Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Girl Talk

Well, I could call it "female talk." It's about "the change," as in "change of life." Did I lose some of you, just by saying that? Do you dislike those euphemisms as much as I do? They're so weak. Yet I don't want this blog to rev up any oddball search engines, so it's euphemisms or ****.

I'm going through the change, full-on these days. I thought that I started the process back in October of 2001 when I had surgery. It turns out that that was just a tiny bit of what was in store for me...now, this is the real thing. I won't bore you with all of the symptoms, but I do want to tell you that hot flashes are not for sissies.

It's as if the devil has taken up residence inside of one and poured oil and gas on the fire - and people - those of you who are still reading - this woman is almost ALWAYS cold. The sensation is a kind of instant flash-flood of heat that awakens one in the middle of the night, or causes one to literally soak one's clothes with sweat for no apparent reason, at random moments during the day. Even your face and scalp are not exempt. And then a few minutes later, it's back to normal...except you're wiped out and wondering, What just happened here?

I experienced this last week as never before. Listening to a talk in the packed-to-the-aisles cathedral, I became drenched, and simply HAD to fan myself as surreptitiously as possible with a program. The sweet young man sitting next to me gently took over, fanning me with HIS program, and saying, "You're making yourself hotter by doing that." It was so chivalrous of him. He tenderly inquired how I was feeling when the talk was over. I was fine, by then - embarrassed, but back to my normal temperature.

If we could harness these sudden bursts of energy, I wonder what we could do with them. Scientists, any ideas?

My mother has been advising me to see my doctor about it, but it's such a normal part of the process of menopause that I didn't want to consult my doctor - and I don't want to take hormones. So when Laura & I were in Portland visiting the Super Supplements store, I asked a staff member about natural remedies, and lo and behold, an item I've heard about was recommended. It sounds like something that belongs in a witch's cauldron - black cohash - but I tried it, and it helped IMMEDIATELY. As in, the first day I took it, I felt better and have had only one or two flashes per day since I started taking it last week. So far, so good!

I will tell my doctor about this eventually, but for now, sweet relief in an herbal remedy is the good news here. I also found some great nutritional supplements and learned more about what Laura has discovered. Check out her "Live Healthy" blog on my sidebar if you're interested.
On a totally unrelated subject, last week Gregg and I took a walk through our town. I love the fact that Gregg and his parents grew up here, before I even knew they existed. We were walking past the Lion's Park where our children loved to play when they were little, and we stopped to use the "facilities" (another useful euphemism).
The park needed an update a number of years ago, so the town launched a campaign in which you could go to the local pottery-painting studio (The Dancing Brush) and buy a tile to help raise funds. Townspeople were invited to make their handprints and write their names on the tiles. We bought two - one for David and one for Katie - and I re-discovered them on the wall last week.
I love knowing that both of our children have signs of their presence around our town.


ChiTown Girl said...

After I had Stud, my hormones were out of whack, like all new mothers, and I had some MONSTER hot flashes for a while. I'm pretty sure I've been pre-menopausal for a few years now, and I have some "warm" moments that my family likes to say are hot flashes. It's hard to tell if it's hormones or my obesity that causes it, but either way, I don't like it!

I've read about black cohash for years now. I'm so glad it's bringing you some relief. I'll have to remember that when the time comes.

Elizabeth said...

I have heard about black cohosh and am so glad that it's working for you, Karen! I am grateful to have my Chinese doctor who specializes in "women's" issues and who will, no doubt, help me when I go through "the change." (I, too, hate these goofy words)

Ellen said...

Black Cohash is fine as long as there is no history of breast cancer in your family.

Since I am one of those with my mother having had breast cancer, I have used Emerita brand Pro-Gest. I also have an herbal and vitamin regime that has been a perfect mix. I occasionally get one night sweat at night and have been blessed to not have any during the day! I take St. John's Wort as I still was having icky mood swings and I really feel that has been helpful.

I loved seeing your children's little hand prints.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I sympathize with you on the 'episodes'....I feel they are coming my way too. :) (btw: I did not know you already had a hysterectomy!!!...I thought I knew everything.)
I have heard of this black cohash before...and I pray that I remember it in a few years when I really need it. SO happy that you are feeling some relief. It is hard to be a woman. damnit.
SO darn cool to run into your kids markings around town. They are famous...but look where they came from. :)

Anonymous said...

I cannot wait to look for their tiles next time Ryan and I are at Lion's park. I had no idea they were there!


Daisy said...

Thank you for the tip, Karen. Getting tired of fanning myself. Will definitely hunt some down.

How wonderful about the tiles.


AnnDeO said...

This is just a happy girl post. Even with the hot flashes.