Tuesday, July 3, 2012


My lips feel like big hunks of bologna, and my tongue is wearing itself out trying to get re-acquainted with my two back molars.  Doctor S drilled out and replaced two old fillings this morning.  Not having visited a dentist in about ten years, I expected a lot worse.  Surprisingly, last week's exam and x-rays gave us only this little bit of follow-up today.  An hour total, in and out, and I'm good until next year.  Thank you, Jesus!

Having recently turned Almost 50, I am acutely aware that my body is not what it used to be.  Old dental fillings crumble.  Things creak and make odd popping noises.  Other parts buckle or sag or wobble.  People often sound to me like they are talking with rocks in their mouths, or like they're speaking from the back of a cave.  "What?" and "Articulate!" are the words my children hear most frequently from their mother.  Print - in books, on signs, anywhere - seems to have gotten much smaller than back in the old days.  I find that I tire more easily than I used to.  What on earth is the matter with me?!

Recently, I also had my first doctor's appointment in over 10 years.  The nurse weighed me, took my blood pressure, checked my temperature, and settled me into a tiny exam room. On the wall hung a huge poster:  "Your Maturing Body."  While I waited for the doctor, I read all about how my blood vessels are beginning to atrophy, my muscles are losing strength, my skin is losing elasticity, my joints are wearing out, my bones are becoming brittle.  Niiiiice.

At the end of that appointment, Doctor D (who looked to me to be about 18 years old) asked, "Do you have any more questions?  Any thing else you want to talk about before you leave?"

"Yes," I answered, patting my jolly food baby.  "I would really like to lose a little bit of this tummy before it becomes permanently attached to my body.  As a medical professional, do you have any suggestions or tips?"

Doctor D looked at me without blinking and answered not a word.

I squirmed on my perch at the end of the exam table.  "Well, I mean, besides 'Eat less and move more'?"  I thought she must surely know some secret medical trick, right?  Something to make it easier for a "mature woman" to shed a few pounds.

She looked at me a second longer, then replied, flatly, "Really?"  That's all she had to say.  These young doctors are so sassy!

Okay, so the bottom line is, after exams and blood work and x-rays and long-overdue dental appointments, it's official: I'm in fantastic shape.  For a fifty-year-old.  AND, my "mature" body is slowly falling apart.  Which is normal.  Not a crisis.

This morning at the gym, I was giving my food baby a ride on the elliptical walker, the only piece of cardio equipment that my knees don't protest.  I wiped the sweat out of my gray hair with a towel, and squinted to focus on the TV screen above me.  "Do you want to look 20 years younger?" purred a svelte, blonde, 20-something in a white lab coat.  "Do you want to look and feel like you did years ago, when you were at your prime?"

I laughed.  Nope, I thought.  Forget 20 or 30...50 is looking plenty "prime" to me.  Even with the loose bolts and squeaky gears.  Don't believe me?  I've got Doctor D to back me up.

Gotta run, now...time to go pick up my new bi-focals!

No comments: