I was promised hot flashes.
OK, so maybe it wasn't so much a promise as a threat. Or maybe an ominous warning.
As I sit here waiting for my toes to fall off one by one, because I'm fairly certain my bones have turned to ice and the cold is leeching through the flesh of my little piggies – is that frost forming on my shoes? – a little hot flash is starting to sound good.
I know I should be careful what I wish for. I've heard the horror stories. I've seen the red, sweaty faces. The sudden, desperate self-fanning and shirt flapping. The discreet opening of doors and windows.
And I sympathize. Really. I do. It's just that . . . I can't feel my toes.
I'm not envious. Really, I'm not.
I just want a little of that heat.
Maybe a luke-warm sparkle.
Just enough to put a healthy, pink glow back into my fingers, which have turned white and waxy and numb. A medical website (Canadian. They're experts on cold.) suggests that I can reduce the frequency and intensity of waxy-finger by wearing mittens. Although, I'm not sure how this helps when the cold is coming from the inside of my fingers.
I'm also supposed to decrease stress and anxiety. Nice idea, but I have teenagers. And a husband. And a cat. Stress is my middle name. Really. I had it changed.
And I'm supposed to avoid caffeine.
What good will it do me to be able to feel my fingers if I am cranky and sleepy? Believe me, if I'm cranky, you don't want me to have full control of my fingers. I'll flip you the middle popsicle so fast it will make your head spin.
The internet also assures me (Threatens? Warns?) that my time is coming. Menopause is as inevitable as death and taxes. Today I may have icicles for fingers and frozen stubs for toes, but tomorrow I could be one Hot Mama. Literally.
Anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, foggy thinking, thin hair, moodiness, food cravings, weight gain . . . apparently I have been menopausal all my life.
Or maybe I am just too damn young to fully appreciate all the exciting changes that are waiting for me. (As one friend asked, “How can I have hot flashes and cramps at the same time?”) After all, I'm only what, 29? 35? 42? Nearly fifteeeeeee-ish? Plus? (See: foggy thinking.)
And maybe Mother Nature and Father Time don't use the same alternate math as I do.
So I'll wait.
Over here by the space heater. With my blankie. And my mittens. In July.