Fever - The Story Cabin
Face flushed, hands gripping the edge of the counter, shoulders tensed, the fever of the hot flash washes over me. My eyes sink inward. My brains feels as though someone has wrung it like an old dish rag. I want to cry. I can’t remember why I feel like crying, just the sensation that carries me. It’s difficult to think and focus my eyes. My eyes hurt.
Fifty cent folding fan, cooling down. Hair is wet. Eyes still hurt a little. I read on in the latest menopause booklet. With hormone replacement therapy, the hot flashes and night sweats typically last longer, but aren’t as fierce. I think to myself, I take a pill every morning to help me remember my damn name and one every night to allow me to sleep longer than four hours at a time. They want me to go WITHOUT. Isn’t it about quality of life, not so much quantity? Yeah, I know, it’s easy to say that now. But, when it’s check out time I’ll be singing a different song.
The book says “the healthier the woman, the more fierce the hot flash”. Holy Balls! I am must be as healthy as an ox! Raspberry tea is supposed to help. I prefer it with sugar. It’s probably the only tea I really want sugar in. Sugar is a hot flash trigger. Go figure. They negate one another, for me. After drinking gallons of sweat tea and gaining fifteen pounds, I learn that ice water works just as well.
The heartburn is unbearable. I eat pickles. I drink pickle juice and vinegar. I take vinegar pills. The heartburn hurts all the time. Husband doesn’t particularly like reaching for a pickle only to find them dried out because I had drunk all the juice! Makes me giggle.
Night sleep. Oh how I miss you. I cannot even take a “good” nap. Only power naps. Five minute naps make me feel rested for about two hours. A twenty minute nap and I am good for the rest of the day. I haven’t seen a twenty minute nap in a very long time.
Dry nightgowns and being able to stay in bed all night. I usually awaken after a few hours, get up, fall back to sleep an hour or three later while watching television. I cannot imagine how gruesome insomnia was without television!
The average duration of the hot flash/night sweat portion of menopause? Two years. This is my second summer. My symptoms do seem to be lessening. Perhaps I am drawing to an end or have I simply learned to deal with it better? Either way, I am beginning to be able to think more clearly again. I was fearful of Alzheimer’s. I thought surely there would be more chatter about menopause if “this” was it. This has been hell.
I have been blessed with unemployment during most of the most difficult times. I cannot imagine holding any of the jobs I have had while enduring these minds twisting, blood boiling, ear popping, mood swings. Sex is out in the open, looked at, talked about, and dissected. Why not what mean-o-pause does? The fever of the hot flash leaves my hair soaking wet from the roots outward. A change of clothes, time of day? Yes, yes, it’s 9:30 am – the next real bad one will be about 7:0 pm, with variables all day long. Whew, being a grown up is much harder than I ever expected.