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Flirting With 40 (Part 2)

This should really be titled “Falling Apart at 40.”

You know when you skip your car’s 30,000-mile scheduled maintenance and you’re like, Oh well, I’ll just make sure I get my 50,000-mile maintenance check? But then before you realize it, you’ve reached 65,000 miles and now you feel like an ass but you’re too embarrassed to take the thing in—so you don’t. Then it’s 100,000 miles and although you’ve been lucky up to now, things are starting to rattle and fall apart.

I am that car that’s totally overdue for its 100,000 mile tuneup. It’s time to upgrade and replace my parts.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had a series of appointments of the medical/dental variety. Last week I went to the dentist for a cleaning and they also took full X-Rays just for shits and giggles. Turns out I need a mouthful of work. When I was a kid I was just one of those children who got tons of cavities. I brushed regularly and didn’t eat piles of sugar. And I had an appropriate amount of fluoride. But I still ended up with a mouth full of silver fillings. For a while there, when our satellite was down, we could still get HBO if I put my face close enough to the TV.

Those fillings were really only supposed to last about 10 or 15 years. Now—30 years later—they’re all finally deteriorating and I have to have a bunch of them replaced—some with with tooth-colored fillings and others are now ready for full-on crowns. I’ve already replaced a few in the past couple of years, but now my big mouth is ready for a complete overhaul. I told my dentist that I’m going to get as much as this over with at once. I’m going to suck it up, take lots of Aleve and some anesthetic and she can do whatever the hell she wants. I need three crowns on my lower left side, and while she’s got my jaw propped open she’s going to do some sort of sandblasting thing (probably to blast all that coffee off my teeth) and fix I chip I’ve had since I was 9. Much to Bill’s delight I probably won’t be able to talk for a week.

Yesterday morning I visited the Wimmin’s Docktor. I was poked, prodded, felt up and sent on my way—with a form to set up an appointment for a mammogram. Woo-hoo. (Notice the lack of exclamation point). One of the lovely milestones when you turn 40 is the yearly mammogram. I won’t be 40 until the end of August, but they wanted me to set up the appointment now for right after my birthday. Because nothing says happy birthday like an ice-cold metal vice slammed repeatedly on your delicate boobies. I actually already had a mammogram 5 years ago. Because I’m adopted and don’t really have a medical history they wanted to set a baseline. I guess it’s not a bad idea because when the doctor felt me up she did ask how much caffeine I’m drinking these days. Lumpy boobies = not good.

Meanwhile, I have two other doctors to see. I made an appointment with an internist to give me a full physical. I don’t think I’ve had one since I was like 15 so it’s probably not a bad idea. I originally made the appointment for this coming Friday but I needed a break so I pushed it a few weeks. I’ve been rundown and sick a lot in the past year so I’d like to get a head to toe exam. Most likely, I’m not eating well enough or getting enough rest, but it wouldn’t hurt to find out.

The other doctor is an allergist at UCLA. My dentist took one look at my face and then at my X-Rays and asked how long I’ve been getting sinus infections. Um, when have I not had one? I never had sinus problems until I moved to Southern California and when we moved to area we live in now, they really got bad. Sometimes they are so bad they are debilitating. Like, I want to rip my face off and rub my sinus cavity bad. This is probably the one appointment I’m looking forward to. My dentist swears by this guy. I’m pretty convinced that all of my ailments stem from whatever is bugging my sinuses—the bronchitis I got twice, the headaches, the swollen face and eye ticks. And all of this is preventing me from sleeping well, so I’m a cranky bitch on top of it all (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).

I know 40 isn’t that old but this shit sucks. To put it in perspective, my OB-GYN said I shouldn’t have to worry about menopause until I’m 51 (the average age). That’s ONLY 11 years from now. And we all know that when you start getting older time goes by faster, so 11 years may as well be tomorrow. My parents are in their 70s and 80s and they spend a good portion of their time going to doctors. Is this what you have to look forward to when you get older?


One Response

  1. I’m 31 and I’m falling apart. My teeth were similar to yours when I was young and now they are being yanked out of my head left and right. Last week my back gave out on the same day as my knee locked up. The next day I had wicked heartburn. This week I thought I was knocked up, only to find out Aunt Flow was simply trying to be “different” this month (for the first time in oh—20 years) and “spotted” instead of “flowed.”

    I have to get the mammogram soon and am due for a pap smear. I should really call about that, shouldn’t I? ugh.

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