I’m having a hot flash
A tropical hot flash
My personal summer is really a bummer
Lyrics from “Heatwave”, featured in “Menopause the Musical”
The non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s can be the most frustrating at times. A couple of weeks ago, as I was scratching my head, I read the latest post by Darcy Blake about her battle with an itchy scalp. Her dermatologist told her that there is association of seborrheic dermatitis (term for dry, itchy scalp) with Parkinson’s Disease. Not a surprise, as I continued to scratch my itchy scalp. I had been diagnosed with the same thing a few weeks ago.
Another symptom that caught me by surprise was the reappearance of hot flashes, which are apparently related to the above skin changes (according to the Parkinson’s Foundation and other websites). I thought that hot flashes were way behind me, but once again, I find I am having my own “personal summer”. But it is different this time. Instead of the feeling of heat spreading throughout my body and needing to strip down to the bare minimum, while sweating profusely no matter how cold it is, I just feel hot. It can last for a minute or more and then just goes away. There is a name for this: hyperhidrosis. It can happen to me after a glass of wine, but it also occurs with no warning at any time during the day or night. My cheeks turn red and I look like I have been drinking. I used to be the one in our house who was always cold. Not anymore. When we go out, I often wear layers, with a sweater or a scarf that can easily be removed when the heat rises. Turtlenecks are definitely a no-no. Many people report that they also sweat with the hot flashes. So far, I have been lucky enough to escape that.
So how long is this round of hot flashes going to last? Does anyone out there know? And what other skin problems can I expect in the near future? In the meantime I will have to go dig out the fan I used the last go-round and try to cool off.