Mother Nature fights dirty. Wrinkles, sagging, drooping, gray hair, aches, pains and unwanted hair growth. We can fight back with liposuction, botox, tweezing, lifts, waxing, hair dye, implants and other under-the-knife/needle tactics that are not for the squeamish. Or the faint of bank account.
Since I’ve turned 40, Mother Nature has had a full court press going on my body. I was lulled into thinking 40 was the new 30. But not so much, unless you have access to a Beyonce-sized bank account. With that kind of money, 40 is the new 25 – complete with double D’s, whiter smile, higher eyebrows, less tummy fat and one smokin’ chin implant. Will you be paying with cash or credit?
I prefer to spend my hard-earned money on dining out, manicures/pedicures, and a ridiculous number of Christmas cards. So here’s what Mother Nature has served up for me:
Gray Hairs/Unwanted Hair (age 40): I remember years ago, I was a skunk for Halloween. I colored my hair with a streak of white hair paint down the middle. Since my late 30’s, if I wanted to be a skunk, I could just let my roots grow in. That’s why I believe hair dressers are deities (love you Brenda!) and the inventor of Root Touch-Up has been mercilessly snubbed by the Nobel Prize awarding-committee for far too long.
At 40, I began finding stray grays in my eyebrows. And on my chin. What gives with the random wild hair growth? Will Costco be sending me a coupon for the bulk pack of tweezers?
Back Surgery (age 41): My dad has long had a bad back, but I chalked that up to too many hours on a bar stool at the local combo “convenient store” (their wording, not mine) and bar/pool hall. It turns out the bar stool was not to blame – it’s just bad DNA.
My dad, and two of my younger sisters all suffer from bad backs/degenerative discs. My one sister has had 2 back surgeries already. So I guess it was no surprise that what I thought was a trick muscle flairing up now and again in my lower back was actually a degenerative disc. So degenerative, in fact, that a small piece of bone broke off and wedged itself in my nerve at the base of my spinal column. For a month and half, I had constant pain shooting down my leg and my right foot was numb. After multiple physical exams, x-rays, MRIs, and 45 sleepless days/nights, it was determined I needed to go under the knife.
Upon coming to from surgery, the first thing I heard was “oh no, please lay back down. You have no pants on. You can’t get up and walk around just yet”. I was worried that in my drug-induced state, I was woozily sashaying down the hospital hallway in search of a stripper pole. I was relieved to learn that they were talking to the person in the post-op recovery bed next to me.
After my surgery, I slept a full 8 hours that night. I seriously contemplated having someone drive me to my Neurosurgeons office so I could kiss him – full on the lips. When you haven’t been able to sleep more than 2 hours straight for 45 days and you’re looped out on painkillers, you’ll pretty much french the hell out of whoever makes sleep possible.
The bonus? I can’t lift heavy laundry baskets. Downside? None that I can think of.
Bifocals (age 42): my first clue should have been when I was folding the laundry and couldn’t distinguish between a size 6 and size 8 on my kids’ underwear. Note to Fruit of the Loom – would it kill ya to use a font size larger than mouseprint?
Sleep Apnea (age 43): After a visit to my primary care physician to get checked on for a nasty cough, they did a “routine” echo and told me it was abnormal. I was referred to a Cardiologist for further testing. Upon surveying the waiting room, it was clear that I brought down the average age of patients to 72.
The test confirmed something was slightly abnormal, and I was scheduled for a stress test and nuclear echocardiology test two weeks later. After some intense freaking out (like waiting two weeks to take the tests was any good for my ticker!), both tests indicated I was
totally normal. The Cardiologist referred me to a Neurologist and after an overnight test hooked up to a quadrillion monitors, it was determined I have severe sleep apnea. I was prescribed a breathing machine. So now at bed time, I look like a cross between Darth Vader and Horton of the “Hears a Who” fame.
Can’t wait to see what Mother Nature has in store for my 44th year.