Friday, September 23, 2011

The Age of Oldness

So I woke up this morning with a headache, which is not really a good way to wake up on a Friday morning. Okay, so it’s not really a good way to wake up any morning, but I have been known to have run-on headaches that last two or three days and I don’t particularly relish the idea of dragging around a pounding head all weekend.

You know it’s not going to be a good morning when you reach for the Excedrin before you reach for your toothbrush.

Being a pretend doctor, I’m diagnosing the cause of my headache as sinus. Certainly can’t be stress-related since I woke up with it and hadn’t had a chance to get stressed yet. Well, unless my dreams were stressful, but I don’t remember them. Perhaps I was battling dragons in my dreams or something and the dragons were winning?

Nevertheless, it occurs to me that I am entering the Age of Oldness. And, to clarify for you young’uns, the Age of Oldness is defined as when you develop the ability to predict the weather based on your symptoms.

Hmmm, you think, my fifth metatarsal hurts, which means we’ll experience 97% humidity today.

Or, Oh my stars, you moan, my aching phalanges are a clear indication that we’ll have an accumulation of 4.3 inches of snow by 7:10PM.

(Mind you, saying things like “Oh my stars” are a requirement when you reach the Age of Oldness.)

I used to marvel at old people who could accurately predict rain because their bursitis was flaring up. Or they’d know that a tornado was developing somewhere over Iowa long before any weatherman could report it because they had a twinge in their right Achilles tendon.

So when I awoke with a headache, I predicted we were going to have a dark, dreary, rainy day. And then, of course, when I finally flipped open the blinds this morning (after popping some sinus medication AND brushing my teeth) and saw the dark, dreary, rainy weather outside, I was assured of my entrance into the Age of Oldness.

I’m probably not a full-fledged member quite yet, because I wasn’t confident enough to state my prediction out loud. Were I a full-fledged member of the Age of Oldness, I would have stated emphatically to Vince immediately upon awakening, “Land sakes, honey, I’ve got a mean headache behind my right eyebrow, so we’re gonna have us a dark, dreary, rainy day today!”

Just give me a little more time. If I’m not quite there yet, I’m quickly approaching the on-ramp.

As proof, I can tell you that gone are the days when I close my eyes at night and simply sleep through until the alarm goes off in the morning and I awake feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Nowadays, my level of rest is based upon what I had to eat or drink the night before and how close to bedtime said food or drink was ingested.

And I am loathe to admit that I am sometimes forced to go to the bathroom while it is still technically nighttime. That’s an Age of Oldness behavior and I want nothin’ to do with it! Usually I can distract myself – mostly be berating myself for drinking an entire bottle of water the night before about twenty minutes before heading to bed. Dumb, dumb, dumb!

If that doesn’t work, I repeat multiplication tables until I’m bored enough to fall back to sleep. I never go past 10 x 10 because then I’d have to get up and search for a calculator.

Of course, thinking about all this makes me remember childhood. Kids don’t wake up with stiff joints or complaints of a restless night because the chocolate brownie they ate at dinner gave them acid reflux.

Can you imagine that sort of scenario? Your five-year-old stumbles downstairs gingerly cradling her hands and says, “Mommy, I simply can’t attend Kindergarten today. I’m on no sleep. No sleep, I tell you! My arthritis is acting up and there is no way I will be able to grasp my crayons to complete any sort of acceptable drawing worthy of hanging on the refrigerator.”

Yeah, okay, so let’s not imagine that sort of scenario. It’s just too sad!

Besides, it has been been eons since I was in Kindergarten. I'm closer to the age where I'm starting to understand the whole concept of the “Early Bird Special” and why senior citizens eat dinner at 4:30. Gotta give themselves ample time to digest before they can lie down horizontally. Flaps and valves don’t work as well as they used to and things start backing up and heading in the wrong direction a little too easily.

As one of my friends wrote on another friend’s Facebook page for his birthday, “Getting old ain’t for sissies.” Yeah. Truer words were never spoken.

So if you want a surefire prediction of this weekend's weather, just ask a certified member of the Age of Oldness. They know.

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