Flushes and Sweats!

 We have all heard stories of horrific ways that women are effected while going through ‘The Change’. Women literally become monsters while going through the hormonal changes that happen while her body’s reproductive system is shutting down. Not to mention, the changing body shape, the wrinkles and the dried up vagina! I certainly wasn’t looking forward to it at all and put it to the back of my mind when at age 38 my last child was born.
 I remember having night sweats for two or three years after Yasmin’s birth. I had heard about night sweats before and their being related to the peri menopause. I assumed that’s what was now happening to me. I knew mine were night sweats because I would wake up every night soaking wet, especially around the neck area. I would have to change the sheets each morning. I assumed then that night sweats were the same thing as hot flushes, just with a different name.
When the sweats disappeared, everything seemed to go back to normal and I assumed my peri menopause had paused! (Take into account, my severe depression came on also after having my last child. I had seemed to manage previous post natal depressions from my other children. This one was more extreme. Was the clash of the menopause and my post natal depression together the cause of my very erratic behavior during that time? I wrote my first book ‘My Beautiful Flower’ three years ago to share my experiences of depression and my struggles to be a mother, available on amazon since March 2015. I have been mentally well most of this year and can feel myself having longer periods of wellness.)
My periods then disappeared when I was 46 years and as each month passed with no sign of them, I was sure I was now in ‘The Change.’
Friends had told me that when your period is gone for two years altogether, you’ve indeed gone through it. However my ‘friends’ came back after a year for two months and now they’ve gone again which I’m only too happy about, needless to say!
So now I’m 48 years and I’m having ‘Hot Flushes’. They started just a couple of weeks ago. I know they’re hot flushes and not sweats because it’s like someone has turned on the oven in me. It can happen anytime, day or night and I can feel myself going hot and red all over. Not one to overly sweat, I am not soaking wet, but I can feel beads of sweat coming out over my lip and forehead.
Hot flushes can be embarrassing because people only see you going red and when you’re aware of that, you just go redder!
It’s funny, because when I was in puberty, I used to go red all of the time, over any little thing. It was the shame of my youth. No wonder I was accused of things, I always looked guilty with a big red face all of the time! I remember when I was doing my trade in a barber shop. I must’ve been about seventeen at the time. I had finished my ladies hairdressing trade and thought it would be great to have a barbering trade also. I didn’t stop to think what it would be like to work in an all men environment. In 1983, they had just started advertising controversial adds on the radio, like the necessity of sanitary pads! I mean, who needs to advertise sanitary pads on anywhere for God’s sake? Half our population need them!
But oh my God, when the advertisement came on, it lasted about three whole minutes. Someone was very thorough! Me and every lad in the shop knew everything we needed to know about periods, pads and tampons. I was mortified. The barber shop would be quiet enough with just hair cutting going on, no distractions of a hairdryer at all. My face went beetroot red. I had to leave the room and go to the bathroom!
And each time after that when the ad came on, probably at least five times a day, I had to run out, for fear of anyone noticing my beetroot face! Of course they all did, but there was nothing I could do. I was so embarrassed! The shop would be packed with the whole population of nineteen year old boys!
Thankfully now at my age, there is little that would embarrass me, unless of course I make a fool of myself!
So, I think I’m doing ok with ‘The Change’. I think I’m nearly through it. It’s only been a short eleven years! My mental health is better, my relationships are better with my children, my husband, my family and friends. Is it a coincidence that while I was suffering depression I was also going through ‘The Change’?
Was I that Monster woman?
Oh My God! Yes I was!
Jean xxx

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