Health Over 40
I feel stupid talking about my health because once I get rolling, I sound like I am making it up and/or I am a total hypochondriac. As a child, I wasn’t particularly sickly – although I do remember a bad case of pneumonia when I was out of school for so long my mom sewed me a doll. I wish I still had that doll, because it was one of those surprise gifts that mean so much.
It would also be nice to hug that doll on days that I try and balance all the things wrong with me now.
I’ve always battled my weight and yo-yoed up and down since puberty. There is rampant Type 2 diabetes on both sides of the family, so it’s not surprising they found mine at age 32 while I was pregnant with Dex. They knew it was not gestational – my numbers were so high the diabetes clinic cleared their evening schedule to teach me about insulin and the nutrition of diabetes. I asked if Bryan could give me the shots and the nurse looked at me sympathetically. “You’re going to be dealing with this the rest of your life. We really prefer that you handle it.”
Everything was downhill after that. An emergency c-section (unrelated to the diabetes). Sinus issues so bad we have talked about surgery. Night terrors. Anxiety. Depression. Pills. More pills. An eye emergency in New York that lead me to the ER and weeks of gunky ointment. Then, of course, that wonderful ear infection that almost killed me and put me on my back for nine months. Oh yeah, and the damn diabetes.
I am starting to feel the pin pricks in my feet that sometimes show that circulation is failing. My hands are incredibly cold all the time. We have tried various new regimes to get my numbers back under control, but everything since my ear infection has met with minimal success.
Sometimes I feel like I am running on borrowed time. Every ache leads to another pain and no matter how I stretch, the muscles just don’t work right anymore. Sure, I could exercise – but who wants to do that?
I waffle between dreading what the future in my body will be like, and looking forward to all the adventures I have left. When I was younger and people talked about mid-life crisis, it always seemed like getting that fast car or fast girlfriend was about trying to relive your past. Now it seems more like trying to do all the things you wish you could have done (pun intended) before time runs out.
But I don’t want a fast car or fast girlfriend. I’d just like to be able to participate in the world rather than watching it go by. If I had to pinpoint one of my biggest fears, that would be it.
We do so much – but what about when we can’t?
For me it’s the big C. Cancer. My mom died of it, both of her parents died of it. My grandpa on the other side now has it. 50% cancer rate in my parents, and 75% in my grandparents is some scary stuff right there. Not to mention I’ve already had skin cancer once.
I fear I won’t live long enough to meet all of my grandkids someday. My mom never met Hannah.
Meghann, I worry about cancer too. I was laughing last night (not funny at all) about how there were so many medical things I forgot to even mention in those post, like how I had my cervix frozen for cancer cells – and just like you, I have cancer hard on both sides. I was lucky enough to know my great-grandparents well and I really hope that I will be there for Dex’s kids but honestly I hardly ever even let myself think about it. Hugs, friend.
I’ve been griping about my own health stuff on my blog…but now I feel stupid, griping about taking drugs for a few weeks, trying to figure out how to cope with arthritis that I’m just starting to wonder is real or long term or what. Diabetes, depression, anxiety. That’s a hell of a lot to deal with, just like meghan is trying to deal with fears of cancer. Wow.
How poignant and true…of course you want to be here to participate in your life. And of course, you want those many years ahead of you to be healthy and happy. As to what to do when we can’t do everything we want to do, I don’t have an answer for that. I wonder if it really makes a difference at what age it hits you. I mean, 30, 40, 80, 100….if you still have a life of hopes and dreams ahead of you, it can’t be easy to let go of them. But of course, as I sit here with my aching feet, I can’t help but think, “I’m too young for this crap.”
Don’t feel silly at all! Clearly we are all using our blogs for griping places and we have all known each other long enough, feel free to gripe here too. I *also* have arthritis coming down on my mom’s side and I worry about when that will start. Not to mention my mom and aunt also have gout. It is all just like we have to through our hands up and say, ok now what? lol. But joking aside, I am very sorry you are having to deal with that- I watched my grandmother live with RA and it’s incredibly painful. Much love to you.
I’m shocked that I feel this crappy at my age. I was wondering the other night, if 38 feels like this, I have a hard time picturing 48 or 58. NONE of those ages should feel old, in my opinion, yet here I am. One of my more recent blood tests has a red flags for a certain type of leukemia. I’m fairly certain it was a false positive due to some other factors, but we’ll retest to be sure.
I too don’t feel like I’m asking for the moon or anything, I’d just like to enjoy life with my family instead of being flat on my back so much. Today was a good day, and I’m going to hold on to that.
Right Jessica? When my mom and aunt would say getting old sucks, I would laugh. And the other thing I alluded to but didn’t say explicitly is how all of this makes me so stiff. Sometimes I can’t even move from back pain. What the??? I am lucky to be able to get massages often and they REALLY help – but when I do my photography and can barely move the next day – it’s so discouraging. But you are right. It’s the right thing to just feel happy about the good days. xo
I totally understand your feelings. I’ve been grappling with them as well. I’m not as healthy as I would like, but I’m also tired and trying to juggle so many other things. But I’m waiting. I feel like the other shoe will drop and it is my health that is going to ruin it all. I’m so sorry you have to battle so many really difficult health challenges. As the daughter of a sometimes brittle type 1 diabetic mom, I know 40’s can be really difficult as the body decides to muck with your hormones. But she pushed through it and is doing really well in her late 60’s.
Jen, thanks for the words of encouragement. I have to say, the latest little cocktail mix we have tried (metformin, glyburide and a little insulin) seems to have the best results so far. Since this started (after PG was aver) I only had to take metformin and was SUPER well controlled. So after my ear thing and hitting 40, my body has changed – oh and also, I am in early stages or menopause! Thanks mother nature! So, I have been on insulin and it seemed like massive amounts would do nothing. But adding the glyburide (we tried some other angles too but they didnt work) seems to be the best thing and I can use a more normal amount of insulin. ANYWAY. Thank you for totally hearing me. It’s just such a PIA to balance all of this AND still feel like garbarge! 😉 xoxo
I know exactly what you mean and I am not 40 yet. I worry about all the things my parents had, and every time I get sick, it feels worse than it did in my 20s for sure.
haha getting old sucks for sure. My dad had diabetes and mom had cancer and it was really hard to lose them. sad my kids didn’t get to know them and also scared that I will get it too.
I know Karen, I know. xo
After all the women on my mom’s side living *well* into into their late eighties and nineties, you know that my mom died of rapid-onset dementia at 68, which scared the crap out of me, now in my mid-40s. Yes, she smoked much of her life and didn’t exercise and didn’t manage her mental health well at times, but still. 68? I had a big mental health scare (kinda like your ear infection in it’s scope and scariness) about 4-5 years ago when I turned 40 — stuff builds up in your body and you come around a corner and WHAM! On your ass. It was debilitating enough to scare me into starting slowly along the road to better diet and exercise and self care. Exercising — who wants to do that? I say this with big love for you, Aimee: You have no choice. Caring about yourself and Bryan and Dex means that you will get to a place where you *have* to find exercise options (multiple) that are fun, challenging and sustainable … or you will get sicker and die earlier. That simple. The literature and the anecdotal evidence is clear. Exercise mitigates and affects all kinds of conditions in only positive ways. Lots to lose if you don’t; everything to gain. Love you.
Hope you feel better!