Is it hot in here?

Don’t you just love menopause? The night sweats. The unpredictable and indefensible mood swings. Global warming on an up-close-and-personal level. And all a decade or so earlier than your peers. Who doesn’t like to be the first one on the block with the hottest item? Even if it’s you…

I listen to other women talk about alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Wild yam cream. Black cohosh. I could go on and on. During my chemotherapy I pleaded with my oncologist for something that would relieve the night sweats and flashes. She asked how often I was flushing. Once or twice a day?

Flushing. That is such a delicate way to put it. Similar to glowing, I guess. Well, let me tell you, there was nothing delicate about what I was going through! I was basically spontaneously combusting every hour or so. Being bald at the time (and a notorious head-sweater) I could feel the beads of sweat popping out all over my head like some form of liquid popcorn. Pop! Pop! Pop, pop, pop!!! There wasn’t a glow or a flush anywhere in the vicinity.

She prescribed Effexor. It’s a mild anti-depressant with the happy side effect of reducing hot flashes. It works too. And the anti-depressant aspect must help regulate my moods because my head hasn’t split in two at the neck and spewed vile epitaphs at my family in months. I’ve been taking Effexor for over 2 years now. But lately it’s not doing such a great job of keeping me cool. I’ve been flashing / flushing / glowing like a branding iron all over town.

I tell you, I’m getting pretty disgusted with the whole deal. And I’m not overly pleased with the tongue clucking and disbelieving hairy eyeballs that are being thrown at my by the older set, either. As if I’m making fun of those other women. I’m tired of hearing how I am too young to be having hot flashes yet. Ha! I’ll put my internal fire starter against theirs any day.

So, I am searching for alternatives – that my doctor will approve. What do you take in place of HRT? And does it work?

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6 Responses to Is it hot in here?

  1. bcjenster says:

    I’m pretty sure that chemopause is generally more intense than regular menopause, too. Because it happens all at once. I went through chemopause and it was so intense and so awful! Then last year I had to have a hysterectomy, including ovaries, and went through it again. This second time it wasn’t nearly as bad as it was the first time – maybe because my body was sort of used to it?? I dunno.

    What I do know is it totally sucks to be in your 30’s or early 40’s and dealing with the hot flashes and night sweats and weight gain and, well, you know.

  2. imstell says:

    So Jenster, do you take anything for your symptoms? Or do you rough it?

  3. My flashes were also worse during chemopause then since I have had my ovaries removed. I had them removed 1 year ago and the flashes are much less. I do not take anything although I know that caffeine and wine can bring them on. I think there are few other things that can aggravate them also. I just keep taking a layer off then putting a layer on. I have them now that I live ina warm climate. I had to freeze for the first 42 years that I lived in snow!!! Go figure.

  4. bcjenster says:

    Imstell – I very rarely have any hot flashes or nightsweats anymore. I just suffered through them, though like Marybeth says, wine and caffeine do make them worse.

  5. throwslikeagirl74 says:

    Oh man. I’m hating the flashes. Especially in 90 degree heat with a broken swamp cooler (alternative to air conditioning for you humid dwellers who don’t have ’em). I haven’t taken anything for them yet. Aren’t we lucky though? Young enough to potentially get to go through menopause twice, even 3 times. Yay.

  6. jillaldrich says:

    Stella,

    this was worth reading for two reasons: 1) it makes me feel like I have company; someone who understands what it’s like to go through menopause before she should; and 2) the sentence “Being bald at the time (and a notorious head-sweater) I could feel the beads of sweat popping out all over my head like some form of liquid popcorn. Pop! Pop! Pop, pop, pop!!! That is just too dang funny for words.

    Jill

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