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Margate mum Cathy Proctor sets up Instagram menopause information campaign after Channel 4 documentary Davina McCall: Sex, Myths and Menopause

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A mother who unknowingly suffered debilitating back pain and panic attacks through menopause enables thousands of women to open up to the taboo.

A year ago, Margate’s Cathy Proctor couldn’t even lift her leg to get onto the sidewalk when she crossed the street.

Cathy Proctor

She could barely move, couldn’t sleep in the pain, and admitted that her quality of life had deteriorated so badly that it affected her family.

Despite extensive research suggesting that it might be a symptom of menopause, this was turned down by a physical therapist and she was sent away by her GP with advice to “drink more soy”.

Desperate for answers, Ms. Proctor eventually used her savings to go to a private clinic, where her suspicions were confirmed.

The 53-year-old now admits that she “stumbled” into menopause armed with false information and myths.

“How the hell did I get to be 52 and know so little about something that is so fundamental and important to every single woman in the world who will go through this at some point?” She said.

“They may or may not be badly affected, but it’s something that happens to half the population and yet we don’t know enough about it.

“Everything I thought I knew was wrong.

“I remember sitting on the beach last year talking and saying the word ‘menopause’ like it was a secret or we should really be ashamed.

“Still, it affects every woman at some point in her life. It also affects your partner and children, because if you are not feeling well, the dynamics of your family change and work can also become difficult. “

The mother of three, who unfortunately lost one of her daughters to a heart defect at a young age, has now set up an Instagram page dedicated to supporting women going through menopause and has already reached more than 2,200 followers.

It comes during a wave of consciousness sparked by a Channel 4 documentary Davina McCall: Sex, Myths and Menopause, in which the TV host speaks openly about her own experiences.

TV presenter Davina McCall.  Image: @ThisisDavinaTV presenter Davina McCall. Image: @ThisisDavina

It sparked a deluge of praise and confessions from women about how much they too have quietly suffered.

Ms. Proctor says that people are finally opening up and her Instagram page is full of women sharing their stories.

Many are younger than you think, she says. Some are perimenopausal – which occurs before menopause and can occur in women in their 30s or early 40s – and one extreme case is a girl of only 14 years of age who is going through them.

“People find it clumsy, older women with gray hair sat there knitting and had hot flashes – that’s not the case,” she said.

“When I started researching, I was shocked at how little I knew, and this is all about getting it back.

Cathy Proctor set up an Instagram page to offer support to othersCathy Proctor set up an Instagram page to offer support to others

“I was in so much pain that I could hardly move. I did a lot of research and slowly began to unravel this dark secret that was out there.

“Sometimes I was so desperate. I was frustrated, angry – how did I miss all of this?

“When I talked to my friends and family, it became clearer to me that, wait a minute, it’s not just me, I didn’t just miss it, we’re all in the dark here.”

While hot flashes, night sweats, and irregular or no menopause are known symptoms of menopause, more severe symptoms such as mental health problems, suicidal ideation, severe anxiety, and chronic joint pain are less noticeable.

Ms. Proctor says she suffered from debilitating anxiety and panic attacks by the age of 40 but had no idea why.

It was so bad that she could barely leave the house at times. She also had palpitations and dizziness, but with inconclusive tests she was left at a loss.

“How the hell did I get to be 52 years old and know so little about something that is so fundamental and important to every single woman in the world? …”

“You see with a lot of women my age that you had symptoms in retrospect, but because you didn’t know they were symptoms, you dismissed them as individual cases and you went on with them,” she said.

“Last year my back hit hard during Covid.

“I was really desperate and hardly moved. I couldn’t bend over or turn over in bed, I just cried, the pain was really bad.

“When the lockdown subsided, I went to the physio and now think that it has to do with my hormones.

“I gave him the idea. He was a nice guy but very dismissive and said he had never heard of it. So I walked away feeling a little embarrassed for saying it.

“I got stuck with my GP and saw her menopausal specialist, and we ended the conversation with her by telling me to drink lots of soy.

“When I wrote to a private clinic and said my suspicion was that this joint pain was related to my hormones, they replied and said I was absolutely right that this was a common symptom.

“And then she asked if I had any others and I said ‘No, only back pain, but there was this and that 10 years ago’ and suddenly everything came together.”

The former school worker is now pushing for better education and training for general practitioners – something that is being done through the Make Menopause Matter movement by activist Diane Danzebrink, which calls for compulsory education. One petition received more than 145,000 signatures.

