Rational dread, existential lullabies, hot flashes, and the changing of seasons

I posted on Facebook the other day that while sleep may be my super power, hot flashes are my kryptonite.

“So hot flashes, I’m not a fan. Usually I’m too cold so I thought they might not be so bad. But flinging off the blankets doesn’t help. Cold water doesn’t help. It’s like you’re heating up from the inside. I also had hoped this might miss me. I pretty much survived pregnancy three times with no bad effects. But peri-menopause, you win.”

Nat chimed in, “Ugh. Sorry. They totally suck!! Mine also come with a feeling of dread/panic. Good times.”

You see for me they are also accompanied by dread and panic. But it’s hard to tell how much of that is hot flash related. Yep. I keep waking up thinking the world is ending. Okay, the world, the planet, will be fine. It’s human beings I’m most concerned about.

Doesn’t help that I am actually worried that the world is ending. Rational dread. My fave.

It’s also the fall, my sad season.

Here’s a Kathy Bates lullaby to get us back to sleep, Nat.

One of the things that kills me is that all the usual medical websites say they really don’t know what causes flashes. I read that and thought, really. Really?

The Mayo Clinic unhelpfully says,
The cause of hot flashes isn’t known, but it’s likely related to several factors. These include changes in reproductive hormones and in your body’s thermostat (hypothalamus), which becomes more sensitive to slight changes in body temperature.

It’s one of those things where I find myself thinking, there’s no way men would put up with this. There would be research institutes, public awareness campaigns, and an urgent cry for a cure. They just wouldn’t put up with it.

It also put me in mind of a great piece over at Hook & Eye about breaking our feet and walking anyway. Don’t do that!

Finally, I’m also reading Susie Strachan’s piece (she’s an old friend from my Canadian University Press days) Managing Menopause.

You can tell me what worked for you. I’ll listen. Your stories interest me. But I’ve got a family history of breast cancer that makes hormone replacement therapy unlikely. I’m also still the woman menopause forgot because it’ll be months before I’m officially menopausal.

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