Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

I thought night sweats, bane of many post-menopausal women, were a minor tribulation of my past. Last November, in Aristotle Speaks!, I wrote confidently about a marvelous low-dose estrogen delivery system that restored a rich dreamscape to my sleeping hours, but was safer than the pill format I had swallowed every morning for years. It helped me chill out at night, too; a nice bonus.

And then.

I thought at first the pain under my right rib cage was a pulled muscle, but it persisted for weeks, and gradually worsened. I began to get the idea that the estradiol acetate ring might be a factor in whatever was going on, and so several weeks ago unceremoniously removed it and threw it away.

By then, the pain had moved around to my back, fairly high up under my right shoulder blade.

No. Don’t worry. I’m not leading up to anything scary here. An ultrasound last week confirmed that my gall bladder is full of biliary sludge. Wow, just what every former femme fatale wants to hear.

Ah, well. Buck and I will go visit with the nice surgeon on Tuesday and explore options. Meanwhile, a bland, no-fat diet (with lots of beets and apple cider, thank you dear sister-in-law) is helping keep the pain down to a dull roar.

The estradiol acetate has been implicated in gall bladder disease.

Meanwhile, every night I’m sweating like one of those villains that Sir Sean Connery (the James Bond) locked in a steam bath machine at some eastern European health spa.  As a result, I am having some unusual nocturnal adventures. Sometime in the middle of last night, not sleeping, I got fixated on wondering where an old piece of writing was– one I think I might be ready to deal with now — and got up to rifle through some old file folders.

Never did locate the wordscrap I sought, but I did find an old halfway attempt at a poem from 1978.

My rebellion sits;a yellow fog with fighting mitts

It’s gone ten rounds so far;bloodied, sore and blind

Thirsty still, though marred; stubborn, yet; sure of a win

Despite bought judges; despite those bone-cold men.*


*I have no earthly idea who or what I was worked up about when I wrote those passionate words some 31 years ago.


Okay. So now you know my deepest, darkest secrets (well, two of them, anyway).  I am a crappy wanted-to-be poet and I have a rotten gall bladder!



0 thoughts on “TMI (too much information?)

  1. Linda says:

    Oh my – I relate SO much to this. I spend half of my nights swimming in Lake Linda. Good luck with the gall bladder. I had mine removed a few years ago and I remember spending many a sleepless night dealing with the gall bladder. Actually it was a relief to be diagnosed with gall bladder disease, because my symptoms were very much like a heart attack.
    P.S. Love your blog….I’ll be back!


  2. Beth says:

    Thanks so much for visiting, Linda. I snuck a peek at your blog, too, and added it to my regular reading list. I’m looking forward to adding the Story Circle Network to my own IPod (per your idea).


  3. Florice says:

    Not good news! Keep us posted. We care.


  4. Walk says:

    Definitely keep us informed. As for being a bad poet, I must be a bad reader for I liked the rage in that 31 yr old poem. Even though the inspiration behind it has vanished, it hasn’t lost it’s fire and determination. That looks to me as a piece that time won’t intrude on, and isn’t that what we as writers want to accomplish?


  5. DSK says:

    I knew bad oil could sludge up a car engine, but I had no idea bad hormones could sludge up a gall bladder! Hope you don’t have too hard a time with the surgeon. No fun.


  6. Beth says:

    First word that came to my mind when I heard “sludge” was “carburetor.” My next thought was of our plumber, who likes to threaten recalcitrant pipes with a vile substance with the scary name of “Mule Kick.” Raw beets with a dose of Mule Kick on the side. Just the medicine!


  7. As always sending many good thoughts and lots of light from across the pond. I wish you a good meeting with the surgeon, which gives yu plenty of honest appraisal and room to think:0) Have to say thank goodness for beetroot it is a magical veggie as long as one remembers one has eaten it when peeing:0) Beets and carrots are both magical veggies in this household. Take care, trust that both Buck and Maggie give you lots of hugs. Much love


  8. Gullible says:

    Oh, dear. Hope you get those pipes cleaned out okay.
    Herewith is immense empathy for the night sweats. However, they should instigate some great words from you. Just remember the increasingly vehement cuss words you can find using the F keys, with or without Ctrl and Alt.
    And I, too, liked your poem of rage: “a yellow fog with mitts.” Wow.


  9. Mouse says:

    Ah, night sweats are starting to visit me
    And I am as fluffy as a lamb, mentally at least
    It hadn’t occured to me that I am approaching the menopause until an old schoolfriend asked me of I am becoming forgetful!
    Me? Menopausal? I still feel like a 20 year old!
    Still, it will be an interesting journey and I was ever one for new experiences and adventures!


  10. Beth says:

    To my marvelously wise big sister, Florice, Walk, Gullible, Daisy-Winifred, DSK and Mouse — thanks for your comments and good vibes.
    Daisy-Winifred — I am a total baby for even mentioning a bum GB on the same planet with a person who has lived with serious health issues for many years. Hope you and your two and four-legged friends are enjoying some walks in the lovely countryside near your home.
    Walk — I hope you and yours made it okay in those Oklahoma fires.
    Mouse — I love the phrase “fluffy as a lamb.” I used to think menopause was the end of life as we know it. Now I know it is only the midpoint. I, for one, am enjoying living on the frontier of reinvention of self. It’s a blast.
    and Gullible — I will take your typing suggestions under advisement.


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