I’m approaching my mid-40’s, which puts me squarely in this middle age bracket. And as much as I would like to believe I’ll live forever, I’m having moments of WTF is that pain?!? Is it the big one?!? My bestie and I frequently joke when having said random pains, “Is this how we die?” It is mostly a way to ease the tension, but there is an element of truth that lies beneath.
To be fair, I wouldn’t call myself a hypochondriac, but I did lose my dad and other family members to cancer when they were middle-aged. My dad was 50 when he died, so as I creep closer to that age I am worried the same fate lies ahead for me. Which is worrisome, because I want to be around a long, long time for my kiddo. I lost my father in my early 20’s, which was devastating enough to deal with. I could not imagine losing a parent as a child.
In the past month, here is some of what I had to contend with when it comes to middle age problems. First and foremost freaker-outer moment was me having to rule out a DVT or blood clot in my leg. I had a recent COVID infection, I have a sibling that has a history of blood clots (multiple pulmonary embolisms) and I started having calf pain that would not go away. I ignored it for over a week, but then started to get worried when it wasn’t really getting better. After a telehealth visit confirmed my worries, off to the ER I went. My sister had cautioned me to be on the lookout for it, but I ignored her mostly because it freaked me out a little (ok, ok, ok, it freaked me out a LOT). One downside of post-divorce solitude is that I could die and no one may know about it right away. That is fun to think about.
The good news? It wasn’t a blood clot! The bad news. It is probably something structural in my body, which I now suspect is my Achilles tendon. Yesterday, while attempting to skip in the rain with my daughter, I was one skip in and felt a terrible pain in that same calf that had me limping the rest of the day.
As if that wasn’t enough, then my period decided it needed a vacation. Same, period, same. I was going on 42 days before it decided to show up again. In force. The only upside is I did not have a “hoe phase” in January, so I wasn’t overly concerned I was pregnant, but did take a pregnancy test to rule that out. Cool, cool, let me add perimenopause to the list of middle-age wonders I now get to contend with. I have been asking close friends how much they know about this topic and most don’t know a lot (including me). Our mothers didn’t talk to us about going through this change, so it is another area of life where I am flying blind and figuring it out as I go. Hooray.
I read an article about menopause and it talked about how this was just preparing you for this next phase in life. I sat there thinking, “What next phase?!? Death?!?” Yes, let us prepare for that. It is totally depressing. This whole post has been a random mix of depressing updates. I tell you this so you know if you have any middle-aged women friends you work with or in your life, we are coping with a lot these days. And we are not well and our bodies are starting to fall apart. And if you didn’t already get the takeaway: middle age fucking blows (my current mood). Although I wouldn’t trade my body falling apart for the life experience I have gained, so I guess there’s my silver lining. Excuse me while I go pop my supplements and limp off into the sunset.