***Edited to add: I also
Yes, I am only 37...but OMG! I am already 37!
It's been a tough week for me. It's been a tough month for me. Work has been tough. Mama'ing has been tough. Wife'ing has been tough. Friend'ing has been tough. And having a 37 year old body has been tough.
I have really been trying to focus on the positive. But today the positive stopped and the stress and anxiety and the hurt that I have felt over the past month just came thundering in and I lost it.
At the ripe old age of 37, I have not yet entered defined "middle age." But I have more and more signs of life that are pointing precisely to that "label." I am convinced that 37 is the time that things just start to go downhill, in a quick manner. At least, for me.
You know those people out there that say 40 is the new 20? Ummmmm..... my body disagrees. And I have proof.
I should put in a disclaimer that I am eternally thankful that overall, I am a generally healthy person. I do not have a degenerative disease. I do not have cancer. I have my eyesight and hearing. I am not considered to be "overweight."
But on days like today, that doesn't stop you from grieving what you don't have that others do.
Last night I made an appointment to see the eye doctor this morning. It has been increasingly worse every year as I go to the eye doctor and I hear the same spiel... "with every birthday..." Today was not a routine visit. I have had a busted blood vessel in my eye since last Friday. I have had probably a total of 4 or 5 over the last couple of years. They typically go away in 3-4 days. This one was different. I had pressure and eye aches and a general feeling of discomfort. I went through the general test of "read this, what is this letter, blah, blah." I have long ago come to terms with the fact that I can't read the E. But today I really and truly struggled with reading the card. I mean, I had to really take a long time to focus and still ended several lines up from the bottom. UGH!!! He did some looking, took some pictures, asked some questions, typed up lots of notes, and started talking. It's really not a big deal. My tear ducts are not working properly. I have significantly dry eyes. ( I have had lots of contact lens tearing in my eyes). I have an infection. "We'll take care of the infection, but we need to talk in about 10 days about our long term plan for the dry eyes... one thing at a time. Infection first, plan second. You need to start taking this super duper fish oil supplements every day. This is common as we get older. You aren't really a good candidate for lasik because you will likely need bi-focals so it's a $5000 dollar surgery and you will likely still need glasses. You know, I had to stop wearing my contacts because of the same types of things, so I just stick to glasses."
I asked a couple of "non-eye" related medical questions, he suggested I follow up on some things with my regular doctor, we chatted about golf, and I went on my way.
And the reality hit me. Am I going to be confined to glasses for the rest of my life? I hate wearing glasses. I can't just look down when I am wearing glasses, I have to move my entire head. I can't see in the shower. You can't just dive into a swimming pool or the ocean. (and on, and on, and on.) The commitment to glasses is LIFE CHANGING! For the people who can see without lenses, you probably don't get it. But it sucks. Am I grateful that at least glasses allow me to see? Yes. But, I'm not ready for this.... I am only 37.
Also today, I made the call to the doctor to have something checked out that I have been avoiding. I am a self-diagnoser. I am also a hypochondriac. And the diagnosis of the day: rheumatoid arthritis. The thing is, this time there is something substantial. I have had some serious hand-joint issues this week. I even cried out in pain when Taya grabbed my hand. And I have done nothing to it to injure it. And it has gone from numb, to tingling, to locked up, to extremely sore, and it sucks. And its not just my hand. Its been happening in my toes and feet joints/bones as well. And dry eye is a factor.
I could be completely off base. I hope I am. But even if it's really nothing... I am only 37. I am not old enough for nerve/joint/bone issues. I am not old enough to be confined to glasses for the rest of my life to see the world. I still have two young girls with a ton of life left to enjoy. I myself am still young.
But I'm not. I am already 37. I am approaching middle-age.
And today my husband reminded me that we really need to enjoy our lives while we are younger because where will be in 10 years?
Almost 50. I can't even imagine.