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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5 Things about Menopause Barbie Doll
November 30, 2014

Dancing Barbies

I keep waiting for Menopause Barbie to be released. Is this the year we will see her on the toy store shelves? She is past the average age menopause hits.

Here are five things I think Menopause Barbie will look like:

1.She is wearing sneakers.

55 years of wearing high heels have done a number on her feet. She can only fit her orthotics into sneakers.

2. She stopped having maintenance done.

Her breasts, butt and face are more realistic. She looks great still but more dare I say it, more age appropriate?

3. She has retired from her zillion careers.

At 55 she is a bit young but let’s face it she made some good investments over the years. That Malibu beach house she sold and the cars besides her pensions from all her careers give her a good nest egg.

4. She stopped coloring her hair.

She has white streaks that look great and natural in her remaining blonde hair.

5. She finds a close group of friends or a life partner.

Let’s face it, Ken was never going to be more than a plaything and we want her to be happy. Sure she has been busy all these years and has had lots of friends in the doll world but now is the time to enjoy and make friendship her priority.

BONUS POINTS: She is now on the Board for Mattel and becomes a philanthropist for the arts and education.

I envision Barbie donating lots of money to NPR and PBS.

Menopause Barbie is the woman we all want her to be if she was a real woman. We hope she will age to be Senior Barbie and maybe even Geriatric Barbie.

Mattel is missing a gold mine. What a perfect 50-year-old present, a Social Security present or even a 70-year-old gag gift if only they would let Barbie age gracefully!

Would you like to see Menopause Barbie on your store shelves?

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.

 

Are my Hot Flashes Gone ???
February 7, 2014

27 million women in the USA have hot flashes and night sweats. Could it be 26,999,999? My hot flashes are waning. I am alerting the media! I still get night sweats but the hot flashes, knock on wood, have not bothered me since summer.

Image 

I am cold this winter and I don’t live in a really cold part of the country. I am wearing turtlenecks. I am wearing layers. I am wearing warm socks. I am wearing my down coat when it is not raining. In a nutshell I have become my former self. It has been 12 years since I spent a winter in heavy layers. I never thought I would see this day again!

 

Menopause gripped me like a giant bear hug with drenching night sweats and drippy hot flashes. For 12 years I have been wearing waterproof makeup because of my hot flashes. For 12 years I have worn sleeveless tops and open toe shoes year round. For 12 years I have not put on a scarf. For 12 years I rarely have worn tights.

 

Things have changed. I noticed last week the weather was in the high 30’s and I dressed in tights, wool slacks that are lined, leather shoes, turtleneck top with a sweater over it. I then put on a big down coat, a scarf, hat and gloves and headed to my car. I promptly turned my heater on high and was surprised that I wasn’t sweating!

 

There was a time not long ago that I would look at my arms and they had goose bumps but I was not registering cold. Now when watching TV I use a cozy blanket. I turn the heat up, and turn on the fireplace. I forgot how cozy the fireplace is!

 

Not to jinx myself so my hot flashes return, I still have night sweats. Yes they are not as frequent or as severe as they once were, but I still get them. I am OK with a few night sweats because I see the end game. A day when I experience no night sweats can only be a mere 2-3 years away, or so I hope!

3 Things that may be Keeping you Awake at Night
March 29, 2012

1.Night Sweats

Night sweats can be caused by a variety of things. A clamminess or dampness to a full body soaking wet, have to change the sheets and take a shower feeling. It all means that you are waking up uncomfortable and often cold.  As always you may want to check with your doctor.

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What to do?

If you have a dog or cat sleeping with you and a partner, they are all producing heat so some one has to leave the bed!

Wear moisture wicking sleepwear like from Haralee.com.

Do not wear cotton to sleep. You will only wake up wet and cold.

Keep the room as cool as possible.

Run a fan near your feet.

 

             2.Insomnia

Insomnia affects many people from a host of reasons.  Is it heartburn or acid reflux? Muscle pains or leg spasms? Have you considered Menopause side effects or side effect from medications? As always you may want to check with your doctor.Image

 

What to do?

There are sleeping drugs prescription and over the counter to help.

There are relaxation and breathing exercises that may work for you.

If you have a partner that is a very restless sleeper or snorer, you may want to sleep in another room.

Suggestions like earplugs, wave or surf music, very dark curtains and a cool room may also help you stay asleep.

 

3. Wired Brain

You just cannot turn off your brain. You are stressed to your eyebrows. You are tired but a thought or activity from the day comes across you mind and before you know it you are making lists and writing emails in your head.

 

What to do?

There are sleeping drugs prescription and over the counter to help.

There are relaxation and breathing exercises that may work for you.

Some people find it beneficial to get up and do an activity like a crossword puzzle or word jumble or Sudoku or walk the dog or brush the cat out of the bed!

 

What keeps you up at night and what tips do you want to share on getting a better night sleep?

How to survive menopause with-out becoming a felon: Mental/Emotional
November 29, 2011

Menopause can cloud your judgment. Estrogen deprived brains, anecdotally speaking, can cause you to make some rash choices or to become incapable to make any choices. Often that sweet nurturing side of your personality is suddenly gone. You may find yourself crying often and frequently. Once you had a steel trap for a memory and now you wander into rooms wondering why. Many of your friends or family members or co-workers may notice these changes in your mental or emotional state. Some may even be brave enough to engage you in a conversation about the ‘new’ you.

