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Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Angst of Aging

They say your 40s are the old age of your youth, and your 50s are the youth of your old age. I'm 57, and all I can think is, "Holy crap, it's going to get worse."

My mother, age 86, has survived the following in the last 10 years: Pneumonia, a partial hip replacement, numerous broken teeth (she now has a partial plate), and macular degeneration. Slightly before that, she survived a bowel obstruction requiring surgery.

Old age is not for sissies.

Someone once told me, "After 40 it's patch, patch, patch." I'd agree. In my 40s I got bifocals (I've always worn glasses), had my first hearing test revealing that my hearing was fading, and got the first 2 crowns on my teeth. Now I've got trifocals, 4 crowns, and am shopping for hearing aids.

My hair, which has always been very thick, began to go white in my 20s. Now it's gotten very thin, and my hairline, always high, has gotten even higher. So now, rather than wearing my hair long and off my face, which I've always preferred, I have to wear the curly mop short with bangs. Looks cute, feels weird. My neck took 2 winters to adjust to being out in the cold. I have a new appreciation for knitted scarves.

The memory loss is the worst. I've always been absent-minded, but now I'm so forgetful I'm beginning to scare myself. Twice in the last month, I've driven off without my purse. I have never done that before in my life.

My husband and I joke that we'll be sitting in the old folks' home not recognizing each other, but still flirting. This could happen.

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