"We're really doing this?" asks David.
"I'm willing to try anything," I respond.
"All right, lie down."
He pulls the sheet over me before hefting up a weighted blanket. Filled with 8 lbs of plastic beads, the blanket is deliciously cool against my body despite its weight.
I am forgoing a sleeping pill so that I that the results from this experiment will not be skewed. If the weighted blanket relaxes me enough and stays cool enough, perhaps the night sweats won't come. Gratified with the sense of well being, I fall into a deep sleep...
Which lasts until my core temperature apparently melts all the little plastic beads and I find myself trapped under a molten weighted blanket pretty fucking sure that I'm being buried alive.
"GAH!!! OFF!! OFF!!!" I kick and claw at the weighted blanket until it falls to the floor.
"Too much?" says David from beside me, reading a book on his phone.
"Too much! I've melted the beads."
"I don't think that's possible love. Do you want a cool pack?"
"No, I don't want a cool pack!" I say petulantly.
"Do you want me to set up the fan and you can turn it on if you get too hot?"
"NO, I DON'T WANT A FAN! I WANT TO SLEEP. NIGHT SWEATS ARE AN EVOLUTIONARY DESIGN FLAW!!! HOW CAN THIS POSSIBLY BE USEFUL TO HUMANITY?!?"
"Would you like..." he begins, grasping at any straw to help ease my discomfort.
I take a breath.
"I want to thank you," I say apologetically, clutching his hand, even though the feel of his warm skin makes me want to jump out the fucking window. "I want to thank you for everything that you've done and do for me. I want you to know that I am incredibly grateful for your support during this trying time, and I will do all that I can to continue to earn your support."
"Would you like to acknowledge the other nominees too?"
"Yes. And I would like to..." I pause as a wave of heat-induced nausea hits me. I sprint to the bathroom. "GRAVOL!!"
"Take a sleeping pill too," he suggests.
I swallow two Gravol with two glasses of water, trying to recoup the liquids that I've lost through my sweating. "Do not take any other sedatives with this medication," I yell to him as I read the label.
There's a pause as we both consider what the odds of my overdosing would be if I ingest a sleeping pill after two Gravol.
I climb back into bed. "I will wait another two weeks to see if the natural herbs begin to work and then I'm going on HRT."
"Yeah?" David says, lying close, but not touching me. He's been with me for the last 6 weeks. And he was here for the bout of night sweats last spring. He knows, insofar as a man who can't possibly know, what I'm going through. He knows that I'm perilously close to completely losing my shit.
"Yes. If my choice is to go the natural route and not sleep for possibly decades or to take HRT and cut my life short with associated risks to HRT? I'm willing to give up those years and remain a relatively sane member of society with a sense of humour."
He takes a breath to say something, rethinks, then blows cold air all over my face.
"Imagine," I say. "Imagine the worst sweaty balls that you have ever experienced. But this bag sweat is so hot that your hand nearly burns if you touch them. Those sweaty balls soak your boxers 5 times a night and make you want to puke your guts up every time."
"And every time it happens you have a panic attack. Every single time."
"Whatever you want to do love, I'm with you."