Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Stranger With My Face

(Alternate title: That New Girl Tami's a Real Bitch!)

I'll always know how long I've been taking T-fen because I started on January 1, so it's been three weeks — which, as I've mentioned, seems kinda early to me to be having dramatic side effects. And yet.

Boy, do I not feel like myself!!

No period this month, period. I had lots of the symptoms of "it's almost here!" but it never arrived, and now it's too late to be late.

As my Constant Readers know, I've been ready to embrace the menopause for a while now, but I think I expected it to come on more . . . gradually. From an every-three-week heavy-flow period to — nothing?


And speaking of things that aren't flowing, my ladyplumbing has clogged in the most unbecoming way. I am bloated and gassy and yet — unproductive. This is so not me. And it also makes me wildly popular at zumba, as you might imagine.

(I haven't skipped a class yet, but nonetheless — life is pretty gross if you think you're farting too much for zumba.)

And my weight is stuck-stuck-stuck, but not at my new set point of 252; it's stuck at 255, which seems significant to me. I'm still doing exactly what I was doing before, but three pounds from the ozone have found their way to my body and won't leave. (Clearly, they are three pounds of poo and menstrual fluid — ew, sorry, I know — but what can I do?)

I Googled "tamoxifen and weight gain" and "tamoxifen and constipation" and found a lively chat board on, one of the "approved" sites my doc sent me to, and those girls are great. "Your doctor will tell you that weight gain is a myth," one wrote, "but look around — do we look like a myth?" And lots of these women saw the symptoms I'm seeing after only three weeks, which made me feel so much better.

One said something that made a lot of sense to me. A well-known symptom of T-fen is vaginal dryness; "so," she writes, "doesn't it make sense that we'd be dryer everywhere and our systems would be more sluggish? Drink lots of fluids, eat lots of natural produce and fiber; things will get moving again." I dutifully added "prunes" to the shopping list (fortunately, I like prunes) and am trying to drink more water and include something that grows naturally from the earth in every meal.

(Italicized phrase is one I repeat to my family ad nauseum; they would eat nothing but carbs otherwise.)

I went through a huge period of adjustment with my hormone-releasing IUD back in the day; it took six months for my body to regulate itself, so I expect things will "settle" a bit once Tami's made friends in the neighborhood. But I'm also scheduled for a physical next week or so, and I look forward to talking it all over with my new doc.

Lots of other news to report (including the fact that some mornings I wake up and my knees feel perfectly normal, it's the damndest thing — most mornings, they both feel like they're being squeezed in a vise), but I have a huge editing job; plus, we must shovel the walkways before the kids leave for school. Small storm last night, delayed school openings today. I'm just glad they won't all be home while I'm trying to work.

Shh, don't tell them. I'm really good at keeping it a secret.


Oatmeal with wheat berries and raisins for breakfast — let's get this digestion train moving!

—Lady C, conductress of her very own life


  1. If someone told me in my twenties that someday I would opt for regular good bowl movements over regular good sex, I would have responded with a resounding “Ha!”

    I have been humbled by all those bodily things I used to take for granted, including my reliable morning routine: Coffee, hello! Now here I go!

    Speaking of being humbled, don’t dismiss all those over-the-counter and health-store remedies. Softener pills, live bacteria… hey, I say, try them all and get relief. And keep it all moving, even if it is only laying on your back with some body oil and doing a self abdominal massage – go clockwise moving from your right side to your left, with shallow and then deeper strokes – you can literally make it move.

    OK, enough scatological talk.

    If it makes you feel better, you get more done on a slow day than I do on a whirlwind day. I get tired just reading your blog. So don’t be hard on yourself – you have just gone from superhuman to human status, that’s all. If you want to go all out to Laze Queen status, give me a call - two warm weeks on the beach could be a nice concession for joining us lowly folk.

    1. On Monday night I was wrapped in a blankie and clutching my bloated achy crampy belly, angst-ing because Mimosa was singing with the Madrigals that night and I felt like crap -- I try to go to everything my kids do! and I love to hear her sing! And then Husband said, so sweetly, "CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK," which was exactly what I needed to hear. I gave in and stayed home.

      I will never be a Laze Queen though! Sloth! Indolence! I shake my head.

      Thanks for the supportive words, my darling! Who knew what glamour our midlives would comprise?!

  2. Ha, ha - just saw I wrote bowl movements! Now I can't get that image out of my head. I am laughing at the person I am, that I used to laugh at... such is life.

  3. Here's a link to a "get her movin" idea. Read the reviews of the Haribo Sugar-Free Gummy Bears. How funny or helpful can it be, you ask? Read on. You will laugh hysterically.
    Mrs. Cynicletary

    1. OMG - Satan's Diarrhea Hate Bears!!!!! Okay, good to know (* tucks product name into back pocket *)