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: :   Your Stories Jackie’s Story – Winter Coat Begone!

Jackie’s Story – Winter Coat Begone!

I have heard that many women mid-hot flash wish for a freezer they could squeeze into. I was very lucky to have just that, except it was the state of Vermont, no squeezing necessary.

I was 51 years old when my first hot flashes started in 1992 on a ski trip to Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, Vermont. Traveling over Christmas week with my husband, son, and his girlfriend, I started sweating and feeling flushed one night at dinner. Feeling seriously overheated, I headed for the door without my coat. Outside it was -5 degrees F. It was a pleasure to feel the frigid air bathe my face. I cooled down and finished dinner.

The hot flashes continued; the temperature dropped. Fortunately, the condo we rented had a terrace. When a hot flash struck, I headed out the terrace door, of course without a coat. We all laughed as, time after time, I headed outdoors for relief. It couldn't have been a better place or time for the onset of hot flashes.

At first, I wasn't sure what was happening. Having had a hysterectomy at 46, I had no changed or missed periods to clue me in. I knew for sure I was in perimenopause. A few hormone tests (FSH factor) showed that my hormone levels were changing. In Vermont, I realized that my estrogen level had dropped enough to say, "Lady, menopause is here."

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