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Is It Hot In Here?

About 10 days ago I experienced my first hot flash. I wasn’t overly impressed with the path I just wondered upon.

There may be a whole host of people who can relate, but for the few men who I know read this on occasion and for all those who have not yet experienced the phenomena I thought it might be useful to explain the experience.

First you want to yell out, “Is anyone else warm? I need some fresh air. NOW!”

You know that feeling that you get when you have really bad diarrhea and you are afraid to move from the John? I know it’s gross, but it is that same hot, clammy, sweaty feeling you get when you think you may just blow your toilet into the next county. I can sense the heat rising, and I wonder if my face becomes as flushed as it feels. Then it’s gone.

I’m totally ill-prepared to deal with this shit. First of all, I find it pretty damn ironic that it is beginning during a time when I feel the youngest and most energized that I felt in years. It is an interesting set of emotions, and no one I know talks about this, but I’m here to tell you, I could use some input.

I don’t know if this next thing is related, but I expect it is… I experienced a new level of heartlessness yesterday that Lyle keyed right into. He said, “You’re really mean today, and I think you like it.” He looked over at me like he knew he needed to find a hard hat and bunker to dive into. He was right on target.

It’s different than feeling pre-menstrual. Bad days with that make me feel like I want to help my loved ones escape because I would too, if I could. But this, is not the same beast – at all. I’m pretty sure that I could have easily sat next to Lyle poking him with a very sharp pencil all afternoon and been completely content. I suppose I shouldn’t really put that in writing for all to see, but I also feel quite liberated just admitting it.

I feel like all the pieces of my life are beginning to integrate in one authentic place. It is freeing; however, genuineness doesn’t predispose me to acting upon every little thought that comes into my head so I need to tweak my behavior a bit.

For any of you who read this who are on the other side of this experience, can you please shed some light? I know it is not a quick process and I just kinda want to know what I’m getting into.

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3 Responses

  1. I haven’t had one yet. But I almost felt like I had from your description!

  2. I personally think that there is a different cultural perspective than when I had them. (age 60 now). Our generation started bringing the ability to talk about these things of the closet. But we had a HUGE sense of humor about it.
    Today I hear and see women talk about hot flashes and perimenopause as if they were facing chemotherapy and radiation. I hate to sound like I’m saying “be quiet and shape up”, it’s not my intent.
    But I do suggest a little humor towards the situation. And maybe even more important, a little acceptance of one a woman’s natural life processes. For most folks , the process won’t last forever. And for those who are absolutely horrified by nature’s processes, they can get hormonal control, if that works best for them.

    Tips I found useful…I think that the adrenaline released because of a “fight this” attitude may having an attitude of making a bigger deal of a hot flash than it is. I, and others I know, found that quieting the body and mind with some quiet breathing was definitely beneficial. Also, lots of women have a hot flash when they first get into bed and lie down, this can be avoided by lying down more slowly, and covering yourself in stages.

    My husband still gets a good chuckle out of one of my more notable hot flashes. We were at a movie in winter, and suddenly, the shift from outside to inside hit my system and a strong hot flash started, so I leaned forward and got my sweater off. It was Larry who noticed that I peeled my sweater off just as Brad Pitt was undressing by a pool…

  3. I agree completely that a sense of humor is definitely needed and vitally important – so is cotton or moisture-wicking clothing! Cheers.

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