Tag Archives: Menopause the Musical

Bochorno* Escolar: Hot Flashes at School


                    Spa 304 final at mercado BA

A post by writer, teacher, and healer Sirena Pellarolo    

Se siente bien, maestra?” the student who was sitting directly in front of me asked.Are you ok?”

I could barely respond. I was standing there, in the middle of the circle of students–my favorite format for conducting class– trying to keep my “cool” and remember what I was doing there. I had felt a hot flash mounting up my legs from the very bottom of my feet, increasing temperature as it ascended, until it got to its highest tension in my face and head. It then erupted in visible sweat that flashed my face and made my neck and armpits moist. It was a power surge indeed, and my face was red as a tomato and my consciousness astral travelling.

When I was able to finally come back to my senses, I sat down in front of twenty faces that looked at me in horror. And then I calmly said: “It’s a hot flash!”

That day I learnt that it was better to warn my students as soon as I felt the glimpse of a hot flash coming. It didn’t matter if I was lecturing about tango women or Eva Perón, or if the designated student was giving a presentation about that day’s reading. As soon as I felt my head becoming lighter at the onset of what I felt was an of out-of-body experience unfailingly resulting in a dangerous increase of my body temperature, I would yell “Hot flash!”

In time, my students became accustomed to my interruptions of lectures with the disclosing in real time of what my body was going through. They actually started liking the fact that they were privy to my most intimate symptoms punctuating the change I was undergoing in menopause. And one of them, compassionate enough of my desperation to find anything to fan my fiery body with during those trances, one day came to class with a “present.”

“Maestra,” she said. “Last weekend I was in Las Vegas, and my older sister took me to this show, Menopause, the Musical. It reminded me of you. They were giving out these cute fans to audience members, and I thought it would come in handy when you’re teaching class and those hot flashes take you by surprise. “

I looked at the simple tool: a white hand fan with the inscription Menopause, the Musical on its reverse side. I looked at it in appreciation, and thanked the student for her mindfulness. I understood then the importance of these gadgets, and how I had seen my abuelita holding the most exquisite collection of silk fans during her outings. She was a pro at opening and closing it with just a twist of her wrist in a gesture that made her look as a sophisticated matron, who knew what to do with her hands in social gatherings. So now I knew what those fans were actually for!

Needless to say, I tucked the white fan in the bag where I carried my books and folders. It accompanied me to school during those long peri-menopausal years and helped me cool off when needed. It was also good that my school fan was simpler than the beautifully embroidered ones that my abuelita flaunted during tea parties and other social occasions. All things considered, Amalia’s thoughtful gift might have been plain, but it embodied her care, and it also kept me “shame-free” at school.

*bochorno means “shame” in Spanish. The same word was used to name hot flashes, referencing a link between uncontrolled body reactions in aging women and shame.


Sirena Pellarolo, Ph.D., your Midlife Midwife, is an author, speaker and holistic healer. She supports women in their menopause years to manage symptoms naturally, through cleanses, live foods, and emotional detoxing.  A board certified holistic health coach, raw food educator, detox expert, radio host and blogger, Sirena is Professor Emerita of Spanish and Latin American Cultural Studies. She has authored and published numerous articles and two books on Latin American performance and gender studies, globalization and new social movements.

Her forthcoming book Recover Your Juiciness: A 30 Day DIY Guide for an Empowered and Healthy Menopause will be out next Fall by Flower of Life Press. She has also designed a program, “Four Months Towards an Empowered and Healthy Menopause,” that follows the four stages of healing covered in the book.

For more info check out Sirena’s menopause website, here.

Contact Sirena at info@sirenapellarolo.com

Top Photo:  End of classes dinner with Sirena’s Spanish 304 students at Mercado Buenos Aires, Northridge, California

Menopause the Musical


I just saw Menopause the Musical.  What fun!  The show is witty, insightful, clever, and well-staged.  Although the script is somewhat lacking in plot, the cast of characters is oh so darling and spunky.  The playbill lists them as a professional woman, a soap star, an earth mother, and an Iowa housewife.  The actresses who portrayed them did wonderful jobs.

And could they sing!  The songs move so fast, it’s hard to catch all the lyrics  but no matter as any sixties girl will love songs about the Great Change set to olden goldies like “Good Vibrations,” “Don’t Make Me Over,” “Puff the Magic Dragon,” and “Don’t Say Nothin Bad About My Baby” (changed to”Don’t Say Nothin Bad about My Body.”)

Menopause the Musical touches on so many aspects of menopause that the audience hooted and clapped through most of the show.  I was surprised there was no mention of periods and the end of  periods (and their sometimes reappearance after a few months).

What was as much fun as the show itself was realizing I have a husband brave enough to go.  When the usher seated us, she said to Cliff, “Do you feel intimidated?” (I counted about ten men in the audience.)  Happily, he answered, “No.”  I suppose if you sweat through menopause with a real live woman, it can only make you so nervous watching stage women acting, dancing, and belting it out.

So do see Menopause the Musical if it comes to your area.  Send in your thoughts, those of you who have seen it.  To add to the girly atmosphere, the show is set at Bloomies!