My name is Maria. Last year I wrote a poem about the menopause as an apology to my mum from a thirteen year old me. A thirteen year old who, having no awareness of the menopause back then, used to tell my mum to "cheer up and put a patch on." Years later, here I am with a three year old son and I truly hope that by the time he reaches that age he has more of an idea than I did.

Script the Change

A bit warm is all, that’s the menopause norm,

nothing a fan and a cold drink won’t sort.

But we’ve just no idea what’s coming our way,

not needed to know, “old” was so far away.

Unaware of the migraines, heads clamped in a vice,

the night sweats and restlessness, and long sleepless nights.

Unprepared for the bloating and muscles which throb,

the forgetting of words and the dreaded brain fog.

Not thought of the bruising and the dry itchy skin,

the weight gain and joint pain and hair looking thin.

In the dark about mood swings and the deluge of tears,

the panic attacks and gripped by a fear.

And it’s not just a bit warm, it’s flashes of fire,

the burning recurring, no sign it will tire.

This list is hard hitting but it’s not meant to scare,

it’s to rewrite the script and to make us aware.

Let us train up our colleagues and teach it in schools,

this menopause talk is no longer taboo

Whilst they’re heath tips and treatments and choices to make,

it’s a journey to get through, and we’ll find our own way.

Whichever the path, there’s a need to be freed

from the untruths assumed, time to get up to speed.

Maria, 2022

Emily Fisher

Emily’s story

Kate McGeary

Kate’s Story

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