There is age with grace, but no such thing as "aging gracefully." It's an ugly process. In fact, I'm going down kicking and screaming!
Parts of my body are not where they should be. I wore two-piece bathing suits till I was fifty. Now I dread having to purchase anything to wear near the water. I must take a pile of swimsuits two sizes larger than my dress size to the changing room. They must have underwires in the bra. Speaking of the bra, if I tie the halter strings so tight around my neck as to actually lift my boobs, I am gasping for air. My butt hangs down below the suit and I must take it (the suit, not my butt) to a seamstress to have tighter elastic sewn in. My belly "pooch" will only disappear if I purchase a swimsuit with a blouse-like top. Yes, I know 10,000 steps/day will rid me of the pooch (what's in there, anyway?), and no, I do not intend to add an eighth day of exercise to my already overbooked routine!
I began noticing in photos that my right eye was only half open. So I figured the opthomologist would be able to measure the eyelids and lift the right one - a simple procedure, according to my friends. Dr. Wesley measured and informed me my eyelids were exactly the same and had not drooped. What had drooped was my forehead! That procedure is surgical and would cost a minimum of $5,000. And oh yes, the plastic surgeon could not assure me of raising the brow more than one-quarter of an inch!
I have acquired new parts growing on my body. I have odd-shaped lumps under my arches and on tops of my toes. A podiatrist informed me that they are benign cysts, created by the friction of certain shoes. And then there is the matter of the bunions. They are round balls sticking upward and outward from each large toe. My sister and I both inherited my father's feet. He used to insert a rubber wedge between his big toe and the next when he went to bed. I simply ignore them, but for vanity's sake, the bunions cannot go unfettered! I must choose enclosed fronts on my shoes or bands across the balls. The days of hubby giving me a foot massage are over, and who can blame him?
My hands have developed raised blue veins, and the bones protrude in-between. My granddaughter refers to the squirming veins as "blue worms." The same plastic surgeon informed me that I could inject each hand with fat to hide the veins (wonder what part of my body the fat would come from?). The cost would be a mere $5,000 per hand.
Parts of me have gone missing. Such as hair that is falling out. But I guess I shouldn't worry, since I am gaining it on my chin and above my upper lip!
I was born without three permanent teeth. I am lucky that is all that was missing! The holes where they were supposed to appear didn't matter when I was still eating baby food. Eventually, however, the teeth that did appear moved over into the holes, necessitating braces. Twenty years later, I needed bridges. And now, implants. Why bother, if dentures are next??
Choosing the proper foods and portions at this age is like being in boot camp. Especially with high cholesterol. Charley and I count our blessings that we do not have high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, tuberculosis, diabetes, multilple sclerosis, hepatitis, shingles, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's, colitis, osteoporosis, hemorrhoids, rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS, or cancer. We are continually digesting complex carbohydrates (fruits and veggies, meaning a salad at EVERY lunch)), 100% whole grains, fish, and poultry. I begin drooling when I think of a medium rare hunk of steak! Peanut butter, cakes, pies, ice cream, frozen yogurt, candy, do not even enter our home. Cheesy or creamy sauces and pizza never enter our mouths. We snack on Reduced Fat Wheat Thins, hummus, granola bars, and fruit. One wine or beer is our limit before switching to water, juice, or soda. I still have the "pooch."
There is the matter of hearing loss. Charley claims I cannot hear him and I tell him the reason I can't hear him is because he has a pipe in his mouth, is mumbling, and is in another room. I claim he cannot hear me, even if I am in the same room. When I have to repeat everything, I simply get louder. Eventually, I am shouting. "You don't have to shout!" he tells me, all huffy. I ask him to get a hearing test, and he asks me to get my ears cleaned out.
Hot flashes are the worst part. Charley fondly proclaims that I have had them for twenty years, which is close to the truth. What would men do if they were overcome throughout the day (in dress shirt and tie) with a prickly rash, and waves of sweat? In our Florida apartment we arrive at a compromise: I keep the temperature low, and Charley wears a light sweatshirt. He is used to my pulling the covers up to my chin to protect against the blast of cold air hitting my side of the bed. He is also used to my subsequent thrashing to get those covers off about ten minutes later. His body is like a furnace if I cuddle against him, so I reach over with only an arm. Immediately I begin to feel a burning lightning bolt shoot through my limb. I count that as a good thing!
I saw an ad in THE SUN SENTINEL Sunday paper for a choice of nightgown or pajamas designed to help women "who suffer pain, night sweats, and other discomforts" to get restful, comfortable sleep. The nightwear comes in a handful of styles and colors and the cost ranges from $29.95-$69.95. I was actually considering looking at the manufacturer's website until I read further. The journalist tried the pajamas and felt the same old YOU-KNOW-WHATS! But maybe if I looked good, I'd acquire some grace???
- Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
- Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.