Archive for the ‘Menopause’ Category

A Conversation with My Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
April 11, 2015

menopause

To those who have never experienced a night sweat or a hot flash I thought I would try to convey how they feel in this Q&A. Beware, I think Hot Flashes and Night Sweats have nasty replies.

Haralee: A Hot Flash feels to me like a tiny bit of foreboding, maybe a bit of nausea followed by sweat breaking out on my forehead and chest like I just finished a workout.

Hot Flash: Foreboding, nausea? You are such a dram queen! Yes I spike your internal thermostat, get used to it!

Haralee: My Hot Flashes can be so intense that I carry a fan and shower and change clothes several times a day.

Hot Flash: So what is the big deal? I am keeping you clean, wearing all your clothes and sporting a fashion accessory.

Haralee: I found some Chinese herbs that help reduce the intensity and frequency of my hot flashes. Since I had estrogen positive breast cancer, I can’t take any hormones, bio-identical or even plant estrogens.

Hot Flash: Whah-Whah

Haralee: My Night Sweats are so severe they will wake me up several times a night. Before I started wearing the sleepwear from my company, I was going through sheets, nightgowns and pajamas nightly!

Night Sweats: Lullabies are for babies. You are such a whiner!

Haralee: No one sleeps well when you are having night sweats. Covers go up and down and unless you are wearing wicking sleepwear, you end up hot, wet and then freezing.

Night Sweats: Sleep is so over rated!

Haralee: Insomnia is also a side effect of menopause. Often after a night sweat wakes me up, I can’t fall back to sleep.

Night Sweats: Whah-Whah

See how nasty they are? Have you anything to add to this dialogue?

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Change in Season, Same Hot Flashes/Night Sweats
November 9, 2014

Fall Colors

I love fall. The brisk air, the foliage, the anticipation of Holidays.

With the change in weather is the change in wardrobe. Out come coats and sweaters, or do they?

I detected a whine in the voice of my husband the other morning when he said, “Can we turn on some heat please?” Heat? Really is it time to turn the heat on? I noticed he was wearing fleece. When did he stop wearing shorts?

Certainly when the heat is turned on and the rains have started, I need to get out my winter wardrobe. I used to have 2 sets of clothing, one for summer and one for winter. Since menopause, I notice I have one set of clothing with some sandals or a few sweaters.

One set of clothes for all seasons? I could be living in Hawaii! I don’t! Damn you menopause!!

With the change of the seasons and the heat is turned on and it is cool outside then warms up or it rains and then stops, it is hard for anyone to regulate their body temperature. For the menopausal, the hot flashes and night sweats are just having a hey day and night!

Is it hot in here? I know it isn’t just me! Do you have one all weather wardrobe?

How Do You Know You are Menopausal?
August 18, 2014

I spoke with a friend recently who mentioned she didn’t think she was menopausal any longer although she still suffers some hot flashes and night sweats. As we were talking she lost her train of thought twice. She also mentioned some mood swings. I suggested she was still menopausal and she snapped at me with a sharp retort, and eventually agreed maybe she was still a wee bit menopausal!

Here are the signs that menopause has a grip on you and how to cope:
CRS, Can’t Remember Shit
Write everything down. Do not say to yourself that you will remember, you will not! Write everything down on a note pad that you keep in the same spot in your purse or on your desk so you can check it often and frequently.
Do not leave your to do list, or calendar only on your phone because you will forget to charge your phone.
Do you walk into a room and forget why?
Do you find milk in the pantry, socks in the frig, or other items temporarily placed and forgotten?

DGS, Don’t Give a Shit
You think you look better, younger, and sexier, than anyone else you know even when others may comment lovingly, critically or snidely to you about your dress, hair or overall appearance and you don’t care.
You think you used to be the smartest person in the room. You know that may not be the case because you cannot remember some words or have become dependent on spell check but who cares.
You cannot watch a Lifetime/Hallmark movie without sobbing. You hate criers at work and now there you are blubbering about someone’s story and you don’t care.

Mood Swings
One day you are happy and satisfied and the next you want to sell the house, leave the family and the job to eat chocolate in Paris.
Are people saying things like “You just need your morning coffee”?
Do you have co-workers who only email you?
Does your family ask “Why are you so sensitive?”
Do you have sudden road rage?
Have you gone Ape Shit in a public setting?

Eerily Image with Lisa Pjs
What can help?
Try to get a good night sleep. Ask your Doctor for sleep medication.
Not even when you were at the top of your game did you function well while sleep deprived. Shameless plug for our wicking sleepwear, www.haralee.com, can help!
Try exercise of some kind. Whacking a ball in some sport or joining an exercise/dance class can help.
Talk with friends your same age.
Just know it is normal, you are not going crazy or becoming emotionally unbalanced; you are menopausal.

