The Taboo Subject

I've had The Talk with my daughter years ago, but I'm still waiting for someone to have The Second Talk with me. What is it about menopause that women don't want to share? Do they think we can't handle the truth? Kind of like they keep the best secrets of babyhood from us when we're planning a family, like the poop that shoots straight up the back of your precious newborn, soiling clothing from toes to skull in the process. (Really. How?)

I'm one of the lucky ones, says my doctor, who get to do all this ten years early. Typical statement from a man. It was not the same doctor that once told me my hips were nice and wide, and perfect for giving birth. That man died a violent death shortly after that statement was uttered. At least in my mind he did. Apparently I am skilled at choosing the doctors who spout absurdity.

So I am now experiencing something called perimenopause. I asked what this was, but the answer was as vague as the term "lucky" was absurd. Research tells me that it's the transition period leading up to menopause. And apparently, its when all the fun symptoms of what is generally termed "menopause" happen.

Sorry. If you're a guy, or would rather not read about all the funness of being a woman, you should probably click out. And this warning should have come a few paragraphs ago. My bad.

And we're on again.

Actual menopause, from what I read, is the ending of the "peri" stage and starts life without all that crap. Knowing this, I'm seriously looking forward to menopause. Seriously. It's the hot flashes that will eventually be the death of me, I'm sure. For now, I'm referring to them as warm flashes, because they're bearable. But they're not fun. Just last week, while on vacation, I had the dear husband turn the AC on in the hotel because it was just stuffy in the room. I don't sleep well when I'm hot. Who does, really? Three hours later I woke with icicles hanging from my nose because some idiot had the AC on and it was 50 degrees outside. Hot flashes suck. I've now taken to asking, "is it hot or is it me?" and that makes me sound pretty conceited, really. A middle aged, overweight mother of four asking if she's hot is just, well, yeh.

So I asked the doc today if there was anything that I could do to ease the flashes (not flashing, I havent' resorted to that yet), and they had nothing to offer me. So I educated myself again. (Seriously, what is it about The Second Talk that people don't want to share?! I'M SHARING. YOU'RE WELCOME.) I read some home-remedy-type helps such as cutting down caffeine, and eating healthier and exercising, and wearing loose clothing helps. Loose clothing can "help absorb moisture from night sweats." Sexy, that's what that is.

Here's the thing. I've found that stress turns up my internal thermometer. This isn't good, people. Cutting out caffeine is do-able, and wearing mu-mus is an option if I want to look like a cow, but my life is busy and busy creates stress. There's no way I can dial that down, therefore I'll sweat. I'm thinking the best solution for me is to start carrying a small suitcase with me everywhere I go. Thankfully luggage-as-a-purse is in style now. Carrying layers of clothing is going to be my only defense, because if I'm hot when I leave the house, inevitably I'll cool down somewhere and want that sweater. And as a bonus, I'll get tons of extra exercise lugging around that huge purse filled with half my wardrobe, so maybe I'll lose weight AND decrease the warm flashes.

I know it's not what y'all come here to read about, but I'm living life here. Someday, someone is going to look back on this and say, "she was such a pioneer. Nobody ever talks about hot flashes and night sweats. Thank you for educating me." You're welcome. Now go shower for me, will you?


7 comments:

ClumberKim said...

I passed peri and wow. The hot flashes were awful. I wasn't having them in the middle of the night but I would have one as soon as I woke up and all throughout the day. I went to the doc a few weeks ago, got meds, and things are about 99% better. Totally bearable. I had no confidence that it would work, but it did.

carlykablooey said...

Yay! Thank you for sharing. I seriously wonder why us women don't have a secret club where we share all this stuff with each other. What ever happened to passing down women's wisdom?

Susannesusannadanna said...

Thanks gazillions for sharing!! So, I'm in the "peri" and possibly exiting that phase to go to the next....I think!! Have more research to do here. I just look forward to the end of PMS....which for me means "Punish My Spouse". It's so wrong, but that is what I do and it needs to stop.....can't wait!!!!

Karen said...

Thank you all for speaking up! I know I'm not going this alone, because we're all women. We need to be sharers!

EVILMOMMY said...

I know someone that eat a sweet potato a day to help with her "warm Flashes" and claimed it really worked - might want to give it a shot if you like sweet potatoes...

Cindy said...

From all these comments it seems you started a club. :) I entered menopause at around 48. I missed a few periods and that was about it. (Don't ask my husband to confirm that.) Then the hot flashes started. Wow. I wore shorts and tank tops to bed, even in the winter. And I'd still fan the sheet throughout the night to help cool me down. I ended up buying one of those paper, hand held fans to keep at work. I'm surprised at how well it works! Really cooled me down fast. Before I hit 50 I'd had my last . and the flashes diminished. I went to the doctor once but she said I was so far through, if she gave me anything my periods would start again. No thank you!! Now that it's over, I must say it's the BEST thing that's happened to me in a LONG time!! Oh my word, it has truly changed my life!! Crossing over may be scary but the other side is the promised land!!! :)

janet spisock said...

the hot flashes while your trying to sleep are the worst! I find black cohosh really does help. I am still waiting for it all to be done with me. Good Luck:)