Ms. Proctor said, “It’s about knowledge; We don’t have it on our radar and GPs don’t know as they are not well trained during menopause. It’s an utter tragedy that neither of us really knows, and everything we knew or thought we knew, especially about HRT (hormone replacement therapy), was wrong.

“We cannot make informed decisions about how to protect our future health if we don’t know the facts.”

Ms. Proctor had always been against the idea of ​​HRT before, but started taking it eight months ago and says it had a tremendously positive impact.

In 2003, the Women’s Health Initiative published a report indicating that women taking HRT were at an increased risk of breast cancer. The results were later found to be overestimated, but the health hazard caused many women to get away from it.

Ms. Proctor, who is a volunteer with the Menopause Charity, says the onset of menopause should be a time to embrace life as a fresh start.

“To do this, we have to feel comfortable,” she says.

“You may need HRT to be comfortable, but you need to know the facts to make this choice.

“You shouldn’t have to wait for your symptoms to weaken enough or your periods to stop to start.

“It is a huge vicious circle that we are not trained to make informed decisions about our own health.”

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Women’s Health

Crews break ground on women’s health center at Providence St. Joseph campus – Orange County Register

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A four-story, 137,000 square meter health center for women and babies has laid the foundation stone on the campus of Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange.

  • Officials break the ground for the Helen Caloggero Women’s and Family Center at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. The four-story, 150,000-square-foot facility provides access to health services, benefits and resources for Orange County’s residents. It is currently scheduled to open in autumn 2023. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Rendering of the Helen Caloggero Women’s and Family Center at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., Tuesday, September 21, 2021. The four-story, 137,000-square-foot facility provides access to health services, benefits and resources for Orange County residents. It is currently scheduled to open in autumn 2023. (Courtesy Providence St. Joseph Hospital)

  • Sister Judith Dugan bows her head as the Reverend Kevin Vann blesses the groundbreaking ceremony for the Helen Caloggero Women’s and Family Center at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. The four-story, 150,000-square-foot facility will provide Orange County’s residents with access to health services, benefits and resources. It is currently scheduled to open in autumn 2023. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Reverend Kevin Vann prepares to help officials break ground at the Helen Caloggero Women’s and Family Center at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif. On Tuesday, September 21, 2021. The four-story, 150,000-square-foot facility will provide access to health services, benefits and resources for Orange County’s residents. It is currently scheduled to open in autumn 2023. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Philanthropist Marsh Moeller speaks about her mother Helen Caloggero during a cornerstone ceremony for the Helen Caloggero Women’s and Family Center at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif. On Tuesday, September 21, 2021. The four-story, 137,000-square-foot facility will be Provide Orange County’s residents with access to health services, benefits and resources. It is currently scheduled to open in autumn 2023. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Officials break the ground for the Helen Caloggero Women’s and Family Center at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. The four-story, 150,000-square-foot facility provides access to health services, benefits and resources for Orange County’s residents. It is currently scheduled to open in autumn 2023. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Reverend Kevin Vann prepares to help officials break ground at the Helen Caloggero Women’s and Family Center at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif. On Tuesday, September 21, 2021. The four-story, 150,000-square-foot facility will provide access to health services, benefits and resources for Orange County’s residents. It is currently scheduled to open in autumn 2023. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

The crews began work on the new facility on Tuesday, which will occupy a space on the corner of Main Street and Stewart Drive. Orange Mayor Mark Murphy, Orange County Supervisor Donald Wagner and Bishop of Orange Rev. Kevin Vann showed their support for the new development at a ceremony on site.

The Helen Caloggero Women and Family Center – named after the mother of a major donor to the project – will streamline services to women and families, hospital officials said, bringing “mother-and-baby services currently available in nine different locations across the hospital.” one “. central location.”

The center offers a variety of women’s health resources, including pelvic health and rehabilitation services, exams for mothers and their babies, mental health services, and a pharmacy.

Part of the facility will also become a new natural birthing center “where women will receive the individual care midwives provide in a home setting,” according to a press release. Food, retail and office space are among other features of the future location.

“We are excited to offer our patients this wide range of services in a beautiful, new and convenient location as it will truly make it easier for them to access our world-class caregivers and the latest innovative technology in one place,” said Michelle Genova , Chief Nursing Officer at Providence St. Joseph Hospital, in the news release.

The center is scheduled to open in 2023. The St. Joseph Hospital Foundation is still raising $ 2.3 million for the new facility.

