Another long weekend has come and gone and alleluia it was event free. You see, on Labour Day Weekend I decided visiting the emerge was the best course of action because I didn’t feel right. The space between my shoulders hurt like hell and when it wrapped around to my chest and it was painful to breathe I wasn’t interested in waiting around to see what was going to happen next.
Hubby Tom drove me and we were happy to walk right into triage and check in with no traffic. I had an ECG right away which turned out to be normal, blood pressure normal (which was nice as I had a bout with high blood pressure about 3 years ago when I was dealing with the autistic teenager in full blown puberty stink) and all vitals looked fine. Then the waiting game began and it was about two hours before I saw the doctor who was female, thank God. Nothing against men, but when I started into perimenopause I was having a hard time getting my male practitioners to listen, hear and understand me. To be fair, how could they? Last year I made a conscious effort to put my care into the hands of women. Vagina owners understand where other vagina owners are coming from. Far be it from me to understand what it is like to have a penis or prostate, and for me the solution was to make sure my doctor, my dentist, massage therapist and chiropractor are all women. No hard feelings guys, I do love men (Christ, I have three of my own whom I adore) I just need to feel that I can relate to the people who take care of my health and they can relate to me. Fast forward to the problem that brought me into the ER – turned out it was musculoskeletal and the doctor recommended I see my chiropractor. The chiropractor told me I had put my ribs out of place and the pain I was feeling was from the muscles being stretched and held in a way they weren’t supposed to be. They were working overtime to keep my misaligned bones in place. How did I put everything out of sorts? I re-arranged our kitchen. Yep… nothing fancy, no cool or dramatic story. It was house work. And while the bending and the re-arranging didn’t seem strenuous, by the time I got to sweeping and mopping I must have done something, twisted just a little too much one way and by the time morning came, what I thought was just tiredness had me believing I was having a freaking heart attack.
Over the years, my body has indicated that there can be too much of a good thing. I have always been active and I love my sports and my dance but the wear and tear started to show I’d say around age 44 – about the same time I got my first pair of glasses. I think I can truly say something hurts everyday. I have sciatica which I have learned to keep at bay but it’s there every day and I think it’s been hanging around for about 4 years. When I was 41, I left powdery Alberta to arrive in grainy, icy Ontario and I dislocated my elbow and broke off the head of my radius snowboarding which resulted in hardware that created a functional bionic elbow but a lot of arthritis too which I had cleaned out I think 2 years ago. I have had bouts of patella tendinitis from tennis and running but I figure if I can stand and get out of bed and move, I’m going to keep going. I don’t run very often and I have not had the time to play tennis this year but I do still get out there whenever I can. A couple of fingers on my right hand hurt when I play golf but so far it has not affected my game.
Age fifty seems to like to wrap all these painful jabs into one big ball and throw it right at me every day as a joke and I catch it but I don’t think it’s funny. But according to that silly little bracelet I bought on a whim at American Eagle 11 years ago that says “Live your Life” with a little red heart beside it – that’s what I do – that’s what I’m always going to do. I remember I would wake up on those mornings after an exhausting “autistic Adam” night and I would see that little red heart and read those three simple words and I would swing my legs off the bed, make my feet hit the floor and start another day – again – in spite of wanting to just curl up in a ball and hide beneath the covers and wish my current life away. Now, the autism woes are less so. He is not the easiest person in the world to live with but life with him is easier than when puberty started…seems like it is slowly ending, (thank the Lord above) but the woes of my body have taken over and at 50 you are more in touch with your mortality. A pain, a lump or a bump can spell disaster or maybe the older we are, the more informed we are and perhaps the more paranoid we become. It’s hard to know what your body is usually capable of and accept that you don’t do things quite as easily or fantastically as you once did. I’m not saying you can’t be really good at what you do – what I am saying is there are subtle differences and sometimes blatant differences that lets you know the machine is older and a little more worn.
Since I don’t find the 50 joke very funny, I’ve formulated a plan. I’m making a point of eating even better than we already do (while still finding moments to indulge lol), I’m going to keep making a point of exercising 6 times a week (varying it up to defeat boredom) and I’m gonna just keep getting up and getting out of bed no matter how achy and tired I feel some days and I’m gonna “Live my Life”. So try again 50! To you and your joke of aches, pain and discomfort, I flip the proverbial bird in spite of the arthritis forming in that finger.