Molly Wood had been in the television industry for 25 years and had worked her way up to senior producer at a major network. She had been known for her fresh ideas and the creation of some classic shows that continued to bring in money. But now, she was out of ideas, out of clean underwear and almost out the door. If she didn’t produce a winning idea this season, she would be out of a job. Life sucked. Her husband had walked out five years earlier and into the arms of a starlet the same age as their daughter, her kids had moved across the country, and she was alone, overweight, and depressed.
And she was in the middle of another hot flash. Could life get any worse?
Yes, it could and it did. “Damn it! I knew I should have stayed home today.” She peer over her rhinestone encrusted reading glasses, tossed them on her cluttered desk and sat back in her chair, her arms crossed over her sweating chest.
Molly blew and blew and blew until all the candles were extinguished. There was enough smoke to set off the fire alarm and Molly had a sense of satisfaction as people coughed and fanned the air. Britney plopped down paper plates and plastic forks, and handed Molly a cake knife.
The cake was cut and she had a small piece, even though she was valiantly trying to cut calories and lose weight.
“So how does it feel to hit the big 5-0?” Cassandra asked, natural blonde hair framing her unlined face.
“Marvelous,” Molly muttered. She had shoes older than Cassandra. “Not much different than yesterday or tomorrow.” But she knew differently. Fifty. Life would never be the same. She would never be the same. Her life was over.
“As long as everyone is here, how about a short staff meeting?” She ignored the groans and shuffled through the papers on her desk and handed out a page to everyone. “We need to increase our ratings. We were number two again. We have a choice…target the boomers and do reruns of old shows, or get on the reality show band wagon and pull in the younger demographics. Of course, corporate wants the younger demographics, so we need to pitch some new and exciting reality shows.” She paused. “We have one week to pitch presentations for three shows.”
“But I’m supposed to go on vacation tomorrow,” Jonathan whined as he glanced at the paper in front of him.
“And I have company coming from out of town,” Britney murmured as she played with the very large diamond on a thin silver chain around her neck. Molly was certain the “company” was a cowboy from Texas with oil wells all over his ranch, a third wife and a bunch of kids.
Molly fanned her face with the paper in her hand. Damn hot flashes. She felt the sweat trickling down her spine. “We have to give corporate what they want.” Her gaze moved from Jonathan to Britney to Cassandra. “Each of you is responsible for bringing in three ideas tomorrow morning. We’ll meet at noon, decide on the top three and put together a presentation for each one.” If she was really lucky, Cassandra would quit, Britney would call in sick, and Jonathan would move to San Francisco so she could hire a real staff. She tossed the paper aside and pushed the cake toward Cassandra. “Put the rest of the cake in the lunch room.”
As they filed out of her office, she said “Thanks, for the cake and the birthday card.” The hair on her neck was damp. Time to get it cut again. Crappy way to remember to cut her hair. She checked her calendar. She almost forgot…her doctor’s appointment. Wonderful way to celebrate her birthday. She rubbed her eyes, glanced at her watch, grabbed the papers off her desk, stuffed them into her brief case, and stomped out of the office. She could get more work done in ten minutes than her staff could do in an hour, but HR and corporate wanted youth and demographics…and the boss needed a job for his girlfriend.
An hour and a half later, Molly sat on the edge of the examination table in the doctor’s office. She hadn’t been to the doctor in a few years and the clinic had obviously added new staff. The doctor was looking at the notes on her computer. She always felt at a disadvantage when the doctor was dressed in layers of clothing and she had on nothing but a paper sack.
Dr. Knotahl glanced up at her and she had the feeling the doctor was looking down her nose at Molly. Just because she was young enough to be her daughter, extremely fit with flawless skin, didn’t give her the right to act so superior. “I’m ordering some routine tests for you.” She checked the computer screen again. “Ms. Wood.” She sighed and shook her head. “Your cholesterol is up, blood pressure is high, and” she cocked her head. “You’ve got a spare tire around your middle that looks like an inflated inner tube.” She waved a hand. “It has to go.”
“Easy for you to say, Dr. Know-it-all,” she muttered, giving her the evil eye.
“My name is pronounced noTALL, not know-it-all,” her tone was sarcastic. “Talk to my assistant on your way out. She can give you a diet. Come back in six months and we’ll see if you’ve gotten rid of your chubby self and brought down those numbers.” She turned to go.
