I think every baby should come with two books: the first, for the new mother, to explain how to properly raise it; and the second, for the child when it's old enough to read, so the growing person will know what to expect as they grow. And age.
The warranty on my body has officially expired. I creak and crack when arising in the morning, and almost every day there's a new surprise. When the surprises took the form of strange little bumps and spots on my skin, I saw a dermatologist. "You can expect a new one of those for every year you're alive," he told me, a smile on his young face and a twinkle in his warm brown eye. "It's when you stop getting them you have to worry." He paused. "Or when you forget why you have them."
Oh. Well, now.
I took that nugget of wisdom home and mulled over it. Rolled it around on the countertop and checked it from every angle. Hmm. Once in awhile I pull it out of storage and check it over again.
So as the creaking and popping and crackling get louder and more common, I mark them down as just more of each year's presents. How am I supposed to know when something isn't "just age" and do something about it? (And is that short term memory loss natural or Memorex?)
Today I was in to see my doctor for a refill on medication (thyroid, my newest). The people waiting in the lobby area with me attracted my attention. One angular woman with a short skirt got a drink at the fountain in front of where I was sitting. She took a pill out of her pocket and popped it into her mouth, then tipped forward for a drink. Tip back, to see if that pill would go down. Tip forward for more water. Tip back, tip forward. For a moment, she was one of those drinking birds that do that on the edge of a water glass.
When was the last time I saw one of those? I forget.
When I got in to see the doctor, I remarked how my lower back aches a lot. And sometimes my hips hurt. A barrage of questions followed, along with a request for a urine sample. I chuckled as I peed into their cup, hoping they weren't checking for a pregnancy. Or maybe I was hoping they were. I forget.
I know I was looking forward to the tech's expression when she told me I wasn't pregnant and I could triumphantly announce, "Of course I'm not. That'd be hard to do since my surgery."
That simple urine test run, my doctor handed me a slip for getting an x-ray and ultrasound. "Let's start with this," he said. There was a smile on his not-so-young face, and a twinkle in his warm brown eye.
"But I thought I was just getting old," I told him.
He laughed. "Not yet."
I called the x-ray place when I got home, and I have an appointment for tomorrow morning. (No great rush; they had a cancellation.) If this is something curable, and not just the decades settling into my joints, I still won't have an answer to my question.
When should I be using "getting old" as an excuse?
Copyright 2014 Michelle Hakala