- Aging & Longevity
Things Nobody Told Me About Aging
I guess maybe I should give the benefit of the doubt and call this "or things people told me about aging and I selectively forgot."
The gray hair sucks, but I knew it was coming--though I never would have imagined that it would grow in mostly in one chunk in the front like some sort of reverse Jay Leno effect! The wrinkles were expected as well, though they are not a welcome addition. I have gone from someone that got away with basic "soap and water while in the shower" face washing to a bathroom counter half-full of all my various washes and creams and serums. Heck, I even knew about varicose veins! But there is so much you just don't have enough warning about, or maybe with a lot of it I was just to scared to embrace the eventuality. I know my MS makes it worse in some areas, and I know that my recent MS related cognitive struggles have added to that. But, alas, a lot of it just has to be blamed on thepassing of time...
It is sad really, not because it reminds me that I will die one day, I am at peace with that fact. The sad thing is that when talking to friends we used to sit and giggle about guys and talk about the latest party where we were out all night...and now we sit and complain about our wrinkles and bad knees and all this other pitiful stuff!
Early to Bed
I think the first thing I noticed was that I was no longer able to pull late nights regularly, much less all-nighters. I look back and remember so many nights out with friends at a club until 2 a.m., and then we would go eat afterwards and then sit and talk at someone's house until 5 a.m. After all that we would still manage to wake up at 9 or 10 to go have breakfast together and then manage to go to work the next day, with seemingly no major consequences. This is no longer even remotely possible! Excluding the fact that eating at 3 a.m.--and the type of food that usually means you are eating--is no longer possible (see stomach issues below...), such a night would put me out of commission for days!! It takes a really special event to even keep me out past mignight lately, and then I usually have to sleep in the next day or take a nap the following afternoon, or both.
Time for Replacement Parts?
Around the same time was also when I noticed that my body seemed to be falling apart. I know a lot of it may be worsened by my MS, and the weight I carry because exercising has become such a problem due to the MS and because I am an emotional eater and there is depression that comes with MS. But the bottom line is that our bodies just start to feel the wear and tear of living. Back pain, knee pain, other joint pain, and the list goes on. I blame a lot of it, sadly, on modern medicine. I feel that our ability to heal or make better things like back pain prevented us from continuing to evolve as upright animals, and without the advent of procedures to assist we may have developed stronger backs and legs, and broader frames more capable of supporting our bodies. I also think that although living longer is great, we have extended the average lifespan far beyond that which was originally intended for effective use of the bodies we live in. But I digress. The bottom line is I never fathomed exactly how much and in how many places my body would start to hurt! Sometimes I wake up in the morning and feel as if I must have slept twisted like a pretzel, and the pain stays with me all day!
Will I Ever Lose Weight Again?
The talk above about weight gain reminds me about weight loss. The older you get, the harder it is to lose weight, despite the fact that it seems to become progressively easier to gain it! And when you do lose the weight your skin just seems less and less able to bounce back. I always said I would never get plastic surgery, but as the years march on so many things plastic surgery can do begin to sound better and better. My current favorite...the tummy tuck! And this is because I have lost 60 pounds and yet you can barely tell because I still have all this extra skin!
Patience? What Patience?
As you can see...another thing that suffers with age is your patience. I have always prided myself as a patient person. I did, after all, work with children for years. I actually still have my patience when it comes to kids...but when it comes to those that should no better, not so much! My BS tolerance level has dropped SIGNIFICANTLY! As has my patience with myself actually.
I Have to Wait HOW Long to Retire?
Maybe this goes hand-in-hand with the previous issue, but I am just so tired of working. I did see this one coming, but I did not expect to feel ready to retire so many years before I could. The sad thing is, I work from home, which is so much better than being in an office. And I essentially work for myself which is nice...and yet and it still working. There is nothing I would love more than to be able to sleep in until I feel like getting up each day, then spend some time reading, then play on Neopets a bit (I am a Neopets junkie!), and then watch some TV and enjoy a nice dinner with a ton of wine! Now if I could just find a way to get paid to do all that each day!
I Used to LOVE Eating This!
Then there is the stomach problems, these have just started to materialize in the past couple of years. I won't go into gory detail, but let's just say that I used to be able to eat just about anything and not have any problems. Then came lactose intolerance, such an evil thing since there is not much I love more than ice cream! And I am a Mexican food junkie but now eating most of it makes for an awful night. *sigh*
Yes, I Mentioned Incontinence...
And that brings me to incontinence. NOBODY tells you about this! Ladies, listen up! At some point you will find that if you sneeze, or laugh to hard, or run, or jump, or hold it too long...you will start to pee your pants seemingly without the ability to prevent it from happening! Does this happen to men? Is this some evil prank?
What I Wouldn't Give for a New Set of Teeth...
The last thing I have learned is that teeth are much more fragile than they seem. With this lesson has come the lesson that dental work is EXPENSIVE! I guess I just took my teeth for granted. I brush them, I have always been really good about that. But I was never a flosser, it always seemed annoying and gross and well...pointless. And I always figured that if I was a teeth-grinder I would know it. And I have only ever really gone to the dentist as an adult when I could afford it or when something hurt. I was so very wrong, and had the pleasure of having my first root canal this week. I will be better with my teeth from now on, but have months worth of work needed to correct the damage already done.
I Leave You With This...
My advice to younger generations? Take care of your skin, take care of your teeth, enjoy the energy while you still have it...and be prepared for when it all goes down the tubes!!
Pardon my rant...but maybe if I share someone else won't feel behind when their body starts to head downhill...