Saturday, August 24, 2013

Honeysuckle and Hot Flashes

In which I whine and ask for advice. (Not a very good opening line, is it?  Please don't go.)

First, here's my outfit.


I'm looking at my honeysuckle. It was very healthy earlier in the season, but now it looks like this.

It looks like it's covered with little bugs, but they never move so it might be some other kind of blight. I've cut off the affected buds, hoping it doesn't spread. Since I'm not a gardener and I tend to fall asleep if I read about gardening, I'm asking your advice. Does anyone know what this is and what I should do? The entire plant looks like it's dying - is that just a seasonal thing, because it seems like it did this last fall.

Now back to the clothes.

shirt - Target; belt - Wally Mart; skirt - Old Navy; shoes - Born

This skirt doesn't feel like a summer skirt so I haven't worn it for awhile, but the days are drawing in now. I can still wear it bare-legged, but I'm making the transition to autumn with a black shirt and animal pelts (suede leopard-print sneakers and a faux snakeskin belt). Kind of an urban cavewoman hipster vibe, don't you think?

Now the really whiney part.

Hot flashes are driving me mad!!!! They started a year and a half ago, and I am so tired of them. They come almost every hour. Yes, almost every hour in the day. At night I can usually get four hours of sleep before it hits me, but never more than that. They're probably worse this year because we've had consistently hot weather since May, which is pretty unusual, and it's been warmer at night, too.

I'm taking Estroven (herbal), green tea capsules, and Evening Primrose Oil. I almost always wear cotton, in layers so I can peel them off. I'm never far from a fan, either electric or hand. But it's not enough!

I hesitate to do HRT because my mother had breast cancer, likely from being on HRT for five years without proper monitoring. But maybe a low dose would be okay, for a few months, until I regain my sanity. Or maybe I'll be able to cope when the weather gets cooler. Anybody want to talk about their experiences with hot flashes/flushes? I'd love to know how other women have handled them. But don't even suggest giving up coffee, chocolate or wine - my life is built on those three pillars.

I wasn't going to write about hot flashes because it seemed too personal, but mine are so obvious lately! I've become pretty open about it with everyone - although I still try not to embarrass the younger guys at work. Saying the words "hot flash" to the young men in IT is a sure path to unresolved computer issues as they try to avoid me.

 Time to link up with Spy Girl's 52 Pick-me-up. This week it's - you guessed it - stripes!

And I'll be over at Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.

Have a good week!



Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

Oh, dearest are a trooper for coping with such a high frequency of hot flashes. As someone that works in the natural health field, I can say that there are natural herbs and supplements that can help to varying degrees, but what works for one woman may not work for another. I'm not sure what product lines are available in your region, or in the US, but some are very helpful. Do you have Lorna Vanderhaeghe's Menosmart +? It's helpful for a lot of women. Having said that, and you don't want to hear this...I went on a very brief elimination diet and quickly found that chocolate, red wine, black and green tea, ginger, and dairy were the major food contributors to hot flashes. I was eating a small amount of dark chocolate every day, and drinking chai teas. I was also eating a lot of dairy in the form of cheese, and I adore red wine. I only drink decaf coffee, and that isn't an issue for me. When I took these lovely foods out of my diet, I had zero hot flashes. None! That was many, many months ago. The good news is that I now can have these foods on occasion. Yes, they will often trigger a single hot flash for me, shortly after eating or drinking. As long as I don't overdo it, my body quickly comes back into balance.

If you're still reading, and not mad at me...I must compliment you on your cute outfit today. Perfect for a gentle transition towards fall.

Your honeysuckle does not look happy. Take a cutting to your local garden center and ask them for a natural solution to the problem.


ann wood said...

