Some of you are women. Some of you are men. Some of you are young. Some of you are even younger. I am young enough to get hot flashes.
I can remember that I – in what seems like a million years ago – heard my mother complain about getting hot flashes. All of a sudden it was really hot! She was boiling! At night she was sweating so much that both her night gown (yes, mothers in pre-historic days used night gowns) and her covers were soaking wet every morning. I didn’t understand. Hot? I compared it to when I felt warm and thought – this can’t be so bad. Today all I say is ha ha ha! No, I didn’t get it. Now I do. Bam! From 37 to 100 degrees celcius in less than 5 seconds. That’s what it feels like. The only choice is to run to the door in hope of a quick cool down. Sub-zero-degrees are perfectly ok. Fortunately I don’t use a night gown. I could probably have used it to swab the floor in the mornings.
No, I am still a bit younger than young. But the hot flashes has started because I am in my second years as an estrogen-killer. 2,5 years ago I found a lump. Not a big one, but big enough. To keep it short, the lump really enjoyed my female hormones. So to deprive it of something to feed on it was made a decision that I was to become a little less young as fast as a red sports-car. So, yes, I know hot flashes.
My son knows too. He has what I would call a constant hot flash. Or continuous fever. He is totally dependent on the fan which we carry from his room to the living room and back again. The fan is like a part of him. It is placed aimed at him while the rest of his body is covered in blankets. He can actually be freezing cold and warm at the same time, just like when you have a fever. Even chills and shivers at the same time as his cheeks are burning hot and his eyes are glazed and red. To prevent his hot meals from getting cold or the ice cream he cools off with from melting, we have to turn the fan off occasionally. After finishing his meal he quickly utters just one word: “Fan!”
During his better periods he is able to manage without the fan. However, when he prepares to go out the fan is just as necessary as always – up until he leaves the house. He has to cope without it then. When he is back home again…! So my hot flashes are like peanuts compared to his.
Have you experienced hot flashes? Or the flu? Was it awful? Peanuts.
We’ve been discussing this in the Parents’ group on Facebook. Both my son and I have been hot all the time since getting ME/CFS but not quite as bad as what you are describing. I have a closetful of thick sweaters that I haven’t worn in over 10 years!
If the problems with temperature regulation are really bad, you should look into various types of endocrine dysfunction with either your family doctor or an endocrinologist. For instance, hypothyroidism is very common in people with ME/CFS and can cause you to feel cold all the time, while hyperthyroidism can have the opposite effect. Both are easily treatable.
Another area of treatment to look into is Orthostatic Intolerance (OI) which affects over 97% of people with ME/CFS. OI (basically, an inability to maintain steady blood pressure and/or heart rate) can make you feel hot – especially that hot and cold at the same time feeling that you describe. There are lots of treatments for OI, and children and teens often improve dramatically when OI is treated.
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