No stunning epiphanies. Nor did I find a way to achieve world peace, rid my community of crime or solve the feud between political parties.
The event of epic proportions I refer to was a menopausal hot flash greater than any I have experienced to date. So momentous in fact that I had to write about it before I can begin my day.
I feel I need to de-brief and sort of come to terms with the meaning behind this event.
I refuse to use the word suffer when it comes to hot flashes, although at times others may suffer because of my reaction to them as I erratically and vehemently toss off blankets, sheets and every layer of clothing covering my body, but suffer I do not as they are a natural process of change. In that scenario the cat actually gets the worst of it since she insists on sleeping almost on top of me and only adds to the heat being generated from within my body. Many a night she has been rudely flung to the end of the bed as I scramble to rid myself of even the slightest covering.
This might be TMI for some, but if I’m going to have a flash it seems to come right around 3AM. I have no idea why. Anyone?? I have experienced them during the day, usually while working at my previous job as they have now been going on for the last few years. My body is taking its own sweet time in turning off all the hormones folks and as I am unable to gauge the end of other lady functions accurately due to removal of lady parts years ago I am at the mercy of all of these internal switches turning on and off willy-nilly until they decide they are just done and shut down for the last time.
Most of these illusive hot flashes come and go, waking me with that spreading internal warmth turning to the feeling of being on fire from the inside out without too much incident as long as I can bare all for a minute or two. The fire goes out relatively quickly, I go back to sleep after soothing the offended cat and all is right with the world.
Last night however, actually looking at my clock it was only 2 1/2 hours ago, I woke after the fact covered in so much sweat I am planning on changing the sheets on my bed when I have a moment today and my sleeping attire is headed to the washer post-haste. I actually woke rather befuddled from this one so who knows what was really going on. I was still covered and cat draped so the onset hadn’t been enough to motivate me to start flinging cotton and animal around the room, however this inaction in disrobing might (and I can only guess at this) have contributed to the puddles of sweat that were able to collect in crevices of my body I didn’t even know I had.
When my mind could actually register the situation I realized I was wet from head to torso. My face had beads of sweat running from my hairline to the pillow, and the back of my head was sticky and matted. I refused to raise my back off of the bed but I could easily make out where the rivulets of body fluid had caused adhesion of my t-shirt to both myself and the sheet. The greatest discovery came though when I made contact with the extremely large puddle of liquid between my breasts. Here comes another TMI alert for my sensitive readers.
I do not by any stretch of the imagination have a large chestal area. In fact I have that middle age lady syndrome of armpit breasts that occurs after breastfeeding three children. When us great moms lay down at night our breasts head east and west and disappear somewhere in the area of our armpits. Because of this phenomenon, you know the amount of sweat I encountered had to be of epic proportions if it could actually puddle in what would, during the day, be my cleavage.
I vaguely remember thinking just how gross and amazing that all was at the same time that I blotted the area with my t-shirt before it ran down my neck and over my shoulder to join the back sweat soaking into my sheets. I glanced at the clock. Yep, right about 3AM again. Is 3AM the witching hour for hot flashes or what? Maybe it’s different for every body as said body tries to adapt to the disappearing womanhood it claimed as its own for so many years.
Curiosity has me wondering just how many more of these things I will have before all is said and done. I honestly and quite readily deal with these interludes just fine, and as noted in a previous post, prefer them almost 100% more than a migraine headache. Those have disappeared into another realm thankfully.
I know that some women find this time in their lives to be a struggle. Their sense of self as a woman is changing and depending on their own self concept and the addition of body image, gender identity issues and societal views on aging, it can be rough. I’m doing okay. The cat may think otherwise.