It’s Been A Hell Of A Week

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Sometimes I feel like I am on a roller coaster. I pull the emergency brake and nothing happens and so I just keep going around and around and around.

Besides the usual weird school calls, the asthma attacks (come get your son, please) and the hiding of food in the most unusual places; this week Gracie is making my life hell because she doesn’t want to go to Disneyland with her school orchestra. WHAT KID ON PLANET EARTH DOESN’T WANT TO GO TO DISNEYLAND? Apparently mine. It figures I would have that anomaly in my family too.

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Then the other day….the worst. B was driving to Southern CA when he had a few chest pains but continued on because they only lasted a minute or so. Then when he was driving home from Southern CA, suddenly his hand and arm just quit working. He pulled over into a rest stop and his hand was contracted like when you have a debilitating stroke. He could not grip his phone or the steering wheel. This went on for 30 minutes or so at which point he got back into the car and headed home.

The next morning as he was heading off to work he suddenly got terribly dizzy and it felt like his eyes were crossing. He could barely stand. I got him in the car to take him to the hospital and asked did he want me to take him or call an ambulance. He wanted an ambulance which immediately told me something was VERY wrong.

By the time I arrived at the hospital blood had been drawn. He was sitting in a chair in the hall. There were no rooms at the inn. He had ataxia and the ER doctor ordered an MRI and several other tests to rule out a stroke. Luckily, everything came back normal and he was discharged five hours later (having never gotten a room due to the fullness of the hospital and ER). I took him to our physician and he made an appointment for him to see a neurologist.

During the day in the ER many things went through my head. First and foremost: I LOVE THIS MAN. Through thick and thin, sickness and health and even the past two crappy years. Seeing him laying there pale, sweaty and unable to control his body scared the crap out of me but I knew one thing…I knew I would stand by him no matter what happened because he is who I love and want to be with. The thought of losing him in this way…there are no words just feelings of immense pain like falling into a dark well.

My second thought was this: Oh shit, I hope this doesn’t scare him and he decides that he is getting near the end of his life and he has to change it. As in “I think I want a divorce.” AGAIN. Needless to say, when those negative thoughts appeared I suddenly had the urge to send his chair careening down the hall into the sharpest needle possible.

Being married for 30+ years is hard. Realizing that as a couple you will be spending more time in the ER and visiting doctors is even harder. We are nearing 60 and getting old is not like the ads on TV. We are running out of both mental and physical reserves. Things ache when we wake up and when we go to bed. Knees don’t bend and body parts start to become unrecognizable.  What the HELL…WHY DOESN’T SOMEONE SIT YOU DOWN WHEN YOU ARE YOUNG AND TELL YOU ALL OF THIS? WHY DON’T THEY WARN YOU THAT OLD AGE IS ALMOST AS BAD AS THE ALTERNATIVE? Had I known all of this I would have done things differently. I would have:

  1. Taken a thousand pictures of me in a bikini at 20. Unfortunately, I thought I was “too fat” or lacking in some area. NOW, I just realize how stupid I was to believe all the negative things I told myself about my body because, believe me, it all went downhill from there.
  2. I would have traveled even more than I have.
  3. I would have started meditating and practicing mindfulness years ago and reaped the benefits both emotionally and physically for the past three decades.
  4. Laughed more and taken everything less seriously. I thought it was the end of the world if my kids didn’t grow up to be college educated folk. Now I know that there are plenty of other things that are just as valuable and pleasing when you are traveling through life.
  5. Taken a year off before I married and had kids to roam. I would have been slightly more irresponsible, experiment more, and try new things at a much greater rate than I have. I would have tried new foods constantly and put more effort into discovering my “style” long before now.
  6. Maintained my weight vigilantly so I might have reduced the chance of having the aches and pains I have now.
  7. I would have taken every lesson known to man so I would have a much broader sense of life.
  8. I would have risked more and played it safe less.
  9. I would have had more sex.

 

So there you go. A starter list for you to improve your life NOW and in the future. Don’t wait until you are laying in a gurney somewhere. Life is meant to be lived. Do it now.

 

 

 

Things Your Mother Never Told You About Aging

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So How Does It Feel Turning 55?

Frankly, it sucks …but… it is better than dying in the toilet with your pants down. I mean at this age the probability of that happening increases with every trip to the bathroom. Unfortunately, by the time you are over fifty your bladder has shrunk to the size of a pea which means you “go” every ten minutes which means the chances of getting caught dead with your pants down are approximately  144 per day. This makes going to the bathroom a terrifying experience which often results in holding everything “in” which in turn causes severe constipation.