I am sure I forgot an important tip or sage advice but you can comment here.

 

How to Survive Menopause with-out becoming a Felon: Intro
November 7, 2011

My initial title was How to survive menopause with-out going to jail, but that seemed short sighted. A snarky remark to a policeman pulling you over for no apparent reason may result in a visit to jail. A shove back to an aggressive shopper may bring store or mall security and it is only protocol that everyone gets hauled into jail to sort things out. A shove forward to get your comments heard by your political favorite might be misunderstood and it is a ride to jail.

Becoming a felon means you have really stepped over the line. You have acted out regrettably in a way that can not be sorted out easily. You have become irrational. You have listened to your inner estrogen deprived voice and snapped. You may be reading this too late. For those of us clinging to our rational though estrogen deprived sanity, I write these words of advice. Full disclosure, my advice is from the point of view of someone who can not offset her menopause symptoms by hormones natural or otherwise.

Most women over the course of several years go through a phase called ‘peri-menopause’. This means little side effects are happening. Most women think something critical is wrong with them or it is stress. In reality more often than not, it is the start of menopause. Denial is one of the first side effects of menopause or peri-menopause. I liken the denial phase to the river The Nile. The banks are very lush, the water is very cool the area is very beautiful and if you could just live there in la-la land of denial, everyone and everything would be great!

Sooner or later, the denial phase does not make sense anymore. Maybe a friend, a spouse or co-worker mentions more than once that you are not quite yourself. Maybe you even have a self reflective non-denial thought and think that you are not yourself either. You start to wonder where the hell did you go and who has taken over your body and mind?

There are many wonderful web sites, books and resources available to find out everything about menopause. From the medical to the spiritual to the alternative to the myths, there is information out there. I am going to share in the following weekly posts the most important information and that is how to survive menopause with-out becoming a felon.  The biggest tip I can give overall is that your inner voice, that voice of rational reason may be compromised because of lack of estrogen, and you need to really truly absolutely positively think and think again before you act, lest you become a felon!

Next Week; How to Survive Menopause with-out becoming a Felon: Fashion

 

It’s Like Harps were Playing
July 20, 2011

“It’s like harps were playing” was a quote I gave describing how I woke up after having a restful night sleep wearing a prototype of my sleepwear nightgown. I gushed about the joy, the serenity, the delight in having a comfortable restful night sleep in this month’s First Magazine. My story is on page 96 at the check stands of your local Grocery store right now! 

The irony of this reference to harps playing was I just went to a wedding and there was a harpist playing as the wedding party came down the aisle. It was very lovely and serene and delightful. Maybe my gushing wasn’t as exaggerated as it appears.

Earlier in the  week I paid a visit to a friend in the hospital. We walked around her floor and at one end there was a harpist. I thought it was very comforting. My friend thought it reminded her of a funeral and wanted to be released as soon as possible. Interpretation and reference are important on harp gushing!

I know many people who play or have played the guitar, piano, accordion, clarinet, trumpet and saxophone but not one harpist in my social circle, ever. How I would spout the virtues of a harp is beyond me. How I would have 2 encounters with harp music with-in a week when it has been years since I saw or heard someone playing a harp is either celestial or odd.

My first recollection of the harp is from watching a Groucho Marx movie. Harpo was playing a harp. He wasn’t an angel, although in viewing Marx Brothers movies as an adult he was pretty funny. He made a harp sound, soothing, and pretty and rather angelic.

So this story about me and my company comes out with my quote about “harps playing” while I encounter 2 harp playing events in one week. I am interpreting this as not just a good thing, but a great thing! Coincidences can be very interesting or nothing at all, you be the judge!

 

 

Movie Stardom
November 15, 2010

Did you ever want to be in the movies? Who hasn’t had a bit of a fantasy; big screen, gorgeous backgrounds, or exotic locations, costumes and make-up? Yes fantasies are great.

 I was able to participate in some of the fun of movie making in Hot Flash Havoc, http://www.hotflashhavoc.com/.

Since it is in documentary style, I am playing myself, a middle age menopausal woman. So much for the fantasy!

My naturopathic physician friend Kelly Jennings is also interviewed and filmed. Kelly treats effectively, and patiently many women with menopause and breast cancer symptoms. She is also young, smart and gorgeous! So my close up is Kelly giving me an acupuncture treatment. Yes indeed, that is me, the woman in repose with acupuncture needles all over her face, head and neck!

The film has a fantastic concept; educate and entertain about the condition called Menopause. There was a full page ad in More Magazine, the October issue.