Here are the signs that menopause has a firm grip of your brain 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 it to your phone because you will forget to charge your phone.

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 can not remember some words or have become dependent on spell check but who cares?

You can not watch a beauty pageant, the Olympics, a Lifetime/Hallmark movie with-out sobbing. You hate criers at work and now there you are blubbering about someone’s story and you don’t care.

Mood Swings

Remember when you were a teenager and your own Mother was frustrated with your snotty attitude? No? Well she was and you didn’t know what set you off? Your hormones are fluctuating like that again. One day you are happy and satisfied and the next you are selling the house, leaving the family and 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 some road rage? Have you gone Ape Shit in a public setting? Have you been arrested?

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! Try exercise of some kind. Whacking a ball in some sport or joining an exercise/dance class can help with the mood swings. Don’t self medicate with wine or drugs. 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: Fashion
November 15, 2011

Here are some tips that I want to pass along about fashion since I am still living free and still going through menopause. It has been touch and go at times. My inner voice says the most bizarre things but I know it is the menopausal estrogen deprived voice and I do not listen to it. I won’t even say that I would kill for a little estrogen. I know it is only the menopause talking.

  1. Wear layers that you can peel off. This means a tank top or T-shirt, preferably wicking as your first layer. Second layer is a sweater or blazer or blouse. Do not peel off past the first layer!
  2. Do not wear a crop top, belly shirt, tube top, a sheer blouse, or a sheer blouse over a tube top, or just your bra no matter how hot you are and think you can pull it off. You can not. Are you listening Trudie Styler?
  3. Wear slacks with-out stockings. Loose fitting slacks or skirts that are not lined. Wear a skirt with-out stockings, tights or leggings unless it is winter and you are outside.
  4. Do not wear a mini skirt (with-out tights or leggings) a kilt, a short dress or short shorts. Even if you think you have Rockette legs it is the menopause evil inner voice talking, do not listen. Remember do not forgo the panties.
  5. Wear open toe shoes or peek-a-boo toes with-out stockings or socks for extra ventilation, year round. It may get chilly and damp but it will keep you cool so who cares.
  6. Don’t wear hats. Hats keep in the heat, great in the winter but not for those having personal summers.
  7. Wear your hair pulled up at the neckline. If you wear a short hairstyle keep it light at the nape of neck. If you wear a bob keep it over the nape of the neck. These precautions are for the sweaty neck and look of wet hair. No one wants to hear the question, “Did you just come from the showers?”
  8. Do not wear Spanx or any other control foundation unless you are going to a party. Be sure to put on your make-up after you put on the Spanx. Plan on not going to the bathroom during the party because then you will have to yank them up and it will put you into a flash and there goes the make-up and hairdo!
  9. Wear bright polish on your fingers and toes. They are the only things that won’t sweat off during a flash. All make-up must be water resistant and extra long lasting. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to re-apply foundation, eye liner, eye-shadow, mascara, blush, and lipstick, only that it may not end up running all the way down your face after a few flashes.
  10. Clean and put away your turtle necks, mock turtle necks and long woolen sleeved sweaters for a few years as you experience the long hot summers of year round menopause. Keep an extra top, bra, panties and slacks in your car, office, or briefcase, just in case these tips do not work-out.

If you follow my tips and do not listen to the evil menopause inner voice regarding fashion you will be safe from jail and life as a felon. No one will arrest you for indecent exposure. You won’t humiliate your children or spouse or co-workers with a fashion faux pas. More importantly you will not humiliate yourself!

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

 

Our Fabulous Summer Intern went Back to College :(
August 23, 2011

This summer we had an intern working for our company. This was her last week as she heads back for her senior year of College. We are all very sad to see her leave. She has been a great asset to our company. She is a communications and business major and wanted to work with an entrepreneurial company. She is very focused on her life and career goals, hard working and lighthearted, smart and fun, yes the perfect intern!

At our first interview we discussed our expectations were of each other. We both did not see her primary role as filing, running errands, or grunt work. Certainly with-in the course of the day there would be some of the mundane, but we both agreed that was not the point of her internship. I was so thrilled that our goals matched that I hired her on the spot.  I was a bit concerned that I acted too quickly, rebounding from my disastrous interviewing process and lack of interested applicants last year. My concerns were put to rest after her first day n the job!

I had to explain to this 21 year old the dynamics of menopause and side effects. Once she grasped the concept of who my customers are and what they are experiencing after asking some very insightful questions, a trait she intuitively possesses, she was up and running and quickly showing how she was able to help with our set tasks and goals.

As CEO of my company I manage many people. The two types of people that are the hardest to manage are the ones who do nothing you say and make excuses and the ones who do just exactly what you say. Luckily our intern, Terra, did not fit into either group. She gave me progress reports of her work. She gave opinions and suggestions with back-up data and proof. She re-worked projects that I rejected with-out having to have her ego massaged. In short, she worked not with the bar lowered as a 21 year old college kid, but as a great employee of the company.

Some of the changes and suggestions Terra worked on all summer are already in use and others will be in use before Christmas. We all wish Terra a great senior year in College, and good luck in her future. We will miss her a great deal!

Have you hired an intern? Were you ever an intern? How was the experience?

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!