As many as 15 hot flushes a night! But still optimistic. A true Hot Flash Heroine.
Like many of you, I came to know Julie Walters for her role in Educating Rita in 1983 which earned her an Academy Award nomination, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe. She also starred in Billy Elliot, Calendar Girls, Mama Mia!, and played Molly Weasley in seven out of eight of the Harry Potter films.
I loved Julie in her role as Rita, but here’s why I love Julie as a person – besides the fact that she has the same lovely first name as me. Like myself, she suffered from menopause symptoms for more than a decade. Oh, how I can relate!
Insomnia – my biggest complaint about menopause was also hers. “My sleep has always been a bit fragile but it was very bad through that time and trying to work at the same time,” she says in an interview for the Daily Mail.
I feel you sister.
In addition, Julie admits she suffered from as many as 15 hot flushes (as they say in England) in a single night.
“I still get hot flushes,” she told Nina Myskow in an interview for Saga Magazine. “That’s 15 bloody years. Still, it’s nothing like I did then. Ripping off your nightie and Grant thinking it’s something else! ‘No – don’t get any ideas!’ Oh God, weird! It was like a chimney and came from the base of my spine. I was doing this TV called Murder, and every take there’d be, ‘Stop! She’s having a flush!’ At the National, I’d come off stage for a quick change and have to shout, ‘Garth, the tray!’ And this guy would come with this big tin tray and fan me. Harry Potter, I was in a wig and padding, and they had to put this big tube of air conditioning in my face.”
The stories sound funny, but Julie confesses it was dreadful. I’m loving this woman more and more.
Do you suffer from fuzzy brain like me? Take comfort. During a live question and answer session with fans, Walters discussed how hard she found filming for the movie musical, Billy Elliot, saying,
“It was awful, and I couldn’t get the steps right. It was the menopause again, I don’t want to go on, but it was. I went up to the end of the room, and I’ve never done this on a set before or since, and cried. But anyway I had to come back and face everybody. It was just terrible. Anyway we got it right in the end.”
Her honesty is so refreshing and I feel so much better knowing I’m not alone. The other reason I love Julie is because she gives us all hope. Those of you who like me who spend years – yes, I’m talking years and years – in menopausal mayhem and hormonal hell can be reassured that the future looks bright.
Now 64, Julie says she feels liberated and better than ever. “If you deal with it in a healthy fashion then I think you come out the other side a better person,” she says. “I’ve got so much more energy now than I ever had in my early 50s before the menopause.”
A healthy lifestyle for Julie included cutting down on alcohol (say it isn’t so!) and she credits acupuncture with helping her manage her symptoms. So there you go. There is hope at the end of the tunnel. By the way, as icing on the cake, Julie looks fabulous in her post-menopausal years!
What we’d like to ask if we’d had a few glasses of wine: How in the world did you get through menopause without wine? Not that I plan on trying it – just curious.
Photo Credit: “Julie Walters 2014 (cropped)” by Christopher William Adach from Mexico – The Harry Hill Movie – Julie Walters-1. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Julie_Walters_2014_(cropped).jpg#/media/File:Julie_Walters_2014_(cropped).jpg