Is it me or is it hot in here?

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If you sweat all night, does that count as a workout?

Because the way things have been going lately, I should be down to about 98 pounds. I’m not, so maybe I’ve answered my own question. I can’t blame anything on water retention, that’s for sure.

When my cat MacFee wakes me up between three and four in the morning it’s like waking up in a waterbed with a leak. When I was a kid I used to flip my pillow over in the summer to sleep on the cool side. Now I flip my pillow over to sleep on the dry side.

What is happening? Infants are made up of about 75% water, adults average about 60%. I’d like to see a study done on perimenopausal women. I’m guessing the average is about 15.2%.

I spend my days attempting to rehydrate. I’m considering investing in an intravenous contraption because I don’t have time to drink water out of buckets. Also, I like a tea bag and caffeine in my water.

It’s getting to the point when one day Tony is going to pull back the blankets to wake me and find my dusty skeleton looking like an ancient Egyptian, perfectly preserved in the dry desert sand, my leathery skin stretched over my bones.

If that’s not bad enough, I’m forever paranoid—another symptom of perimenopause—about getting hot flashes. I’ve seen them. They’re not exactly flashes. Flashes are over quickly. They’re more like echoing screams.

The women in the book club I belong to terrify me. They’re not serial killers or anything—some of them are teachers though—but they are about a decade ahead of me and encompass the full range of perimenopausal/menopausal experience.

I’ve witnessed some of them practically burst into flames when there’s a hormonal shift. It’s like hot magma is running through their veins and without warning they erupt, their faces red like molten lava.  Then, as if their own bodies are trying to extinguish the fire, beads of sweat bubble up to save them from certain death. Aren’t our bodies amazing?

I wonder if women who spend a lot of time together synchronize hot flashes. Do they text each other with messages like, “Did you get a hot flash about 10 minutes ago? If you did I should be getting mine any minute now.”

This is the place I fear. I don’t like to be hot. I associate feeling hot with being sick. I firmly believe if men went through perimenopause there would be a pill by now.

As it stands, the recommendations to deal with night sweats are either obvious or depressing. Healthline.com suggests turning down the thermostat and wearing loose and light clothing to bed. I guess I’ll ditch the snow pants and woolen hat then.

The website recommends avoiding triggers like caffeine—and how does one get through the day after tossing and turning all night? Another trigger is alcohol, but for some perimenopusal women wine is relaxation therapy, which is necessary because stress is a trigger too. So avoid that.

There are a few natural food supplements often recommended as possible help. This might be especially pertinent for stomach sleepers who are at greatest risk for drowning. Something called black cohosh comes up in Google searches a lot. It’s supposed to help, if it doesn’t cause “digestive distress, abnormal bleeding and blood clots.” Sounds good.

Apparently primrose supplements can help control hot flashes. It may cause nausea and diarrhea but at least you won’t be hot.

Personally, I’m sticking with wine and Cheezies. I know it doesn’t work but at least it doesn’t cause “digestive stress,” which sounds ghastly, and the science may be out but in my home experiments they’re proven mood boosters.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Cheryl Simpson

    Being a couple of decades ahead of you, I can say from experience that, sadly, yes, wine does make it worse…(but definitely worth it !); that the hot flashes during the day will end, but the night sweats “sadly” again, seem to remain (though not so badly). I am amazed that you can sleep through them…wow !…Best thing I found was, light clothing with a duvet that is easy to throw off; keeping my feet outside of the covers, and yes, turning the pillow over for “coolth”…There are pillows now that have “gel packs” in them that I think work…so, could be a thought…One wonders why women have to put up with this…is it because of Eve ???

  2. I laughed so hard my husband thought I was having convulsions! Your descriptions are hilarious! Can’t stop reading your posts.

    I experienced all of this from 2001 til 2015. Not all of the symptoms all at the same time, but a few new ones every year or so while the old ones disappeared. I remember standing in the checkout line when I would begin to feel like I was going to internally combust. People supposedly do that, I’ve heard. What a horribly helpless feeling to think you might pass out and you can’t stop squirming as the sweat drips between your bobs.

    I went through it without estrogen, but tried the supplements. I don’t know if they actually worked or if I just hoped they did.

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