The grass roots effort to distribute the film is ongoing. The movie won at the Aspen film festival this year! If you have 2,000 friends who want to see the film as a fund raiser for your favorite charity, contact the producers on the Hot Flash Havoc web site.

My AHA Moment
September 1, 2010

Mutual of Omaha has a series of commercials called “Aha Moments”.  You may have seen these 30-60 second spots on TV shows sponsored by the company. They are usually heartwarming and inspirational.

The campaign was so successful that they continued it with new AHA moment stories from people across the country. You can imagine my surprise and pleasure when I was asked to record my AHA story moment!

The recording was done in an Airstream hauled around the country by 4 people over 3 months. It was a very fun experience.

Please take a look and I welcome your comments. The most views get a better chance for their AHA moment to be aired on national TV. What a hoot!

http://www.ahamoment.com/pg/moments/view/17112

Menopause in Whales
July 28, 2010

A Whale Tale and Not the Low Rise & Thong Intersection Story

Does it seem like the whole world is menopause crazy? Sex in the City2, women on the View? Well now scientists have reported menopause in whales. Gorillas have already been diagnosed in zoos as menopausal so why not whales!

Menopause is a scientific condition and if females of any species live long enough it appears menopause is waiting for them. What tips could we human women offer to the whales? Some of the same tips the zoo keepers give to the gorillas, try and keep cool, and keep your cool.

No one is saying anything about the gender of the South African Whale that tried to hitch a ride on a couple’s yacht last week. The whale is reported to weigh about 40 tons and had been spotted nearby. I think it may have been a menopausal female that just wanted some privacy. Luckily everyone survived the crash.

I would advise, distance with whales. Humans and whales should give each other a wide berth. Whales are big, smart and they can swim faster and deeper than humans. Swimming with the whales, I think is not a good idea! Too many menopausal mammals with-out plenty of cocktails, wine, shrimp or chocolate is not going to end well.

http://www.sciencecodex.com/killer_whales_and_the_mystery_of_human_menopause

Welcome to the Sisterhood of Sweat; The Non Scientific Explanation of a Hot Flash/Night Sweat
July 14, 2010

How can you explain what a hot flash or night sweat feels like to someone who has never experienced one?  How can you describe that hot, then freezing cold sensation that wakes you from sleep?  How can you explain the feeling that precedes your forehead sweating and the need to take off some clothes immediately?

 Anyone who has exercised in cold weather and then stopped knows how you can get cold quickly. That damp feeling that makes you even colder, especially if you are not wearing any wicking clothing is very uncomfortable. Now think about those sensations 5-10-20 times a day and at night even while you sleep (or try to).

If you ever came inside from the cold to a very warm room and felt hot and almost faint, that is similar to the feeling on a hot flash onset. What if you are working and you cannot step back out-side or take off your jacket or sweater, but must suffer the heat? That is the sensation of a hot flash that can happen 10-25 times a day

Have you ever experienced a hot summer day when the air conditioning is not adequate, or when shade cannot be found and you end up feeling like you are melting? Welcome to the world of personal summers. Welcome to the sisterhood of sweat.

10 Cool Tips for Staying Cool This Summer
June 22, 2010

If you are inwardly, silently cringing at another day of warm sunny weather because you are having hot flashes day and night, you are not alone. Here is my tip list to keep your cool and still look great.

  1. 1. Sandals

Keep your feet exposed to the open air to keep cool. Can’t wear sandals for work because of some health issue?  Try wearing open toe or peek-a-boo toe shoes and absolutely no hose or socks.

2. Sleeveless Tops, Blouses or Dresses

You may think your arms are not what they once were but really, no one would be looking at your arms if sweat is pouring down your face if you wear sleeves.*

3. Wicking Clothing

Seek out tops and short and pants for casual wear that wick away the moisture so you can stay dry. *

4. Portable Fans

Do not overlook the chance to quickly cool down with a small quiet fan strategically placed on your desk, in your bathroom or on your nightstand.

5. Underwear

Wicking bras and panties are in investment in coolness.

6. Iced Beverages

They can cool you down and you can use the ice cubes down your bra, or your pants.

7. Hats

Hats are very fashionable.  Wear a big brim hat while outside. It will shade your face and shoulders while you end up looking very cool.

8. Scarves

This year scarves have been a great fashion accessory. Put them away for the summer.

9. Hair

If you have shoulder length hair, put it up into some fun styles. If you have short hair, shorten up the back or go for an asymmetrical look for the summer.

10.  Sleepwear

Invest in wicking sleepwear for a cooler tomorrow. If you are sleep deprived because it is just too hot to sleep, summer can drag on for what will seem like forever.*