Well, I am officially forty two now. I should post a recent picture, I meant to take one in Saturday but didn’t because I have a real life, and how I look these days is not much a part of it, but I had originally planned that I wanted a year to year photographic diary of my aging self from forty on…the silly things we do in an attempt to age gracefully, acceptingly.
By 1850 standards, I am not middle aged but old aged, that’s some interesting pondering—how many times has modern medicine saved my life—
For certain at age 8 I would have died an excruciating death with blood poisoning, at the time it was a close call. I was in the hospital a week and a half after kneeling down on a sewing needle stuck in the carpet at school. It was a ridiculous thing, as I looked down and saw this needle sticking, point end out, the eye embedded in the fleshy bit just below my kneecap. I plucked it out, laughing at how bizarre this was, having a needle stuck wrong ways out of me. It left a tiny spot of blood, but that wasn’t the strange part. The eye, was gone. My best friend and I looked through the carpet fibers expecting to find it had broken as I knelt on it. We didn’t find it.
That night my brothers, mother and I went to a congregation party, danced a ton and half way through the evening my knee began to hurt. Long story short, by the following morning my mother realized something was really wrong. I felt like I was loosing consciousness. I think, she got me to the hospital some thirty minutes away just in time. I really wasn’t with it by that point.
They found the tiny metal fragments embedded in the bone beneath my kneecap inside the joint. I had a major infection, and it took several days of antibiotics to clear it up. I was so bed ridden that I literally could not walk when the binding from the surgery was finally removed. It was before the current delicate little surgeries they do now, 1983, and I have to this day a massive scar in my left knee. After they taught me how to hobble around in crutches and a couple days of what I suppose was physotherapy to get the muscles working again so I could get around, I was sent home. Without modern medicine that one would have killed me.
After my third baby I started to hemorrhage, that was scary—I knew I was too tired and then I saw the blood. They pumped me full of oxytocin and the contractions stemmed off the bleeding. Now knowing what I know, it may have actually been the simple fact I was in a hospital and they broke my water, hastening a faster delivery, that may have caused the bleeding in the first place. Labor was so quick and I laughed her out, a first my doc said he’d seen, but she presented face first, possibly roughing my insides up a little, and too quickly, so the hormones that close off blood supply to where the placenta is attached may not have had a chance to kick in yet. Either way, with out the oxytocin, I would have bled out rather quickly. So I would have died at age twenty-nine.
I think those are the only two times I was in mortal danger. Anyways. So old age I’m learning has its own price. I have been through a life filled with stresses, good moments, tragic moments, like most lives. I always tip the scales of my life to the positive side, tho I know other kinds of peoples would have lived my life and dwelt on the tragedies and become victims in their own minds, when really, life in this world just takes a toll, no matter who you are. I have handle life’s stresses with as much reserve as I can muster. Only a couple times have I felt I was mentally unraveling for real and each time I’ve pulled myself back from the plummet of the edge of sanity. I believe I’ve never had an option, the luxury, of any alternative than to just keep going on, through whatever thick muck I must to emerge the other side, tattered and worn, but alive.
For the past few years, I can’t recall exactly how long, I’ve been getting this strange thing internittently, where my skin, usually on my arms and hands feels like I’ve scalded it. I do remember the first time it happened and I couldn’t figure out what I’d done. Running my arm under cold water was not able to abate the burning sensation and after sometimes hours, sometimes days, the burning eventually goes away, slowly usually, or overnight.
I actually had assumed it was stress related but believe it or not, I’d never googled it. For years, as it would flare up, switching from one location to another, I wondered what it was but finally, after a few bad bouts of burning, I googled it. Turns out it is stress related. An anxiety disorder. I realize some people get obvious things, panic attacks, heart palpitations—not me—I’ve got to be special. I need to feel like my arms have caught fire. Lol.
Regardless, out of the things you can get when facing a stressful situation, it’s the better of the options. It hurts physically, and there isn’t anything you can do in the moment to help it, but I have learned it’s a matter of taking time to rebuild your stress counter balance.
Friday was my most recent attack. Thursday night Firecracker dislocated her knee. We had to call her an ambulance. It was terrible seeing her in that much pain, but all in all, I didn’t feel stressed or anxious, I knew once the doctors popped it back in place she’d recover and be fine, in the world of parenting, it’s not really as stressful as somethings can be. But, I had not seen one of my children in that kind of pain. But I knew she’d be okay, so I didn’t really feel stressed. Or so I thought.
Friday morning I woke up with fire down my right arm, elbow to pinky, sometimes wrapping in this numbing sensation around my hand to my thumb. All day. It was a bad episode of it. Every time I’d get Firecracker some ice for her knee I’d give myself a moment of icing as well. Not that it helps after the ice is gone.
I napped mid afternoon and woke up with it worse because the blanket had been resting on it. Any physical touch, sleeves even, on the area is like running hot water on a burn.
All day that persisted. I finally did some dishes later in the day even tho the warm water scalded it, but, it’s not a scald. So, as I usually do, I just keep doing what I’ve got to do, babying the tender spot that’s invisible to everyone but me, between life’s expectations.
And as I slept Friday night, the burning subsided and my tender scalded skin dissappeared as if it had never existed.
I’m not sure the physiological reasons, apparently an adrenaline overdose sent to a region of the skin making the skin hyper sensitive or some such thing, but, who is not sick, with some strange combination of systemic overload and exhaustion?