It’s been a busy old time of late. In fact, I should probably have gone with “hectic” as opposed to “busy”; I’m sure that would have been far more accurate.
Having had some health issues of late, I had rather hoped that my medical travails were behind me. Mother Nature on the other hand, had other ideas. After a few weeks of irritability, mood swings, waking up in the middle of the night feeling so hot that even the devil would have asked if he could open a window, I went to see a female GP at my local surgery. Imagine my delight (you may need a towel to mop up the dripping sarcasm here) at being told that I was now perimenopausal! I’m 41, for god’s sake! How can I be perimenopausal? I’m too young…aren’t I? Apparently not. The doctor was extremely sympathetic as I sat, a sobbing, snotty, blotchy-faced wreck, in front of her. Through gulps and sobs I managed to ask “So what do I do?”
The doctor smiled and said, “Well, you can either knuckle down and tough it out for the next ten years or so, or you can take one of these little pills every day and you should start to feel better. Plus, you won’t feel as old. You’re too young to feel old.” As she handed me the prescription, I damned near ripped in two snatching it from her.
Then, tragedy. Two of my beloved cats died within a couple of weeks of each other. The first one, George, was around 18 years old and showing signs of dementia. He would wander from room to room, miaowing as if he didn’t recognise things. On the last day, he seemed as if he was struggling to recognise me. I did the last nice thing that I could do for him and asked the vet to let him sleep.
The second cat, Carino, had only been with me for a couple of years. I found him one January, totally wild and foaming so much at the mouth that I thought he may have rabies. After trapping him in my hallway, and struggling with him until we were both exhausted, I managed to get him into a box and took him to the vet. Under sedation, she found that he had a terrible problem with his mouth. What few teeth he had were rotten through to the roots and he had an open ulcer on his tongue. I couldn’t imagine the pain he must have been in. Without a doubt, he was unable to eat. A blood test showed that he had Feline AIDS. Still, he’d only be a danger to other cats if he bred with them or bit them. He was already castrated so there was no risk of him breeding. And when it came to his mouth, the vet performed a miracle. She operated, took out his rotten teeth and roots, gave him strong antibiotics for the ulcer, and within a week, I was looking at a different cat. For two years he was pain free and a happy cat. Sadly, though, the Feline AIDS began to take its toll and he began to develop open sores around his mouth that did not heal or respond to treatment. Eventually, the ulcer on his tongue returned. There was no way I was going to let him be in that kind of pain again, and the vet agreed it was kinder to let him sleep.
I’m now three weeks into my perimenopause medication and I am indeed beginning to feel a little better. I’m still in the grip of mood flashes and hot swings (or is it the other way around?), but I feel that there’s light at the end of the tunnel…I just hope it’s not a sodding train!
Then, in the midst of all the physical and emotional upheaval, I decided that my life needed a change of pace. A new challenge, perhaps. Cue applying for multiple teaching jobs in a variety of countries, being offered an extremely lucrative job in China (I politely declined) and being approached with a request to write someone’s biography. I know I said I’d like a change of pace, but could you at least form an orderly queue?
I have spent today writing to 43 schools to see if they would like to hire a perimenopausal English teacher (I didn’t put it quite like that on my resumé) and am now sitting at my desk having a well earned cup of tea and a biscuit or six.
What will the future hold, I wonder?