Posts Tagged ‘Menopause’

What is it about the wildness of the wind, the unpredictableness, the cheerful enthusiasm becoming random recklessness as it collects trash paper, splattering it wildly against store windows and rudely unwrapping, elevating pieces of clothing on unsuspecting pedestrians?  The wind was both playful and abrasive today, whistling and howling one minute, gentle chime-ringing the next.  I started out at Waffle King and the “waitress/greeter” (they always say, “Hi, welcome to Waffle King” whenever anyone enters the restaurant so in the course of your breakfast you will hear this ALOT) was having a full-blown hot flash.  Red necked down to her biceps (I thought it  odd the way the red stopped like an inverted “farmers tan” sunburn on her upper arms) and streams of sweat poured off her face and neck.  “Wow, you’re hot!” I said, before thinking.  Walking into the restaurant from my car, the wind was the snappy, cold kind that makes you want to dive from your warm car through the restaurant door as quickly as possible, but instead the wind pushed back on my car door like a linebacker as I attempted to step out, whipped me around the parking lot and then shoved me against the diner door as I fumbled, battling against the door suction thwarting my effort to enter.  Also, early morning, before-coffee daze prevented me from accurately accessing the scene of the perspiration dripping woman in front of me before blurting out my stupid, misguided surmise.  I assumed some type of work she was involved in had caused her to overheat.  “No, baby, I’m having a HOT flash,” she clarified as she blew by me, coffee pot in hand, the heat of her body emanating like a furnace blast.  Immediately my thought was, “Wow, I wonder what that feels like?  How could something inside us turn on within seconds and be hot enough to burn you from the inside out.  That’s amazing, fascinating!”  I was so enthralled at this point, trying to imagine the source of the heat, struggling to grasp how something so ordinary can be so ancient and mysterious at the same time that I almost posed my witless, follow-up question, “What does it feel like?”  I wanted to, but I didn’t.  I mean, I’ve been a pharmacist for 25 years, dispensed tons of hormones, talked to masses of menopausal women about their “choices” and it never occurred to me what they are really going through; a real live chemistry explosion happening somewhere deep inside and detonating through their skin like bullets of hot lava.  I’ve heard plenty of jokes about women running their mates out of the bed at night, watched numerous women flapping their clothes to fan themselves outside in bitter cold weather, heard dry, medical lectures about the latest “best practice standards of care” for menopausal women, but for some reason my empathetic, curiosity “feelers” were not tuning in to this particular phenomena.  Over the 20 or 30 minutes it took for me to eat my breakfast, her neck began to pale and her body’s heat wave currents seemed to dissipate.  Her face relaxed and the tension in the air released.  It was as if we had all been held captive by some kind of unnamed shakedown and we were kindred spirits in our relief of having passed without any understanding of our participation.  I surrendered effortlessly to the whims of the wind as I left.  Nothing to hold on to, nothing to fear, nothing to control.  I had just witnessed the ultimate cataclysm of life. Free and untethered, I let the wind do with me what it would.


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