When I was younger and heard women talking about having hot flashes, I assumed that it was just a feeling of being warm. I am now 47 and (as is often the case) I look back and laugh at my younger self. So, here are 15 thoughts on hot flashes and peri-menopause. And possibly menopause, because who the hell knows.

  1. Hot flashes are not just about being warm. They are like momentary anxiety attacks while profusely sweating. They appear out of nowhere.
  2. As I am getting better at them, I realize that I can often sense one coming on. Sometimes a bit of deep breathing in that moment can help. Other times, it doesn’t so don’t get any big ideas about how YOU will manage them when it’s your time.
  3. They seem to be at their worst (for me) when I first wake up in the morning, if I wake up in the middle of the night, or when I am overly stressed. They also wake you up, so it’s a chicken and the egg thing. Or should I say, a chicken and the lack of an egg thing.
  4. They do not mean you are always hot. In fact, I am most often freezing these days, but that is mixed in with moments of intense heat and being drenched in sweat. Being drenched in sweat then makes you even colder when the hot flash is over, so yes, I am fucking cold right now. What’s it to you?
  5. Do not ask why I am dressing in a tank top, a sweater, and a jacket when it’s 75 degrees outside. They will all be necessary at some point in this day.
  6. Do not touch me if I am having a hot flash. I repeat: DO NOT TOUCH. If you see me shedding layers or throwing the covers off, I don’t need a belly rub. I need you to do something helpful for me around the house or pour me a glass of wine without asking.
  7. Do not fuck with me, act like a general asshole, or pick a fight with me when I am in a phase of severe hot flashes. I repeat: DO NOT FUCK WITH ME.
  8. Side thought: there needs to be a weighted blanket for peri-menopausal/menopausal women. It should be weighted for anxiety, heated for when I’m freezing (most of the time), but with instantaneous cooling for when I’m not. Someone please make this.
  9. Ironically, when I am working out and sweating, I don’t have hot flashes. A question to my hormonal system: WTF?
  10. No, I do not see myself going on any medications to fix this. Please stop asking. Have I thought about acupuncture? Yes. And possibly by sticking you with something sharp, so walk on. Walk on.
  11. Side thought #2: Could some manufacturer PLEASE make ceiling fans that are as attractive as pendants or chandeliers? No, I don’t want airplane propellers or fans that make me think I’m hanging with Ernest Hemingway on a porch in Key West. I want a stylish light fixture that also cools me. Right now. OK, but not now because I’m cold again.
  12. What women put up with hormonally makes us superior in every way. End of story.
  13. Whoever planned to have this all happen as the kids are growing up and getting ready to leave the house is a cruel mother fucker. Maybe our parents did it right by having children in their early 20s.
  14. White jeans are immensely easier to wear these days. Except when they are not. Surprise!
  15. And finally, enjoy your single chin whisker.

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