Joy oh Joy… the joyous gifts that we as women are given on our birthdays…  You know what birthday I mean, correct, the one that start the next cycle of our lives… oh what a fun journey this next cycle will be… Humph!!!

I guess using the term, gift and cycle in the same paragraph is miss leading, on this birthday, my cycle decided to give me a little more than normal, it decided to hang around awhile, hmmm, I muttered to myself… well that is odd, haven’t had this issue before, in the back of my mind, I was in denial as to what this could potentially mean, perhaps, I am just having an odd month, you know, lots of stress, maybe not enough exercise or better yet, I decided it was from not enough sex… determining this to be the case, I made mental note to attack my other half upon the moment he entered the door when he came home…  that would fix this extra birthday gift and make it go away…

After repeatedly using this approach, one evening, while dozing, I began to notice that the room had become extremely…shall we say… a freaking blazing inferno….oh my freaking god… Please get this sea of blankets off of me know… I struggle to get my leg out of the blanket all while managing to piss off our cat at the foot of the bed, begrudgingly, he spat at me, showing me his annoyance and he moved over to my husbands side of the bed, what the hell…  did we leave the heat on ultra high before going to bed earlier, I struggled to remember, no, I know we didn’t, wow…one let out is not going to do the trick, I wondered what I was thinking when I wore a tee shirt and sleeping bottoms, they were now stuck to me, a bit damp I was… second leg out… what is that trickling between my breast is that water???  Did the cat piss on me because I woke him up… now struggling to fully waken myself, I see the fur ball snuggled close to my husband, he has not pissed on me, why am I wet???  Crap… I am freaking burning up, my hair is damp… I toss all the covers fully off of me, throwing them onto my husband, I am sure I have fever and to have one this high, I must be close to death… surely there is no other reason to be this warm…  do I have food poisoning???  Why am I sweating…   crap… I began to realize I am cold… damn, give me those covers back and I want them now… I grab them off my husband and take a few of his at the same time… I prepare myself for a bad case of the flue tomorrow morning, because I know to have this type of fever, means that I will be hugging the porcelain bowl and not want to be far from it, I am sure of this…  I doze and go back to a sound sleep, when I wake, I am fine, other than when I went to bed, I had straight hair and in my rage of sweat, I must have gotten my hair wet and it is now curly and fuzzy… nice, what a beauty I am as I look in the mirror…  funny though I don’t feel sick…

It was 3 nights later, I repeated this pattern and after a few more weeks of the on and off switch with my body’s thermostat, I began to self diagnose, because somewhere in the back of my mind…  a little voice was saying… you know, that was a very significant number you just hit on your birthday… right???

About 2 months later as I was at work, I was talking to a co worker, while sitting at my desk, I began to notice that I was starting to get hot, the hair on the back of my neck felt like a heavy wool coat!!!  I looked at my co worker as I began to feel like perspiration on my upper lip… I asked him the only thing I could think of… is it HOT in here…. Or it is just me???  He looks at me and says nope, it is actually a bit cool in here today… Damn… I was so afraid that is what he would say…  shall we say going forward, for the next 2 months, I learned to dress in layers in the dead of winter and a pony tail became my hair style of choice, I began to understand why so many women as they got older chose short  hair…   I began to wonder if maybe, just maybe I could possibly, you know.. Me entering.. that M stage of my life…  This would require research…

With Google as a girl’s best friend and my husband asleep, I crept to our home office and plugged in the M word in search bar… I read all about it, when it starts, what the symptoms were.. fuck.. I had almost all of them… denial has been my friend, years of taking care of my body, eating healthy, exercising… and it has betrayed me… damn body, in my mind that meant I could betray it back… I lay in bed, partially covered prepared for the heat wave, one leg out, our cat had learned it was safer to sleep next to my husband than potentially risk being kicked awake every few nights… I decided I would sleep on it…

In the morning, I went to the health food store and bought all the natural remedies I could find… after 3 weeks, I realized I had just simply donated hard earned money and still continued to dress in layers and had now resorted to 2 fans on the side of my bed… it became all too clear… it was time to see a DR… it had been a few years, kids were grown.. life was full, so hadn’t taken the time to visit the lay down and spread em doctor…

When I called to make an appointment, I found she had moved to a new state… they said they would set me up with a new DR, a male doctor… I said no thank you, I didn’t want to explain this man… how would he understand…  So, I did the next best thing.. I went to my girlfriend, who was a few years older than myself…  I met her for wine and we talked and I explained the past several months’ events and she was all to sympathetic, letting me know that her time has started a few years ago.. she had opted for the natural way though and could not refer me to a doctor… was she fucking nuts… who would opt for natural when after I realized my natural approach didn’t work, I had crept back to the office one night and with google as my friend and no longer in denial, I searched.. .menopause and how the fuck to make the symptoms go away…

She offered to ask several of her girlfriends for a referral for me… I thanked her and we finished our girls catch up time and wine and we headed our separate ways for the evening… As I got to the work the next morning, I turned on my computer and went to check my email and true to form, my friend had sent out an email that read…  My first and last name has started having hot flashes and is looking for a gynecologist can anyone refer her to one… now everyone knew… I didn’t know to say… so I closed my email… put my hair in a ponytail, removed my first layer… and went to work.. at lunch I opened back up my email and there we numerous emails from friends of our age group that had replied with referrals and shared stories of misery that made me laugh… seems I was not alone in this and that I had entered a new cycle of my life with this birthday that brought me to a new sisterhood, an odd way to bond, but a nice way to start a new chapter… next week, I shall meet my new DR that is referred by many of the women on the email chain and if this DR knows what is good for her and she wants to leave the office in one piece, I will leave her office with a prescription to make me go back to normal…  Happy Birthday to me…

Ciao Bella… a Pissed Off Sarah…

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