If you’re under 50 and or of the male persuasion you may want to skip this post altogether, unless you have a wildly unhealthy preoccupation with menopause. For the rest of you, I warned you that life down here isn’t all fun in the sun beach days, drinking chilled beers at sunset and sitting side by side in matching outdoor bathtubs holding hands with your soulmate, (thank you Corona beer and Cialis for giving us those unrealistic and somewhat odd visuals).
For starters our rustic little piece of heaven sits 8.3 degrees north of the equator. Need some perspective? For my friends and family in San Diego, you’re at about 33 degrees. Further south and on the opposite side of the US, Key West Florida sit at about 24.5 degrees north. For God’s sake, even the Panama Canal and Cartagena, Columbia sit further north of the equator at 9 and 10.5 degrees respectively. What does all this have to do with menopause?? One word, HOT. Okay two words, FLASHES.
Yeah my life these days living in the tropics is pretty much one long hot flash. While I’m grateful that the monthly hormonal rollercoaster and getting that “surprise!” feeling at awkward moments are in the past for me, I am having serious trouble with these, what I like to refer to as, nuclear hot flashes.
Of course I have turned to the almighty Internet to research any and all natural and home remedies for my affliction and here’s what is recommended, (and no HRT is not an option for me).
1. Wear loose clothing and/or dress in layers. More often than not I wear nothing more than a lightweight sarong…nothing! I wear it loosely and let it flow around me which has led to some embarrassing moments when the breeze suddenly exposes me in all my glory, usually at the exact moment that someone is coming up the drive…but at this point I DON’T CARE.
2. Steer clear of spicy foods. I live in Central America for Christ’s sake!
3. Stop smoking. I don’t smoke…good joke though… Wife to husband, “What if I started smoking?” Husband, “I’d slow down and use more lube.” (Courtesy of my mother…now you get an idea of where my warped sense of humor comes from.)
4. Keep the room temperature cool. There isnt an AC unit big enough and if there was the electric bill would probably give my husband a stroke.
5. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine. Hahahahaha, sooooo not an option.
So far I’m getting by with cool showers, a daily dip in the river, a nifty little cold pack that ties around my neck, a whole lot of iced tea, ice water, and cold pipa juice (the coconut water from young green coconuts known as pipas), and a bedroom fan that, when turned up all the way, could probably propel the space shuttle.
Now I love my husband dearly and he’s been truly supportive through all these life changes both physical and emotional. That being said, if he makes one more play-on-words comment while leering at me seductively about how “hot” I am as I stand there limp, red faced and drenched in a sudden sweat I will have to bitch slap him into next week!
Remember those matching bathtubs and holding hands at sunset? I’m going to go fill mine with ice and enjoy a glass of wine.