about online.  They can be annoying but are manageable and it helps that I know what’s happening and that it will all eventually pass.  Everything that’s happening to me is normal and to be expected – very few women just stop their periods with no symptoms at all and I’m happy for nature to just take its course.  This all may change as the actual Menopause arrives and I may end up eating my words but so far so good!

A full 5 years into peri-menopause and there is absolutely no sign of Aunt Flo packing her bags.  Due to my endo and adeno my monthly cycles are incredibly painful and debilitating, and I have to say I’ve been ready for some considerable time for the monthly torture stop.  So, periods, if you’re listening I am over you – feel free to leave the building!

Carry on Matron

My peri-menopause has definitely ramped up a few gears this year (OMG, when is it going to end?!).  I’m getting some of the more common symptoms like dizziness, insomnia, emotional ups and downs and itchy skin but also things which aren’t much talked about, like what’s happening to my breasts.

When I was in my early twenties I wasn’t exactly well endowed, wearing a 30C bra size.  I referred to them as fried eggs cos that’s just what they looked like – they were quite round but didn’t stick out very far, which was fine by me.  I was a size 8 (US size 4), am 5ft 2″ and weighed about 7½ stones (105lbs) so they were in proportion to my small frame.

Fast forward to my early forties, by which time I’d been unable to exercise for 15 years.  Inevitably my body shape had changed and I’d gained weight, now wearing a size 10 (US size 6) and weighing 8½ stones (120lbs).  My boobs had also increased in size to a stupendous 30DD and I was into the realm of having to wear supportive (code for fucking uncomfortable) bras, with straps an inch wide and underwires so painful they were like a form of torture.  Thank God the Belvia bra was finally invented without which I fear I would just have let the puppies run free 😉

Ten years on, and in my fiftieth year, my boobs seem to have taken on a life of their own.  Pre-perimenopause I’d ovulate mid cycle, my breasts would swell and be achy and sore, I’d have my period and they’d go back to normal.  Not any more.  Oh no.  They swell and are achy and sore, I have my period, and they fucking stay swollen achy and sore.  I have what feels like two water melons on my chest which disappear under my armpits making waving impossible.

So I Google “peri-menopause + larger breasts” and discover, to my horror, that 1 in 5 women during their Menopause years get significantly bigger boobs.  OM-flippin-G.  At 5ft I don’t need to be bigger than a DD and simply can’t imagine having to wear bras to fit an E, or god forbid, EE or F cup.  Gravity would pull me over and I’d end up flat on my face 😉  And if that weren’t bad enough breasts also start to sag in middle age, in some women up to 4″.   When my floppy boobs meet my spare tire my belly button might disappear forever.

“Quit moaning” I hear you cry, “women pay good money for big boobs” and I’m sure they’d look fabulous if they sat above a flat stomach, lean thighs and a perky arse.  But they don’t look quite so alluring sat above back fat, a muffin top and a tummy so swollen I look five months pregnant.  No-sir-eee-bob.  My scales no longer say 8 stone something they say 9 stone something and my size 10 clothes have been at the back of the wardrobe for so long they’ve been eaten by moths.

This peri-menopause malarkey is a right old carry on.  I started off as Barbera Windsor and have ended up as Hatty Jacques.  Ooo err Matron 😀

 

 

 

Weekly roundup

This week has been dominated by my hormones so I’m guessing my period will arrive shortly.  My cycles can be anything from 19 days to 31 days so I can no longer just look at my diary to know when it’s due and have to go off other clues.  Tuesday morning I woke up fine, got up and fed Bertie, made a brew and took it back to bed to watch the news.  I’m sitting there minding my own business when the world suddenly lurches to the right like I’ve been kicked in the head and I spend the next hour with the room spinning.  I hate shit like that!

I panicked a bit, because that night I’d agreed to do a talk to my Camera Club’s beginner’s class which I knew I couldn’t do if I were dizzy, but luckily it wore off and I was able to go although I felt spaced out for most of the day.

Wednesday was the first warm, sunny day we’d had in weeks so my friend and I decided to visit a nature reserve where she looked at plants (she’s doing a botany course) and I sat and photographed dragonflies.  We were the only people there the entire afternoon.  The birds were singing, the insects were buzzing, we took a picnic………..and it was heavenly.  I swear, days don’t get much better than that in my world and it did me the power of good even if I did get sunburnt.
My friend: do you want some suntan lotion for your arms?
Me: No thanks, my arms never go red.  #lookinglikealorrydriver

Friday I woke with a migraine which is still lingering this morning.  I had a really busy day planned and just carried on regardless, which was hard work when it felt like there was someone in my brain with a pick axe, and I was so sick Friday night I couldn’t eat a thing.

