It’s summer in Texas, and as happens, spring turns to summer over a weekend. We go from clear, beautiful spring days hovering in the 70s and low 80s to 96+ with 70% humidity in a single weekend. This year the heat hasn’t been bad – until it was. That happened somewhere between July and August. There’s some sort of transition that happens in these deep, hot climates. There’s an extra day, weekend, some sort of pagan holiday that marks the beginning of 100-degree days. This year I haven’t had the time to be outside to acclimate myself, so it hits those of us who live in air conditioning year-round a little harder.
I apologize and sympathize with all women
My wife and I turn 52 later this year, and while I’ve lamented the changes in my body due to aging (loss of hair, and general breaking down of the body) the female body is much more complicated than it’s male counterpart. Before I go down this path, let me offer these words: I really do sympathize with the issues women have to deal with. Not just as they age, but in general, I feel that women got the short end of the stick when it came to what they have to bear. The changes my wife is facing are far more complicated than simple hair loss or joint stiffness. The most recent being that she’s experiencing episodes that cause her to radiate like a small supernova. I’d call them “hot flashes” but that doesn’t do justice to them.
Combine the Texas summer heat with sleeping next to a fiery star about to explode, and you have a taste of what my nights have been like for the past week. I feel bad for her – for as hot as it makes me just to be in the same room with her, it’s not actually happening to me. I can leave. I can go grab a cold drink. Maybe a beer. I can turn on the ceiling fan and get some comfort. She can’t. She just sits there melting everything in her reach. Except for the cats. The cats have turned on me. They have found a new favorite in her hotness. <Insert joke about hotness here> I’ve beat that horse so much it looks like it’s still alive.
Did I really say that?
In 22 years together, I don’t think I’ve ever muttered, or even thought the phrase, “Don’t touch me.” This is my wife, my soulmate, truly the love of my life. Well, I hadn’t said it until now. I’m sure it was uttered in a sleep-deprived half-boiled state, but still, I’ve said it. I’m pretty sure I have a burn mark where she did try to reach out – I’m still trying to understand why she’d want to touch me in that state. Misery loves company? That must be it.
I feel awful for that muttering – I’m not even sure she heard it – I’m pretty sure the flames coming off her body make it difficult for her to hear anything – but that doesn’t hide the fact that I did, indeed, say the words. And I feel like a total dick for saying it to her. Granted, I’m the world’s worst at being woken up. I offer blanket apologies to anyone who has ever had to wake me up. I’m not kind when I wake up – I’m not even fully human at that point – it’s all animalistic and instinctual – and I will try to kill you. I’m sorry. I really am, once I get my bearings and senses, that is. So it was in this state that the dreaded words came out. She knows this about me, again, it’s been 22 years. I might have been able to hide it for the first few months we were together, but eventually sleep deprivation won out, and I fell dead asleep and she had to try to wake me.
At least I didn’t punch her
I’ve been known to punch people in my sleep. I’m not proud of this, it’s actually quite embarrassing. We try so hard to be in control of ourselves, but I fail miserably at that point between sleep and consciousness.
Needless to say, it’s been a rough few months. But now that it’s summer, the whole idea of the “hot flash” has a much more severe connotation. I run warm to begin with, and my darling, fiery wife, has always been the cold one, me freezing her out this time of year via air conditioning. Now, she bounces between freezing and the threshold of spontaneous combustion. I know she’s frustrated. And yes, she’s seen her doctor, who I’m not a huge fan of. When my wife wanted to lose weight, her doctor, of an Asian origin, told her to eat more legumes. While I’m sure there’s very little that can be done for my little fireball, I’m sure that she should probably get a second opinion here. I’m also pretty sure someone who lights on fire shouldn’t eat beans.
It will be fun to cuddle
We did get a decent night’s sleep last night – at least I did. She woke up around midnight, had to pee (the other issue with being 51), and didn’t go back to sleep for 3 hours. While I was dead to the world, apparently. I’d apologize, but then, it’s difficult to apologize for being asleep. I also might be a bit of a bed hog, but in my defense, the cats take more bed than I do. And I steal the blankets, which turns out to only be an issue half the time now, so that’s good. We thought it would be romantic to have a queen-sized bed. Not so much these days… my naiveté always gets the best of me.
The last three years of aging have been a real bitch. My knee gave out, then my eyes did. I’ve been losing my hair steadily since my mid-thirties – and what’s growing back is coming in grey – no, that’s not true – it’s coming back white. My beard grew in almost completely grey (white). I can’t handle my liquor anymore, and I get ferocious multi-day hangovers now that never used to bother me when I was younger. Aging is taking away all the things I enjoyed in life. The last bastion was my sweet little wife – who now randomly turns into the surface of some distant sun – and it happens at the most inopportune times if you know what I mean, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
Somehow, she hasn’t killed me yet
I suppose this too shall pass. It does, right? I mean, eventually, she’ll be back to almost normal, although without hormones, and probably need hormone therapy which will bring on a whole other bag of horseshit with it, I have to assume. C’est la vie, I suppose. It’s days like today, as I sit and re-read what I’ve written, about ready to post, that I wonder how she can stand me – even though I’m not the one who’s turned into Johnny Storm – still, I probably should keep this all to myself. Nah, where the fun in that?
If any of you have a recommendation on how to help with hot flashes, your suggestions will not be ignored!
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Image by Gloria Williams from Pixabay