Saturday, October 04, 2008

How to Make a Menopausal Woman Happy

Remember this?

I wrote that post in July of 2007, and that old discolored rickety fan is still my constant companion. On any given day it can be found on my bedside table, in the bathroom (where it blows cold air on me while I blow dry my hair with hot air... menopause is such a strange beast!), in my office, or in the kitchen. When a hot flash hits, I absolutely need my fan. It's either my fan or furiously stripping off all my clothes as fast as I can.

So -- it's my fan.

A few weeks ago I was at a meeting at Microsoft with three men -- a co-worker, my boss and a Microsoft director. It took place in a small office where we sat in a cramped row of office chairs, laptops on our knees, and absolutely no room to move. (Anyone who works at Microsoft will tell you that meeting rooms, comfortable and high-tech as they are, are impossible to find for an impromptu meeting.) On that particular day I'd dressed in a synthetic blouse and a polyester blazer.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid!

I could feel the hot flash come on, as it normally does, from deep inside me, like a blazing fire moving quickly from my core to the surface of my skin. That's the point at which I usually feel absolutely compelled to take off at least one layer -- that if I don't, I will burn up from the inside and disintegrate into blazing hot white embers. The drive to rid myself of everything on my skin at that point (or as much as socially appropriate, anyway) feels instinctive and it's as difficult to control as a sneeze or a labor contraction. Usually just removing one layer helps and I can endure the rest of the hot flash.

On this particular day, though, I was elbow-to-elbow with three men and we were deep in professional conversation. To have tried to remove my blazer would have been... well, embarrassing. So I endured the mother of all hot flashes right there in the tiny Microsoft office. I could swear that my body temperature alone heated the room by an extra five degrees. As the heat welled up inside me, my face became crimson red and beads of sweat dripped off my forehead and nose and right onto my lips, forcing me to taste the humiliation!

Oh, how I wanted my fan with me then!

It was shortly after that experience that I bought my little portable purse fan -- although we all know that I never would have pulled it out of my purse and used it! (Can you imagine? "Excuse me, gentlemen, but hooo-boy... this is a mother of a hot-flash and I gotta use this baby...!") Instead, I have no choice to endure these cruel "personal summers" in professional situations.

At home, though, my rickety fan has been my friend and constant companion for the past three years.

Until today.

Today I saw this at Target:

Did you see that price tag?
These damn hot flashes will never be enjoyable, but somehow this deal makes them tolerable.

I know -- I'm really bad like that. A great deal makes everything just a little bit sweeter!

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jennifer said...

OMG that sounded awful. We're the same age and I haven't had the pleasure (?) yet, does that mean I might be exempt? Or do I still have them to look forward to? Yikes!

Goofball said...

I don't want to ever get menopause when I read this.

Anonymous said...

Losing a little weight will help a LOT with the hot flashes.

jennifer said...

Anonymous - not so sure about that, I have a galpal who is only 46, skinny as a rail, and she has the worst hot flashes. She says it helps hers when she avoids drinking. Each to her own separate remedy.

Margaret said...

I take a soy/calcium supplement and I think it helps with the menopause symptoms. Soy is a natural estrogen.

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