I startle awake, shivering. Again. Damp with my own sweat. I look at the clock, 3:22 am. 


In night ninja mode I assess the situation. Damp, yes, but not soaked, and the sheets are okay. I have a towel and replacement PJ’s waiting and I silently mop down my body while changing into fresh pajamas, both of which I have stashed next to the bed. At least I don’t have to wake my husband to change the sheets this time.

Night sweats, a harbinger of menopause. Not exactly my cup of tea.

I shower off every morning, alarmed at how stinky menopause sweat is. 

My coffee is brewing in the kitchen when I emerge, and I’m grateful for it after another nightly awakening. After getting my kids up and started I sit down with my cuppa, just to trigger a hot flash. Clothing flies as I notice the stench of menopause sweat seeping into my robe. My children have eyeroll in full force this morning. Another shower before I even go for my run is a must.

It’s absurd, I agree; I’m absurd. 

Yesterday after bringing my son home from swimming I was in full hangry mode, but even after supper hangry me stuck around, my family must be delighted with me. You know the saying, “When mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” That mom must have been menopausal.

One would think that hot flashes disrupting my coffee would be the worst of it, you know, because coffee. But oh no, there’s more.

My cycles go on for 10 days, and come around about every 20-22 days. Yes, you’re counting right, I’m having what I delicately call “female issues” about 50% of the time. As if having my ladybits draining that often isn’t inconvenient enough, my husband thinks it’s his problem. You have never seen someone so put out as my husband during “female issue” time. You’d think it was his privates that were leaking blood, but no, it’s just that his normally frisky partner is off duty. I try to remind him that he should just be thankful for a normally frisky partner, but he’s pretty sure he’s going to die of abstinence after about 3 days. Believe me, if the abstinence doesn’t kill him, something else might.

I keep Googling “what is a valid reason for a hysterectomy,” hoping that preventing matricide counts, but not a single link supports that as a reason that my insurance would pay for a hysterectomy. 

As my momma always says, “This too shall pass,” but dang, if the hot flashes wouldn’t mess with my coffee it would help.

Alethea Mshar

Alethea Mshar is a mother of four children; an adult child who passed away of a drug overdose, one typical daughter and two sons who have Down syndrome, one of whom has autism spectrum disorder and complex medical needs. She has written "What Can I Do To Help", a guide to stepping into the gap when someone you know has a child diagnosed with cancer, which is available on Amazon, and is publishing a memoir titled, "Hope Deferred". She can be found on Twitter as leemshar, and blogs for The Mighty HuffPost as Alethea Mshar, as well as her own blog, Ben's Writing Running Mom on https://benswritingrunningmom.wordpress.com/. She is also on Facebook as Alethea Mshar, The Writing, Running Mom.