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This Is a Rant. It’s Probably Going To Get Ugly.

Bischon with GlassesI consider myself to be a healthy person. I walk 3 miles a day thanks to my trusty dog. I go up and down the stairs so many times a day, you should be able to bounce a quarter off my ass. I said you should be able to. But you can’t.

I take vitamins, eat fewer carbs, consume just enough sugar to keep myself hospitable, and drink enough water to keep an elephant alive.

So why, WHY has my body forsaken me?

My knees hurt when I wake up. Hell, they hurt all the time. From time to time, I’ve battled some goofy foot ailment called Plantar Fasciitis (don’t ask) and I have ongoing back and neck problems. Serious ones. On top of all that, part of my right side goes numb from time to time.  

But this camel’s back has been broken.

I’ve needed readers since I was in my 40’s. No big deal. I buy fun bling readers in different colors and use them as I need them. But I’ve always prided myself on my 20/20 long distance vision. That is, until this past weekend.

As I sat at the theater with my fiancé, I began to notice how much I was blinking as I gazed up at the stage. It was a lot. I was trying to focus my eyes so that I could clearly see the performers. I couldn’t do it. Then it hit me. If I couldn’t see the performers from the front row, I needed glasses.

Seriously?! This is what I get in my Golden Years?!

This is what I get after giving birth and raising a daughter pretty much single handedly? This is my reward for outliving serious illness, getting through a hysterectomy, surviving the divorce from hell, suffering through the grief of losing parents and loved ones? This is my compensation for living a clean life, being a good girl, coming back from poverty, foreclosure, bankruptcy and heartache?

Oh, I don’t think so.

I want more. A lot more. I want a body that treats me as nicely as I treat it. Is that really too much to ask?

Come on! I’ve never smoked or done drugs. Okay, maybe back in the 70’s there was a little weed. But it was so rare. SO rare. And knowing what we know now, I’m thinking I was doing my body a favor.

Whatever it has needed I have bought. I get monthly massages, take steam baths, facials, and pedicures. I have regular check-ups and yearly lab workups. I oil it up and lotion it down. I get plenty of rest and I use heat packs and ice packs when the aches and pains act up. I feed it with the necessary Celebrex and Aleve when things get to be too much. I treat my body with respect. Mostly because it’s the only one I’ve got and I figure if I’m good to it, it will be good to me.

Let’s face it, my body owes me. And it owes me big.

I’ve heard it said a million times that growing old isn’t for sissies. Well, the truth is, I rather like growing older. I’m smarter and more confident than I’ve ever been. Business is still great fun and so is the monkey business. The years have been tough, but they’ve been pretty damn awesome too.

My life is filled with good friends, a loving family, the best kid ever, adventures, new opportunities, and laughter and excitement. I’m well aware that I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t go through all that I have. I get it, and I’m happy for it.

That being said, this body breakdown has got to stop.

Anyone out there have any answers (short of going to Switzerland for a body transplant)? Because I’m all ears! I’m not looking for the fountain of youth, but I am hoping to find the fountain of sustainability.

Rant over. I’m waiting by my computer for answers. No pressure.

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Ginger Kadlec - I feel your pain, sista! It’s tough gettin’ “old”… but it’s sure better than the alternative.

My solution (although, it doesn’t really ‘solve’ the core issue, but does offer some short-term relief)? I sleep with a heating pad, enjoy a little wine in the evening and take an occasional Alleve (like this morning… ugh). Hang in there and thanks for the smile today — know that you are not alone!!!

Best,
Ginger

Frankie K. - Don’t you wish you could be just like Lindsey Wagner-the Bionic Woman? Didn’t she have bionic eyes?

I was already nearsighted at age 10 and just started using readers. It helps to have a teenage son around who can read the print on the mac and cheese box. Yes getting old has it’s challenges, but I do feel more confident in who I am and having dear friends and family near-guess that’s the trade off.

Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - Sounds like it’s time to smoke a little MJ for all your aches and pains… sorry, I just had to say it!

Tana Bevan - Kudos! Takes talent to rant with finesse (and that you did). I hear you about the body breakdown. Ours was the generation that was never to age. Ours was the generation that was to be “forever young.” Apparently the higher ups didn’t get the memo. (Or if they did, it was ignored.)

PS: Love the pic.

Lee Lefton - Answers? You want answers? I will give you the answer that I have heard from many of my contemporaries. It will sound very Zen. Or very cliche. Ready?

It is what it is.

