Cathy had to find out for herself what was causing her muscle fatigue and joint pain so suddenly. Her discovery opened up a world of menopause information and insights about treatment. She was left confused as to why healthcare professionals had not been more in tune with her problems and weren’t offering the help she desperately needed.
“My journey began in March 2020, just as lockdown happened. I had been used to walking and exercising regularly and loved the routine that I had, but overnight I seemed to get muscle fatigue which developed into joint pain.
After months of trying various physios, inconclusive MRI’s and wasted GP appointments, I began to do my own research to try and find an answer. The more I researched the more amazed I became, as I discovered this hidden secret surrounding menopause and a word I had never heard of – perimenopause.
Slowly, my suspicions that my issues were to do with my declining hormones became more than just a hunch – I was perimenopausal and suffering an endless list of symptoms that I had no idea were all connected to my hormones. It was a mixture of emotions: relief that there was an answer, surprise at how little I knew and sadness and anger that I wasn’t more informed and prepared. But finally there was hope that I might get my life back on track. I had grown up with a negative view on HRT, which as it turned out, I was very wrong about, and had based that on misinformation from the media over the years. Even my GP surgery were telling me things that I knew were wrong. It felt like a very lonely time with little support and confusion as to my next step.
I still struggle to understand how it is we can reach our 50’s without any knowledge of something that will happen to every single woman. And I don’t understand why GPs and many healthcare professionals are misinformed and, as a result, misdiagnose symptoms as something else. It is shocking how many myths are still sticking.
Having factual, non-biased, data-based information is paramount for us to be able to make informed choices on our health – and this is surely our right.
I have now found my new passion and am so determined to help spread the word and keep talking, so that this subject becomes less taboo, more accepted and that factual information is easily accessible for everyone.
This time of our lives should be something to celebrate and embrace, not something we should have to stumble into blindfolded, and then have to fight to be heard and get the support and treatment we need.
I’m so excited to be part of The Menopause Charity to help change things for the better.”