Co-workers and what to say!

For those of you who are just beginning this wonderful process, here we can narrow down the symptoms and ask questions like "am I starting perimenopause?"

Co-workers and what to say!

Postby Beijing » Sat Mar 03, 2007 10:03 am

I'm kind of torn on this and would like other peoples' opinions.

I am 51 and going through peri. My periods stopped for 8 months (and I was happy) but then came back. It has been 4 months now.

Problem. I have been having horrible night sweats and can't sleep. OK, I can deal with that. It's at work. I get so hot I can feel the sweat just pouring down my back. I don't think my face gets red (because I've run to the mirror and I looked normal and at home I've asked my husband and he says I look normal.

I'm just torn whether I should say anything. I supervise 4 people in their early-mid 30s. They have been laughing because I've been turning on the air conditioner in my office (on and off, on and off all day). I've been saying it's because the office is "stuffy". On the one hand this is a fact of life and shouldn't be an embarassment. But in this day of "ageism" would this just bring out the fact that I'm old? I don't want it to be seen as a "weakness". We women have worked too hard to be taken seriously and I wouldn't want it to be detrimental.

On the other hand, it would help explain my memorys losses...they're always saying "You don't remember? But I told you......"

What do you all thing? Just say, "Hey, flip the air conditioner on again, hot flashes..." or just leave it alone. We are a good group and have a lot of fun together. But I am their boss.

Jane
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Postby Beijing » Sat Mar 03, 2007 10:07 am

What do you all THINK!


(Besides that I should learn to proofread before hitting "submit").
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Postby minniepauz » Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:49 pm

First of all, Beijing...welcome to the forum! Tell us more about why you're in Rome and what kind of work you do.... I lived in Naples for 2 years (Army wife) and my first son was born there. I can't wait to visit Italy again someday!

As for the other part...I'm all for letting the humor hang out! Honestly, everyone else becomes much more comfortable (and understanding) when we're not trying to cover up the obvious. I believe it makes us seem strong and more in control to be able to laugh about it because it's a natural event...I also tell younger women "you'll be getting here someday so better pay attention!"

I work at home now so I don't have to explain things to anyone, but I still get my kids giving me strange looks (usually about the memory thing) and now they even say it...."menopause". Now I blame everything on it! :)
Image

Get'em laughing and they'll respect you even more because you can manage the awkward situations and YOU will be the one with the knowledge, which helps to overcome everything. Hope this helps and I look forward to reading more of your posts. :)
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Postby minniepauz » Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:20 pm

I forgot to tell you my suggestions for the hotflashes and nightsweats....one thing that I'm not sure if you can find over there, but could be ordered from the States is a small personal fan. There's one company (http://www.o2-cool.com) that makes a pen with a fan on top of it....really!! I think that would be perfect for women at work! They are found here in most drug stores, but I'm not sure about overseas. Here's a picture of me using one of them. (kind of goofy looking, but COOL!)
Image

The other thing I recommend, if you can get it...and I think they have distributors outside the US, is a Chillow. It is a water filled pad that you place inside your pillowcase and it helps keep your body temperature down during the night. You can see them at http://www.chillow.com.... actually, this address would be better for you: http://www.soothsoft.co.uk/

I couldn't live without fans!!!

UPDATE!! Here's where the fans are found and some stores are overseas:
http://www.o2-cool.com/stores.htm
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Postby Beijing » Sun Mar 04, 2007 3:37 am

Thanks Dee. I think you're right. And I will look for the fan and pillow.

I am still active duty Army (trying to go for the oldest on duty--ha ha--always trying to do things that others say I can't), and I'm assigned at the U.S. Embassy. We actually drive to Naples about once every 2 months to hit the commissary.

This is such a wonderful city. I walk to work every day and think how lucky I am to be here.

Thanks again for your advice.
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Postby Beijing » Sun Mar 04, 2007 3:39 am

Dee, I just noticed you're from Michigan--me too! Family is still all there. Small town called St. Louis (49 miles north of Lansing). Small world!
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Postby gorgeousfluffpot » Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:29 pm

I've been in the same situation, working with much younger workers and there's a fine line between the respect that they hold for you and your senior position but also the gulf between you because of the age difference and their more youthful interests.
I always had the air-con on full blast in my office and people complained it was freezing. I always replied, with a smile, that I was having a little hot moment and I felt like someone had injected me with red chilli pepper! If they laughed, I always replied "don't laugh, in ten years' time this will be you" - but always with a smile! The key is to use humour, but not too much familiarity. And when the hot flushes came again, I'd say "yikes, someone's put chillies in my coffee again" and it would just defuse the situation.
The embarrassing thing was with clients, however. A few times my face would flush bright red during meetings - I'd just mutter about having a hot moment and let it pass. Most people understand or are embarrassed to be a witness!
Just relax, smile, laugh it off, turn the air-con up high. And remember, they have this to come, poor unsuspecting souls !!!
Take cover! Hormones on the rampage again ...
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Postby Starpoint12 » Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:35 pm

I'm not in the 30ish crowd but am in the early 40ish crowd - and a male - can can tell you we're a pretty understanding bunch once we're informed. I had no clue what the big M was all about until my wife starting going through it. After talking to some understanding female coworkers, I now have alot more empathy for those of you going through this completely NORMAL stage of life. It isn't like alcoholism or another ailment that requires one to wisper in discrete tones...it's a normal part of life and even us guys can be understanding of it. The problem is most of the younger crowd hasn't been educated as to what it's all about...take the bull by the horns and teach those youngsters. They'll go through it some day - yes, the guys will go through it with their wives - thus they might as well learn about it sooner than later. It's no different than alzheimers, gray hair or arthritis - it's part of the aging process and we will all go through it.

Remember, if they're not understanding to you today - you'll have the last laugh at them in years to come. The aging process does have it's benefits :lol:
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Postby psexypsychic » Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:09 pm

I tell people outright that I'm having a hot flash. But then, I'm kind of rude and blunt that way. 25 years as an Army dependent and Army doctors will suck the modesty right out of you.

I was delivered into this world by a doctor wearing combat boots and OD greens under his scrubs. My kids were delivered by doctors in camoflauge (BDUs) and combat boots as well. In fact, when I had my gall bladder removed and I had to have assistance in the ladies room, I pulled the "nurse call" lever and guess who responded.... Yup, a man in BDUs and combat boots.

:D

*~my MySpace~*

diagnosed perimeno at 36 years old
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Postby Lori » Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:39 pm

My daughter bought me that fan for mother's day last year :lol:

I work with people about 10 years younger and when I started flashing I let them know right off. Now they are use to it and me taking off my sweater, putting it on and so forth.
I wish I had an a/c I could turn off and on. I just drink a lot of cold water.
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Postby Beijing » Thu Mar 22, 2007 6:12 am

You are all so helpful and it IS interesting to get the male point of view.

Seems so simple now and since it is a part of life, all people should be aware of it.

I guess I was more worried about the stigma of being older, which is funny because I've always fought (and still do) fight to declare that I'm as fit as any "young" soldier out there. But this is concrete proof that I AM getting older.

OK, I'm going to carry the banner high and not be embarassed--as after all--everyone is going to experience it if they live long enough!

Thanks for all your insight. :lol:
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Postby minniepauz » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:55 am

Good for you, Girlfriend!! :) I can guarantee you that everyone around you will be relieved to see you admitting something is going on and that you have a sense of humor about it. It makes them feel more comfortable because they don't have a CLUE about what to do for you! :)

Lori....they also have the little fans that have a fine mist of water to spray on your face! Then with the fan, it cools you down pretty fast! :) :cloud9:
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