The Lumpy Bumpies

Today I realized how close I am to turning 50. I may crash my brother’s 30th high school reunion tonight, and mine is just around the corner. And I thought turning 40 was hard.

Of course, I’m still 46. But not for long, and I feel like my body is slowly giving in to this whole age thing. I can’t stand up without a creak or a pain, I can describe about five places in my body that hurt chronically (upper arm, arch of left foot, right hip, lower abdomen, boobs). My teeth have coffee stains, my hair is greying at the roots.

Welcome to the Old Hag stage of life.hag

Blindly optimistic, I chip away at banishing this evil twin. Although triathlon training probably contributes to many of my aches and pains, it is also a time balm. In the pool today I found a rhythm I haven’t found in a year, and ended up swimming 45 laps when I only meant to swim 30. Maybe my new goal would be 46 minimum for every year of my life. I would need time, as I am not very fast.

More time in the pool=strength. Pool time also calms me down, stretches out sore muscles and is an all body workout that is unrivaled.

Hopefully my new running shoes will cure my arch pain. I kept having other financial priorities and waited way too long to replace them. Don’t do it, people! Buy new shoes every 500 miles minimum as otherwise they stop supporting your tootsies. 

But some pain doesn’t go away. The boob pain is disconcerting, upsetting and hard to manage. I mean, it looks weird if I massage yourself every time it hurts, or walk around with ice taped to my chest. Apparently I am prone to cysts, which I found out after a few alarming visits to the doctor and ensuing ultrasound. I also have lumpy, bumpy breast tissue, as one radiologist told me in a consoling voice. This means I have a lot going on in normal times, and it’s hard to tell what is a bad lump and which is a good.

There is a wonderful Ted talk on the politics behind why diagnosis isn’t better for women like me.

Take the time to watch it if you are not aware of different densities and how it can affect a mammogram. Watch it for yourself, your wife, your daughter or your friends.

They do have digital imaging at the hospital I frequent way too frequently, but 3D imaging is too expensive and not covered by most insurance. Ultrasound is helpful with my type of breast tissue, but it’s easy to miss a lump in the mass of dense tissue.

If this envelope of skin, muscle, blood and bones I call my body can hold on so that I can meet all my goals. Short term I’d like to make it in one piece to and from Pleasant Prairie Irongirl Triathlon in two weeks from now.

If I can be a role model to my son, Balletboy, who spends hours pushing himself physically as a dancer, that also will make me happy.

And I’d like to spend some quality years with the Brewmaster, who is the most wonderful partner I could ask for. We’ve survived traveling, house projects and all the other litmus tests I have thrown at him.

So hang in there my twin, Old Hag, and help me ride this lumpy bumpy roller coaster of life. We’re going straight to the top.


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