Association of Women for the Advancement of Research and Education Today is
 
ProjectAWARE logo

           
You are here:  Home > Experience > Personal Stories > Postmenopausal at 20 Tell a Friend about Us

 

 

Betrayed, Heartbroken and Feeling Lost

Why me? How could I have gone through "the change" before my mother? That makes me feel like a freak.

I was 20 years old when I was diagnosed, and even now, I find it hard to cope. My head is permanently up my ass, excuse my language, but you need to understand what I am going through. Right now I feel betrayed by the system, that great system called the National Health Service, that we all pay so much into and feel like we get so little out of.

About 3 months ago I sat in my new doctor's office explaining to her how I kept going hot and cold, that I hadn't been feeling right for a long time, that my migraines had been getting worse, how my emotions went from one extreme to another, how I was not sleeping very well and how I kept having really bad depressive bouts over nothing. The doctor took my temperature and said that she would like to send me for some blood tests as my temperature was a little higher than normal. Even though I was currently not having a hot flush, it was 38.5 degrees Celsius. I felt I was going to get some answers as she seemed very thorough. She was the first doctor to actually send me for any kind of tests. She discussed different possibilities, such as a viral infection, because I had recently been unwell, or my hormones playing up a bit because my period was so late. I had missed two and the last one was more like a phantom period; it never really showed up. Before then I had not had a proper period for a long time.

So I went for my blood tests and eagerly awaited the test results, getting more and more nervous. Because I had missed at least two periods, I must have gone through a good £40 worth of pregnancy tests.

On the Friday I telephoned for my results, I learned I definitely was not pregnant, I was definitely not anemic, I definitely did not have diabetes, and my white blood cell count was definitely normal. So no sign of infection, but something was wrong and they wouldn't tell me over the phone. They hadn't given me my hormone results, and when I asked they simply said I was to make an appointment as soon as possible with the doctor.

So I found myself once again sitting in her office, nervous as hell. When she spoke, calmly with such a soft and reassuring voice, I started to feel a little bit more trusting simply because I actually felt like she cared. We spoke about the results and why she had asked for them to be done. Then she explained that there was a problem with my hormones. I thought maybe my balance had changed and she was going to suggest a different pill, but obviously not. The doctor explained that my levels of FSH and LH hormones were extremely high. Apparently these levels rise when you are perimenopausal and go even higher when you are postmenopausal. Mine were way too high for my age.

So that was it. I was postmenopausal. AT THE AGE OF 20!!!

When she asked me if I understood what this meant, I knew one thing: that I couldn't have kids!!! I'm 20. How can I not have kids??? I sat there and cried. I had planned in the future on having a little girl called Charlie Ellen and a little boy called Kory Aiden. I just feel really cut off!!! The doctor explained that she wasn't 100% sure but she was fairly certain, but for me to try to keep an open mind. I thought she was going to cry with me, she was so apologetic and said she wished she did not have to give me such news.

At this time, my parents had gone away on a short break. I dreaded telling my mum, because I didn't want to spoil her holiday. I knew she would be upset, and I knew I couldn't tell her without crying. She finally phoned, asking eagerly, "So, go on then. What were the results?" I choked. Then I burst into tears. When I finally started to explain, my mum sounded so shocked. She had said right at the start that that is what she thought it was. Next time I think should start going to my mum, rather than the doctor I had been seeing since I had moved to Blackpool, nigh on four years ago now.

Now I find myself being angry, angry because I am 20 years old, I pay my NHS contributions, and yet still I find myself in a system where I have been complaining to my doctor for years about my lack of periods and their irregularity, how heavy they were and he never took one blood test. Here I am not only menopausal, but postmenopausal. Had there been blood tests last year when I missed 5 periods, it would have not only shown my hormone levels being out but it would have saved me about £80 on pregnancy tests, and a lot of stress and worry. For this I have lost almost all faith in the NHS, and the system as a whole.

I feel like I have been cheated, and I blame my old doctor for not doing more for me, for not being more thorough when time and time again I said something was wrong, and time and time again he told me to give it time. I've been told to give it time since I first started my periods at 11; at 20 you would have thought I had given it enough time.

I've since been to see my old specialist I used to see under BUPA, my parents paid for me to take my initial consultation so that I could get ahead of the list on the NHS. Isn't it funny how it's always money, money, money that gets you anywhere? The day before the consultation, I had so many questions I wanted to ask my consultant, but all the time in the world wouldn't have been enough. I asked my mum to come with me, knowing that she was going to be there for support kind of eased all the pain.

The consultant explained what postmenopause actually meant and what he was going to do. He, like me, wants to find out what has caused all this. At least I knew my specialist was on my side.

When the time came for me to ask questions I froze and began to cry again, so my mother stepped in and discussed what the options were, where we could go from here, what's next and every question I needed to hear answers to. She also talked about my Auntie Dee who had died of cancer on Christmas Day 1999. My mum explained that my aunt's specialist had requested that all the girls in the family be checked regularly for the same type of cancer that my aunt died from, with it being such a high risk and in case there was a chance that this could be causing some problems.

We talked about me not being able to have children, and how there could be a possibility, a very small one, but still a possibility that I may have some eggs left. But this is something that we shall look at once all the tests have been run. We spoke of how I could still get pregnant, up until the menopause finishes. But to me, I don't want Charlie & Kory just yet. I want to be in a good, strong & stable relationship and then discuss having kids. Fantasy world I know, but it's my life.

Well it's been a few months now, and although I am still angry and upset, I have my friends around me for support. I do have depressive bouts, and I am extremely worried that not being able to have children will cause problems with my boyfriend and I, but he says it won't. Only time will tell though, eh? He has been very supportive, and although I don't really like to talk about it we do. I know he is always there for me, and that is a huge help, but I hate comments about how we look so happy together and when are we going to start having children. I appreciate many people do not know what has happened, but it is still upsetting.

My mum and dad have promised to pay for any treatment that I would like to go for, but I am independent and I don't like taking money from them. I feel very bad for my parents, as it is looking like due to an injury my brother won't be able to have children either, and I know that that must hurt them.

I know I must sound very selfish, but all the help and support in the world at the moment, as much as I know it is well meant, cannot help me. I am distraught and there really is nothing anyone can do to make me feel better. I am just taking one day at a time.

Carrena
Blackpool, Lancashire

 

For more information:

 

 

 

 

 

 

More stories 
Share your story? 

 

top of page

Updated  05/15/2010