EDITORIAL NOTE: If you are a guy or a woman who's not interested in this topic, scroll down past it for today's Resistance Note.
At first I rejected this topic when a reader suggested it. Most women who read this blog are well past that annoying life event but “Jessie” kept pestering me so I looked into it. Surprise, surprise.
The most common age range, the experts tell us, that women experience the beginning of menopause is between 48 and 55. That it lasts up to ten years or so means a lot of TGB readers may be sweating through this week's east coast blizzard.
It shocked me at age 42 when the doctor told me my period was three weeks late because menopause had begun. My reaction was one part relief that I wasn't pregnant and one part, ”Wha-a-a-a-a-a-a-t? At my age?”
Okay, I was a little young for it but obviously it's not something I could control so I moved on. We've discussed this before but “Jessie” said it was worth redoing, so here goes – on the menopause subtopic of hot flashes.
Here's a piece of useless information about it from medicinenet:
“About 40% to 85% of women experience hot flashes at some point in the menopausal transition.”
With a range 45 percent, that tells us nothing. And i'm probably not the person to consult. I know only three or four things – anecdotes, actually - about hot flashes that may or may not be widely pertinent:
- It is AMAZING that your body can go from dry to soaked in under a minute. That's impressive. It frequently happened as I was just finishing my makeup before work while also soaking my hair. So I began my morning routine all over again with the hair dryer.
- I learned to keep a beach towel in bed with me so that when night sweats woke me, soaking the sheets, I could roll over onto the towel and go back to sleep on a dry surface.
- My mother dyed about 10 pieces of lace, each to match the color of a sweatshirt. She sewed the lace pieces onto the shirts, an elegant solution which became my standard top under suit jackets for work so that when I broke out in a sweat, the shirts soaked it up without showing much. My mom could be quite clever sometimes.
During that period of hot flashes, I had a first appointment with a new gynecologist, a highly respected woman who also taught at the one of the top medical schools in New York City.
After the exam, she said she would prescribe HRT (hormone replacement therapy) to ease my hot flashes. I declined, citing a recent, widely-noted study about risks of various cancers connected with HRT.
The doctor argued with me, even raising her voice. I explained I didn't believe a few sudden sweat episodes were worth risking cancer. She argued. As I left her office, she said to me – I have never forgotten: “You'll be sorry when your face gets wrinkled before its time.”
So here I am decades later all wrinkly in the face and elsewhere but (knock wood) cancer free so far. It's a crap shoot what causes cancer in one person and not another but this a tradeoff I would make again in a – well, New York minute.
A lot of women complain about hot flashes but fewer are using HRT rhese days. And really – the hot flashes are only an inconvenience, not life-threatening and personally? I found them kind of funny.
The Mayo Clinic has a smart, easy section about hot flashes. (Hint: they don't mention the vinegar, secret herbs, teas, vitamins and supplement “cures” some people suggest.)
What's your experience?
RESISTANCE NOTES – OLIVER ON TRUMPCARE
(To catch up newcomers, Resistance Notes is an occasional section appended to the main story of the day to help keep track of what happens, these days, at such high speed in Washington. Even large news organizations are having trouble keeping pace so what's a little one-women website supposed to do?
The answer is now and then when the day's topic relates to ageing but I want to pass on some short, resistance-related information, I will post it here at the bottom of the main story. Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures.)
Today it is the most recent main video essay from John Oliver on his Saturday HBO program, Last Week Tonight, about the American Health Care Act (AHCA) this week.
Colbert doesn't hit a home run every week but it happens more often than not and when he does, it is magnificent. For me, it is a crime to wait seven days to show it to you as I usually do.
So here is the brilliant analysis of Trumpcare from John Oliver and his crew – serious and funny all at once, as they are so good at doing.