My face, neck, shoulders bare against the cool in the a/c of a hot spring day are suddenly on fire.
I have a fever. It runs down my torso and near to knees. I nearly veer into oncoming traffic for the sudden onset of heat. Nearly as quickly as it set in, it is gone.
I haven’t been sleeping well. Waking at 1am. 2:30am. Often again at 4am with these same spells of fever. My sheets are often damp when I wake, but the dampness creates a coolness so sleep returns more easily. The fevers make my days tiring – as if reliving the sleep deprivation of early motherhood.
These spells happened for about three months, six months ago. During the same time, my cycle stopped and I was grateful the daily fevers took place of debilitating menstrual cramps. Then cramps returned, as systematically strong as I’ve experienced since the age of thirteen. The fevers began again three weeks ago.
What I’m going through is a variation of normal perimenopause. I read it could last four to eight years, but my aunts reported theirs lasted close to 12. We are an above average crew on every level, which is useful when it comes to aging and employment, but for pushing pain thresholds and extending perimenopause I would really be pleased with a more average pace. I had always heard this process called hot flashes and couldn’t imagine it being a big deal, but “hot flash” is clearly a nomenclature given by a male doctor.
What I experience, is a heat that tears through my body – momentarily taking my breath or waking me from sleep. I’ve coined it “change-fever.” I can imagine my ovaries being flash cooked. The eggs – already trapped by sterilization – radiated by the crone who is rising within me like a phoenix to commandeer the 2nd half of my life.