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"all they found were wet ashes around the drain."


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i knew these things came with the territory. i'm not a newbie at this, i've been doing it for six years now. i am speaking of hot flashes.
by hot flashes, i don't mean just feeling a bit warm and wishing there was something cool to drink. i don't mean temperatures outdoors reaching somewhere above 80 degrees and feeling the heat from that. i mean full-on, roasting on a spit in the seventh layer of hell burning from the inside out hot flashes. the kind of hot flashes women in menopause have. i qualified for the honor of hot flashes when i was 29.
i had a total hysterectomy; nothin' left at all. no ovaries. no reproductive organs whatsoever. the upside of this is HEY! no more cramps and all the fabulous trappings of what comes along with cramps. i feel i need not elaborate...
the downside to a hysterectomy: well, there are several, actually. the most bothersome however, has always been the hot flashes. i don't have them as often as i did the first couple of years after my hysterectomy; i actually can't quite remember the last one i had, until today.
i was sitting at my desk at work, feeling completely fine, then out of nowhere, it felt like the heat had been turned on in the building. then within about twenty seconds, i was bright red - and i mean bright red, and felt as if i had eaten fire, and was now sitting in a furnace next to shadrach, meshach & abednego.
i immediately wanted to be NAKED, which wasn't an option there at work. it almost didn't matter to me that it wasn't an option, because i nearly stripped down to my birthday suit right then and there. i immediately started fanning myself like a crazy person and patting my face with the ice water from the styrofoam cup i was drinking from. i was trying to get some air between my t-shirt and my skin, when one of my co-workers turned to me and, noticing how red i was, shouted "HEY, KOOL-AID!"
for those too young to remember the old kool-aid commercials, here's a visual reference.
there was raucous laughter from my co-workers of the male gender. the women weren't laughing. they knew. even the women who still have all their parts, and haven't had even a single hot flash in their lives; they knew because it's the stuff of legends amongst women. they knew that i was having a hot flash and that to me at least, it was no laughing matter. it seriously feels like you're knock knock knocking on heaven's door. i always imagine that what i'm having isn't really a hot flash, but the beginnings of spontaneous human combustion, and the newspaper headline will say something like "all they found were wet ashes around the drain".
i haven't spontaneously combusted as of yet, but i always worry just a little bit that one day i'll end up in one of those time-life books about bizarre and unexplained human phenomena. i'll be "case study: melissa mcgee - the hot flash that went horribly awry."
it took about ten minutes to regain my normal, regular paper-white skin tone again, but i felt all grody and greasy and sweaty after all of my sweat glands had gone into hyper-active mode. i drank ice water as if it was the last i'd ever get. i went to the ladies' room and toweled off a little bit and brought several wet paper towels back to my desk with me.
in short, hot flashes make me pretty.
but i'm saving a fortune on tampons.


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  • I'm melissa mcgee
  • From Temple, Texas, United States
  • photographer. singer. soapcrafter. herbalist. dogmom. godmother. fantastic cook. i kiss better than i cook. [all photographs on this blog copyright melissa mcgee unless otherwise noted.]
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