Wait! Was that a hot flash?
by Jillian Bogater (Exile From Hysteria)
My first hot flash took me by surprise.
I was snuggled in on my recovery recliner, wrapped up in a sweater, a blanket and wearing slippers. I always run cold, and have taken to covering up instead of engaging in Themostat Wars with Matt. Even with the blanket, I still make him concede to a 70-degree temperature when I am home.
So this afternoon, as I felt a drip of perspiration fall down my ribs, I knew something was amiss.
“Honey, is it hot in here?” I asked, plainly expecting Matt to dramatically exclaim how he was melting. Instead, he said, “No. It’s not.”
I threw the red-and-white knitted blanket to the floor in one big motion.
“Your face is bright red,” Matt said.
I jumped out of the chair, energized by the heat. As I kicked off my slippers, I swirled around, closing my eyes as the small breeze tucked under my purple nightgown.
“Jill, you better sit down. You’re going to get dizzy.”
So I sat. The hot flash celebration was short lived. The intense heat wore off in about five minutes. Out of habit, I put my sweater back on. That didn’t last long. It took a good 30 minutes before I felt close-to-comfortable.
In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting a hot flash. My surgeon had salvaged my left ovary and fallopian tube. The hysterectomy was designed to keep menopause at bay for another 10 years.
Still, I knew there was a chance this might happen.
When I went under the knife, a good portion of my internal organs “went to sleep” — including my remaining ovary. I’ve heard sometimes it takes weeks, or more, for the remaining ovary to “wake up” and fully function again.
There’s also the chance it won’t start working again. And I will go directly to menopause. If this happens, I will discuss hormone replacement therapy with my surgeon. In the meantime, I will keep a journal of my symptoms and present them when I see the doctor a week from today.
I have a bum thyroid that leaves me basically always freezing my butt off. So up until today, I always made jokes about how hot flashes will be a welcome change … when I get the change.
Now that I got a taste, I’m not so sure.
I thought I’d love the sensation of being hot, but really I just felt flustered and sweaty. And the randomness of it all sorta freaks me out.
A friend of mine recently told me getting a hysterectomy is the beginning of my story, not the end.
I suspect she was right.