I’ve never been renowned for my grace and poise. Asked to complete the sentence ‘Stephanie has such….’ I can’t imagine anyone putting ‘elegance’ in there. (I’m trying very hard to stop imagining what anyone would put in there, actually. It’s a bit like Googling yourself. Not clever.)
So it took me a while to notice that I am clumsier than I used to be. Apart from the whole recent iPhone-down-the-loo incident *, my legs are a permanent network of bruises, particularly above the knee at table-corner-height. I fall over my own feet when I’m walking. I drop glasses and clunk plates. I bang my elbows on door jambs. I mostly wear 60 denier tights because I have such little hope of getting through a day with anything finer unladdered, and if I am attempting 7 denier sheer, there’ll be a spare pair of tights in my bag. You get the picture.
Thinking about this the other day – after I’d barked my shin off a perfectly visible low coffee table in a hotel room – I started to wonder whether this clumsiness is another under-the-radar side effect of cancer prevention drugs. I remember, back in the mists of time when I worked in books for WHSmith and was having regular periods, I noticed that I did seem to jam my finger in book crates, drop things on my feet, and walk into shelves more regularly when I was premenstrual. (I think I especially noticed because books are heavy old things and so the level of pain and injury was not insubstantial. I know David Beckham has excellent kicking abilities, etc, but I will never forgive him for the time I dropped a box of his hardback biography on my right big toe. Still wincing. And has he ever apologised? He most certainly has not. That’s modern celebrities for you.)
A little Google of ‘clumsy hormone levels’ seems to suggest that there could be something in this, and so, as tamoxifen is blocking my body’s ability to absorb oestrogen, it’s not really surprising that I am clumsy-plus these days. Is this a common experience for people taking tamoxifen, I wonder, or for those of you who don’t, do you see a rise in clumsiness levels at certain times of the month?
*Apple customer service is brilliant – Martin replaced my dead handset even though it wasn’t covered by warranty. Vodafone customer service was shockingly poor.