It was going to be a hot night in one Ipswich home.... again

Lynne tells all about hot sweats

Lynne tells all about hot sweats - Credit: Archant

There are times in your life when you have to ease up on dignity, writes Lynne Mortimer.

Having had a few random pains, night sweats and so forth a visit to the doctor seemed like a good idea. I like my doctors, though I rarely see the same one twice in a year.

Having ascertained my temperature was high the doc decided it would be useful to have a urine sample (from me) and handed me a small specimen bottle.

Two questions came to mind. One, would I be able to go and two, would I be able to aim straight?

I know these are not the sort of things a genteel woman would normally discuss but, hey, this is me.

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I have been slowly recovering my appetite this week, although my husband gleefully presented me with a print-out of an email exchange we had earlier in the week.

He had emailed: 'Anything you fancy to eat?'

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Me: (after considerable thought) 'Will you get some pineapple and lime juice, a small fruit salad and mushrooms. Thank you'

An hour later.

Me: 'I don't want mushrooms.'

An hour later.

Me: 'Forget the pineapple juice.'

You will be glad to hear I have since recovered sufficiently to enjoy a chocolate button..

Anyway. So I am at the doctor's surgery, in the Ladies, with my partially filled bottle (thus answering both my earlier questions in the affirmative). The trouble was the contents, while very fresh, were also rather warm. I turned on the cold tap and played it over the bottle... then realised I might have trouble explaining how it got so wet.

I handed it in at reception: 'Sorry, it's a bit warm,' I smiled apologetically.

'We've had worse,' said the receptionist encouragingly... which was intriguing. I sat to wait for my results. One test outcome wasn't worrying me, I knew I wasn't pregnant. I leafed through the pages of a November issue of BBC Countryfile magazine and then some sort of house and home glossy with soap celebrity interviews but my mind wandered.

Do you remember those cartoons where the character sweats and physically expels streams of water from every pore? That was very near to true life when I addressed a local WI afternoon group, last week. It was a short drive away so, despite being under the weather, I reckoned I'd be okay. I got to the venue, entered the room and, immediately became aware that while my skin was warm, a film of cold sweat was beginning to form. It would be okay, I told myself. What's the worst that could happen? I mean, a person can't literally melt, can they? Well, not unless the Wicked Witch of the West in Wizard of Oz counts.

I stood up, I began my talk...

Soon, I sensed beads of sweat trickling down my forehead, under my glasses, down my nose.

'I'm sorry, ' I said and delved into my handbag for tissues but found only one. I swept it across my forehead, mopping up my carefully applied layer of Guerlain foundation.

'I need more tissue,' I confessed and was directed to a kitchen dispenser where I availed myself of about a metre of paper. This time I wiped my cheeks, delved down the front of my frock and wiped my chest and then dabbed the back of my neck.

By now I was so drained and possibly dehydrated that I had to sit down in order to continue. There were reassuring smiles and nods of sympathy all round for the pulsating human sauna in their midst.

Thirty minutes in and the violent sweating abated to be replaced by an occasional, gentle surge which made my inner thighs (clad in 100 denier tights) feel rather damp but not dangerously so.

Since then, I have had a letter from Louise, in Salhouse, who recommends vitamin B – which does not stay in the body. 'I've taken one per day for at least 35 years and have been clear of hot flushes.'

Thirty five years? How long is this going to go on, I wonder.

Back at the surgery, the doctor's receptionist beckoned me over to tell me I had the all clear and could go home.

Thank goodness for that, there are only so many bucolic scenes of deer and celebrity revelations a patient can deal with. Whatever happened to those huge stacks of Reader's Digests they used to have in the waiting room with their medical strands: 'I am John's spleen' etc. Maybe I should submit 'I am Lynne's hot flush.'

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