This morning I’ve woken with endo-related period pain, the dizziness is back and I feel generally fluey and crap.  I am SO over this peri-menopause malarkey.  It’s not like I’m having a horrendous time compared to the horror stories I’ve read about online, but it’s been 5 years of symptoms now and I’ve just had enough.  I’m over the hormone induced migraines.  The feeling extra exhausted.  The joint pain.  The forgetfulness and confusion.  The nausea.   The nipple pain which feels like I’ve been stung by bees.  The swollen stomach which makes me look pregnant.  The ravenous appetite which has made me gain 8lbs in six months.  The never-ending peeing.  The constantly swollen breasts that feel like bowling balls.  And I’m absolutely over the endometriosis, which I know won’t go away after Menopause but which at least won’t ramp up every 3-4 weeks until I feel like my entire pelvis is on fire.  I’m 50 shortly and after 5 years of declining hormones surely to God the end can’t be too far off.  Can it?!

The M Word

Last week, Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark appeared in a documentary on the Menopause.  To be honest it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know but it was nice to hear about another woman’s experience because we just don’t talk about it in this country, not even amongst ourselves.  Yet it will happen to every single one of us.  I remember joining my Camera Club and was talking to a woman there in her early 60s.  I was rampantly hormonal that night and got confused so said jokingly “ignore me, I’ve got Menopause brain” and her eyes nearly popped out of her head that I would mention the ‘M’ word in polite conversation.

Historically, women’s hormones have been a taboo subject because we’ve lived in a male dominated world, even though men are currently in a 48% minority here in the UK.  Yes we had a female Prime Minister in the form of Margaret Thatcher but she only rose to power because she acted like a man, which kind’ve defeated the entire purpose of having a woman in charge.  Girls have always been seen as emotional, hysterical creatures simply because we behave differently to men and anyone who shows emotions is still seen as weak and not to be relied upon – then we wonder why mental health issues affect 1 in 3 people :-/

Women are just supposed to get on with their periods.  The adverts on tv tell us if we only use x brand of tampon we’ll be running marathons or climbing mountains, and if we pop a Feminax Ultra we won’t know what pain is.  Thankfully for some women this is the case but for others periods are a form of 4 weekly torture and going about our day business as usual is jut not possible.  This of course intensifies during Menopause yet we’re supposed to act like nothing is happening.  We are, thankfully, now sympathetic to puberty-induced erratic behaviour, door slamming and crying fits, and pregnant women are allowed days off work if they’re unwell, but the Menopause is still ignored and I can’t for the life of me understand why.  It’s the largest bodily change in any woman’s life and can cause absolute havoc.

We aren’t even honest about Menopause amongst ourselves.  When my periods first started to change and I suspected peri-menopause I went to see my (female) GP who said “well it’s a bit early but it only lasts 2 years then it will all be over with” which even I knew was a big fat lie!  Six years on and there is still no sign that my periods are about to stop for good.  The biggest shock of the documentary for me was to hear that at age 61, and ten years after The Change, Kirsty still has Menopause symptoms in particular the fact that she still doesn’t sleep well.  The myth that our periods stop and that’s the end of that may be true for some women, but certainly not for all.  In a phone-in for the documentary a 72 year old woman rang up to say she was still having hot flushes every single day of her life twenty years after her final period and I remember my paternal Grandmother started to sweat profusely following Menopause and didn’t stop ’til the day she died.  My own Mum’s vagina atrophied so much in her mid seventies that she was prescribed oestrogen pessaries and her (female) Gynaecologist joked “women were supposed to die shortly after Menopause, so to be honest we’ve no idea how to treat hormone-induced symptoms in old people!” which tells you everything you need to know about the lack of information given to medical students in respect to older women and the female-related issues they face.

I don’t particularly want to celebrate my Menopause but I have no intention of ignoring it either.  I will bring it up in conversation if I feel the need and people can be as shocked as they like.  I won’t beat myself up, or apologise for, feeling irrational or emotional and will pamper myself when I’m feeling physically crap.  I won’t be hard on myself when I’m fatter at 55 than I was at 45, or joke about needing an afternoon nap.   All this is normal and it’s about time society recognized this huge transition in women’s lives and made allowances.

