My hot flashes are always accompanied by intense feelings of skin-crawling aggravation. I try to comprehend the changes taking place in my body. Even after extensive research it’s a mystification that lacks understanding and I have to live with the fact that my normal happy-go-lucky mood is erratically replaced by menopausal mania. I can’t help but focus on one question – when I am undergoing this transformation, what do others see?
Does my mood swings affect those close to me? Picking the person closest to me, I decided to look at it from my husband’s point of view. I visualize his daily episodes with a sweet loving wife who can quickly turn into a lunatic in just a matter of seconds.
Before my ‘body turned on the heat,’ my husband and I use to sing along with the music while riding in the car. Now as soon as I climb in I croon a different tune. It goes like this… “Honey, please turn on the air conditioner.” Mind you, the outdoor temperature is 35 degrees. He looks at me and naturally turns on the heat thinking he surely could not have heard me correctly. I quickly repeat that it is much too hot… I need air and lots of it. He logically turns off the heat and let my side of the window down. Less than 2 breaths later I not-so-politely asks, “Why is it so cold in here… can’t you just make it comfortable without going to extremes? Please roll up the window, I’m freezing.” Seconds later I am frantically sweating and fanning myself, while sputtering…“Are you deliberately trying to cook me, roll down the window, or turn on the air conditioning.” As we near our destination I have just one more teensy-weensy-tiny request…”Why is the window rolled down, don’t you know that it’s 35 degrees outside…. Let me out of here…TAXI!”
Now if the shoe was on the other foot and he was putting me through all of these changes, I would be calling the Funny Farm Van (not a taxi) for him. Hmmmm! Wonder if that thought ever crossed his mind? HELP!
During my research into causes and cures for hot flashes, I learned that anxiety plays a major role. Therefore, we do have some measure of control over the severity of hot flashes by implementing lifestyle alterations such as stress management or relaxation techniques. I also learned that walking helps me tremendously. Fortunately, all women going through this stage of life is not subjected to hot flashes. My symptoms have greatly improved by eating healthier, exercising and setting aside “me” time to relax for mental, physical and spiritual harmony. Oh and my husband has that old smile on his face and song in his heart because the old ‘me’ is back!