Be careful what you wish for, they say, and they are right.
Me? I asked for a smokin’ hot body and what I got was the pretty regular, sudden, temporary onset of body heat, flushing and sweating more commonly known as hot flashes.
They really aren’t flashes, as that denotes something that is brief and mine are anything but quick. They’re more like a slow burning bonfire started by my inner child playing with matches. And they mostly occur at night because, you know, the potential for catching on fire during the day isn’t sufficient enough.
I have a friend who says she doesn’t have hot flashes but rather short, private vacations in tropical conditions. My thought upon hearing this was “more like frequent, private trips to Death Valley without ever leaving home.” But, it’s a lovely and positive view of this incredibly disconcerting condition. I wish I could adopt it but honestly the experience is more like my body deciding to spontaneously combust while on a rollercoaster ride through the bowls of Hell. And to think, I didn’t even have to buy a ticket for the ride. My body just offers up the thrill with greater heights, more twists and turns and elevation changes as the years pass. As Bette Davis once said, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”
I have another friend who suggested that instead of calling them hot flashes, we should instead call them “eager sparkles.” And because I am a kind friend, I didn’t reply the first thing that came into my head which was, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”
I mean seriously, “eager sparkles?” It conjures up images of something magical, something fun, something pretty and these temperature tantrums my body throws are anything but magical, fun or pretty. They’re more akin to super-soaker events prompted by a malfunctioning internal furnace that causes my natural fire suppression system to switch into over drive.
They say hot flashes persist for 7 to 10 years. They are lying liars who lie. I’m at 12 years and counting with no diminishing symptoms or end in sight. I’ve asked, “Is it hot in here or am I just having my own personal heat wave?” so many times I should just have it tattooed on my forehead.
My husband once asked me, “Is this a real fever or hormones?”
“You obviously don’t understand,” I replied through gritted teeth as my face and ears flushed bright red. “It’s real hormones, and by asking that question you’re gonna make me do something that’ll end up in the police logs and on the news.”
He quietly left the room and returned with an ice pack and glass of Scotch. It didn’t matter that it was 10 o’clock on a Sunday morning, I accepted both gratefully.
I used to have Saturday night fever now I have Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night fever. Care to dance?
If I could just control them, you know plan them, schedule them I could defrost my freezer in no time. Now wouldn’t that be convenient?
But there’s nothing opportune about these prolonged power surges, not one darn thing.
I mean the medical “experts” say that depending on how long the “flash” lasts you can burn anywhere from 50 to 300 calories. If this were really true my mid-section would be smaller, my hips narrower and my thighs thinner. Instead, in the past decade-plus, my mid-section has gotten larger, my hips wider and my thighs, well, I don’t like to discuss my thighs.
In one study I read it was reported that women who experience intense hot flashes may actually have a health advantage over those who don’t. Those who experience fierce flashes may “be protected from heart disease, stroke and even death years after the Change.”
Looks like I’ll be living in Hell on earth for eternity.