Monday, November 08, 2010

Menopausal Misnomer

I see from my PubMed searches that the medical community is now calling hot flashes hot flushes.  I approve the change.  I didn't recognize my first hot flashes for what they were, because of that word flashFlash, streak, lightning, glare, dazzle, instant, split second.  This is what hot flash implies.

Sela Allen

But what actually happens is a gradual heating-up and cooling-down of the head and chest lasting a few minutes.  When I first noticed the change, I thought I was getting a fever, since my face got flushed, "But, no, it's better now.  Uh oh, it's back."  Finally I had the hot-flash-ah-ha moment. 

The above graphic makes the process clear:  hormonal flux trips the on switch of the Heating Element, which slowly heats to its maximum, then turns off.

You can buy all sorts of items claiming "They're not hot flashes, they're power surges."  I don't know why a power surge is better.  Perhaps the word power is felt to be so good, that it hardly matters that power surges blow out your electronics, and that you buy surge protectors against them. The promoters of that slogan probably are thinking of something like Sela Allen pictured above; but real menopause is not like that.
Menopause tchotchkes are fine; I have several myself.  But they shouldn't  be too silly.  We are old enough to know better!

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