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The Hot Flash Queen of East Tennessee Celebrates Fall

Song Lyric of the Day:

I’m too hot (hot damn) / Called a police and a fireman / I’m too hot (hot damn) / Make a dragon wanna retire man / I’m too hot (hot damn)

Mark Ronson (featuring Bruno Mars) / “Uptown Funk

In case you were wondering who the Hot Flash Queen of East Tennessee is, that would be yours truly. Going back at least eight years, I’ve had problems with overheating. An episode of the show The Closer made me paranoid that I had early-onset menopause, which freaked out both me and Rich. That turned out not to be the case, but those blessed (ahem) hot flashes continue to this day.

My general practitioner worked really hard researching different things — and ruling out others — to figure out why I was sweating when it was 30 degrees out. He definitively ruled out some things and referred me to a cardiologist friend who “likes medical mysteries.” All Dr. Heart figured out was (1) my heart was in great shape (yay!) and (2) my internal thermostat was out of whack. He had me take and record my temperature when I felt fine, and then when I felt like I was overheating to compare; on average, my temperature rose about 3 degrees. So it wasn’t just me feeling like I was getting hotter. I then ended up getting referred to an endocrinologist.

Dr. Thyroid, like my GP, definitively ruled out a lot of things and couldn’t precisely diagnose me either. It wasn’t until I had a routine checkup with Dr. Ladyparts that I got some semblance of a diagnosis: Did you know that you could get hot flashes up to 10 years (!!!) before menopause kicks in? When she told me that, all I could think was, well, isn’t that just kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-your-neck fantastic? The course of treatment: Deal with it. And build a yurt/fortress in the backyard Rich and Coraline can retreat to for their own safety once I actually do hit menopause. Which will very likely be earlier than expected. Go figure — I put the “pro” in procrastinate, so of course my body is all, “Surprise! I’m trying to get you into menopause ASAP!”

So after yet another summer spent primarily indoors or running for the cover of shade like when I had to be outdoors — thanks to any day with a temperature above 75 degrees, which was most of them — I’ve been giddy over the cooler temperatures fall has ushered in. GIDDY. We attended a close friend’s wedding in Colorado at the end of August — an outdoor wedding — and I can’t tell you how worried I was that I’d just pass out and/or die of heatstroke that day. Fortunately there were plenty of shady spots on that farm (and endless mojitos), enough to tide me over until the sun started to set. And there was much rejoicing.

I’ll keep enjoying the mild fall temperatures until it gets ridiculously cold this winter, which I will not complain about as much as you’d expect, because it means I won’t be so hot I’ll feel like I’m going to faint. I’ll complain some, but not a lot.

I do mean it, though, about Rich and Coraline having a safe place/panic room to which they can escape when I hit menopause someday (knocking on wood that’s still many years away). Because I’m pretty sure I’m going to turn into one of those women in that Saturday Night Live Annuale commercial. Rich and Coraline are going to need one really big hat to hold the eff onto.

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