“Never do harm to anyone”

It’s almost eight months since I had surgery. I’m practically back to normal, except that I still get tired easily, the cut muscles ache when I walk too far, and the scar twinges occasionally. I’ve started to get menopause symptoms – mainly hot flushes and unpredictable mood swings. I went to the GP and we talked about HRT, but he said I was too old for that. He’s probably right, but it’s upsetting to hear it. In my head I’m still 16, and thin and pretty – none of that is true anymore. So he suggested the current fashionable default treatment for everything, anti-depressants. I was reluctant – I really don’t get on with SSRIs – but he said I should try them for a month and see if they worked.

So I got the pills, but before I took them, I looked them up online. Shit! This stuff has a list of side-effects a mile long, starting with sweating (which won’t help the hot flushes much), increased suicidal thoughts (like I really need those!) and weight gain (gee, thanks!), and ending up with electrical changes to the heart rhythm that can cause VF and sudden death. Now, as far as I know, hot flushes aren’t fatal, so I did a quick risk/benefit calculation and shoved the bloody pills in the back of the cupboard.

I’ve found an alternative treatment, a combination of lovely vitamins and minerals, plus sage to stop the hot flushes, soy extracts to mimic the hormones I don’t have anymore and green tea for – well, I don’t really know what the green tea’s for – I think they just put it in because they could. It’s simple to take, just two pills a day, with a meal. I plan to try it for a month and see if the symptoms improve. Five days in and I am feeling better. Might just be placebo effect, but what the hell – don’t knock it if it works!

In other news, I’m trying to write, but not managing to achieve much. I need to finish a new A&J story for Pro Se, and kick the second A&Z novel into shape. Dave keeps nagging me to get them done, which doesn’t help much. Frankly, at the moment, I’d rather knit.

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