Real life

Watch your backs, everyone: I haven’t slept for three years

The menopause has turned me into a major risk to public health and safety

18 July 2015

9:00 AM

18 July 2015

9:00 AM

Insomnia has a lot to answer for. I have not been sleeping well for years but a few months ago I stopped sleeping at all. By that I don’t mean I sleep a little bit. I mean I sleep never. And since I stopped sleeping, I have been teetering on a knife-edge. It is, I can reveal, barely possible to behave in accordance with the law if you have had no sleep for a significant time. I suspect a large proportion of the prison population just needed a sleeping pill to make them into responsible citizens.

As for women’s prisons, they must be jam-packed with menopausal desperados needing HRT whose GPs wouldn’t stop their night sweats because of a sadistic NHS directive saying that since HRT is linked with an infinitesimally small risk of cancer, doctors should not prescribe it without sending you to an HRT clinic, the waiting list for which is six months.

My doctor has been telling me about this for years. Every time I go in and say, ‘Help me! Please! Give me the patches!’ she reassures me that being menopausal is preferable to getting cancer. And would I like an appointment at the clinic, to assess my options, in six months’ time? ‘Options? Options?’ I gasp. ‘I’m in no fit state to assess my options! I’m probably going to be dead in a ditch in six months’ time!’ And I walk out of the surgery, determined to go private. Then I become indignant about all the tax I’ve paid, and resolve to power on without medication, with dubious results.

The other day, you may remember, I ‘mislaid’ my car key at the stable yard after ‘taking it’ to the car and ‘losing it’ in the boot. Three hours later, with every item in the Volvo laid out on the grass verge as in a crime scene, and at least one of the back seats broken after I’d torn them all off their hinges to search between the gaps, I discovered that I had left the key in a drawer in a storeroom.

You would think that was bad enough. But sadly there is a second instalment to this sorry tale involving what happened when I got in the Volvo and started it up, which I must tell you now.


Muttering prayers of thanks to Saint Anthony and Saint Jude, I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw only a large, dark-coloured barn door, and so I reversed. At the exact moment I reversed, about 17 thoughts came into my head — all of them pointless, as usual — and I didn’t hear the parking sensors, if indeed they even went off.

I think they might not have gone off actually, because they’ve got dust on them and I was meaning to clean them only, of course, I forgot. So the first thing I heard was a bang. And a crunch. And I leapt out to find that I had reversed the great hulking Volvo into the tiny Ford Fiesta of another girl at the stable yard — a girl who had been helping me look for my car key for three hours.

The front wing of her car was hopelessly crumpled. I howled and she came running. I gushed apologies and she smiled grimly. What could she say? She had already had ample demonstration that she was sharing a stable yard with a lunatic.

Here is my theory, for what it is worth. If you are a well-balanced person before you embark on the change of life you will probably make it through without crumpling too many Ford Fiestas. If you are in any way eccentric, creative, artistic, highly strung — whatever you want to call it — then the menopause will in all likelihood turn you into a major risk to public health and safety.

And so I stood there, hair on end, apologising for smashing to pieces the car of someone who had just helped me look for the means to do this for three hours, and who was now surely wishing she had dug the key into a deep hole.

‘It’s all right,’ she said, heroically. Still, I felt some kind of explanation was in order. ‘I haven’t slept for three years,’ I said. ‘Well, I slept a bit for two and a half years but in the past few months the hot sweats have been so bad…’

She grimaced as if to say, ‘Please don’t tell me your problems, my car’s a write-off, that’s enough for me to deal with.’

A few days later, I sat in front of the GP and laid my position squarely on the line.

‘Don’t be fobbing me off with any clinic,’ I said. ‘I’m a danger to the public.’

He tapped away at his computer and a prescription shot out of the printer.

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  • chiefwhippet

    well Melissa old love, the extra hormones may affect your brain to such an extent, that you become compassionate in your midlife and stop championing tearing creatures to bits for fun. We live in hope.

  • Arthur Thistlewood

    How come Ms Kite’s GP begins the article as a woman and ends as a man? Odd. Surely, if the doctor had transgendered so suddenly, this unnerving fact would be worthy of at least passing note?

    • bengeo

      Cut and paste from some other writer?

      • Arthur Thistlewood

        Could be … but whatever, we as readers are reminded that these ‘true life’ pieces have a strong fictional element and are not the genuine, personal testimony they at first sight appear to be. They are all crafted. I’d guess she thought the GP ought for PC reasons to be female but had forgotten this by the end of the article and just didn’t do careful proof reading.

        • chiefwhippet

          Or she is registered with a practice that has several doctors, both male and female. The female GP wouldn’t giver her what she wanted so she went to another, who was male???? The mystery deepens!

  • Builder boyfriend

    Sadly kite is now admitting she is a fruit cake,all her ex friends and boyfriends already know!. It’s not funny anymore kite,you even had to take your bitterness out on Jimmy my Horse,you see kite and a surrey nobody friend of hers, posted on my advert in surrey horse and pony a Facebook group,,to try and stop the sale of my Horse,they just made fools of them selves. All I did was stop going out with her!,she’s a bit desperate and very very rude lady.that’s why all her boyfriends run off.

    • chiefwhippet

      So you were the bloke she gushed about in one of her pieces. I wondered where you went. She recently described a date with somebody who turned out to like foxes so she claims she ditched him. Just hope the drugs work.

      • Builder boyfriend

        Yer I am the builder boyfriend,life with Melissa was a roller coaster,one minute she wanted a baby the next she hated me,then she wanted us to be together then she wanted a baby then she didn’t hated me! Then she did hate me!.Everything is always the boyfriend’s fault in kites life?. I guess it’s a way of
        Not dealing with the real issues in life. What kite forgets, is how much she hurts everyone around her!. I was so in love with her and was devastated,she could not have our baby.now I see her for what she is?,a total piss taker.I am like a fly in her vino,as live between Cobham and London,and share many friends,well tuff luck to her,I was here long before I ever met her.silly sad cow Needs to learn to just be happy. Anyway had my rant,good bye.

        • dolusbonus

          Brave geezer !

    • dolusbonus

      She probably dumped you because your grammar & punctuation are so f…ing awful….

      • Builder boyfriend

        I left her thanks!,yer my grammar and punctuation is awful,but God made up for it by giving me a massive cock!. Why do you think kite stayed with me for so long.err brains or big cock?,think I got the better of the two.bye xxxxxxxx

        • chiefwhippet

          Yes but would she have stayed for ever if you had been a brain surgeon? She obviously does like a builder with a big one (so you say) but long term perhaps she longs for a rich and socially powerful man, who likes hunting animals to death. You had a lucky escape I reckon.

          • Builder boyfriend

            You know her only to well!, all she wants is power and fame.bye

          • chiefwhippet

            Tat ta. Find yourself a compassionate woman, who cares about all creatures huh?

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