Scribblings

Old age… but only because the alternative sucks

My right shoulder needs cortisone shots to not cause constant pain. The insertion point of some muscle on my right arm hurts if I try to pick up something heavier than a dime. My left shoulder is rapidly following my right shoulder to the shot department. My butt has an inflamed bursa… whatever the hell that is. I don’t even want to look it up. I don’t care what it is. I just want it to stop hurting.

When I first moved to Anchorage and got hanging plants for my porch, I could water those plants by lifting the watering can over my head and pouring the water in. Then a few years later I found I needed both hands to hold the container up to water them. This year, I realized I can no longer water them by lifting the can over my head whether I’m using one hand or two. Now I have to take the plant down and water it on the ground and then hang it quickly before the water I put in makes it too heavy to life again. Ah old age.

Here’s some other fun moments. I can’t hear individual conversations when I’m in a room full of conversations and other noises. You can be standing two inches from my nose and I won’t hear you. The only way I’ll know what you’re saying is if I can read your lips.

Once you’ve reached a certain age, eating anything after 9 PM makes a good sleep impossible. Milk products are now pretty much the enemy. If I eat cabbage or beans, I need to be alone in my house for at least a day before I can be in human company again. And trust me, my dogs are not so thrilled to be holed up with me for a day in the house under those conditions. Bending over to tie my shoes means coming up for air at least twice if not more often during the procedure. And that effort to carry all the groceries from the car at once can still be done but does leave me thinking that the big one is coming.

So what are the positives? Well, for one thing, the alternative to old age is death. So there’s a positive for aging, no matter how badly. I no longer hold my tongue, which still gets me in trouble but not half as often. People look at me and figure I’m just a senile old lady. I only eat about two meals a day, if that. Yet I am almost always hungry for McDonald’s french fries which are often one of those two meals. I never wear a bra or have to. People assume I’m old and they are just naturally sagging that low even with all the help a bra could possibly provide. And finally, I no longer feel even the slightest need to put up with assholes. That’s truly one of the great freedoms of old age. I just walk away and never look back. After all, even if they hate me for pointing out what assholes they are, at my age how long will that hate actually have?

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