Diagnosis: Not Young

“According to your MRI results here, you have an incurable condition known as Advanced Haggy-Saggy Bags.”

I’m turning (ahem, cough, sputter, gasp, defibrillator) 49 years old in September. Do you think you’re also getting older? (I hear it’s a thing.) Here’s a few warning signs:

  • Bread is too spicy.
  • You think Abe Vigoda is sexy. Then when your husband tells you he’s been dead for a few years you yell, “What? Who? Dead? Who died?” Then when he yells, “ABE VIGODA!” you yell, “Heh? I don’t want to go to North Dakota! Are you nuts?”
  • Everywhere you go, you have to drag along your lower lumbar pillow or it’s achy ass for days!
  • Pinot grigio? Too spicy. And makes your ass ache.
  • 9 pm is the ‘witching hour’.

I’ve known for a few soul-sucking years that my youthful days were over. But did I need a trusted physician to confirm this? My brain tells me I’m still 28 so why do I need others to shatter that illusion?

WARNING: Here comes the “oh my aches and pain!” portion of the post–grab the Ben Gay.

I’d been having this gnawing grinding pain in my shoulder for months. Naturally, I did what I do best, pretended it wasn’t there while complaining nonstop to my husband. Eventually, things got so painful, I could barely get dressed or drive my car. The dull pain was constant, all day and night. I barely slept at all.

Finally, I was driving down the road–using my only good arm–when it hit me. I can’t reach out to grab my Big Mac at the drive-thru without shooting pains running down my arm! Why bother living? So off I went to see the doc.

All sorts of diagnoses ran through my head. I could have a pinched nerve…tendonitis…a spinal cyst, maybe a tumor. That would explain why I suddenly blurt out inappropriate things to total strangers standing in line at Target like, “Can you help me hoist this jug o’ wine onto the counter because my friggin’ shoulder hurts so bad I think I have a spinal cyst!”

The doctor asked me about my symptoms and I rambled on and on like some loony old lady. It’s odd isn’t it? You get to a certain age and you say stuff you know damned well the person listening doesn’t care two shits about, but you just babble on and on. You think, oh dear, maybe I shouldn’t launch into that time I had severe diarrhea after eating bread, but oopsy doodle! the words just come flying out and next thing you know the doctor is telling you to shut it and listen up because they’re trying to help you get better for god’s sake so they can make tee time at the Lisinopril Creek Golf Course.

She had me do some lifting exercises, bent my arm every which way and said, “Hmm. Looks like a classic case of rotator cuff injury.”

“Oh! Wow! What caused that? Is it because I type too much at work? Or sit wrong at my desk? Or reached out for that Big Mac? Or is it due to a pinched nerve or some kind of…”

“Oh no, no, no. It’s none of those things. It’s because you…”

The room started spinning. My heart raced. I felt faint. Then her words slurred into slow-motion.

“…are gettttttting ollllllllllllder….”

I immediately thought of this scene from Parks and Recreation. He just found out about his shoulder injury and asked the doctor, “What’s the cure?”

“Get in a time machine and go back to when you were 25.”

34 thoughts on “Diagnosis: Not Young

  1. Old age isn’t funny, but you make it seem that way. I’ve been in babbling-symptoms-to-the-doctor mode and it ain’t pretty. I have not yet reached the point where bread and wine are too spicy, so I can take Holy Communion without Tums. Loved “Lisinopril Creek Golf Course”–junkets sponsored by Big Pharma, of course. My sister says when you hit 50, you get to go backward. So this birthday, I’ll be 49 again. 🙂

    1. Due to my ongoing issues with aging, I’ve managed to completely give up the following:
      1. Alcohol. 2. Caffeine. 3. Dairy 4. My will to live.

      This year of turning almost-50 has been a real eye-opener. Also a shoulder-jammer and a butt-cracker. My body is crickety and crackety and people say to me “beats the alternative!” and “at least you’re still alive!” and “some have it worse!” and “suck it up, buttercup!” etc etc. And I say to them. I know that. But it hasn’t dampened my ability to bitch and moan at all.

  2. No! Tell me it ain’t so! Rotator cuff injury sounds icky. A few years ago when I was doing demo work in my kitchen (chiseling brick face off the wall), I must have hyperextended something because before long I couldn’t raise my left arm up very high. Time and my chiropractor fixed it, but every now and then it talks to me. Getting old for sure. Just wait til you get to the other side of 50. Going to YouTube now to see your Little Miss’ channel.

    1. Oh, and I didn’t even go into the half of my rotator cuff injury story with this post (sounds like a mechanical car issue doesn’t it?) It has been, without a doubt, terrible. Chronic pain day and night I’m used to (all my endo issues I had most of my life) but the shoulder? We use it for EVERYTHING.

      And it’s not just big movements that trigger it. It’s the minuscule movements, like reaching over to jab my husband because he says I’m complaining too much. I pulled it yesterday because I turned a page in a book.

      I’ve had this pain for going on 9 months and the doctor said it will take months of physical therapy to maybe MAYBE get back to normal. But really, what she wanted to say was the only cure was to get in the time machine.

