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100 Days Of Awe: Day Fifty One – Optimisation At The Brompton

Day 51: Optimisation at The Brompton

IMAG4523** WARNING: The topic of this post is Menopause.  There are some who may consider the subject to be more gruesome than awesome.

I am tired of being out of sync with life.  I am tried in the morning – all the morning. I come alive as the day moves on. I can party anytime from midnight onwards.  When I sleep I often have night sweats perhaps all my dancing energy being subsumed into my bed sheets?  There are other things I am tired about too but I  suffice to say that in the allopathic world my symptons coalesce to point a big fat arrow at the M word: Menopause.  Would you believe that there are cultures where menopause – the time of life when women, as I see it, transition from fertility to wisdom – is not medicalised i.e. there is no big deal, no fuss, no one looking for medication, no day time flushes/flashes or night time sweats, no grappling with atrophic vaginitis (sounds like a monster from the deep), creaking joints, sand paper skin, low libido – or should that be no libido etc. etc.  Japan is a case in point and research indicates that a diet high in soya and fish oil may be beneficial while a diet of meat and dairy may not.  Margaret Lock explicitly compares Japanese and North American experience of menopause in her book Encounters with Middle Age.

But coming back to my own experience I was in my early 40s when I had an abdominal ultrasound to check some persistant anomalies in my menstrual cycle that identified me as menopausal – a good 10 yrs ahead of schedule.  I was referred to a wonderful clinic run by Dr Nick Pannay at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in Hammersmith, coincidentally a stone’s from my home.  The standard treatment for early (rather than premature menopause) is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and Dr Pannay totally supported my preference for natural alternatives.   With the exception of a limited range of supplements e.g. red clover, there was little the clinic could subsidise.  The reduction of estrogen associated with the menopause affects calcium retention and the ability of skin and other membranes to retain moisture so I take a calcium supplement and local estrogen for painful vaginitis.  I have played with nutrition, acupuncture, chinese herbs and homeopathy all with some success but nothing I take has changed my libido, my interest in or desire for sex and intimate connection.

Separately I have been learning that regardless of my circumstances I am the person who creates my reality.  Perhaps I was just a little too proud of my status at the clinic of being the only person at the clinic not on HRT.   It had crossed my mind that my focus was more on standing in opposition to allopathic health rather than what is true for me so it was amusing then when at my last visit to my clinic I was offered the opportunity to participate in a low dosage HRT trial at The Brompton Hospital.  One of the pre requisites for the trial is that participants are NOT on HRT and have not been for at least 6 months.  I was an the ideal potential participant.

The Optimise Trial is a pill/patch comparison using half the standard dosage.  All medical and transport costs are covered and a full range of scans and tests at the beginning and end of the trial map the physical journey.  Today I started the trial.  I acknowledge I am apprehensive, that I am concerned about choosing to take a synthetically created pharmaceutical into my body but I also acknowledge that I tinker with my body in many different ways; whatever I ingest.  What I am more concerned about is my conscious choice to be a player in the game of my life; the life to love, be loved, to touch and be touched, to be intimate and share intimacies.

If you are interested in the Optimise Trial please email Dr. Marie-Odile Gerval on m.gerval@imperial.ac.uk

100 Days of Awe is a playful project I set up to bring my attention to awe in my daily life. I see awe as wonder, a mixture of amazement and respect.  I expect the experience of awe to be about perception shifting awareness and that demands a reframing of some sort.  I am excited to see what will awe me on this journey.

Anne K. Scott is an imagination technologist, her work to teach, facilitate and deliver innovation for individuals and business.  She is the creator of FindYourMojo iPHone app. If you are interested in what intuitive coaching can do for you please do contact me.  I support clients all over the world.

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