This sounds like a pain and a serious life style crunch. I've been following a nutrition plan by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. They do a podcasts called "Dishing Up Nutrition" that I download. I remember one on Hot Flashes you might be interested in. The premise of this plan is keeping your blood sugar in balance thus reducing the inflammation response. I didn't have many hot flashes but eating this way has made be feel great and lost 20 pounds without a starvation diet. I was looking for a way of eating to reduce my risk of heart disease. They are located here in MN and do consultations by Skype.

blue hue wonderland

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Oh I feel for you Val and I feel for your honeysuckle too. Any advice I try to give you relating to menopausal symptoms would be me talking out of my arse so I'm afraid that until I face that hurdle, I not gonna pretend I have an answer. But I do have hugs. Are the honeysuckle pics on your blog background the same bush you're having trouble with? If so it's a sad plant for sure at the moment ... I'm wondering if it's facing north? If so, probably needs more sun and it could be subject to more mildew type fungi infestations if it's not bathed in rays all day. xoxo

pastcaring said...

Desiree might be right about mildew (we're talking honeysuckle here, not you) especially if the plant hasn't had enough water in hot conditions (as is often the case in my garden, I am a terribly lazy waterer!) It needs plenty of water-retaining mulch around the base, I hope it survives.
As for the hot flushes, I am not quite there yet although I feel I am on the brink, so I can't help with any advice from personal experience. I can only offer sympathy and hope it improves without the loss of coffee, chocolate or cheese!
Love the stripey skirt with the leopard print shoes, you look great! Now go and embarrass those IT boys with your menopausal talk! xxxxx

sabine said...

Oh, Val, hot spots and sweating I know too. In the first three years I thought I can bear it, being lucky to have no other harms. But in third summer I was so irritated that I asked my gynecologist for a remedy. Herbal medicine did not help. Now I use a hormone gel for already two years now. I can dose it by myself and use it only when it is necessary. For me that was the solution, but I surely know hormones are not the end of all solutions. Best it that it will end some day.
You look fabulous in your striped outfit, very classy!

Cathie said...

Ooh, hot flashes are annoying! I have them pretty bad right now, but sometimes they will subside for several weeks. I haven't done any research on what to eat or not, and I don't take anything specifically to "treat" them. I take multivitamins mostly to get calcium and iron, vitamin E every other day, lysine to prevent cold sores, and glu-chon tablets for joint support.

So I cant give any advice on how to prevent or cure hot flashes. I've told my husband that they really drain me but I don't know if being tired gives me more hot flashes, or if having more makes me tired on those days?

I try to always have a fan or large greeting card (one way to enjoy the cards you receive longer) close and use them often to fan myself. I wear layers, too, and put on and take off my cardigan or jacket at work 15 times a day.

Interestingly, I also seem to have cold flashes, and have learned not to cover up too quickly because it is usually followed by a hot flash! Most annoying is always having a hot flash right after I am totally ready for work so acquiring a nice sheen of perspiration over my newly showered and made up self. Ugh!

I am a runner, so used to sweating, but the flashes are still no fun. But I an willing to put up with them as a minor health nuisance and am thankful I am otherwise able and have energy to do what I like, with no limitations due to health.

Sympathy to you, but as you see, I am no help even if in the same boat.

Love your summer outfit, you look terrific!

Dawn Elliott said... flashes...I use "Hot Flash" tablets, and they help, but don't really eliminate my episodes all together. It's "natural" so I like that part. I like red wine, too, and it definitely makes me hot...but it's worth it!
You look so cute...and that's saying a lot for someone who shies away from stripes!
P.S. Sorry about your honeysuckle...I know nothing!!!

Connie said...

Well. I don't know about hot flashes (I drink lots of ice water) or plants (I give them water, too) but I do know that I love your outfit. Adorable pre fall look. Have you seen "Menopause. The Musical"? If you ever get a chance to see it you must! We are not alone.

Helga! said...

Wish I could help with both the honeysuckle AND the flashes!!!
Being on the verge on menopause, I have noticed I'm generally just hotter, and I am dreading the flashes.....I so hope you can get some relief, lovely.

Shybiker said...