 

More on peri-menopause

I’ve had a request for an update on my peri-menopause.  Apologies to my younger, and male, readers to whom this doesn’t apply – be thankful cos it sucks.

I first noticed my periods had started to change back in 2012 – I’ve charted my cycles since then which you can see in this post.  I also wrote about my journey to date last July which you can read here.

Nothing much seems to have changed in the last 6 months as far as I can tell.  My periods continue to be regular though a bit erratic.  My last five cycles have been 23 days, 28 days, 26 days, 21 days and this month 25 days.  Bleeding is heavier than it used to be, particularly on the first day, and more clotty.  I can find myself changing tampons every 1-2 hours because they’re soaked.  I’ve actually fainted a few times in the past 6 months while having my period.  I now know this is probably due to very low iron levels.

I’ve never had long periods, usually 2-3 days, and this hasn’t changed.  However I’m now spotting, sometimes quite heavily, for up to 4 days after my period has finished which is new.  Also new this month is mid-cycle spotting.  I’m currently on day 9 of my cycle and have had a brown/bloody discharge for the past 24 hours.  I’ve also had stomach cramps and severe nausea, however I think that may be related to the iron supplement I’m taking so I’m discontinuing that for the next few days to see if it settles then will try it again once ovulation is over so that I know which symptom belongs to what.

My brain fog is currently dreadful.  I feel like I’ve been koshed over the head and all I want to do is sleep.  However, this could be down to my anaemia – when you have different health issues going on it’s so hard to know what’s causing what.

My sleep has definitely been worse the past few months.  I get off to sleep OK but wake several times during the night and I’m having some powerful dreams/nightmares.

My legs are on fire by 9pm every single night.  This has been going on for some years now and gives me wicked restless legs which drive me insane.  My top half is freezing but my feet are dangling outside the covers even though it’s winter and often sub zero at night!

I have some pretty bad night sweats, where I wake covered in a film of what feels like oil from head to toe, but these are currently confined to when I’m actually having my period or the few days leading up to it.

I have vaginal dryness, though so far only around ovulation and for a week or so after menstruation.  I’ve always taken my vaginal lubrication for granted and now realize how important it is.  When it’s absent your knickers rub against your bits and actually make them sore 😦   I’ve had to buy some K-Y jelly to combat this, which stings when I first put it on but does thankfully settle down.  My skin is much more dry in general.  I’ve never really used moisturizer on my face but now feel the need to, simply because it feels itchy and tight if I don’t.

My breasts seem to be very tender most of the time.  I only have about 5 days after the end of my period where they’re OK then the aching and tenderness start again.  New in the past few months has been stinging, shooting nerve pain which goes from under my armpits to my nipple.  Ouch.  No, really.  OUCH!  I’ve had this checked out via a mammogram and thankfully all is fine and it’s just been put down to my hormones.

I always forget to mention sex drive when talking about my peri-menopause because I’m not in a relationship so it’s basically irrelevant to me.  However, for those who are interested my libido seems to be largely unchanged though does fluctuate massively with my menstrual cycle.  I am intensely horney around ovulation and again around my period week, but not so much the rest of the time.  If I were in a relationship, however, I’d be far too knackered and nauseous to want rumpy pumpy.

For the entire time of peri-menopause I’ve had palpitations.  I’m sitting watching the telly and all of a suddenly I skip a heart beat then get a huge thump of a heart beat after it, or I get a run of thumpy beats.  They’re really unpleasant and as the adrenalin surges round my body it can make me feel quite anxious.  I’ve had them checked out with a 24 holter monitor and the doctor said they are nothing to worry about – it sure doesn’t feel benign though when you’re having them.

My memory is truly awful and I struggle for words constantly (I sat for quite some time trying to think of the word “benign” in the previous paragraph!).  It’s embarrassing and frustrating to have such poor cognition and I know this probably won’t improve now and I’ll just have to live with it.

I’m sorry to have to tell other EDSers this, but since I started peri-menopause 5 years ago my joints and ligaments have gone to hell in a handcart.  I’d never subluxed a joint until my hormones started to wane and my body seems to have stiffened up literally overnight.  I feel like my body has aged 20 years in my mid forties.

