Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Shocking Subject

I'm going to discuss something that no-one ever talks about except inner circles of women-of-a-certain-age: Hot Flashes (reader falls on the floor, stunned that someone as young and gorgeous as myself has any experience with the shameful topic). Yes, I'd like to pretend that I'm too young for that dreaded word, menopause, and no, it is not a favorite topic of conversation among Nerd-girls, but I don't give a crap anymore. I have tried, literally, everything to reduce or eliminate them and I don't use the word "literally" lightly.

Here are the things I've tried or am still trying:
Wild Mexican Yam
Siberian Rhubarb
Black Cohosh
Raspberry leaf
(let's just say every herb known to woman)
Not drinking
Not smoking
Lots of sex
No caffeine
No chocolate (wait, stop, this one I cannot agree to)
No sugar
No meat (or only meat and dairy raised without hormones)
More soy
Less soy
Lots of fruit and vegetables
Lots of exercise
Chinese herbs recommended by my acupuncturist
Light therapy
Essential oils

The only thing I haven't and will not try is hormone replacement therapy because I think it's weird and risky. My doctor, poor thing, also suffering from hot flashes, agrees.
Can I ask you why modern medicine was so quick to come up with a cure for male impotence but the thing that middle-aged women have been suffering with for eons goes basically unheeded? Well, we all know the answer to that. I have researched on the web, talked to everyone, professional and lay, and no one has a real solution to hot flashes other a fan.

And it seems to be taboo to say in public, "Wait, hang on, I'm having a hot flash, give me a second." Women just barrel through their jobs turning bright red and sweating profusely, hoping no one notices. Why? Because it's embarrassing. Why is it embarrassing? Because women don't want to admit going through menopause. It's kind of like saying, "Hi everyone, I'm no longer getting my period." It seems personal and private and yet it's very hard to hide. Do you know how much fun it is when I'm teaching my adult ESL students, most of whom are in their 20s, and I suddenly turn scarlet and grab for anything nearby with which to fan myself? I feel like an idiot, but I shouldn't have to. Oh, and did I mention the waking up drenched in sweat several times a night? That's fun too.

So I'm getting it out into the open right now. Yes, I have hot flashes, yes, I'm of that age. And if anyone out there can find me a way to end or reduce them, right now, you will have my undying gratitude and adoration.

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