My wife Robin used to get hot flashes frequently and to great discomfort. I found the perfect solution to them -- ice bar!

Lynn Marsh said...

Not trying to be flippant about something so miserable, but it seems each of us goes thru it, but not always the same way. And it does end...honestly. I myself thought I would escape it because I had had a hysterctomy when I was in my early forties. But alas, mother nature decided to "bless"? me with this rite of passage when I hit my 50's. Nights were the worse times for me. So, I stayed near fans and since I didnt want to take any thing and just rode it out.
On a happy note, I like this outfit. The shoes I honestly am not sure about, butreally like the top and bottom together. Wish I could wear a belt, really adds to the outfit.

Adrienne Shubin said...

I am not there yet - at least not hourly or even daily flashes so I am no help except to say, Poor You! Sounds miserable. But on a brighter note, you look great and that skirt is fantastic!

Hollie "Jet" Black-Ramsey said...

my husband thinks your honeysuckle has a fungus. He said to fill a spray bottle full of water and ass... dang, I mean ADD like four or five drops of Dawn dish washing liquid to it and spray down your plant. He said it. Not me. So if it doesn't work... please don't sue.

Une femme said...

I don't have any suggestions for hot flashes, but do find the "cool nights" pajamas from Soma seem to compensate for fluctuations in my internal thermostat.

WendyB said...

My mother took HRT and was diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer (she's fine) and for years I was alarmed about that, but now I think the reporting on HRT was really poorly done and that the wrong women -- much older, post-menopausal women -- were included in the alarmist "it will kill you" report. I think I would definitely consider HRT if I need it for quality of life reasons!

Anonymous said...

Love the outfit, love your whole look, hair included. You did a good job pulling off the sneaker with dress look.

Patti said...

I don't know from garden blight, but I've had periods of blasting hot flashes (much fewer now that I'm 58 - so there's that!) I found vitamin E caps, 200 mg a day, helpful. I didn't try hormones as all the scary headlines were coming out right then! Red wine does bring them on but I don't care, I am not giving up my Merlots. Best to you on this, and thanks for sharing with Visible Monday!

Ariane Lasalle said...

My hot flashes are going slowly,TG! they are not as bad as they were a couple of years ago MG! - IT started at 50, i'm now 53 - I had nausea and migraines with my hotflashes, but don't have that anymore - Thank the Lord i tell you, that was painful!

Ok now, I will tell you what i took to relieve hot flashes, and i still drank, coffee, wine and ate dark chocolate!
I drank sage! a good herborist will carry it, taste awfull but it works! - 3 cups a day - After that, i took sage tincture, that worked great and better than drinking sage - Now that i have less hot flashes i take an herbal pills composed of Valerian,Orange Spearmint, Calendula, Grape vine, rasberry leaf, sage, Rose hip and linden tree -
Exercice is excellent too, i do yoga, 2x a week soon 3x, it helps a lot !

I found hot flashes were worst at change of seasons - I don't know why

Don't despair! it will get better!

Love your outfit, very cheeky!


Tamera Wolfe said...

Honey--they aren't hot flashes--they are power surges!!

Ugh--the reason I HATE summer because nothing is more miserable than flashing when its 100 degrees out!!

I'm avoiding any HRT as my mom is a breast cancer survivor who was on HRT for years.

Love the outfit!! You flash because you're HOT!!

Tami Von Zalez said...

I am into about Year Five of the miserable-ality of hot flashes. My power surges sometimes happen as frequent as every 15 minutes. It is enough to drive you frickin crazy!

Secret Squirrel said...

Love this look! The strong colour blocking looks great.

I am in my early 30's, but have been having hot flushes (do you call them flashes in the US?) as night sweats and when I do exercise. My doctor prescribed antihistamines, not overly helpful as it just masked the issue. However, my acupuncturist, who also specialises in chinese medicine thinks it is do with a food allergy - she recommended white rather than red wine, and chrysthamen (spelling?) tea. You can buy a big bag of chrys flower heads at chinese supermarkets. It tastes really nice and I think it is helping. Also the acupuncture of course - you could try that?