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Women’s Health

‘Bachelor In Paradise Couples’ Who End Up Together, Per A Matchmaker

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Lots of adorable couples have come and gone this season of Bachelor in Paradise – but which ones are staying here? From Reality Steve’s post-show spoilers to the fans’ incredible super detective skills, there are some popular theories.

But most of these guesses are missing a key factor: chemistry. After all, a couple is only as good as their food-related innuendos (if you look at you, Kenny and Mari).

Amber Kelleher-Andrews is the co-founder and CEO of Kelleher International, one of the largest matchmaking companies in the US, seemed doomed from the start.

Ready to Hear the Cold Hard Truth About Your Favorites? Amber spills it all below:

What’s so different about dating on TV?

“The hard thing about TV is that it’s all very inflated,” explains Amber WH. “The culture of this is that you shouldn’t care about anyone other than yourself and the person you want to be with.”

That would put a strain on everyone’s relationship – but Amber says it’s especially difficult for Paradise candidates because they juggle other factors that don’t come into play in real life. “Kindness is somehow swept under the rug,” she says. “And kindness is one of the most important things you look for in a relationship with someone.”

This applies to both men and women, she adds. “In terms of matchmaking, it’s a word that is used quite a lot: ‘You have to be kind.'”

This season, Amber says she “really felt for the cast” and the tricky dating situations they got into. But overall, she rates the candidates themselves as pretty good matchmakers. “They are banding together, but if I had a choice I would say, ‘Yeah, I would bring the two together. And I would definitely bring these two together,'” she said.

Maurissa Gunn and Riley Christian

Craig SjodinGetty Images

Amber’s judgment? Maurissa and Riley are a great pairing, but she’s not sure if they’re built to last. “I really thought he was so cute with Marissa,” she says. “It will break my heart to see what happens, but I really like her.

Her only red flag is Riley’s laid-back attitude. “I just feel like he’s a little more of a charmer,” says Amber. But guys like that “can turn into good guys,” she added. “I watched him like, ‘Is this his time? Will he be that guy? And he doesn’t have enough camera time to tell me. “So the jury has not yet decided on these two.

Brendan Morais and Pieper James

abcs

Craig SjodinGetty Images

The couple fans love to hate actually have more staying power than you might think. “They seem totally in love with each other,” says Amber. “But the thing is, Brendan is not only assertive, but he’s also out of control of his own emotions. And so he could implode himself.”

“He doesn’t seem to really have his own feelings,” she adds. “Something is wrong with him.” Amber says her real tip was to see how Brendan acted around Natasha. “He couldn’t even be straight with her,” she explains. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute. You’re not even able to say the words you’re thinking.'”

And the future of Brendan and Pieper? “I think he looks cute with Pieper and they have chemistry,” decides Amber.

Joe Amabile and Serena Pitt

abcs

Craig SjodinGetty Images

Let’s get one thing straight, “It’s really clear that he really, really, really likes his ex, Kendall,” says Amber. “And he’s not 100 percent honest, but that’s because he doesn’t really want to stick to Kendall.”

ICYMI, Joe, and Kendall originally split because he wanted her to move to Chicago with him, and she said no. (Fair enough.) But Amber thinks “if she had come” [on Paradise] and said, ‘Listen, I’m in love with you and I want to move to Chicago and give us a real chance,’ “then Joe would have left Serena sooner than Wells Adams can make a cocktail.

“His feelings are real for her, and he could fall in love with her again right in front of Serena,” says Amber. “I really don’t know what’s going to happen to them, I can’t tell – but he really likes them both.” Sounds like the producers focused on the wrong love triangle, if you ask me.

Kenny Braasch and Mari Pepin

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Craig SjodinGetty Images

Kenny and Mari win first place for Paradise’s cutest couple as far as Amber is concerned. Although Kenny got distracted by Demi Burnett in the first few episodes, Amber says, “He seems like a really nice guy and I think he’s probably really ready to settle down. Mari seems like a really suitable partner for him.”

Her age difference of 15 years doesn’t let her upset either: “She’s very grown up,” Amber adds. She thinks Mari is a great partner who shares her feelings with Kenny from the start. “I think there’s a chance these two might actually work,” Amber told WH.

Abigail Heringer and Noah Erb

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Craig SjodinGetty Images

“I love Abigail and Noah,” says Amber. But she really wants these two lovebirds to “have more sparks. They are something of a married couple”. Because of this lack of chemistry, she is “not sure what will happen to these two” (even if they are the butter of each other’s toast).

