Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lately the hot flashes have been upon me, like for the last 3 weeks. Lots of friends have gone through this experience and the term has always been bandied about in popular media, most recently in that Estroven commercial where a series of women hold up cards saying funny things like "I no longer take my clothes off at work" and "my husband's not afraid of me anymore". Things that are funny unless this shit is happening to you in which case Estroven seems like the Holy Grail.

To put it mildly I feel psychotic and I am wildly uncomfortable - not a good combo for me as I was born volatile. Not in a bi-polar way, but more like a melodramatic way. Not a personality that is enhanced by flop sweat and a wildly beating heart. I went to bed last night at 10:00pm in an attempt to get at least 4 consecutive hours of sleep. I was up at 1:15 because my heart was pounding out of my chest and again at 4:48 because I was hot which was okay because I had to pee, and at 5:50 I was wide awake with the pounding heart AND a body that was doing it's heat miser routine.

For me this experience is akin to what I imagine a red alert feels like at a nuclear power plant on the verge of meltdown. I'll just be sitting there, or lying there and all of a sudden we're at code red. My lip is beading, my scalp is wet, there is a waterfall flowing between my boobs and my whole body feels unbearably hot. This lasts for about 5-10 minutes during which time I remove my clothes, run to stand in front of the nearest open refrigerator or fan myself wildly with whatever I can find, then I get freezing cold, put my clothes back on and go on about my business until it starts up again in about 15 minutes.

Looking into Hormone Replacement Therapy is frightening. Yesterday I read this article which states that basically these symptoms can be alleviated by taking man made hormones except that there was this study that showed that HRT while alleviating the symptoms of menopause, might cause worse health problems, but if you only take estrogen without progesterone you get protected from the same problems, EXCEPT you get uterine cancer.

Say what?

There are natural things that one can do, for instance I eat flax seed everyday but that's not doing squat for my melt downs. I've cut out dairy, wheat, caffeine, sugar, alcohol and red meat and that doesn't seem to be helping either it just makes me sad as well as sweaty.

Thank God for my friends who've hiked this trail before me - I can call them for reassurance that this will not last forever. We can laugh about it and share our stories which helps a lot.

What doesn't help is when Adi says to me, "You know I think that you can control this with your mind. If you just concentrate you can make this stop, instead of celebrating it like you do."

He's so lucky we were sitting in a restaurant and I was sitting across from him so I couldn't reach to punch him in the throat.


Lo to the Po! said...

Thanks so much for making absolutely petrified not just of going through this but of saying the wrong thing and potentially being punched in the neck.

A Quirky Chick said...

I don't think you would ever say anything like that - and can I just say that I wish there was a book akin to What to Expect When You're Expecting. I guess it would be called What to Expect On the Downhill Slope...

'Drea said...

I'm so not looking forward to hot flashes.

Hmmm, interesting that you say you were born volatile. My mother says that I came into the world demanding...

Laura said...

Know this is an older post, but just had to say how much I relate! I've stopped taking an Anti-depressant, which was probably controlling my hot flashes, and boy, do I feel sick when I get one, which I do several times a day and through the night. I've been taking Estroven, but think I'll stop as it has not been helping at all. Thanks for just expressing, with humor, how I feel.