From the moment I began HRT just over four months ago there have been some incredible improvements in my Menopausal side effects. By far the most obvious was that my hair immediately stopped falling out in handfuls! Now I don’t know if the growth rate has also increased but if you have a look at todays photos you can can clearly see how much longer my hair is! Therefore either the growth had slowed before taking the drug & now it’s merely back to normal or there has actually been a growth surge. Whatever, needless to say I’m chuffed to bits with this outcome.
Relief from other symptoms such as mood swings & hot flashes has been pretty obvious too. I noticed that I’ve not shouted at the children in bloody ages! I mean even the tail end of the school holidays was bearable – Cor Blimey that’s saying something!
As wonderful as all that is I have to tell you up until recently I was still waiting for one of those terrifying out-of-body experiences to knock me over. Memories of the hideous psychological meltdown we talked about in my last Menopost have quietly niggled at the back of my mind. Until recently I would drive my car expecting an “episode” to suddenly overwhelm me. It hasn’t happened, nor do I feel the irrational sense of urgency that used to randomly come a knockin’. Crazy town, like Jack Nicholson in The Shining – Heeere’s Johnny!
In fact come to think of it all anxiety has left the building! What’s that you say? As if I’m also taking anti-depressants or some kind of happy pill?
Going by the large number of your comments relating to these particular symptoms I’m thrilled to report this significant result. The mental torture of anxiety & bizarre black thoughts, often brushed aside by others as simply part of the process, is the most debilitating of all. To find HRT has ridden me of those fears is truly a life changing revelation.
Symptoms HRT has not helped
Don’t get me wrong I’m incredibly pleased with Hormone Replacement Therapy & impressed by how much it can literally fix. And ladies when I use the word “fix” I mean it. There were dark times before HRT when I actually felt broken. However like most medications it doesn’t do everything for everyone. Since there’s an absence of literature on what HRT doesn’t improve It’s up to us to open the dialogue. It’s paramount to clarify the differences we’re experiencing so we can not only help women at the beginning of their journey but also swap potential remedies as well. After all it could potentially be years of abject hell or otherwise, an enlightened voyage through to the other side. If it’s at all possible, & I believe it is, to experience the latter then it’s up to us as Women to unite & share warts & all! Women of our generation are in a unique position for the first time in history – We have choices & we have a powerful voice, let’s not be afraid to use it.
I’ll start the discussion by sharing what side effects I still have followed by what, if anything, I’m treating them with.
First up is THE most annoying physical side effect…
As you know the lack of Estrogen leads the female body into becoming a desert – Yes a barren desert & also a very dry desert. Personally I’m rather ambivalent about the dry Vag situation (sorry Greetje) To be honest as I’m not particularly horny these days lubricant is a perfectly fine substitute on the odd occasion. You know, like Christmas & His birthday? The dryness of my skin & eyes is far more debilitating & something that if left untreated has caused me quite a great deal of discomfort.
Since taking Hormone Replacement Therapy there has been little improvement on my flakey & itchy skin. Yet worse still, no improvement to the burning dryness of my eyeballs Ugh which incidentally adds to the feeling of tiredness even when I’ve slept well.
EYES – I’m using a pharmacy eye gel lubricant (such as this) every morning which has helped reduce the burning enormously. I probably should shut down my computer in the evenings to rest my eyes but I’m yet to make that happen. Perhaps a screen free day is on the cards?
SKIN – If you follow my Instagram you’ll have seen this Caudalie Resveratrol cream. Omg A-MAZE-ING! Simply put, it has given me back my glow. I only use it in the morning because I found twice a day was too rich for me & I broke out in some spots. I recommend anyone using it for the first time to trial & error for a fortnight because for some people morning & night is absolutely perfect. I’m also about to test a new Caudalie eye cream which I’m hoping will help combat the puffiness under my eyes. Curiously I’ve never used an eye cream before as I’ve never felt I needed one so this will be an interesting experiment. If you’d like to try any products from Caudalie, now is the time to buy. They’re offering free delivery on everything online from January 26th-29th using the code PAYDAY17. For more about them read this review I wrote about the equally brilliant product, VinoPerfect Serum.
HANDS – This may sound extreme but my hands have been so dry they hurt. Seriously. To keep the moisture in I’m only using the most gentle hand soap on the market which is from Aesop. It’s expensive so keep away from children! Additionally I use what is essentially a face cream as my hand moisturizer – The luscious Antipodes . I suppose that sounds excessive but trust me when I say this moisturizer is like no other in its ability to soothe & absorb into my paper-thin skin. Our hands often age more noticeably than our faces & certainly take more of a battering in daily life yet we skimp on hand cream? Not me.
BODY – I use Knackered Cow from Cowshed, a thick body moisturizer. I apply a generous amount on my arms & legs every morning after showering. It lasts all day although initially does take a little time to absorb.
Unfortunately I am still waking occasionally during the night. I get up for a wee & usually manage to get back to sleep but not always. On reflection, I should be going to bed earlier. I believe it’s the first stretch of REM sleep that yields the most rejuvenation of body & mind, not the wee hours in the morning. Therefore getting up early isn’t the problem, it’s going to bed late. I need to work on this. My issue being that down time we all need to unwind before attempting sleep. If I log off my laptop sooner I’ll be relaxed enough to go to sleep earlier. Must try harder.
After describing the Tinnitus in my earlier Menopost, reader Rozanne who also suffers from the condition, left incredibly helpful information in comments. If you have Tinnitus watch this Youtube video. More than anything it was wonderful hearing affirmation on a condition that’s impossible to describe to others. Check out Julian Cowan Hill who offers simple techniques for managing the problem. Mwah! thank you Rozanne.
Ok I feel pretty silly saying this but it has to be said…sigh I did not know my period would return when I started HRT. DOH! It was a complete surprise when I came to the end of my first months sheet of pills & got a period. I guess it makes sense & if I had the choice to never get another period again I’d take it in a heartbeat. Who wouldn’t right?
HOWEVER NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF MY MARVELLOUS MIRACLE PILL!
So I’m back to having a monthly period which to be fair is a minor trade-off for my sanity, you know what I’m saying?
Shop my Outfit
My make-up for today’s outfit is the usual natural look I wear with one exception. I smudged on a little eyeshadow from my favourite Chanel palette. My lipstick is a pinky nude as opposed to the usual beige tone Nars. All the products I used are listed above including the pale pink, almost white nail polish. If you’d like more details you’ll find Make-up Tutorials in my MENU bar under BEAUTY at the top or the BEAUTY MENU boxes in the side bar of the HOME page. There’s also a super simple HAIR Tutorial for this same look here.
Ultimately taking HRT is like giving myself a hug
I could get by without it but why should I? I have no medical reason not to take it, so for the time being, I’ll carry on.
What are your experiences with Hormone Replacement Therapy? I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion on this so please do be frank, there are no judgements here.
Lots of love, Mx