"At night I wake up with the sheets soakin' wet and a freight train runnin' through the middle of my head..."
|Sacred Fire of Pele by Olga Shevchenko|
Could Bruce have possibly been menopausal when he wrote "I'm on Fire" or did he have a middle-aged female songwriter? Seriously, the road to menopause is slick with sweat. It's treacherous and it's NO FUN! And why is it called "menoPAUSE" anyway? It's not like your "meno" is ever going to restart. Once it's over, it's over. They should call it "menostop".
Now, I'm "only" 42 (well, almost), which is relatively young to have to deal with menopause. But, I have actually been dealing with night sweats for years already...and they are only getting worse with each passing month. (I suppose that technically, I am in "perimenopause," or the transition into menopause.) I have come to expect that at least 7-10 nights per month, like Bruce, I will "wake up with the sheets soakin' wet." (The freight train all depends on how much stress I'm under at the given time.) The strangest thing about it is that it happens like clockwork. Forty-five minutes after I close my eyes, I wake up with a puddle on my chest and start "fluffing" the covers. Sweat literally drips from my chest - and usually ONLY from my chest. The rest of my body seems to remain at normal temperature. I would love to have one of those thermal imaging cameras to detect the temperature difference between my chest and the rest of my body. It doesn't matter what time of year it is, or what I wear to bed (or don't), like clockwork, the night sweats come. I've often wondered if I could possibly be the victim of spontaneous human combustion if my night sweats wouldn't put out the fire.
So far, I haven't experienced any hot flashes during the day. I know they are coming, and I'm not looking forward to it. I think it's funny how open women are about this, though. When I was in San Diego on business, I was waiting in line at the FedEx office, standing under the A/C vent and freezing. The 40/50-something woman in front of me said, "Honey, you have goosebumps, trade places with me. I'd love to be under the vent! I'm flashing!" LOL! I also remember my former neighbor (whom I adored) eagerly looking forward to her annual trip to Colorado so that she could "just lay in the snow naked," to relieve her hot flashes.
I have tried herbal supplements, which either didn't work or had side effects that were just as bad as the night sweats themselves. (Warning: If you decide to give black cohosh a try, pick up a box of Monistat while you are at the store.) I hesitate to go the estrogen route, as I know that taking estrogen can make a woman more susceptible to breast cancer. So, for a few days a month, like millions of other 40-50-something women, I deal.
During this time of the month when I'm "in heat," all sorts of songs come to mind. So, taking a cue from Ashton Kutcher's character in "No Strings Attached" where he made a "Period Mix" CD for Natalie Portman's character, here are some songs that would be featured on my "Menopause Hot Mix" (click on the title to listen, if you wish):
|Artwork by Wardell Brown|
I'm on Fire - Bruce Springsteen
Hot Blooded - Foreigner
Burning Up - Madonna
Girl on Fire - INXS
Too Hot - Kool and the Gang
Beds are Burning - Midnight Oil
Some Like it Hot - Power Station
Sweat - Inner Circle
Hot N Cold - Katy Perry
Hot in Here - Nelly
Let's face it, getting older is rough. The feeling (and appearance) that your body is slowly melting, the wrinkles, the gray hair, the mood swings, the metabolic slow-down, having to work out twice as hard with only half the energy you had 10 years earlier to get the same results...the list goes on and on. Whether you've made it out the other side of this steamy phase of life or you still have it to look forward to, it's all part of the journey. So to all of my "hot" 40-something girlfriends, just remember what Martina McBride says: "Every laugh line on your face made you who you are today" and to ALL of my girlfriends and girl relatives, "you're beautiful the way you are!"This one's for the girls! :)
click above to listen
With Love and Aloha ~ Nancy
Note: The artwork included on this blog post was found by searching Google Images. In both cases, I have given the talented artists credit for their amazing work. If you are the artist and wish to have your image removed from this blog post, please contact me and I'll be happy to remove it.