Becca Kufrin and Thomas Jacobs

abcs

Craig SjodinGetty Images

At first glance, Amber says, Becca and Thomas are actually a pretty cute couple. “I think they make a lot of sense,” she explains. “I think that is Tammy [Ly] suited him strangely. “

Amber adds that Thomas and Becca go well together visually. “When I look at Thomas’ stature, his build, and then all of the women, you think, ‘Okay, it has to be Becca.’ It’s big, it’s statue-like, it’s the Bachelorette. So it makes sense. “

But in terms of relationship, this duo just isn’t built for the long haul. “She can do so much better,” says Amber. “In the end, is that really the guy you’re going to end up with?” So she won’t be surprised if the two split up: “If they get married, I still say it’s not a match until they split up and she says, ‘He cheated on me and he’s an idiot.’ And I would say, ‘There it is!’ “

Sounds like Bachelorette Katie Thurston was right when she warned the other Paradise ladies to stay away from Thomas on Us Weekly.

Tre Cooper and Tahzjuan Hawkins

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Craig SjodinGetty Images

Despite Tahzjuan’s previous affair with Tres uncle, these two actually seemed like a great couple. “It was cute,” says Amber of their brief relationship. “And he was one of my favorites.”

Amber was disappointed that Tahzjuan had dropped her association with Tre as soon as Riley arrived. She also believes the Paradise producers cut out some footage that would have made Tahzjuan’s decision more meaningful. “One night she just screamed on the beach and Tre was kind of outside. And I asked, ‘What actually happened?’ “Says Amber.

Aside from glitches and missed connections, Amber thinks Tre and Tahzjuan should try again. “The two of them should at least meet up when they get home,” she says. (Personally, I fully and completely agree!)

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United Women’s Empowerment Hosts Town Halls to Hear Women Workers’ Concerns

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United Women’s Empowerment hosted a virtual city hall for working women in mid-Missouri on Tuesday. Hosting events both virtual and in person across the state this fall, the organization says its goal is to hear feedback from Missouri women and find solutions to the economic obstacles they face.

“It really is an opportunity for women to talk about the recovery from COVID-19 and the economic barriers and challenges women face in their families,” said Wendy Doyle, President and CEO of United WE.

The town halls are an initiative of United WE’s recently established Women’s Economic Development Task Force. Moderators asked survey questions and answered participants’ comments.

A major issue was access to the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP loan. According to the Missouri Department of Labor and the National Association of Women Business Owners, only 53 percent of women entrepreneurs had access to PPP loans, compared with 72 percent of women entrepreneurs in Missouri as a whole.

For women entrepreneurs of color, the number was even lower.

“Those who have a relationship with their banker have successfully secured PPP funding,” said Doyle. “But a lot of women don’t have a relationship with their banker, and that’s something that really caught on in town halls.”

The discussion also touched on mentoring, paid time off, access to health care, and an examination of the barriers for women applying for local office.

“Childcare is a huge pain point during COVID. In the best of times, it’s a huge pain point. ”

Kathy Wunderlich

The majority of attendees stated that internet quality and access were not a significant issue for them, but it should be noted that this town hall was held virtually – so those facing connectivity issues may not be able to attend.

However, both rural participants and some from lower-income neighborhoods pointed out that the cost of Internet access can be prohibitive despite the infrastructure in place.

Kathy Wunderlich is a Program Associate of the Hawthorn Foundation and attended City Hall.

“Childcare is a huge pain point during COVID,” said Wunderlich. “In the best of times, this is a huge pain point.”

Concerns about childcare ranged from fear, lack of socialization and educational delays, to expiring subsidies for day care centers.

41 percent of all Missouri counties have no approved childcare facilities. This emerges from a November 2020 report commissioned by thgat United WE from the Institute of Public Policy at the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs on the economic status of women in Missouri.

United WE will host two more in-person events in October: 11:30 am on October 6th at the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and 11:30 am on October 14th at Truman State University in Kirksville. Free childcare is offered in both.

The next virtual town hall meeting will take place on October 28th from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. You can register for these events at united-we.org/mo-town-halls.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the organization. United WE was founded in Kansas City and is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Her mission is to address systemic barriers women face through research and political advocacy.

To learn more about the organization, visit http://www.united-we.org/ or follow @UnitedWeEmpower.

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