I’m too young to be this old.

No, I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve managed to leave a few comments around the blogscape, but I just haven’t been motivated to post anything lately.

I’m feeling… blah. Depressed. And totally unsexual.

I wrote in my Live Journal that two months ago, during one of those New England storms that dumped loads of snow and ice on the area, I had spent a couple of hours outside shoveling and snowblowing, including dragging a 150 lb snowblower up some stairs. I hadn’t felt well most of the day, and by the time I came inside my chest was hurting. Knowing that my blood pressure is always on the high end of normal, and that my cholesterol is also inclined to be high, I called a nurse friend of mine to describe the symptoms. She suggested that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get my ass to the nearest hospital. I tried to sneak out of the house to drive myself, but that plan didn’t work out. We found someone to watch our daughter, and headed out into the storm to the nearby university hospital.

They hooked me up to a bunch of wires, poked holes in my arms for blood, and did some tests. My blood pressure was through the roof, doubtless in part to merely having to be there in the first place, and in part to the fuss that my family made about it. After a few hours of observation, they informed me that my blood pressure was too high, gave me some pills, and told me to contact my doctor. The chest pains were probably a combination of the high BP and some general stress (business owners are prone to this), and lugging a damn snowblower up the stairs.

Anyway, the last two months have been a seemingly constant blur of blood tests, EKGs, and various other examinations that would please all but the most jaded medical fetishist. My doctor figured that since I’m already approaching the half-century mark, I’d have to be getting all this done in the next few years anyway, and we might as well do it now.

I’ve had a stress test, and even as I write this I’m wearing a harness… not a strap-on harness, but something to hold the device that tracks the electric impulses around my heart area. I’ve got a dozen wires taped to various body parts, and if I were more of a masochist I’m sure I’d enjoy the feeling of the tape ripping the hair from my body as they remove the electrodes. I know it’s going to hurt, because in the last couple of months I’ve had a hell of a lot of hair ripped from my body. I’ve also had some odd patches partially shaved and, me being of the hirsute nature, it makes me look a bit odd when I’m shirtless.

The upshot is that so far I appear to be healthy, at least within some normal range of the term.

So, why am I depressed?

It seems silly, doesn’t it? I’m taking blood pressure lowering meds that within a few weeks have actually lowered my BP to well within normal levels for the first time in years. I’m taking something else which is supposed to lower my cholesterol, although I won’t know for sure until the next serious of blood tests confirms this. My eyesight, though starting to change, is still better than normal. I’m overweight, but not by much, and indeed, I’ve already lost fifteen pounds during this. I should be dancing in the streets, right? Counting my blessings and all that?

I think that my problem is this: we all have an “age” that we feel. Mentally, I tend to think of myself as being about 28. Physically, except for some grey hair, I’ve had nothing to contradict this mental attitude.

Until now.

I think that for the first time I’ve been caught by surprise by this whole “getting older” thing. I’ll be 49 in a few months, and it is only this situation which has made me aware that I’m not repeating my 28th birthday over and over again. Adding to the surprise is a bit of frustration, too: I’ve taken relatively good care in watching what I eat, taking vitamins, and being moderate in using alcohol. I take the stairs instead of the elevator, and park halfway across the lot so I can walk to the store. I grill simple vegetable and meat dishes, rarely touch fast food, and buy veggies fresh when in season. Part of me wants to know which department should get the complaint email; I’ve been taking good care of myself so these kinds of things shouldn’t happen, right?

The doc says that all this has been beneficial; that with my genetic predisposition I’d probably be much worse off if I hadn’t been so moderate in my lifestyle. All I know is that it feels unfair.

Whew. It felt good to finally get that out.

Okay, I’m going to stop with the whinging. I’m much better off than a lot of other people, even people half of my (physical) age. Things in general could be much worse, and I am indeed fortunate to live in an advanced technological age where I don’t have to be so concerned about these issues.

I’m really going to try to get over this. It’s just a bit of a shock, you know? As I keep saying: I’m too young to be this old.


