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Caroline our Events Coordinator at Blenheim House is sharing her journey through Menopause to raise awareness on World Menopause Day, which has taken her through the world of caregiving, and professional growth. It’s a story of resilience, support, and empowerment, and the Berkley Care Group hope it resonates with many of you.

The Beginnings of My Career

My career started in the community caring for people in their homes. It was a fulfilling experience that allowed me to connect with those in need. My true passion emerged when I began caring for individuals living with Dementia and those nearing the end of their lives. The deep connections I formed with my clients became the driving force behind my career.

A Sudden Hurdle and New Career Path

Life, as it often does, had other plans for me. A fall disrupted my path, forcing me to step away from the job I loved. This setback was a profound moment of change and reflection, and I found myself on a different path, working as a host in a care home.

Blenheim House welcomed me, as a part of the Berkley Care Group. I began as a host and later transitioned into the role of Events Coordinator. This shift marked the beginning of a new adventure, where I continued to touch the lives of those in need.

Navigating Menopause: A Personal Challenge

 My journey with Menopause started in my mid-40s. It started with my periods ceasing and then feeling hot, especially at night unable to sleep I also felt depressed and had no energy. The low energy dramatically increased and I could sleep 10 hours then get up and still want to sleep. The exhaustion had a profound impact. I was so exhausted from just doing nothing.  The memory was a tough one too, the carers would tell me something and I would just look at them and say, “I know you’ve told me something but it’s not registering.” Plus, I had been to doctors before and was told I was too young.

“I know you’ve told me something but it’s not registering.”

Blenheim house

Seeking Support

 My experience was filled with a lot of uncertainties. Was it Depression, Dementia, or something else entirely? Sadly, I didn’t have a mother to turn to, and if I did it wouldn’t be something I could discuss with her as it was very much a taboo subject.

Thankfully, I was surrounded by wonderful colleagues who helped me navigate this challenging time through jokes. But in my head, I was still struggling. My line manager Chris Preston approached me and asked me if I was okay. At first, I was like “I’m not in my head”. I was apprehensive about discussing my struggles, fearing it might impact my job. But Chris immediately put my worries to rest and reassured me that we would find a solution together. We discussed the possibility of visiting a doctor, and Chris provided the time and space I needed. He checked in with me regularly, offering unwavering support.

The Turning Point: Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and Joining a Supportive Community

As I sought medical advice, I was prescribed Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which ultimately transformed my life. Chris continued to check in on me, further demonstrating the incredible support I had at work. Additionally, I became a member of the “Late to Lift for Women over 50s” group with lhrehab in Melksham.

Amidst all these experiences, one remarkable aspect that has shone brightly is my excellent work colleague’s support and my Line Manager who helped me in my journey through what life throws at me, I know they are there for me in my time of need.

Closing Thoughts

Menopause is a natural phase of life, and my story is a testament to the power of support, understanding, and seeking medical guidance when needed. It’s essential to remember that you are not alone on this journey.

During menopause, a woman’s body undergoes various hormonal and physical changes. The primary hormone affected is Estrogen, which plays a significant role in regulating the menstrual cycle and various bodily functions. As Estrogen levels decline, women may experience a range of symptoms, which can include:

  • Hot flashes: Sudden, intense feelings of heat that can cause sweating and discomfort.
  • Night sweats: Hot flashes that occur during sleep, leading to night-time awakenings.
  • Irregular periods: Menstrual cycles may become erratic before stopping altogether.
  • Vaginal dryness: A decrease in estrogen can lead to dryness and discomfort in the vaginal area.
  • Mood swings: Some women may experience mood changes, irritability, or depression.
  • Sleep disturbances: Menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, can disrupt sleep patterns.
  • Changes in libido: Some women may experience a decreased interest in sexual activity.
  • Changes in skin and hair: Skin may become drier, and hair texture can change.
  • A decrease in estrogen can increase the risk of bone loss.

Menopause is a significant life transition, and it can impact a woman’s physical and emotional well-being. The duration and severity of these symptoms can vary from woman to woman. Some women go through menopause with relatively few symptoms, while others may experience more pronounced discomfort.

Thank you for joining me on this journey, and I hope that my experiences can inspire and resonate with those who face similar challenges.

 

Article by Caroline (Events Coordinator at Blenheim House) from Berkley Care Group