Doesn’t alter the fact that at our ages, things are breaking down. And as the great actor, Peter Finch, said in the movie “Network,”

“I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!”

But what choice do we have? Just keep moving forward every day. I think you’re doing great. Which as you pretty much sum up toward the end of your rant.

xoxo
You-know-who

Joan Cooper - So you want an answer – here is my three cents worth:

It is all in the Genes. I never heard that people living to be 90 or more did the right diet, exercise etc. They have the right Genes.

I do not understand why people who are going to marry and have children do not have their genetic maps studied. It should be a routine thing to do. There are strong genes and weak genes – people who are going to bring life to this world should be concerned about what they are creating. Why is it so haphazard? This is creation we are talking about – not romance.

It is all in the GENES, Tammy.

Luv,

Joan

Carole Schultz - Wow…it could have been me writing this…spooky. As I was reading, I was saying yes, yes, oh yes. So I, too, wait with breath baited for some answers…(just taken the (celebrex)

Tammy - Hi Ginger, it sounds as though you’ve got it down with how to handle this nonsense. Good to know I’m not alone. I’m not minding aging one bit EXCEPT for the body breakdown part. I’m not going into the dark night very peacefully. *whimper* So appreciate the positive pep talk. SO appreciate it … and you.

Tammy - Hi Frankie, at this point I would absolutely take bionic anything. My mind tells me to do it, but my back, neck, legs and now eyes, tell me that I better think again. *deep sigh* I agree with you, the wisdom and friendships we have made along the way, make up for everything. Well, almost everything. Clearly I need a better attitude. Any day now! Appreciate the read and the kind words!

Tammy - Hi Laura Lee, you are so funny. And … you may be so right. After all, I do live in California. And I do remember a time in one of illnesses that the doc prescribed it (when it wasn’t legal) to help my nausea. It did the trick. Something to think about! Thanks for being here!

Tammy - Hi Tana, yeah, I’m still waiting for the age of Aquarius. The dawning has hit, and it’s not pretty. Aging is one thing. Falling apart is quite something else. I am thrilled to be here, in my sixties and still optimistic about the future. I’d just like to be able to see the damn thing when it gets here. Yeah, I know … bad attitude. I’m working on it. Appreciate your kind words and your sharing … tons! Thanks for that.

Tammy - Hi you know who, that’s it? That’s all I get? “It is what it is”? *big forlorn sigh* I know we have no choice. And believe me, I love that I’m growing older. I do! But does everything have to fall apart before I even get to the third act of my life? Seriously? I’d like to be able to walk the last mile and see where the hell I’m going. All right, I’ll stop bitching now (shock). You’re right, of course, we need to just keep moving forward. Every day. I’m right there with you, my friend. Always. xo

Tammy - Hi Joan, you’ve said a mouthful there. I was graced with the good skin of my father’s side of the family and the apple cheeks of my mom’s. Genes! I too have known many people who have aged wells despite the fact that they eat bacon everyday, drink like a fish and have smoked for years. Go figure. So, does it really come down to the luck of the gene pool draw. Evidently. Thanks for sharing. Always love hearing from you!

Tammy - Hi Carole, we are sisters from another mother! Perhaps we should be looking into commune living as we get older. We could all share drugs, advice and help one another with our walkers. Now that’s a thought that should scare us both to death! Lovely to hear from you, my friend!

Joan Cooper - That’s right, Tammy. To put it bluntly – we breed animals with more care than we breed humans.

Joan

Ellen Dolgen - I am in the same boat with the glasses, my dear. I am not sure where you are in your perimenopause and menopause journey, but I would definitely be talking to your menopause specialist about your body aches and numbness. Estrogen therapy can decrease joint pain after menopause, according to a new study published in Menopause. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-03/tnam-ehk031813.php

Kitt Crescendo - Geez! Now I’m sitting here thinking about my eyes. I turned 40 a couple months ago. I’ve never needed glasses for things close up, but found myself blinking shortly after my birthday while reading my iPad. Fortunately I realized it wasn’t because I now needed bifocals or readers, but rather because the brightness was a tad too bright on my device. Still, getting older is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Tammy - Hi Kit, my advice to you is to NOT worry about any of this stuff. It’s coming your way by hook or by crook, so what the hell?! Just deal with it when it drops at your doorstep. I discovered I needed reading glasses when I couldn’t read the menu at a restaurant. Yup, it was really that quick. Bam! No warning. No subtleties. Age is a wicked mistress. And when I meet her, I will thank her for the privilege then rip her a new one for all the insanity that came along for the ride. You’ve got a ways to go, my darling. We’ll all be waiting for you in the back 40!

