Today's blog is being guest written by the vivacious Aline. When I first realised the impact menopause was having on the women that I worked with I started to explore what support was available in Solihull, Birmingham and Warwickshire. It didn't take long to come across Aline a menopause activist . We've been collaborating over the last few months to make menopause a work place issue; today she share's her journey that led her to coordinating an amazing gathering of women affected my menopause.
Hi, my name is Aline, I’m (just about still) 51 years old, mother of a wonderful 23 year old daughter, and survivor of a menopausal journey that so far has lasted 8 years.
I’m pro alternative approach to health and medicine, big time, and use it extensively. So when I started having a succession of weird physical and emotional health changes around 2012, I reached out to my many bows, from aromatherapy to Reiki and more. Nothing helped much. And my well-being deteriorated over those years despite my efforts and reaching out to GP's and specialists, until I had spiralled downwards by end 2018 and was signed off sick early 2019 for 5 months.
Great things have happened since then in less than 12 months. Serendipity never seems to stop at the moment.
Back in November last year, I researched what was happening to me, realised it is peri-menopause, and I took control of my health despite NHS challenge. After looking at the facts and evidence-based information from medical practitioners I now trust implicitly, I started using HRT to rebalance my hormonally deprived body, which took a good 6 months of trial and errors.
Early 2019, I sold my house. So I rented in a shared house, then lived into my newly acquired campervan. I have now bought a house, which I love as so much closer to nature and wildlife.
I’ve also been made redundant middle of 2019.
Now in December 2019, my time is spent working as a volunteer at the Solihull Cancer Research UK shop, supporting as a volunteer Solihull Radio’s bunch of fabulously creative presenters and staff, and campaigning for Menopause awareness, virtually on social media and concretely here in Solihull with local events. Oh, and looking for a job too, when I have time. Needs must! ☺
My menopausal journey keeps creating amazing, wonderful connections with medical professionals, women like myself keen to make change happen where Menopause Awareness is concerned, and much much more.
I am passionate about finding ways to empower women with the knowledge they need prior to perimenopause, to challenge the stigma around menopause in the workplace, to palliate the shocking NHS shortages where GPs knowledge and approach to menopause symptoms and long term illness prevention are concerned.
From virtually meeting Diane Danzebrink online, we got talking about her own passion to #MakeMenopauseMatter. This is why I found a way to hold one of Diane’s Understanding Menopause talks, with the additional contribution of Jane Lewis, another menopause survivor with her own powerful story to tell.
There’s a lot more I can add to the above, and there will be a time and a place to share this at a later date.
For now, let’s talk Understanding Menopause at Solihull Radio!
Understanding Menopause Talk in Solihull
On Saturday 10th November, I had the pleasure of welcoming both Diane Danzebrink, founder of Menopause Support & passionate campaigner of #MakeMenopauseMatter and Jane Lewis, author of Me and My Menopausal Vagina at Solihull Radio.
Over 40 women attended this event in a small, local community setting.
Diane's delivery of her Understanding Menopause talk is outstanding.
A content clear, concise and easy to grasp for non medical professionals.
And at the same time detailed enough to comprehend the complexity of peri and post Menopause journeys, and the variety of options opened to women to manage their immediate symptoms and prevent longer term issues.
I also found inspirational and positive pointing out that, once a woman has found and decided on her approach to menopause management, this is an opportunity to re-evaluate life options, choices, direction.
One of the long term impacts of Menopause and endemic oestrogen deficiency is around our vulva and vagina.
Jane's delivery on Vaginal Atrophy is brilliant.
Her use of visual detailed boards of our vaginal and vulva areas and her grasp of the medical facts around vaginal atrophy and other women's health issues in this arena were spot on for someone like me who find graphs and pictures easier to retain.
I had seen both Diane and Jane present before, and still, I learnt many things as both have grown and adapted their content to what has been happening in the recent months where Menopause is concerned.
Another key confirmation of the day:
We need so many more of these talks.
Women are craving information.
To see women's relief in their eyes;
To hear the same relief in their voice when asking questions and confirmations on specific points;
To think so many are struggling on their own still due to poor GP support, lack of information or dire misleading or false information,
or isolation due to the impacts, especially cognitive, of their symptoms...
We do need so much more factual, evidence-based communication and knowledge!
I am pro HRT wherever possible. My own experience and my personal research have led me to making this decision for my self, my quality of life, my long term health. I am also a strong advocate and user of alternative, holistic approach to health.
Diane Danzebrink provides the factual, evidence based information for each woman to make their own decisions on how to approach peri & post menopause, as well as take steps to protect their health long term.
This is invaluable in these times of fake news and sensationalism.
I could write so much more about the day. But to be true to my own preferences, pictures speak louder than words at times. See below!
A final note: