Hot Flash Awareness Day – The Lost Holiday

A preface to my post:

bald guy head on fireI want to thank Kathy for giving me the forum to cure my mind with what I call “giggle therapy” as the doctors cure my body with a combination of radiation and hormone therapies. The hormone therapy is causing hot flashes as a side effect and it’s why Kathy has asked me to periodically write for her web site.

 Hot Flash Awareness Day…The Lost Holiday

                                                                                                 By Jon Weinstein

The other night I was looking through my calendar to see what I had accomplished in the past couple of months to help set my goals for the coming months and saw that luckily I had remembered my mother’s birthday on November 6th, forgot Remembrance Day on November 11th and I didn’t know that November 19th was World Toilet Day (I swear that I’m not making that up. If you don’t believe me, google it). How do you celebrate World Toilet Day anyway? Do you exchange toilet tissue and hand sanitizer? Do you send a card with a picture of a toilet on front and when you open the card written on the inside it says, “HAPPY WORLD TOILET DAY – COME POOP AT MY PLACE!”

Anyway, that started me looking through the calendar for other important events I didn’t want to miss in the coming months. I found Secretaries Day, Ground Hog Day, Boxing Day, Guadalupe Day and a myriad of other special days, but, nowhere could I find Hot Flash Awareness Day. Certain that my calendar was missing the month that contained Hot Flash Awareness Day, I counted the months contained in my calendar and much to my dismay, there were indeed 12 months. I immediately jumped in my car and drove to The Calendar Store at Monmouth Mall only to find that all of their calendars contained 12 months and none of those months recognized Hot Flash Awareness Day as a holiday. Could it be that there is no such thing as Hot Flash Awareness Day? I hope not.

If ground hogs can be honored for being afraid of their own shadows, hot flashers should at least be recognized for the odd times hot flashes occur. For example, last Wednesday I awoke to 12″ of snow and a temperature of 11 degrees. I dressed to face the weather and as I stepped out of the door I had a hot flash. Not only did the timing piss me off, it was followed by a sudden urge to don a “Speedo” bathing suit, a Jimmy Buffet style Hawaiian print shirt with colorful parrots sipping margaritas in salt rimmed glasses, then dive into the snow and make snow angels. And what makes this even more bizarre (as if the thought of a 61 year old, slightly over-weight, rather hairy man in a Speedo and unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt making snow angels isn’t bizarre enough) is I don’t even like Jimmy Buffet!

I certainly don’t want Jimmy Buffet or his “parrot-head” followers to take this little tirade of mine personally. It’s the hormone therapy. In addition to hot flashes, the hormone therapy causes mood swings. So, to make amends to Jimmy Buffet and his minions, as soon as I finish writing this, I’m going to down-load a bunch of Jimmy Buffet songs and place them on my “favorites” list……..probably not.

However, I think mood swings will be the topic of my next post. I already have an idea for it – In 1960 Paul Anka recorded an old standard, “I’m In The Mood For Love” and put it on his album entitled “Swing For Young Lovers”.  This gave me the idea to title my upcoming post about mood swings, “I’m In The Mood For Love…Hate…Love…Hate…Love…Hate” and put it in a written collection called “Mood Swings For Old Men Receiving Hormone Therapy”.

To get back to the task at hand – making Hot Flash Awareness Day a national holiday. I urge all of you hot flashers out there to write or email your congressman or congresswoman asking them if they could find it in their hearts to make Hot Flash Awareness Day a recognized day of celebration. It could easily be tied into World Toilet Day because when most people have a hot flash their faces get flushed.

You non flashers out there may see Hot Flash Awareness Day as a ridiculous notion, but you have to realize that what is or isn’t ridiculous is all relative. Ten months ago the thought of me having hot flashes was ridiculous. Now it’s not so ridiculous.

The other day I saw a man with a shaved head and a full beard complete with side-burns running up along his ears. I stared at him for a moment and thought…his head looks like it’s on upside-down. Now that’s ridiculous.

 

 

My Sex Life, Oreo Cookies and Hot Flashes

bald guy head on fireFor those of you that don’t know me, I’m 6’ tall, have long wavy brown hair, I’m known around town as “that cool guy” and can usually be found in the presence of a beautiful blond.
For those of you who do know me, you know that’s a lie! I’m 5’7”, bald, suffering with hot flashes and the blond I’m usually seen with is my neighbor’s golden retriever, Sidney – who is in love with my right leg and deems it necessary to demonstrate the depth of his devotion to my right leg every time he sees me.

Aside from Sidney’s amorous advances, being 5’ 7”, periodically perspiring for no apparent reason and being bald tends to preclude me from the “babe magnet” status I think I might enjoy. There isn’t much I can do about my height and the hot flashes will hopefully “burn” themselves out. However, I do have a choice when it comes to being bald – Propecia. Back in the late 1990’s Propecia was a new drug being prescribed for male pattern baldness. But there were possible side effects listed in the brochure that weren’t too thrilling: “a small number of men (2%) experienced certain sexual side effects. These men reported the following: less desire for sex…or sexual dysfunction” I knew that being one of the “small number of men” would be a large price to pay for a full head of hair. However the odds were in my favor. There was a 98% chance I could end up a 5’ 7” hairy “babe magnet” who desires sex and functions properly.

I started losing my hair when I was 18 and it seems that as my hairline got higher, the number of women I met got lower. I don’t know the exact ratio of women I haven’t met with the number of hairs lost, but last Saturday night when I was sitting home – alone – eating Oreo cookies and watching Hamlet on A&E, it sure seemed to be a significant number. “To be or not to be: that is the question.”… Oh Please! “To Propecia or not to Propecia?”… Now that’s a question! Well, instead of risking my libido I chose to stay bald, have an okay social life and risk getting fat from Saturday night Oreo binges.

The reason I’m bringing this up is, I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and am at a stage of treatment where it is necessary to receive hormone treatments. The irony of the whole thing is that the side effects of the hormone therapy are the same as the side effects of Propecia with hot flashes thrown in – and there’s not a new hair on my head to show for it! I’m sure Propecia is still available, but who the hell wants to be a 5′ 7″ hairy “babe magnet” with hot flashes and no libido. Patrick Henry once said, “Give me liberty or give me death!” and I’m saying, “Give me Oreos if you are going to give me hot flashes!” And speaking of Oreos, there are two schools of thought on the proper way to eat an Oreo. Some Oreo eaters (myself included) just start chomping away savoring the taste of the creamy center as it mixes with the crunchy texture of the chocolate cookies. Then there are the annoying Oreo eaters who take the time to meticulously separate the two cookies exposing the creamy center, eat the exposed creamy center and save the two chocolate cookie pieces for last…give me a break! – just eat the damn cookie.

If you choose to respond to this post, no lewd comments about Sidney and me please – he’s not my type, gender preference or species.

Submitted by: Jon Weinstein

PS – Kathy and I have been friends since the mid 70’s. I have cherished that friendship and I’m honored to be the first male to post my thoughts (bizarre as they may be) on her blog.
PPS – If any of you “flashionistas” out there know of anyone struggling with prostate cancer and its side effects, feel free to have them contact me through Kathy’s blog. I have found that, as supportive and loving as family and friends can be, communicating with someone who is going through the same thing helps tremendously.

Birthing a book

Oh, the village it took to help me get my book out into the world! As many of you know, I have worked on my labor of love “Hot Flashes Cool Insights – Your Fashion, Beauty, Health & Mindset Guide to Menopause” for 2 years now. She’s ready! The official launch date of the book will be Thursday, September 26th.

I am filled with joy and, yes, a little trepidation too. I hope you love her as much as I do.The process of putting together a project and then sending it out into the world is a daunting one. It’s also liberating to wrap it up and present it to the masses.

I had no idea when I started the book how many changes it would put me through. The clear days of creative flow as well as the stormy days of creative doubt. I suppose it’s the nature of the feast we dine on when we decide that we must feed our creative soul.

I am still digesting the full impact of why the cover design proved to be such a hurdle for me. The end result is beautiful! The start of the process was unsettling for me. It is not my intent to disparage, in any way, the talent of the first two graphic designers I hired. They are very talented people indeed. Its just that we were not on the same page about conveying my vision. I seriously started to doubt myself and was, in fact, even told that I was not communicating clearly and didn’t know what I wanted. What I wanted was a creative collaborator who “got me” and understood the underlying message of my mission. Someone who could convey via imagery how I wanted women to feel when they see the book.

The significance of how important the cover was to me started to reveal itself. It was representative of how I present myself to the world. I ended up with my photo on the cover, not because of ego, but because I couldn’t find a “stock photo” of a woman in menopause that was well represented. They were all frumpy, grumpy angry looking women. You can read more about this in the final chapter of my book.

I swear I could write a book about what it’s like to write a book! To put together the final pieces, i.e. the cover design, asking for endorsements and the courage to simply say “it’s done, it’s ready, it may not be perfect, but it’s done” was like running the last half of the marathon.  Overcoming the three-headed monster aka fear, doubt, insecurity is character building of that I am certain.

And, so my dearest Hot Flashionistas, I humbly ask for your support and your spirited celebration as I birth my book. May she serve you well.

 

 

Laugh your flash off!

Making fun of menopause is essential to getting through it without losing your mind. Keeping a sense of humor is vital to our overall health. Laughter is like nature’s Neosporin. It helps with blood pressure, stress management and so much more! Here are some of my favorite ways to giggle and guffaw.

  • Watch a funny movie, TV show or Youtube video.
  • Go the card store and read some funny cards.
  • Read a comedienne’s book or biography.

How do you laugh it off? Leave a hot comment below. Your cool insight could be the answer to someone’s prayers!

Menopause and Depression

Is there a direct correlation between menopause and depression? Last week we talked about banishing the blues. We all experience occasional funks. But, if those blues turn into a dark cloud that just won’t go away, we might be in full blown depression. If that’s the case, it’s time to seek help. Remember, you are the expert on you! Talk to your doctor in a clear and strong voice about finding options and solutions that are right for you.

  • Talk therapy is a great option
  • Retail therapy is a close second
  • If you need medication, there is no shame in that! Do what’s right for you.
  • Check your hormones (you knew I was going to say that, right?!)

You are not alone. Learn more about how other women handle menopause and depression. Watch the Hot Flash Havoc two minute trailer and then stream the movie for the big picture on how you can start feeling better now! You will be enlightened, informed and entertained!

Leave a hot comment below. Your cool insight could be the answer to someone’s prayers!

Banish the Blues

What can you do to pull yourself out of a funk, aside from downing a fistful of mood stabilizers? When our hormones fluctuate like crazy, it can be very disconcerting to wake up in the morning and battle the blues. Especially when the blues seem to come out of nowhere. Everything seemed glorious the day before. And, then for some ungodly reason, you are faced with a new day where you have to restrain yourself from biting someone’s head off. And, that jerk that cuts you off on the highway, they better look out, right?! We all have days when we are just ready to pull our hair out. What’s a girl to do?

  • Pull the covers over your head and stay in bed. I know, I know, we don’t always have that luxury. But I do hope sometime that you give yourself permission to do just that. The world won’t fall off its axis if you take a day for yourself.
  • Take inventory of your diet and exercise. Are you eating well? Are you working out, not killing yourself, but enough to burn off some stress?
  • Call a girlfriend. Sometimes talking it out is the best remedy. Bitch for 5, let it go. Have a laugh and a giggle.
  • Are your hormones balanced? Ask your doc to check your progesterone level. For some women, progesterone acts as a calming hormone. It might help.
  • Acceptance is the key. Feelings come and go. This too shall pass. These are not empty platitudes, but the facts of life, my dear.

How do you pull yourself out of a funk? Please leave a hot comment below. Your cool insight could be exactly what someone else needs to hear!

Stripes, Checks, and Imbalances

Wouldn’t it be fun sometime to have a mismatch party? When we can all let go of any fashion rules and wear whatever we want. Imagine being in a roomful of women who have given up the “perfect outfit” look for something totally outside of the box. Kind of like an ugly Christmas sweater party. Let’s face it women dress for other women. We all love seeing fashion on our friends and finding a new way to wear something. What if for one night we all wore things that didn’t match at all? We didn’t care about “looking good” it was more about having fun and being mismatch crazy! Not matching anything at all. Wearing things that would never, ever go together. How fun that would be!

One day, our neighbors little girl Frances knocked on our door to deliver the Girl Scout cookies we had ordered. I noticed she was wearing a cowboy boot on one foot and a sandal on the other. She was also wearing a blue tutu with a green and yellow striped top. She had a pigtail on one side of her head and not the other. Everything was out of balance. I asked her “Frances, how come you are wearing 2 different shoes?” She replied, “Its mismatch day at school and we get to do whatever we want.”She was so lit up about it. I thought how fun. I thought how insane it would seem if I or anyone else over 50 tried to do that. We would get locked up! That’s when I decided it would be a great idea for a party. Who’s with me?

“Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.”
—Jean Cocteau

 

Are You in Danger of a Hostile Makeover

When we talk about fashion, it is not about looking perfect all the time. We don’t need to over think what we wear to the bank or the grocery store, right? But, we can still look pulled together when we are dressed casually. It’s simple, keep it simple. If you are going to wear your yoga clothes when you are running in and out of Target, Home Depot and Petco, at least wear good shoes. Whether it’s practical ballet flats or nice clean running shoes; wear something decent. Whatever it takes to feel pulled together; it’s always better than feeling like you are falling apart. A little lip gloss couldn’t hurt either. I support you in looking and feeling your best no matter what. However, if you are caught wearing the occasional, inadvisable dirty old sweatpants out in public, I may be compelled to perform a hostile makeover. And, please for the love of cleanliness is next to godliness, check for stains. Carry a Tide-to-go stick in your purse, gym bag and car.

Being well dressed is a beautiful form of politeness.

 
Coming up next week…stripes, checks and imbalances. Stay tuned!

Big Exciting News!

Hey Hot Flashionistas!

As your Chief Mojo Officer, I am putting together some major fun stuff to motivate, inform, and entertain you. Check this out!

Every Monday, we will feature our newest member of the Hyster-Sisterhood of the Traveling T-Shirt. You will have a chance to read how the T-Shirt campaign helped her on her journey to becoming uterus-less.

Every Tuesday, a new blog article on our website will entice, amaze and astound you! All right, maybe that’s a lot to live up to, but I will darn sure try. Can I get a high five?!

Every Wednesday, whoa….are you ready for this? You’ve been asking for it and I’m delivering. Dress Hot Like Me will be a picture of my favorite Flashionista fashion tips; where I get them and how to wear them. Cool, right?

Every Thursday, the Health & Hormone Q & A will address your questions, concerns and conundrums about this crazy little thing called menopause.

Every Friday, we’re gettin’ juicy with it! T.G.I.F.F. – Thank God It’s Frisky Friday will bring you tantalizing tidbits to use when channeling your Supercoolhotflashlovething.

There you have it. Now, I’d love to stay and chat, but I’ve got some work to do! Check in. Stay tuned. You rock!

Out of the Closet

Did you know that 80% of the time, we wear only 20% of what’s in our closet? We hold onto things much longer than we should. We keep thinking we will wear them again, but we don’t. Maybe we think we’ll lose the weight and it will fit better in a few months. Maybe we have an emotional attachment to a particular piece of clothing. Like the gorgeous green dress we were wearing the night we met our husband? So what if that was 17 years ago, right? Does it fit and flatter you now, darling? That is the question.

It’s important to do an inventory. If your closet is filled with things that fit and flatter you, then it should be easy to pick something out. You should love everything in there! If you don’t, rethink it. And, organize your pieces, otherwise it’s not only confusing; but time consuming when selecting your outfit. Hang all your skirts together, your blouses together, jackets together, etc. It’s much easier that way.

Here’s a great tip – do the hanger trick – turn it around; if you haven’t worn it in awhile; let it go. Get rid of the old to make room for the new. In fact, make it a habit to donate an old piece for every new piece you bring in. I know that sounds extreme, but trust me it works. Remember the 80/20% rule. That blue blouse you’ve been hanging onto may no longer serve you; but I guarantee the woman who finds it in the consignment/thrift shop will be thrilled! One woman’s old treasure is another woman’s new one. If you need a closet intervention, call me — I can help. I’m here for you, sister!

I like my money right where I can see it…hanging in my closet.”
—Carrie Bradshaw

 
Coming up next week…..are you in danger of a hostile makeover? Find out.