You know how on the Internet they’ll have a once-a-year event where everyone who “lurks” on someone’s blog without ever commenting is invited to “de-lurk” and announce their presence to the blogger and to the world?
Well I’m pretty sure that 2007-2008 has been The Season Of Delurking in my body, where every physical issue that was tired of being ignored or avoided decided to show up and demand that I finally deal with it.
So, just ask me how much fun that‘s been (Answer: Not so much). But I have really felt lately that I was starting to see the light at the end of The Illness Tunnel. Until I had the following conversation with my friend, Lynne.
Me: “And I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been having these “episodes” where I just get really hot all of a sudden, and start to sweat.”
Lynne: “Hm, I didn’t know that you were in perimenopause.”
The earth comes to a screeching halt.
Me: “Say what now?”
Lynne: “What you’re describing? Those are hot flashes. You’re having hot flashes.”
Me: “Nuh-UH! Shut UP! And also, la-la-la-la-la, I can’t HEAR you!”
But once the seed was planted, I could no longer remain blissfully ignorant of what was happening to me. Especially later that evening when my husband and I were both seated in our living room watching television. I noticed that, not only was he covered in a blanket, but he had covered every single bit of exposed skin up to his eyes, which unfortunately he needed in order to view the TV. Meanwhile I was seated next to him, engaged in the same amount of physical activity (none whatsoever), dripping with sweat, and my clothes were damp.
Hm, I thought. As much as I do not want to admit it, Lynne might be onto something here with that whole “hot flash” thing.
So I decided to do a little research.
Me (trying to be casual): “Hey, can I ask you a question?”
My husband: “Okay.”
Me: “How do you feel right now? Like, what is your body temperature?”
My husband (with the fervent emotion of someone finally releasing a torrent of pent-up stress): “I’m SO COLD! This house is FREEZING! Haven’t you noticed that I’ve had to start blanketing my face because it’s so cold in here?!”
Me (absolutely dumbfounded): “What are you talking about?! It’s SO HOT! Look, I’m sweating and my clothes are damp. Here, FEEL MY PANTS!”
“Hm,” said my husband, with the look of someone who has just realized that crossing a woman in the throes of a full-blown hot flash is a lot like poking a big black bear with an electric cattle prod, and turned up the speed on the ceiling fan a couple of notches
So I went to the gynecologist, fully prepared to hear that the stress of my year-long illness had thrown my body into premature menopause, only to be told that, “it’s not hormonal.”
(It’s also not my thyroid, because I’ve had that checked. Twice.)
So I still have no idea what’s going on with me. Best guess is that it’s just my body continuing to recover and realign itself. Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure I could get a job as the sun in a brand new solar system, if I run out of things to do around the house.
That is, if I don’t go super nova first.
You must go super nova, Jenny Ryan! You absolutely must. The sun is just so passe.
I lurk a lot and subscribe to your blog. You’ve just described episodes of what I experienced intermittently for more than TWO YEARS before the first SHINGLES outbreak! Doctors were not able to explain the hot flashes. I’d been through menopause years before, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t a repeat. Sometimes the hot flashes were followed by almost-panic-attacks as well as emotional breakdowns or freakouts or incredible angry hissy-fits. Later (after first shingles breakout) full blown panic attacks happened for intermittently for about two years. Looking back, I call this the PreHerpetic phase as opposed to present, which is Post Herpetic.
Can you locate a doctor who is up-to-date on shingles and its many forms. Perhaps Valtrex or another such anti-viral med would help.
I’ve recently discovered a support group for Shingles/PHN sufferers,
I lurk there, too, because I’ve had recurring shingles for 9 years, and I don’t want to discourage people.
(Do you also have intense internal PAIN that doctors cannot explain? They sent me to a shrink. So much for what THEY thought!)
Good luck! Email me with any questions.
Lynne Morrell says
I still think that it is perimenopause…sorry. Doctors are wrong all the time…and since I am not a doctor…I can be wrong too! Tee hee:) How is it going reading Chritiane Northrup’s book? Do you relate to any of the things that she is talking about?
Okay…I will shush:)
Well, I’m glad to hear it’s not menopause sneaking up on you. I hope you are on the road to complete recovery and your body decides to go back into lurk mode.
I agree with Lynne. I complained about menopausal symptoms for YEARS before the Drs would even consider the possibility. Turned out I WAS perimenopausal, even though I wasn’t 50 yet.
They really don’t know, and can’t tell. So keep your home refrigerated (tell hubby to put on another jumper) and decide if you have symptoms you cannot live with. It’s a tough call because HRT presents entirely other problems. But if you have symptoms you cannot tolerate, look into HRT.
Nona, in New Zealand