If you found this interesting, you might also be interested in some of my other real-life experiences which are listed in the True Tales page.

About Tom Allen

The Grey Geezer Dauntless defender of, um, something that needed dauntless defending. Dammit, I can't read this script without my glasses. Hey, you kids, get off my damn lawn!
This entry was posted in Aging, Blogging, Communication, Health, Medical, relationships, True Tales. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to I’m too young to be this old.

  1. Cat says:

    Tom I had no idea you were still dealing with the snow blower incident. I am sorry it rattled you a bit but you know you aren’t old right? MNG is 40 and went through the same thing a few months ago. I am sure you are in good shape for any age. Besides you only have 5 more pounds to lose and then you can have those fetish pics taken…

  2. Lady Julia says:

    I agree with Cat – you aren’t old at all. I do understand those feelings, though, because I’ve gone through something similar. Perhaps when you can, get out and do something that reaffirms just how young you are 🙂

    On a side note, a lot of meds have mood side effects. Once they stablize you on a dose, it shouldn’t be too horribly long before you feel any med related mood effects dissipating.

    Take care of you – you’re in my thoughts.

  3. ladycalliah says:

    I konw what you’re saying, trust me! I just turned 40 & although its just a #, its always in the back of my mind. I just said to hubby last week.. I’m not ready to look this old… or to look my age anyways.

    I’m glad you’re essentially ok, though. And the upshot is now you KNOW you’re ok too 🙂

  4. Tom Allen says:

    Cat – I’m not sure what I’m “dealing” with at the moment. The last two months has been weekly visits for tests, blood work, follow ups, prescriptions, and all sorts of medically related stuff that I’ve had virtually no contact with since… ever. I’m stunned that I have to take medicine; yes, I should be happy that it’s available, but it simply doesn’t “fit” with the mental image I’ve had of myself.

    Lady Julia – I’m using the word “old” perhaps in the wrong context. I know I’m not old; maybe it’s more of feeling that I’m no longer young. Does that make sense?

    Lady Calliah – Yesterday I asked how my stress test went. They said “You’re normal.”
    Five hours in the hospital, and that’s it? Two words? That’s like “Mostly harmless” isn’t it?

  5. Aradia says:

    Hello tom,

    I have to say I know how you are feeling… when it comes to feeling old, and to young to feel so old. I am 38, and I very recently found out that I am going through menopause early. It actually started two years ago, but nobody caught on.

    I know what it’s like to feel depressed about feeling old. I was like that most of this last Winter. If it’s a physical problems, meds can help (in My case HRT), but you need to keep your mind active, healthy and strong, and you will be able to overcome the physical ailments… or at least be able to handle them.

    I wish you the best, and hope that you are feeling much better soon.

    My best,

    Aradia

  6. joeflirt says:

    I know what you are going through and can seriously empathize. My guess however, is the unfortunate timing of all of this.

    Yes, it is shocking to find out you are not as young as you want to think you are… and something things slap you to remind you of that fact.

    But also the lousy spring here in the northeast (or lack of spring really) and grayness of it all, is “great” for depression and helping those thoughts linger rather than snapping out of it.

    Warmer (and sunnier) days are ahead though, and hopefully with that, the “spring” will be back in your step again.

    Feel better.

  7. Digger Jones says:

    I can relate. As men, we are especially prone to being deep in denial as far as our health. Then stuff comes along and snaps us out of denial. Or threatens to.

    I look around and suddenly everyone else seems so *young*! And my joints are bothering me. And I keep gaining weight. And stuff happens.

    D.

  8. Robert says:

    Dear Tom,
    Thank you for sharing what is undoubtedly not the easiest topic to discuss. But that’s one of the reasons I like your blog. You venture into things that are difficult for many of us to open up about.

    I am also turning 50 in a couple months. I too feel like I’m in my late 30s – perhaps a wiser 38 or 39. At times when I am faced with the reality of my real age, I think the whole mortality conundrum comes home. I realize where I am on “the timeline”. The same thing happened to me when I turned 40. It was the realization that statistically my life was likely more than half over that I found depressing.

