Warren Miller 

Hot flashes can be a man's best friend

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Is this winter’s weather weird or what? Rivers are running down the middle of the ski slopes at Alpental near Seattle and management is threatening to shut down for the season. Seven inches of rain fell in seven hours east of Los Angeles. Four feet of snow fell in one storm in the northeast. Somewhere, there must be an answer to all of this confusion.

I might just have to agree with Dave Barry, the hilarious columnist, who predicts that global warming is caused by so many baby-boomer women entering middle age and having hot flashes.

Part of my prostate cancer treatment has required that I have an injection of a drug called Lupron every 90 days since last April. One of the reactions to the shots is that I now have hot flashes. I can attest to how many BTUs one person can generate.

I’m not complaining because women all over the world have been having hot flashes since global warming started to become a problem about 83,000 years ago when Eve first entered menopause. I don’t expect any sympathy from the women who, like me, hope we only get our hot flashes when the wind is blowing 20 mph, it is five below zero, and we are stuck on a broken chairlift 40 feet above an ice covered ski run.

The only sympathy I want is from my banker who has to back up the checks I write for the shots. One shot every 90 days costs $3,987. This equates to about $44 a day or $2 per hot flash.

The hot flashes are supposed to be over this June and by then I will figure out something else to complain about, such as why didn’t the Pacific Northwest ski resorts get any snow until after the 15th of January this year? The snow in Montana is usually up to a buffalo’s belly by December 25th, but this year the white stuff didn’t arrive in any quantity until late January. Does global warming have anything to do with Saddam Hussein not having enough air conditioning in his 11 palaces, which makes him more belligerent? What about the space shuttle entering the atmosphere over California and breaking up? Was it because the engineers in Houston didn’t factor in smog over Los Angeles that had risen to a high enough altitude to cause the glue holding the tiles on the wings to dissolve?

Because of my cancer treatment and the late arrival of the snow, this past weekend was the first weekend that I was able to ski with my wife. After a great day in the powder, we went back to our house and found a package from my oncologist. It contained some pills that are formulated to eliminate hot flashes in post-cancer patients.

Laurie really took exception to the invention of these pills for men. Her position is that women have been sweating and fuming for centuries with hot flashes and the pharmaceutical companies haven’t done anything about it. Today with modern cancer treatment for men, they come up with a pill that only men can take. You can imagine what it is like for me living with Laurie and her hot flashes while I have a pill to counteract mine.

I’m not going to go there. All I can say is that I wouldn’t want her to suffer with the weird dreams and hallucinations that accompany the Lupron shots. Psychiatrists say that if you don’t write down or talk about your dreams immediately after you wake up, you forget them by the time you have breakfast and are finishing your third piece of toast with peanut butter and jam. Well, these are not dreams that I want to remember. They make hot flashes look like a walk in the park.

On President’s weekend, we had the largest crowd in the history of the Yellowstone Club. There were almost 180 people on the hill at the same time. I’m sure a lot of the women in our club had a lot of hot flashes over the weekend, but the powder snow was deep, the food delicious and the sky so blue you could see the Grand Tetons 80 miles away. What could be more enjoyable than powder snow skiing at 10 above zero and being toasty warm with hot flashes while riding up on the ski lift?

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