Heather Cowell , Hope Valley, Derbyshire
It was my husband who booked my appointment at Newson Clinic a year ago. He had done some research after seeing how much I was struggling. I was booked in with Doctor Zoe Hodson in Manchester by video link. I was a few days away from being sixty.
Zoe was kind and reassuring because I was in a terribly anxious state. I’d had menopause symptoms for years, but I thought I could struggle through because I’d had few of the sweats and hot flushes. However, when Zoe asked me to tick the Green climacteric scale list, I had just about everything else!
My main problem was severe fatigue and anxiety with joint and muscle pain, particularly in my back. I’d just crept under the ‘getting HRT 10 year’ mark since finishing my periods, so I was able to take it. The affects were not immediate and I had to work hard at it. It’s not a golden bullet! I was able to email Zoe and also get reassurance from the brilliant Admin team if things didn’t feel quite right; they were always so friendly and supportive. It was lockdown so I threw myself into listening and reading everything on the menopause doctor website. I listened to things I thought didn’t affect me only to find out that actually they did!
Zoe videoed me after three months. Her first response as I arrived on her screen was, “You’ve gone from grey to pink and she wasn’t talking about my hair! We’ve had to tweak my medication throughout the year and work together with a new GP after a house move, which I’d not have been able to manage without the HRT.
My pains began to ease and I became more mobile, taking more exercise and developing my own yoga/pilates specifically for my body. I’ve made small changes with my diet, given up alcohol and now do relaxation which has made a huge difference to my anxiety. I am now a few days away from my sixty first birthday and I feel well again. I do have days when I feel tired and my back is still a bit stiff, but I am functioning again and looking forward to flying to see my daughter in Australia and to jumping in the sea!
I would like to thank Dr Zoe Hodson for being brilliant, kind and funny. She was the first person to make me laugh again. Also Doctor Louise Newson for the work she does in spreading the word. I can honestly say HRT has given me back my enjoyment of life. No one is taking it off me now!