On the plus side I’ve had much fewer migraines since I started peri-menopause.  I used to have them up to 3 times a week, and they’re now down to around 2 a month and these are confined to ovulation and menstruation 🙂

My energy levels are rubbish, but again I think that’s down to my anaemia rather than the peri-menopause per se (although it’s probably the menopause which is causing the anaemia!).  No matter how exhausted I feel, though, I do try and get out for a short walk every single day as I feel continuing to exercise is really important for bone health, muscle strength, mental health and Vitamin D levels.

My mood is good on the whole.  I do have odd days where I feel intense and inexplicable rage, and days where I could burst into tears at the slightest thing, but nothing which isn’t manageable.  I do also have days where I feel intensely anxious for no good reason, but again this is to be expected with wildly surging hormones and isn’t anything I can’t handle.

I seem to be hungry all the time and it’s really hard not to cave in to the munchies.  Many women gain weight around the menopause then can’t shift it, so I’m really conscious of how much I’m eating and how little I’m exercising as I’m exhausted much of the time and in so much pain.  I’ve gained 4lbs in the past 6 months, which doesn’t sound much but I’m only tiny to start with and my jeans are definitely uncomfortable!  The bloating from my endo and adeno isn’t helping the situation one iota.

The biggest plus for me so far is that I’ve not had any hot flushes.  Over the 5 years of peri I’ve only had two, though I’m sure I won’t get off scott free!

In a nutshell, so far the worst symptoms for me have been:

  • Nausea
  • Hot legs and feet at night
  • Marked worsening of my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

But bonuses have included:

  • Much fewer migraines
  • So far no hot flushes

The thing which has disappointed me the most is how long the whole process is taking.  My Doctor said once my periods started to change it would all be over with in 2 years – wishful thinking that was!  I’m 5 years into peri-menopause and the whole thing seems to be taking forever.  You read about it lasting up to 10 years and secretly think to yourself “nah, it won’t take that long for me” but I currently feel like the whole thing is interminable.  I just want it over and done with so that my body can re-adjust and I can learn to live without my hormones.

 

 

 

Onwards & Upwards

Following on from my last post about being fundamentally happy despite everything, I just want to point out that this doesn’t mean I live my life in a zen-like stupor.  Hell to-the-no.  I am chronically ill and peri-menopausal – trust me when I say I have really shit days.  Like today.  I woke at 6am and the second I opened my eyes I was both pissed and weepy, my hormones raging like a spotty teenager.

There are days where I can’t eat, can’t walk, can’t sleep, can’t shit, can’t drive and have the brain function of a coma patient.  I get fed up of being sick, in pain and chronically exhausted.  I get frustrated and angry and cry snotty tears into my duvet.  I feel achingly, achingly lonely and hugely isolated.  Overwhelmed and unsure how to go on.  Which is all perfectly normal.

A friend from Camera Club is moving away and I am going out with him, and two other friends, for a farewell lunch today.  As it stands right now I don’t think I can speak without bursting into tears.  My brain is stuffed with cotton wool, every time I move the room spins and the dog can hear my painful stomach gurgling from across the room.  I think my ‘bad’ rib has partially popped out during the night which means every breath is painful and, despite a relatively good night’s sleep, I feel like I haven’t been to bed in 10 years I’m so exhausted.  Every cell in my being wants to pick up my phone and cancel.  But I won’t.  If I stay home alone I will spend the day in bed bawling my eyes out.  If I go out I will be forced to get my act together and it will take my mind off my suffering for an hour or two.  I wish my life weren’t like this, but it is and wallowing won’t help.  I am going to have a good cry before I go though which I’m hoping will get it out of my system and I won’t boo hoo into my risotto which I’m sure would make the three guys I’m with pretty uncomfortable 😉

Our emotional health has to be managed just like our physical health.  I am so ill that I could cheerfully stay in bed every day for the rest of my life, but if I did that my muscles would waste, my bones would crumble and my heart and lungs would pack up.  So no matter how utterly, utterly exhausted I feel, how much pain I’m in, how nauseous I feel or how weak, I get my arse out of bed.  I don’t always manage to get dressed and have been known to take Bertie out on the scooter in my pyjamas under my wet weather gear, but I get up.  And I do the same with my emotional health.  Today I would love to not be going out.  I would love to stay in my snuggly, warm bed having a pity party for one but I won’t because I’m not sure what it would realistically achieve other than giving me a whopping headache (why does crying give you a bad head?!).

Onwards and upwards my warrior friends (and failing that, just sit at the bottom of the hill in your jim jams 😉 ).