During the first part of perimenopause I didn’t know what was going on and, more accurately, didn’t want to fully face up to what was happening. The signs were there. The skeptical thoughts were there such as “I think I’m having a hot flash.” I’d feel intense rushes of heat in my body at such random times and other less definitive feelings. I’d wonder to myself if I was having an actual hot flash, but would never resolve that question. I’d brush it off thinking that it was too early for me to be in menopause. I kept all my suspicions to myself for several months.Then one day while Sheri and I were talking, I had one of those sudden heat rushes. Uncharacteristically, I mentioned it to her. “Hey, I just had an intense rush of heat race through my body. I get these sometimes. They’re quite intense, seemingly for no reason. I think I’m having a hot flash!”
Feeling my apprehension and perhaps having some of her own, she responded by saying “Ohhh, I don’t know if you want to go there yet.”
I felt uneasy, a little dizzy too. “Right, I don’t.” I replied.
I decided not to call it a hot flash. In fact for weeks after that conversation I stifled myself whenever I felt the urge to ask “Is it hot in here or is it just me?” In my mind that question was akin to fastening a neon sign to myself. No one in their right mind would want to go there unless they had to. Nope, it is not a hot flash, no sir. I probably just have too many clothes on or something.
The chatter continued within, a big jumble of anxious circular rationalizations. “I am still having a regular period, nothing changing there. Of course I’m not exactly tracking my periods. But I’m sure small fluctuations in the monthly routine doesn’t really mean anything. Having periods proves that I’m not having hot flashes per se. Hot flashes happen to menopausal women, which I am definitely not since my period still comes. This body heat thing is something else, like I’m just getting used to the springtime weather changes. It is getting much warmer nowadays. Isn’t it?”
In the back of my mind I was not so confident. I was wary and preoccupied, but for the most part continued discounting what my body was telling me. I was in denial and remained ignorant. Meanwhile my body continued right along with its natural progression, the intensity increasing.