Describing a hot flush as a ‘sensation of warmth’ just doesn’t cut the mustard, when we know there are woman utterly blindsided by their first attack.
You say hot flash, we say hot flush!
The standard description of the British hot flush is a sudden feeling of feverish heat. In the United States they are more commonly known as a hot flash and described as temporary but recurring episodes of flushing with a sensation of warmth or heat.
What we can all agree on, is for the 75% of women affected during the perimenopause, they can be deeply unsettling, distressing and, on occasion, make life darn near impossible. Women experiencing an abrupt decline in oestrogens often suffer the worst.
So, fans at the ready, we’ve scoured forums and the blogosphere to share the most descriptive accounts of a hot flush on the web. If you are going through hell with hot flushes you may find a little comfort in knowing you are not alone.
And for the lucky ones… read on and be better prepared to help; turn the heating down, keep a spare ice pack at home (and at work) and cover for your girlfriends when they need you too!
We’ve got your back! #WomenRock
Darcey Steinke on wanting to kill the menopause
“Hot flashes are inner apocalypses, singeing the body and the brain. During my first volcanic night sweat, a chaotic force moved through me. Heat rose, busting through the top of the thermometer, and swept through my body like the special effect I’d once seen on the set of a horror movie. Flames spread through a wire and rose up encircling a cabin. It was horrible, but also exquisite. Finally, I thought, God was going to communicate with me physically. Like a biblical character, I felt overwhelmed, scared, and sublime.”
Read the full article, What Menopause Taught Me, on NYMag.com for a wonderfully raw account with a surprisingly uplifting conclusion.
Lesley Grant Timmins on threading a moving needle
“My first hot flush started with a chill, followed by a roaming band of heat that crawled up my legs to my back, all the way to my scalp. Soon I was drenched in sweat. Within the next few months the pattern took hold, repeating every half-hour to 45 minutes, interrupting every daytime activity and, worse, sleep.”
Read the full blog, Confessions of a hot flush queen, on Alive.com
Girlywhirly answering a plea for help on Mumsnet
“My flushes feel like the blast of heat you get when stepping into a hot sauna, except that the heat is from your inside! I don’t seem to break into a sweat though. The ‘heat’ lasts for about 30-40 secs and subsides. I know what you mean about the duvet! I push the duvet on and off and stick a leg out at the side. DH and I have only a 4.5 tog duvet all winter. I think my neck sweats most at night. In my case, I am interested to note that these ‘flushes’ disappear when a period is due, for a couple of weeks before and after, although this is only twice a year now (age 51).”
Read the full discussion, Please describe a hot flush to me, on Mumsnet.com
Skinny And Single on how the bitch turned
“The wonder of going from cold to roasting in an instant. The wonder of bleeding through 17 layers of cotton, two towels and a mattress. The wonder of my new beard. That’s cool though, people have a new beard fetish lately, I’m good to go. I guess I’m just old, I’m going grey and getting deep wrinkles. I have random pains and the occasional limp. But hey, when I was 23, I had problems too, I’d rather be here, any day. This shit’s a breeze, I got this. PS: I just want my armpits to dry.”
Read the blog, Rest In Peace To My Uterus, on Skinny And Single
Barbara Younger on hot flashes at school
“I could barely respond. I was standing there, in the middle of the circle of students–my favorite format for conducting class– trying to keep my “cool” and remember what I was doing there. I had felt a hot flash mounting up my legs from the very bottom of my feet, increasing temperature as it ascended, until it got to its highest tension in my face and head. It then erupted in visible sweat that flashed my face and made my neck and armpits moist. It was a power surge indeed, and my face was red as a tomato and my consciousness astral travelling. When I was able to finally come back to my senses, I sat down in front of twenty faces that looked at me in horror. And then I calmly said: “It’s a hot flash!”
Read the rest of the blog to find out how she got coped through the class in Friend For The Ride
We’d love to hear more personal descriptions of a hot flush. Have you read one that should be included on our list. Can you share your own experience of a hot flush with us?
September is Menopause Awareness month and we’d really like to get the message out – no more suffering alone. Sharing experiences and tips can and do help.
If you’d like to contribute please leave a comment below.