Death by Hot Flash: or What the Experts Don’t Want You to Know

We women have all heard how backing out of puberty in middle age is as delightful as a picnic shared with ants, flies and wasps. However, if you take your life stages as the wild adventures that they are, then surely you can find upsides to mental pause — besides saving a ton of money, time and hassle every month. I’m here to shed some positive light on this event more feared by women than the scalding agony of childbirth only because it means the advent of crepe paper faces. That cheerful incandescence of optimism will radiate from deep within the magma of your hot flashes.

Female Anatomy They Don’t Teach in School

Those health classes in public school told us all about how to get ourselves pregnant before we were old enough to legally get ourselves a husband, but they never bothered to tell us what was barreling down the pike in another forty years, give or take. That particular secret we had to learn in darkened back kitchens from our mothers, aunts and grandmothers when the men weren’t around. Because men despise knowing how women work even as they writhe in mental agony, protesting that they “just don’t understand women!”

Anyway, we two-legged estrogenic units need that hormone so we that we can extrude little miniatures of ourselves and our beloved. Which is all good when you’re practically a baby yourself with the commensurate amount vigor in your heart, muscles and connective tissues.

But one day, we discover that gym work never stops aching. Then we pull, stretch or tear something, and our bodies wake up and say, “Dang, if we made a baby today, we could easily die in three or four years. Got to put a stop to that and soon!” Therefore, to preserve us from death by toddler chase, that little pituitary gland in the brain starts slacking off in its requisition for the girly juice.

Unfortunately, the rest of our body says, “Hey, I need that girly juice to keep the pump primed, the framework solid and to remain nominally rational.” Mr. Pituitary doesn’t care, though. He’s a classic bureaucrat, except that you can’t bribe him with forty dollars and a bottle of brandy.

So, the bones get together and convince our fat cells to store all the estrogen they can, for heaven’s sake. Hence the weight gain, by the way. Fat cells are just pumping up with estrogen to slide under the table to our skeletons. But what the heck, being svelte is only about upping your chances to create your retirement plan and name it Junior, anyway. Once you’ve nailed that, with a few backups, it’s good to keep those stores of girly juice stashed away from Mr. P.’s prying eyes, even if it means shopping at Abdul the Tentmaker’s shop instead of The Gap. What do you want: skinny jeans and broken hips, or enough padding to bounce back to your feet when you fall over?

The thing is, though, Mr. P. can sense a fraud on the system, and that makes him a little testy. Hot under the collar, even.

Anatomy of a Hot Flash

Being situated in your brain, Mr. P.’s fit pitching naturally raises the heat level in your head. At first, you think you’re just embarrassed about some trifling thing which you bungled big time when you were twelve. But then the heat goes from mildly-annoyed-with-yourself to metal-smelting, and soon you’re raining on your nice silk oversized blouse. Strangely, while the rest of your body poaches you, too, no other part can melt rocks quite like your head.

You wonder where all the energy comes from to feed Mr. P’s ire. The answer, of course, is from your hands and feet. Just ask your mate.

Let’s do the math. Let’s say we have a normal body temperature of 98 degrees evenly spread. Your head starts at 98, but it’s about to go thermal nuclear, so it sucks 98 degrees out of each hand and foot. That’s 98 already in the head plus 98 times 4 which, all total, equals 490 degrees. 392 degrees get sucked into your skull so rapidly that the friction in your limbs generates its own heat. At nearly 500 degrees, if you had a mouth as big as a celebrity gossip’s, you could bake pizzas in it.

Besides cooking dinner sans an appliance, what other good things can come of killer hot flashes?

The Most Perfect Solution for Near-Fatal Hot Flashes

Radiating heat has its distinct advantages. You can de-ice your windshield with it. Or stand near the thermostat at work to make the air conditioner kick in, sunbathe in a Midwest January and attract cats faster than your keyboard. But what do you do when your cranium makes the surface of the sun feel like a cool dip in Lake Michigan? Well, here’s a trick, scientifically proven in my own home laboratory, to derive the most pleasure possible from your best hot flashes.

At the onset, snatch up a bottle of vodka, scotch, bourbon or whatever. Kick off your shoes and plop down on the floor to wrap your feet and hands around the glass. In no time, you’ll have a nice slushy ready for instant enjoyment. Ten minutes hence, you’ll think pouring the remainder of your slushy over your head would be the best decision you ever made in life. I know it was for me. In eleven minutes, you won’t give a rip about the coke oven in your skull or how outer space got wrapped around your extremities. Tomorrow, you won’t even remember. Problem solved.

And there you have it. Going through “The Change” is everything it’s cracked up to be and more!

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The Letterista

Throughout The Letterista's adult life, she has been an employee for several employers in both retail and contract fulfillment (private contract companies); she's been a private contractor and a small business owner, as well. A great many years were spent managing the offices of a construction trade where the competition was thick and the stakes were high, so the proper, professional handling of complaints and bad reviews was more than just a little important. The skills of good documentation and letter-writing were finely honed in that environment. Now, she writes for fun and profit.

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