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: :   Your Stories Sarah’s Story – Hot Flashes on a Bus

Sarah’s Story – Hot Flashes on a Bus

When I was 40 I had what was called a partial hysterectomy, the removal of my uterus but not my ovaries. I no longer had periods, but my cycle continued and would do so till I reached my natural menopause. Most of my symptoms were gone, so I was not aware when I would have been bleeding each month.

When I was about 48 my husband and I moved to Hong Kong where we were to be expatriates for a couple of years. After a few months I noticed that my uterus was getting dry and the skin on my arms and legs felt thinner, but I didn't think too much about it. At night I was waking up in the middle of the night, feeling hot, but then again, Hong Kong was hotter than I was used to, and I was prone to waking up to go to the bathroom once in awhile, so it didn't register that my body was making any big changes.

We lived in what was called "mid-levels" which was high above the central part of the city, so our apartment complex used a shuttle bus to bring us back and forth. One day I felt a hot stifling feeling and couldn't open the window of the bus. By the time I got it open, the feeling was gone. These flashes became more regular and closer together. It felt like I couldn't breathe when I was having them, though they ended rather quickly. I mentioned my symptoms to an older friend and she referred me to her gynecologist there. Sure enough, he said I was going through menopause and gave me a prescription for an estrogen patch. Before I used it, I went to a meeting about the consequences of using estrogen and made a decision that I would use it for a few years and then see if I still had symptoms. I felt better and the flashes subsided.

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