      Thanks for checking out Julia’s youtube! She works hard on it and would really like move viewers! 🙂

  3. I read somewhere that if you can feel the pain you should be thankful. It is a reminder that you still have much to live for. I am still looking for the logic there.

  4. I feel you. I’ve had a pain in my right buttocks (not Trump–I’m speaking literally) that I’ve diagnosed as “old butt.” It is solely from it moving my right leg for 46 years and it’s tired and done–kind of like me.

  5. If you ever have the opportunity to join a rehab program sponsored by a local hospital, a YMCA or a bad dream, by all means do go. But prepare for the most horrendous physical problems as told by your rehab buddies. They must give awards for the most terrible physical problem ever known on earth. Or at least in New Jersey.

    1. Weird, I was just at the YMCA last week with my daughter. She insisted I get in the pool with her to swim. Picture me standing in the pool, water up to my neck and moving my one good arm around, moaning and groaning the whole time.

      Then I had lunch with some of my friends, who no lie, are the ages of 75, 76 and 80. (I call us the Golden Girls and we do eat cheesecake). One of them just had her hip replaced. We sat around laughing, talking about politics, murder mystery books and of course, our respective ailments. Sadly, I had plenty of material. And I love our get togethers! I have a good time! Yep, I’ve officially crossed over to the other side of life.

  6. Relax...

    Well, almost 50 is almost a whole generation behind me, so I guess I’m very lucky, but I did have a shoulder issue for a while (excruciating). It turned out that I had passed the mark for being able to sleep on an extended right arm all night. I didn’t do much with it at first, but eventually I figured out the problem and slept less comfortably but woke better; also, daughter sent me a print-out of some of her bad-shoulder p.t. exercises. I had to send the papers back to her, so I remember only the first one which I employ from time to time to fool my body into thinking I am considering its overall welfare. Not now, maybe later and maybe as maintenance, stand parallel to a wall one (bad) arm’s length away, and pretend you are marking the alphabet in capital letters. It honestly helped, but I don’t know what my injury was. I’m sorry you’re in pain.. I hope you find relief!

    1. Thank you. I have my own little print out of pt exercises and I do them daily. The x ray, of course, showed nothing and she said a possible MRI in the future. Honestly, I avoid doctors like the plague so I’ll give it a few more weeks of pain.

  7. Rotfl! I turned 60 this year. Immediately, the next morning, all my moveable parts started aching. A month later I went to the doctor. Here’s the list:

    Plantar fasciitis in both feet.
    Tendonitis in my Achilles tendon on one foot.
    Osteo-arthritis in my knee. Also in my fingers. (Advice? Keep using them. Hold this thought.)
    A little rotator cuff something in my right shoulder.
    Tendonitis in my left thumb.
    Carpal tunnel in both hands. (Avoid repetitive motion. See the problem?)

    I will be in PT forever.

    1. Oh I hear ya! I have had tendonitis in my ankle…lower back arthritis…what happened to my body? A few years ago when I was 45 I felt fine! I do blame repetitive motion…Well guess I had better win the lottery so I won’t have to work anymore. The only thing I can do pain free now is sit.

  8. Margy

    When you are 69 and are bitching about age related things, I’ll feel even more empathy for you… or maybe I won’t ’cause I’ll be 89… or dead…

  9. I hear you and I raise you 11 years. I’m going to be 60 in a few weeks. SIX-FFFFING-ZERO!?! We’re having a big party – how about flying out to Illinois, Miss Darlypants? It will take your mind off your aches and pains.

    Seriously, I am sorry to hear about your rotator cuff. I constantly bitch about the increasing wrinkly, fat sagginess of this old bod, and take for granted that it still moves relatively smoothly, and has pretty much let me alone in the pain department so far. Time to count my blessings…and put on the ole sports bra and head to the gym to keep it that way.

    Hope all is great in Maine. The hubster has had some health issues that have been keeping me sorta busy, but we’re doing fine. Just haven’t had the mojo for blogging, Facebook, anything. I miss you, kiddo.

    1. Aw, I miss you too, Peggles!! So sorry to hear about your hubby’s issues. Sigh.

      I understand the lack of social media mojo…I barely post anything on Facebook…twitter…or this blog. But I do miss writing and chatting with readers. Happy early birthday to you! I wish I could fly out there to visit! Much love to you and your family 🙂

    1. I like to believe time doesn’t exist. Everything that has ever happened or will happen is all happening at once. Of course…this doesn’t explain why sitting on an exam table waiting for the doc to come in to tell you “you’re getting old” takes an eternity.

  10. I’m going to be laughing at “bread is too spicy” for months. Also. I’m willing to fly to Maine at a moment’s notice if it means I can help you buy (and drink) jugs of wine.

    1. Yes! When you come back to visit your family in Joisey…it’s just a hop, skip and a jump up here!

      But warning: I gave up alcohol completely about a month ago. No lie. Dropped five pounds so far and feel great. I know, it’s crazy! I will have the occasional glass though, especially if you come here! But yes it’s true. I am stone cold sober now. (another side effect of “getting old”)

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