“Wait a minute!” Molly held up one hand while clutching the paper sack with the other one. “What about the hot flashes and night sweats? They’re driving me crazy. I can’t get any sleep. Can’t you give me something to get rid of them?” That was the real reason she had even made an appointment. She didn’t need the doctor telling her she was fat.
She swore the doctor rolled her eyes before she looked at her and smirked again. “Hot flashes?” She chuckled and tapped her head. “All in your head. Drink more water. Exercise. Lose some weight. Have some hot sex.”
Molly stared back at the younger woman. “Just how old are you, Dr. Knowitall?”
The doctor straightened her lab coat and looked down her nose at Molly. “I’m thirty-five, not that my age has anything to do with what’s going on with you. You’re using your age as an excuse to get fat and lazy. Now you want drugs? No way.” She was out the door before Molly could respond.
Was she serious? Her mouth hung open. All in her head? If she thought she was ever coming back, she was mistaken. She pushed herself off the table and ripped off the paper sack. She was an educated idiot! She got dressed in record time, grabbed the sheaf of papers from the assistant who probably weighed 95 pounds and stomped out of the office.
Two hours and a bottle of wine later, she was checking out hot flashes and menopause on the internet.
That night, Molly fell into a deep sleep. She saw an image of herself that looked like she had just stepped out of a comic book. The image had her eyes, the smile she didn’t use very often, and a big red flame in the middle of a full head of hair that was her natural color.
Molly remembered the dream the next morning.
After examining her, he actually had her get dressed and met with her in his office…eye-to-eye with all her clothes on. She felt better already.
He examined her records. “Looks like you’ve been going through menopause for a couple of years now. That’s a long time to be dealing with the hot flashes and night sweats.”
Molly shrugged. “It wasn’t too bad until about six month ago. Now it is just awful.” She paused. “Is there anything I can do?”
Dr. Hormoneous smiled. “We have several options. You don’t have any other health risks, so we’ll start with a low dose of hormone replacement therapy. If that doesn’t work, we’ll try some other options.” He started to write a prescription and looked up at her. “This isn’t a miracle cure for bad habits. It’s going to help you sleep through the night ease the hot flashes. The rest of the work is up to you.”
Molly nodded and held the prescription as if it were a piece of gold. “At least these symptoms aren’t just in my head.”
“Oh, no,” the doctor said with a laugh. “They are very real. It’s like going through puberty only backward. The lack of hormones is playing havoc with the rest of your body.”
“Thank you, Dr. Hormoneous.” Molly walked out of the doctor’s office with a smile on her face and the prescription clenched in her hand.
A week later, she had an appointment with a new doctor with a holistic approach to health. She liked Dr. Hormoneous the moment he walked into the examining room. He was probably in his 40’s, had curly brown hair, was fit and had the nicest twinkle in his blue eyes.
The Adventures of Hot Flash Holly
“Molly, Molly, Molly.” The voice was hers, just stronger and deeper. “When are you going to start taking care of yourself? You read the articles. Night sweats are real. So are hot flashes. Do some research and find a doctor who will work with you.” The image winked at her, wrapped a red cape around her shoulders and flew off, disappearing in a cloud.
Myth # 1
Hot flashes and night sweats are inevitable. Go to bed naked and sleep on a towel.
Note: This website is meant to entertain and enlighten. The only advice intended is for women to take charge of their health and their bodies. You know your body better than anyone. If you are not getting the answers you need, seek a second or third opinion. Research, research, research. There is a lot of information regarding menopause, symptoms and help. Get the best information and treatment possible and then move forward so you can enjoy the journey!
There was nothing she could do but endure the torture as her staff marched into her office with a huge birthday cake set on fire with 50 candles burning…as if she needed another reminder.
“Happy Birthday, Molly!” they yelled as Cassandra pushed papers aside and Jonathan set the blazing cake in front of Molly.
Molly’s face was already bright red and dripping from the hot flash and the heat from the candles just added to her misery. Her wish as she blew out the candles was that she could blow hard enough to cover the smirk on Cassandra’s twenty-something face with gobs of chocolate frosting. Molly’s boss, Ted, had hired Cassandra and then pushed her into Molly’s staff when he discovered she had trouble answering the phone and couldn’t type. But she wore tight blouses that displayed her enhanced chest. Lucky Molly. The young woman was useless, totally self-absorbed and absolutely gorgeous. Ted took her to “lunch” at least three days a week.