Zalina Walton said...

First of all, I love the outfit. It makes me want to go out and buy a striped skirt. Really!

Second of all, thank you for your honesty. That's not being too personal, it's letting us know you are normal, and we are normal. I think the more we share, the more it will help everyone; me you and others.

Thank you,

Sandy said...

Please consider discussing HRT with your physician. As another commentor noted the original studies claiming HRT "bad" may have been flawed. I had a hysterectomy at 40 and was on HRT until 60. Those were the best 20 years of my life! So far, no cancer but I am aware it is a possibility.

Megan Gann said...

Lovely skirt!

I started getting hot flashes at 21! They're miserable, but they're a better side effect than the psychosis of my last medication.

Sheila said...

I adore that skirt - it would look amazing with red too.

I've been having night sweats a lot, and my right armpit has hot flashes (the left is strangely fine). And I work in IT too - those poor guys, lol.

Marla Robinson said...

I love the combination of black and camel. So pretty.

The Style Crone said...

I am past the hot flash era, but empathize with your experience. I was on HRT for a time, but stopped as soon as the research came out that it could kill me. WendyB has a good point. Your honesty is so refreshing, always framed with humor (the three pillars of life).

I love my garden, but have no answers to your honeysuckle issue. Just not an expert in this area.

Your stripes are stellar!

Vix said...

I'm a crap gardener and neither my Mum or Grandma (the only two female relatives I knew as an adult) went through the menopause so I'm no use whatsoever. xxx

Anonymous said...

My husband is the gardener in our family, but I almost suspect that this is a seasonal thing. I REALLY like this outfit--the colors, the styling. It is sharp and comfy looking.

As for hot flashes, mine come mostly at night. I've learned to wear fine cotton nightgowns and try to moderate my body temp by keeping one leg flung outside the covers. My hot flashes, when they come, are uncomfortably clammy. I do avoid most alcohol and gave up wine entirely in my early 40s because of the headache it caused. I'm glad you've found a useful purpose for hot flashes! IT, too funny.

Share my Garden said...

Well you look very cool in this outfit, Val, even if your temperature is out of control! I can't help with the hot flush problem but think that your honeysuckle has possibly got a fungal infection that might be cured by an anti fungal spray.

Jan Graham-McMillen said...

Darling Val ...
Honeysuckle ick? Wish I could help. Ours grows in full sun and is volunteer along our pasture fence.
Your super outfit: looks GREAT. Love it so many ways. Urban, yes. Hipster, yes. Cavewoman ... nope. Too sleek.
Just saw Anne's portrait ... perfectly you!
Gawd. Hot flashes. Poor angel. Have you discussed HRT with your doc? I don't blame you, I didn't take it either ... but my menopause was pretty easy. I had only a single ovary to pump hormones, so perhaps that helped. I didn't do anything but carry a fan. My flashes were pretty much limited to my face and neck, and was never awakened at night. Know that doesn't help, but I can verify that it gets better, and will die down to a dull roar eventually. If you're lucky, it will stop completely! Every woman is so different. Much depends on your doctor and how she/he relates to the issues.
Thinking about you, kid. Hope you have an easier winter than summer.
Just a reminder, if you can't get rid of the hot flashes, you can always use them as a great excuse to snap at people you don't like. They pretty much have to forgive you or ignore you out of a healthy fear.
Just saying.

Julia Karr said...

I love the outfit!

Your honeysuckle looks like it has aphids! Not sure of the treatment, I'm guessing there's a spray of some sort for it.

Power surges... thank heavens mine are mostly done - although I still get the occasional one. I did used to enjoy them in the winter, since I could always count on one to propel me from under the covers on a cold morning! Honestly? I just sweated it out... I figure women have been going through this since the beginning of time, and it's a process. Here's to the next phase in our lives - it can be wonderful! :)