Turning 55 makes you grumpy. It becomes a perpetual state of being because everything gets even bigger than when you were in your forties. Your medical bills, your waist size, and your appetite. Even your ears get longer…and why? What exactly is the point of having bigger ears at this point in one’s life? I really don’t want to hear the normal everyday crap. Frankly, I just want to tune my kids constant arguing out. I really don’t have a need for longer ears but I suppose since I have two they will just match my not-so-perky breasts. Yep, their giddy-up-and-go, to my dismay, turned into how-low-will- you-go? And need I remind you that your feet also get bigger. Why so you can trip over them and break a hip? Oh yeah, and your nose also grows. Really! I already paid for one nose job does this mean I will need another?

At this age vanity about one’s appearance is just not attractive. You may raise, nip and tuck but you certainly don’t talk about it because no one wants to hear about the fact that the nurse forgot to deflate the balloon on the catheter when she tried to pull it out. (true story that!)

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Another not so pleasant aspect of turning 55 is that you develop gas…bad gas. The roll down your window down for 5 minutes, blow fresh-air-in-your-face kind. The “ewww are we driving by a dairy or something?” kind of farts. It’s then that you realize that your only option to prevent cow comparisions are to live on foods such as liver and onions and tomato juice. Nasty disgusting foods but luckily your taste buds are also going on the fritz so suddenly low-gas causing silk worms seem palatable.

And did I mention hot flashes? The kind that can light up  New York City. The kind that mean you have to wash your sheets on a daily basis. I don’t know about you but I kind of feel like at this age the laundry should be getting less and not growing into monstrous unending piles of drudgery.

Fifty-five is when you start thinking your cellulite looks good compared to the rest of you. It’s when chin hairs become a topic of conversation and figuring out how to clip your toenails becomes a half-day chore. It’s when the bags under your eyes weigh more than the ones you have to carry home from the grocery store and its a time when your g-string gets lost in the folds.

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When you turn 55 you also start considering your options for funerals and do complex calculations to determine if buying the plot now is more cost effective than waiting for when its needed. And if you are smart you leave written instructions instead of letting your kids decide you look good in red when you know all it does is make you look  all washed up and out.

Yet, if you think us over 55 women are washed up/washed out and less desirable than any other woman then there is only one thing I have left to say

 

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The Perfect Study

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Several years ago I read a study that found that overweight women were consistently judged as younger than they actually were. In addition, and even more important, overweight women were rated younger than their skinny same-age counter parts. Seems that the fat in the face fills in those age fissures that often become as wide as the Grand Canyon when you reach my age.

This study was of interest to me because I am overweight. I am not obese but I have 40 pounds to lose to reach my optimum weight, improve my chances of avoiding knee replacement and probably prolong my life. Yet, as I read this study I realized there was a major flaw contained within it so I want a new study to be done. The perfect study. A study that every woman would pay good money for the results. And it is this:

I want to know exactly how much weight to lose to reach the perfect balance of enough fat to fill in those fine lines while still improving my health. At what point do those lines become caverns when the fat decreases. Is it 24.3 pounds? 18.2? 35.8? What is the optimum fat to filler ratio? Surely there is a way to measure this! I mean if you can invent Viagra certainly this should be a piece of cake. (Of course, we all know that the penis always has precedence over anything else known to man)

In this vein, my girlfriend contends that as women age they become either cows (fat, happy and always have something good to eat on the stove) or goats (skinny, carry carrots in a baggie along with a cup of double expresso at all times, and have a mmmmmmad and hungry look about them 24/7). Somehow, I think if I could learn this mathematical formula I could avoid both and look like a llama (perfect balance of fat to lean, great long distance spitter, soft and cuddly).

So all you scientists out there, I’ve just given you the perfect study that will make you a mint. At just a $1 a pop those huge students loans will be a thing of your past while this llama will be strutting her stuff in front of the pen.

Doughnut Daze

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There are times in life in which you want to just down a couple painkillers, get back into bed and drift off to sleep. This is one of those times.

Saturday night while minding my dreams and sleeping peacefully; I was awakened by someone screaming. Turns out that person was me. For as I was dreaming away, my knee locked; and when I moved it something very bad happened but what that very bad thing that happened is; I will not know until Tuesday when I see the doc. Getting old sucks.Period.End of story.

In the meantime I am laying here, half-conscious, in pain, and worried about how this is going to play out weight-wise. Because I have lost twenty pounds in the past two months by going to Pilates and walking with L in the morning and B and night. And I am finding I love to do these things. But no walking for me yesterday or today and when I stepped on the scale this morning it was up THREE F****** POUNDS. That’s right…not one…not two…but three…all in one day which according to my calculations means that in precisely one week I will have gained back every pound I have lost… and then some.

So after this morning’s fiasco on the scale I realize I need more than I originally anticipated.images-1

I need a greater number of painkillers along with something for depression if I am going to make it through the day. And a doughnut…definitely a maple creme one. SIGH.

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