Aging for Dummies

I used to whine because you got babies without an instruction manual. You had to figure out which gurgles were significant, and how to know when they were hungry or wet, or why they were crying – with no safety net, or checklist with bullet points. Once they handed that little bundle over to you at the hospital and sent you on your way, you were on your own. Mr. GG and I came home with the Baby, called everyone we knew, and then sat around and waited to see what happened next. And were busy ever since, since incredible stuff happens and you have to cope. It’s worth it, of course. I’m pretty sure the Baby is my Master Work in life.

I know they make guides for raising teenagers, cause I read lots of them. What I didn’t know was that I was gonna need a manual for myself. I figured I would just kinda slide into old age, suffering a few glitches, losing some agility and momentum, drying up and crinkling here and there. Wrong. This week I found out about eyes. I already knew when you hit 40 or so, your vision got worse and most people need glasses or bifocals. What nobody told me, was about floaty things.

One evening last week, I start seeing flashes of light and then get all these floaters in my right eye. Well, I had rubbed my eyes, after I held a friend’s cat. But those things were annoying. I kept focusing on all these little black threads instead of whatever I was looking at, and gave myself a headache. The next day when this stuff didn’t go away, I Googled it. Okay, you know that was probably a serious mistake… Google always leads me to the worse case scenario, so I slid right into panic when several sites said this flashy, floaty stuff could sometimes lead to blindness. I was pretty close to full fledged panic, and calling around to eye doctors to see how worried I should be. A really nice surgeon got me in that afternoon, and shone a zillion lights into my eyes and put numbing and dilating drops into my eyes and said I was lucky. It was not a detached retina. It was something else that is pretty normal and a RESULT OF AGING. Gooey stuff in your eyeball gets little hard pieces – don’t ask for details because that stuff makes me queasy – and makes you see spider webs and little flakes. You don’t have to worry till the flashes of light (which, by the way, you see even with YOUR EYES CLOSED!) turn into meteor showers and a dark curtain falls across some portion of your vision. Then you get to medical help asap. Meanwhile, you know those floaty things? You get used to them. Yep, that is the answer, sooner or later your brain adapts to them and they don’t bother you. I am still waiting to get to that adapting part, but I am relieved to know I am not going blind. Ordinarily I would take this in stride, but I still have to show up at the doctors this week for the fishing expedition into my uterus for the missing copper spring, and then that check up with the neurologist the next day…. seems like a lot of doctors appointments for stuff that just happens.

However, I am forcing myself into Pollyanna mode, and I am going to be glad for all the things that AREN’T wrong with me. I think I’ll do it alphabetically. You know – A, I’m glad I don’t have anaphylaxis, B, I’m glad I don’t have beri beri or bursitis, C, I’m glad I don’t have cancer, D, distemper. I’ll keep going through stuff, being grateful I don’t have emphysema, irritable bowel syndrome, male pattern baldness, reflux and so on till I get to whatever awful thing starts with Z. And if I am still not feeling perkier, I will start all over again.

But it would have helped it I had known stuff like this happened to people. If the human body is prone to these sorts of system failures, don’t you think someone might have mentioned it? Why isn’t there a check list? Huh? At this rate, I will be compiling my own checklist to spare those younger than I am the kind of hypochondria/hysteria that I have been enduring. So if you noticed I haven’t been blogging lately, it is because those little black spider webs make it a pain to type. Don’t worry, I am sure my brain is adapting, and I will be back to yiping about life in no time.

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2 Responses to “Aging for Dummies”

  1. Sue Says:

    Thanks…I’m not alone knowing that the horrors my mom went through are now going to being with me. By all means alert the Baby!

  2. jude Says:

    YES! My brain adapted! (but then there’s other stuff…..)

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