• Paula


Updated: Dec 10, 2019

Hey Flushers! Sorry myself and Lynnette haven't posted on here in a while. The private page on Facebook keeps us suitably busy (btw you can now find the group and ask to join us by answering a few questions, if you're not on there already - search for Feeling Flush in Facebook groups but it's still private and safe and you'll love it).

Anyway, I thought it time I dropped a little post here too. I want to talk to you about my friend 'Peri'. You might know him. For the purposes of this piece of writing, Peri is referred to as a 'he' - mostly for comedic effect but also as I refuse to believe any woman would inflict ‘him’ on another.

The first time Peri and I met properly, I wasn’t even aware who he was. I was 42 and he started to roll up monthly, just to say Hi and hang out for a while and giving me guts ache like no other. He'd leave me with a heavy clotting period and a mood so dark all the birds in my garden went and sat on next doors fence. Turns out I am not Snow White after all.

Then when I was 44, Peri started to hang around a lot more and he stepped up his stalking game. He was a permanent fixture, like some irritating and unwanted house guest. Peri made me itch. Everywhere. An insatiable scratch that caused me to sleep in those highly attractive white manicure gloves so my husband regularly thought Michael Jackson was back from the dead when he rolled over in the night. Eehhhh heeeeee.

Peri carefully placed cotton wool in my head. Just gently at first - like small soft pillowy clouds that I sometimes struggled to see through. Then he decided slight fogginess wasn’t enough and in the middle of the night he got a dumper truck, opened up my head and rammed it full so much of balls of wool that I felt like I was wading through thick brain soup on a daily basis, my thoughts lost and scrambled, my memory shot to bits.

And boy, Peri did everything he could to make me forget. He hid things. He changed peoples names, he rearranged my mind Rolodex and ripped reminder pages from my mental diary. He also did a neat trick during full blown business presentations where he'd appear and whisper that I wasn't going to be able to remember what I was talking about in about 5 seconds time....5, 4, 3, 2, .... sorry what was I saying?

Turns out that Peri can be a real feeder too. He just loves carbs and sugar, ooh and he loves wine. Lots of wine. Peri wants you to enjoy those things with him, why would you want to drink alone? I mean, wine helps you forget that you keep forgetting and Peri doesn’t care about your arse or your expanding muffin top.

Peri made me cross. No - angry. A rage that boiled and bubbled like potatoes on the hob but at least you can turn the heat down on a pan, and the boiling stops, the water cools down - not with Peri. That rage sits below the surface, just waiting for someone unsuspecting to ask you - 'What's for tea' or 'Did you buy any Quavers this week' - (you know, majorly important stuff) for you to unleash the Peri beast. Peri treats all questions equally - benign or not - when on the rampage.

Finally, in the ultimate act of controlling (absolute fecker that Peri is), he really doesn't want you to have sex with anyone. Including yourself. Ever.

It was around this time, after hitting Google, finding chat rooms where women were discussed symptoms and thought they were going mad, reading and educating myself (albeit this was super hard as it wasn't trendy or a buzzword like it is now) that I finally decided to see my doctor.

I was one of the lucky ones. She'd seen the likes of my 'Peri' before - he's a bit of a slag you see. I wasn't offered tablets for depression or forced to have blood tests, she knew straight away what was wrong with me. I was deep in the throws of perimenopause.

First up for my treatment, was a Mirena coil, inserted to stop the heavy bleeds and give me some much needed progesterone. That was fine for a short time but then it became clear that this wasn't going to save me from all the other symptoms that besieged my body. I needed HRT.

Again - I've been lucky. The gel I was given worked well with the coil and in less than 12 weeks, every symptom had gone - all 25 of them if you're asking and most within the first 6 weeks - it had sent Peri packing once and for all!! I've not seen Peri since and that was 2 years ago.

Do you know Peri? Is he living with you?

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