• Linda Reid

I'm Falling Apart

"Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back up." - John Wagner

I'm lying on the sofa with a heating pad under my lower back while I type this. I haven't a clue what set it off but I am stiff and sore and feeling very sorry for myself. It got me thinking how little it takes to put you down when you are old.

I remember, as a kid, getting the 24-hour stomach flu and it always amazed me because it really lasted just 24 hours. It gave me hope as I lay by the toilet waiting for the next round of nausea to hit. And when it was all over, I'd tuck into a big meal because I'd be starving. Not anymore. Now the 24 hours is more like 48 hours and it takes days before I can even look at food. Great for weight loss. Not great for my health.

Then there are the various aches and pains that accompany any movement. Like getting

out of bed in the morning. What a treat. If I could, I would leap out of bed and run to the kitchen for my coffee. Instead I sit up slowly, assess the current situation then, sometimes, just lie back down again.

I am also going deaf. The other day my husband said, "Is your back stiffening up?" because I guess I was walking kind of funny. What I heard was, "Are you stepping on your nuts?" It's become a problem in our home. You can imagine the misunderstandings that arise. I have had hearing aids for about 10 years now. When my husband had the TV volume set at 20 and I couldn't begin to understand what they were mumbling about until it was set to 35, I knew something had to be done. I have the closed captioning on as well.

And, what's up with my feet? One of them is normal and lets me walk on it without grief. The other one is developing weird bumps and one of my toes is taking on a life of its own. It's disturbing. Remember when you were a kid and your body was constantly changing and growing? It's happening to me again!

When I was young and losing my teeth, not only were they replaced with big shiny new ones, I also would get paid a dime by the tooth fairy. Now when I have a tooth pulled, not only is there no replacement I am paying the tooth fairy aka my dentist.

Don't even get me started on what's going on inside my body. I'm glad I can't see it because the odd noises and rumblings are disturbing enough. Years ago, I was walking behind an old man at the grocery store and every other step he took, he'd break wind. I felt bad for him. Now it's my turn. I'm not even embarrassed anymore. I try to do the Kegel pelvic-floor exercise, but my memory is going so I forget.

I'm not complaining. I laugh all the time at how aging is changing me. It is strange and wonderful and awful all at the same time. There are so many people worse off than me and I have enjoyed a lifetime of good health. I am grateful for what I have. I look forward to what is to come. "As my lovely sister-in-law, Lauren, who has had her own share of struggles says, "Bring it on!"

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