When are my hot flashes going to start?

Thanks to this article (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/02/09/DDJ215H812.DTL&hw=menopause&sn=001&sc=1000) in the San Francisco Chronicle this week I have seen the light and diagnosed myself with male menopause.

I have joked with my wife in some of my crankier moments over the years that I'm "man-strating," a curious condition born in my twisted imagination that is similar to menstruating — minus all the bleeding — where a week of irrational moodiness and crankiness is scattered into seven random days every month.

I have also been been kidding with my wife for years that someday I'm going to go through "man-opause" so we should have a kid ASAP before I start firing blanks.

That line of malarkey must have worked to a certain degree because we're expecting our first kid soon.

But I always thought I was making all that stuff up for a cheap laugh or a frustrated roll of my wife's eyes.

Turns out male menopause is real and I think I've fallen victim to its ruthless, iron-tight grip.

According to Jed Diamond, male menopause can manifest itself in the form of stress and irritable mood swings, restlessness, difficulty sleeping and weight gain.

I looked down that list while reading the Chron's article and thought to myself, "Check, check, check, check and check .. uh oh, I'm in big trouble."

I even took the Irritable Male Syndrome Quiz at http://www.theirritablemale.com/quiz.htm and scored 81 which is a bad sign because a score of 76 or higher means you're afflicted with Irritable Male Syndrome.

The truly frightening thing is I think I've been going through "man-opause" for about 10 years because I can't remember the last time I wasn't fat, tired and cranky.

So what now?

Am I going to start having hot flashes or something?

I better get to a doctor fast.

* WAIT, IT GETS WORSE: I received the weekly e-mail I subscribe to from PregnancyWeekly.com to stay up to date on the progress of my wife's pregnancy yesterday and after reading it I think male menopause may be the least of my problems.

Here's what PregnancyWeekly.com had to tell me this week:

"Jay, your breasts have begun producing colostrum, your baby's first meal (if you decide to breastfeed). You may notice your nipples leak a little from now on."

What, hot flashes weren't enough?  Now I'm going to have to deal with leaking nipples too?

What a mess.

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