What's up with the temperatures lately?
And I don't mean temperatures relating to weather or the thermostat.
I'm talking about my internal temperature.
Holy Hotness...then Coldness... Batman!
I knew my cancer post treatment drug would cause side effects. I was forewarned of a few. One side effect doctors consistently mentioned was hot flashes. Of course I had thought I was several years away from this dreaded female milestone. But when weighing menopause against cancer recurrence, the scales tipped heavily in favor of a swan dive into hormone hell. To be perfectly honest, my self-confidence was riding high on how well I had weathered the previous year. Cancer treatment was a witch with a capital "B" yet I got through it. There was no way the maintenance phase could be any worse. Each and every time hot flashes were mentioned to me, I thought "No big deal. What's a hot flash or two?"
Any menopausal women out there laughing your ass off right about now? I know! I know! How stupid was I? They are pure torture! And what's up with the "moment" after? I'm not sure all hot flashes end this way but I rapidly descend from an internal temperature of 178 degrees to one more closely associated to arctic weather.
Then my teeth chatter.
Then again, it's not.
Most menopausal women can attest to the fact there is nothing like a hot flash. It begins at the very core of your being as an intense spark that ignites an aggressive inferno. One that shoots flames throughout your body. No part of your physical landscape is spared. The time it takes to internally engulf a human in flames is all of a fraction of a second. It comes without warning. And it is gnarly!
Other than literally being set on fire, a hot flash must be the closest experience one can have to truly knowing what it means to "burn in hell". After a few of these experiences, you can bet I am now working extra hard to avoid any and all activities that would sentence me to an eternity lived "down below".
Fortunately, my moments of frying-from-the-inside-out have been reasonably tolerable. I don't have them often and they tend to subside rather quickly. Most often I find myself bundled up and shivering before I have time to deal with the burn. Still, I cannot express how unpleasant these high heat moments can be.
You want no one near you... nothing touching you.
Clothes are burdensome. Even tiny little things like a purse strap or sunglasses are a source of agony.
You need your skin to "breathe". You need to escape. You frantically try to run from the flames.
It is seriously so bad I've come close to disrobing...
Isn't that a scary thought?
Getting arrested for indecent exposure is not on my list of must-do's. Heck, it doesn't even make my wanna-do list. I wonder if ever a woman has been arrested for such a thing only to plead insanity due to menopause? A jury of similar aged women would acquit in 3 seconds flat!
Back to my point...as if there really is one. Basically, I'm rambling. I suppose my point is to merely say I get it. Hot flashes are a total pain in the ass... as well as all other body parts!
From henceforth I do solemnly swear:
Should I see a woman with that all telling look...a woman who has a mustache of sweat breaking out across her upper lip... a woman fanning herself with anything she can get her hands on while grabbing at her attire as if trying to break free...
trust I will eye her with empathy and sympathy.
I will say a little prayer she survives without combusting.
And I will walk on by with a sense of dread knowing it will be only a matter of time before I am her all over again.