I was out and about downtown a few evenings back when I stopped in at my favorite coffeehouse and got myself a hot cup of java to go.
No sooner had I continued on my jaunt when I started having hot flashes.
Could it merely be July’s balmy 99-degree nighttime temperatures in Phoenix combined with hot coffee — or was it something else?
That’s when a friend commented, “Maybe it’s menopause, dude!”
That was enough to send me into an emotional tailspin I have yet to recover from. I now find myself crying uncontrollably for absolutely no good reason. Oh sweet Jesus, I’m only in my 30s! And a man! Could it really be menopause? Stranger things have happened, you know. The human body is tricky business and doctors don’t know everything.
I knew I needed medical answers, but fast, so went to the most reliable source I know:
After polishing off a gallon of Cherry Garcia ice cream, I logged onto womentowomen.com and took the “Hormonal Health Profile” in order to rule out this menopause thing once and for all.
First, What My Body Was Telling Me –
I have hot flashes or night sweats…
What do you think started this whole business? And if I wasn’t sweating before, I am now.
I have insomnia or disturbed sleep…
If I can sleep four hours straight, I’m lucky. I find I’ve been sleeping even less since this menopause business came up.
I feel very tired, especially in the afternoon…
Only when I’m not napping.
I am irritable, sad or depressed…
Please, don’t get me started again. I’m barely maintaining now and don’t need a statement like this — it only upsets me further.
I feel that I’ve gained weight compared to last year…
I know, for a fact, I’ve gained at least 5 pounds in the last year. Give or take a few pounds.
My interest in sex isn’t what it used to be…
Interest? It’s been so long, I’d be happy to just remember sex much less show an interest.
I crave sweets, carbohydrates or alcohol…
Im to drnk to ty pe write nOW and too BUsY eyeing that boX of chocolates. Let me gt back to u on this ONe.
I suffer from vaginal dryness…
Finally, a “no” answer! Woo-hoo! There’s still hope!
I am forgetful, fuzzy-minded or confused…
I’m sorry, what was that statement again?
I am anxious or have anxiety attacks…
What if this quiz indicates I’m menopausal? Holy crap, what will I do then? Like I don’t have enough to worry about! Please God please… help me.
I have tension headaches or migraines…
All the time. Very painful. But it’s nothing a handful of aspirin, or one well placed bullet, can’t fix.
I feel stiff or achy in my joints, especially in the morning…
“Stiff and Achy” is more or less my motto and way of life.
I sometimes feel overwhelmed or just not myself…
I can’t even answer this one. Too overwhelming. I don’t even have the energy to try.
Next… What Demands I’m Making of My Body -
Are you being treated for any disease or serious condition?
Not currently; but suspect I’ll be treated for menopause quite soon, thank you very much.
Is your work a source of stress for you?
It’s work. Duh!
Do you skip meals or follow popular diet plans?
I often skip meals. Or, as I call it, “forgetting to eat.” As for popular diets, is fast food considered a “popular diet”? If so, then the answer is a resounding YES.
Do you feel overscheduled and rushed?
What’s with all the rapid-fire questioning here? Slow down already!
Are you taking more than one prescription medication?
God, I only wish.
Do you experience a lot of conflict or stress in your relationships?
Only when it gets to the point at which the relationship blows up in my face. So I guess you could say I have “a lot of conflict and stress” at regular intervals… but, otherwise, it’s all good.
Do you have caffeine or soft drinks more than once a day?
Not since I started having hot flashes, I don’t. I’m no fool.
Have you experienced a major trauma or loss in the last 5 years?
Yeah… it’s call “living life”. Look it up, pal.
There were some more questions, but I won’t bore you with the gory details. Suffice to say, in the end I was rated as being at “Very Severe” risk for menopause.
And it didn’t help when I called a gynecologist’s office and the receptionist laughed at me.
“But I have the symptoms,” I stammered,”and my profile indicates I’m at very severe risk…” before breaking into tears.
If there’s a silver lining in all this, I guess it would be… I can have sex without the fear of anybody getting pregnant.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to go cry myself to sleep. I need my four hours, so I can wake up stiff and achy in the morning.