I’m 104 .. and looking good : )
Isabella Zambon a FB friend living in Venice Italy wished me a happy birthday. Wow, this was at 12:15 am as I was scrolling through Facebook. It’s really here, it’s my birthday and I’m kind of excited about it this time around. Another run around the sun although now it’s turning into a crawl because age is creeping up on me. Nobody tells you about the downside to getting older so let me enlighten some of you. You young uns may want to quit reading now, this is not a feel-good story.
We start forgetting stuff, and not just once in a while. Always in the back of my mind is this niggling feeling that maybe this could be the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s not even important stuff, it’s trivial shit, it’s scary and I hate it. That thing, you know, it turns the bread brown, was funny 20 years ago to my girlfriend, but forgetting her name now is not! Ok, Kathy, I may have forgotten your name but I did not forget you, and you’re welcome. The mental aspect of aging is disheartening and hard to accept sometimes but it is the physical assault on my body that is the most disconcerting.
Type two diabetes comes with neuropathy in the feet and legs, but it is gradual and I can live with it. What is not livable is gout. This is not an old man’s disease after all, because I am not a man, ok so I am old. It’s a new kind of hell that questions your eating habits and it’s crippling. Google it and beware, it is a hit-and-miss debilitating inflamed joint killer. Usually, it starts in the big toe but currently, it is residing in my ankle. The prescription drug ‘Colchicine’ is my only treatment, or being careful about what I eat. I am always careful whenever I eat anything… I rest my case. Unless I decide to only drink water I will never figure it out.
The gout was a surprise attack and I am down for the count, but it goes away with time. The drugs make it go away faster and I keep a supply on hand. What I wasn’t prepared for a year or so ago, was ‘sciatica’, now there is another form of torture lying in wait. Just when I thought it was safe to get back on my feet ‘so to speak’ sciatica took me down. Lord help me, that crippling nerve pain was much longer-lasting and really hard to get rid of. I needed some physical therapy treatments to finally be free of that one. Please Lord keep it out of my life. The only good thing about these excruciatingly painful encounters is.. nothing! Well, protruding hairs growing out of my nose and my chin is also an annoyance but at least they distract me from the most recent assault on my body!
I can live with a lot of these inconveniences because the alternative is … well we all know what the alternative is. Getting older kinda sucks, but when the sun shines and the universe aligns, life can be truly sweet. Turning sixty freed my mouth because nobody listens or cares what we say when we’re old. My sixties also freed me from my mate of forty years. No, he didn’t die, but we are now living happily-ever-after, apart, thank goodness. Had we stayed together this may not have had a happy ending. My happy endings only got better after that, who knew? sorry/not sorry see above about my mouth…
Turning seventy was subtle and not even on my radar. This was just a number and I still felt like I was in my early sixties. My body may be slowing down but not my mind, it is racing ahead to my next adventure; If I don’t see one I’ll make one. I don’t think about death nor do I live in a future scenario. Living each day may be a cliche to most people, but to me, it is one of the most important lessons I learned in my early sixties. Escaping a brush with death changed my life. The details are not important but the outcome is. I don’t take my life for granted anymore and I’m also not afraid of dying. I’m half-finished writing a memoir and a new series of cookbooks with my friend Nettie has fueled my passion.
I have decided to celebrate my birthday for a whole week.. seems to be a thing now. Birthday week or birthday month, na.. a month is way too long, stretching it out a week should be sufficient. I need to create some fun memories once this gout leaves my system. Sky diving will not happen but maybe body surfing? My kids just bought a new boat and I wonder if it will have enough power to get me into a bodysurfing mode? I love water, I can swim and how hard can it be? I have also decided to quit looking for a soulmate; that has the added bonus of not having to shave my legs anymore, add a smiley face emoji here.
I wouldn’t mind a part-time partner, see above about happy endings. I suppose I could shave my legs once in a while for the cause… lol. Making my kids’ eyes bleed when they read my stuff is kind of cool, I’m not going to lie. My oldest granddaughter loves me no matter what I say and we have secrets we share; this also brings me a special joy in my old age. I have also decided that this is the last commemoration of my age. Going forward I will be ageless; “how old are you?” someone asked me quite sincerely a couple of weeks ago. Just as sincerely I answered “104 years old.”
I am wise beyond my years and frankly, you can put whatever number you want on me. I’m not in my fun sixties anymore but by God, the fun is still inside me. I am living my best life, have a few irons in the fire and there is still a fire in my belly: also some inflammation in my ankle, but a bottle of white wine in the fridge is calling my name. Let’s see if we can dull this pain with a bottle of Baby Duck; just kidding it’s Barefoot Moscato.. same thing : )
happy birthday to me
day three of my birthday week May 29th, 2022