Saturday, 22 June 2013

Living Menopausally in Denial

I'm turning 48 in October. I really don't mind because I've never had a problem with my age. I've lived my life well and I have no regrets. With age comes a lot of problems: mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. I know I'm aging, but sometimes I'm not aging very well. My body and my mind tell me many stories.

I've had many debilitating experiences with headaches. What upsets me the most is the fact that my doctor continually refers to them as stress-related. I love the way most doctors I've seen want to blame all my health problems on stress. Yes, I do suffer from a lot of stress. I've done that my whole life. I was a little girl, 7 years of age, when I had terrible nightmares because of stress. My father wanted to send my sister and me to boarding school. Whether or not it was just an idle threat on his part, it had an adverse effect on me. So, I know what stress is. I grew up with it. I also know what fear is. I've grown older with that as well. Prior to moving to South Africa, I never really had many fears. The ones I remember are minor in comparison to the ones I developed in this country. So, I find it difficult to believe my headaches are stress-related.

I was about 20 years old when I had my first severe headache. I remember I had to lie down and cover my eyes with a towel to block out normal daylight. Throughout my life, I've suffered from these headaches. I've had what some refer to as auras, but my doctor tells me I don't suffer from migraines. They're tension headaches. He says my stiff neck is the reason for the visual problems, so they're not auras. He also says the stiff neck is the result of tension. I always thought the headaches caused the auras and the stiff neck. What do I know? I'm told to drink anti-depressants. I never do and eventually the headaches pass for a long time. Then they return. Meanwhile, I am always stressed.

Now that I'm older, the headaches are different. In fact, they seem worse. I have burning sensations in my head and three different types of pain.
"They're tension headaches."
"Could it be my hormones, doctor?"
"No! They're tension headaches."


Is my doctor living in denial of menopause? I do not know. What I do know is that I'm sick and tired of these headaches!