Tammy - Oh, Ellen, you’re beautiful AND smart. I have no idea where the hell I’m at. There are menopause specialists?? Really? Do I look them up under that title? My PCP put me on an HRT patch. Without it I have been known to be a headachy, sweaty, raging bitch. I know … hard to believe. I will check out the links asap. I feel smarter already! I’ve never paid too much mind to the reading glasses. But everyday glasses? WTH?! I’m not ready for that. But, that’s what life does…throws us curve balls when we’re NOT ready. Catching them is the hard part. Thanks awfully for the read and the comment!

Mel G - Dear Tammy,
The only thing you CAN do is accept the fact that your body is not a finely-tuned machine that will last 100 years (See poem “The Deacon’s One-Horse Shay”. Anything you can use to stem the tide is only a stop gap measure. This is not meant to sound depressing, but practical. Use what you do have and be grateful for that.
Case in point: eyes. I was the only baby born with glasses so I could find my way out. I used to wear coke bottles. I’ve had cataracts and now have macro degeneration, (but it’s holding.) I am grateful, grateful, grateful for all that I can see.
Consider yourself most fortunate. Beat back the advancing aches by continuing to do fun things.

Tammy - Oh, Mel, now I feel totally and utterly ridiculous. You are right, of course. Again. Things could always be worse. I was born cross eyed. 2 surgeries, coke bottle glasses and prism to follow eventually straightened them out. As a result of the surgeries, I have no depth perception. Tricky at times. I fall a lot. You’d think I’d get graceful at it. I haven’t. It all seems to be happening way to quickly. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I riding my bike to the grocery store for a bag of groceries (totaling 12 bucks). It only seems that way. Thanks for your wisdom, wit and patience!

Ellen Dolgen - Yes, there are menopause specialists! Check out my Menopause Doctor Directory to see if the sisterhood has recommended a doctor in your area. http://www.shmirshky.com/doctor-directory/ If not here are some good tips on how to find a doctor and hormone happiness! http://www.shmirshky.com/menopause-blog/2012/11/05/menopause-mondays-ellens-5-steps-to-hormone-happiness-step-5-stay-on-the-path/
My Motto is: Reaching out is In! Suffering in silence is OUT! Go get the help you need an deserve! Be sure to keep me posted…. I am here if you have any questions! Just email me!

Tammy - Thanks Ellen. You are awesome. Will definitely look deeply into this. Deeply. Assuming I can read the screen 🙂

Sandra Sallin - You are hysterical. I will not take you seriously because you know what? You’re still alive and kicking! Kicking high I might add. So just get on with it and be grateful that you can.

PS. I do know what planta faciitus is. Trust me.

Doreen McGettigan - Omgoodness it is awful. My knee was hurting so bad the other day and the doc says nothing is wrong. I swear they make me feel like I imagine pain.
I am in on the wheat and dairy. I have no idea why it’s happening but ever since I had my gal bladder out 2 years ago I gained 30 pounds in my middle and have issues with wheat. I’m slowly eliminating gluten.

Tammy - Hi Sandra, Isn’t that Planter stuff the WORST?! Yowza! Having a tennis ball near my desk helped me through it. Yup, I will just get on with it, but clearly not without some substantial whining (it helps!). I’m actually going to follow Ellen’s lead and find a menopausal expert (who knew?). Wish me luck! So happy to have you here, Sandra! Thanks for that.

Tammy - Hi Doreen, I am becoming a little thicker in the middle too. I think it’s genetics. I remember my grandmother packed it on there. NOT awesome. Weight, wheat, sugar, coffee, gluten, dairy, …. so many things to be concerned with. It’s all SO exhausting. And by the way, you are NOT imagining pain. That’s crazy talk. If you feel it, it’s there. Thanks for the read, Doreen, AND the comment!

A Pleasant House - Denial- and Motrin.

Maritza - I usually read your articles (which are by the way fantastic) and never leave a comment probably because you cover it so well I feel I really can’t add nothing to it. However, this time around I could only say that aging sucks. There is nothing we could do, but accept it in our lives with grace and humor. There is no other way!

Tammy - Thanks, Cheryl. I’m an expert at one and a big fan of the other!

Tammy - Maritza, I’ve got the humor part down pat. The “grace” part I work on every day. So very happy to have you in my corner!

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