SIDEBAR: Medical Science

coconut bra

I bought a bottle of coconut aminos today.  I know what you’re thinking (because I scored 32 out of 36 on that “Understanding People’s Emotions” quiz that blazed through my news feed yesterday): you’re thinking: Amigos?  Could she have meant coconut amigos, like in that episode of Friends where flashback Rachel had a lesbian moment with sorority sister Winona Ryder that involved knocking the bras of their island costumes together?

No, I did not mean “coconut amigos.”  I meant coconut aminos, and, like you, I have no idea what they are.  But someone suggested them in a recipe for gluten-free meatloaf, and because my life as I know it has completely ceased making sense since I hit mid-life (or thereabouts), I bought them.

And a can of coconut four.

And a jar of coconut manna, and even a bottle of coconut nectar, because like an idiot I went and fell in love and was suddenly covered under health insuranceThanks a lot, Republicans: you were so busy shutting down the government that you forgot that poor people could also just go ahead and get married and then have coverage! 

So now, of course, I’m sick.

And not just any sick: I am weirdly, midlife-ishly, menopausically sick.

In fact, this is why this blog has been on hold for the last week and a half: because I was working myself up to tell you all about how losing weight had caused me to have to keep finding a new wedding dress, when I realized that not only would you, my dear readers, think I’m just being a braggeddy-ass bitch, but uh oh what if the weight loss turns out to be because of something like, you know, cancer, and then I’ll just look really pathetic and sad and, I guess, eventually dead.

So I went and had a bunch of tests.  A BUNCH of tests.

And it isn’t cancer!

But it also isn’t any fun.  It turns out I had one thing that caused another thing that caused this particular thing that made me have to buy the coconut aminos in order to make a food I don’t even like–and that I’ll have to keep eating foods like it for the rest of my life, which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s not great.

You may not know this about me yet, dear reader, but if you stick with me long enough, you’re bound to discover that I’m something of a priss (look for telltale signs like the use of the word “suffice”).  So suffice it to say that I’m not going to go into any gory details here.  What I will tell you is that I took some antibiotics back in May, and then took some different antibiotics that same week (because it turned out I’d taken the wrong ones first), and that caused me to come down with an awful syndrome called “C. Diff.”  And while I eventually got over the C. Diff, it, in turn, spurred the development of a condition called “Microscopic Colitis,” which was swiftly accompanied by the onset of Celiac Disease (the original gluten-free diet craze).

The part that really gets me, though, is that when I go to look up why this particular chain of medical events occurred, I discover that it’s a phenomenon that primarily afflicts middle-aged women.  According to the website of an arguably fine doctor (seriously, his name is “Dr. Fine”), microscopic colitis appears to be in the family of autoimmune syndromes, all of which are more common in women. It is likely that the proinfllammatory effects of estrogen are responsible for this predisposition. For this reason, I have theorized [that] one of the reasons microscopic colitis is becoming more common (which I believe to be true) and that it doesn’t affect women until later in life is that the use of high dose estrogens (and NSAID’s) has become more common.” Dr. Fine goes on to address the issue of why Celiac disease tends to co-occur, suggesting that “the genes causing microscopic colitis are also programmed to react with gluten if they are triggered to do so. This is why people can go their whole lives without apparent gluten sensitivity and then suddenly become gluten intolerant.”

Look, I’m not a medical science person (except by marriage), and I don’t doubt for a moment that Dr. Fine is a fine doctor (because it would be ironic if he weren’t, and irony is so passé), but I don’t think it takes more than a B.A. in English and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (in Fiction) to figure out what’s really going on around here.

It’s Crone’s Disease.

No, not “Crohn’s Disease”; Crone’s Disease, a GI, gluten-based disorder designed specifically to do what Nature had always intended (and used to achieve quite successfully, before the introductions of pilates, botox, lasers, and lipo): to render middle-aged women unattractive enough that they stop competing for mates with gals who can actually perpetuate the species.

Sure, all those 40- and 50-something celebrities like Julianne Moore and Halle Berry and Sandra Bullock (and even, for that matter, Jennifer Aniston and Winona Ryder—how you like them coconut aminos?) might look hot, but if they have to go to the bathroom all the time and then ruin every dinner out by asking, plaintively, whether a dish has gluten in it, ten I’ll give you one some fertile 20- or 30-something’s going to start looking a whole lot better than she did just a couple of hours ago, all un-toned and un-plumped there, at the end of the bar.

Mark my words, dear reader (though not with a red pen, because that makes me feel insecure): the days of men preferring the experienced, AARP-card-carrying hottie to the callow, birth-control-device-requiring nottie are numbered.

Put that in your bottle of coconut aminos and smoke it.

Or, whatever it is you do with coconut aminos.

Probably not smoke it.  But then again, I’m making meatloaf.  There will probably be fire.

(Editor’s note: We here at Meanopause would like to issue a special shout-out to the excellent writer Melanie Bishop, who actually noticed our recent spate of bloglessness.  We’ll be sending her a special batch of gluten-free meatloaf that turned out not to be entirely gluten-free, because oh for God’s sake why would KETCHUP have gluten in it??)

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