    Then one day out of the blue a couple years ago I was having sharp pains in my chest and a sense of panic made my heart race. It is precisely because I have a family history of coronary/artery problems that I generally take very good care of myself in diet and exercise, so it was a stunning shock to me. I went through many of the same things you described (a couple of EKG/stress exams and blood analysis – from 2 separate facilities). I was told in each case everything was normal – no signs of a problem physically. Fortunately, my family doctor is also a sports doctor and a sharp diagnostician. He determined that what I was feeling in my chest was actually a strained muscle in my upper back (the same nerves branch to both locations and a sharp fandom pain can be experienced in the chest region). He asked me if I had started any new exercises recently, which in fact I had. I was using a new abdominal exercise machine which unfortunately was also nailing muscles in my upper back as well as my abdominals. Discontinuing that particular exercise solved the problem. It was quite a relief of course. But reality had set in once again about where I am on “the timeline”.

    In dealing with this, I think we both know the solution and it’s just a matter of doing it. Our focus can and should be more about the quality of our time left – quality that is keenly enhanced by a vibrant spirit, emotional maturity and acquired wisdom. I think we’ll find that we can LIVE FAR MORE in the next several years than we did during years when we were in our twenties.

    THAT quality adds another dimension to the chart and skews “the timeline” in our favor! I know this is possible; it’s just not as instantly quantifiable. It’s about mental focus. And you have a great mind!

    I’m pulling for both of us. Spring is coming.
    robert

  9. Cat says:

    Well I think if a man almost 50 can carry a snow blower and only get a scare and meds for his trouble he isn’t doing half bad 🙂 It is unnerving when your body doesn’t work the way you expect it to. I am still rattled by my ankle. I have always felt physically fit and strong. And with one pop my confidence was shaken, my body can’t withstand anything. And it’s not a good feeling to have. So maybe your doctor’s comment that “You’re Normal” speaks to more than just the test results…

  10. Robert says:

    P.S. I think you should know some of the side-effects of of certain blood pressure medications:

    On the positive side they can grow hair! However, they can also grow breasts.

    I just thought you should know.
    😉

  11. Arafinwe says:

    Hi Tom,

    What can I say? You’ve obviously been given all the wrong advice and dutifully followed all of it. You’re not getting old! You don’t have high blood preasure or too much bad cholesterol! Bahhh! Your whole problem is that stinking snow blower. You said you hauled it up some stairs, right?
    Well,….if you want to feel better,…..go up there and push it down! Make sure it’s running when you give it the heave ho. That damn thing is to blame for all your problems, Tom. Kill the snow blower and be free! Haliluliah!

  12. Robert says:

    I have one word for you.

    EvilSnowBlowerDemolition.com

  13. kimba says:

    hey tom honey.. since I have been talking to Fusion – he’s been writing erotic fiction.. with a kink no less.. Maybe what you really need to get writing sexy again is for me to whisper in your ear.. hmm?

    Send me your phone number.

    *wink*

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Aw sweetie, don’t I know it. Both the husband and I know it. Getting older sucks but it sure beats the hell out of the alternative.

    The husband’s story is better than mine (he had a massive heart attack five years ago, in case you are counting that’s husband number two for me, but this one made it through.)

    My story is a little more slippery. Two years ago I had a sudden onslaught of symptoms which scared the crap out of doctors but they couldn’t diagnose. The most obvious answers were fatal, but finally, a Dr. House type doctor (months into it!), came up with an obscure and chronic DX, which is not fatal but a pain in the horse’s patoot. I was a very young 43 and am now, well, a not so young 45.

    I’d be writing my own email complaints if I hadn’t had the crap scared out of me by the “fatal” part, ya know?

    So, hugs, and welcome to the club. I’m looking into group discounts for those infomercial motor scooters and the easy chairs with the seats that pop you right up, all motorized and everything.

    😉 — winking, for *now*

    hugs,E

  15. George says:

    Tom … like you I am older but feel half my age and can outperform some people half my age as well in ter,s of exercise and conditioning. I never had a problem until I hit 50 and it was difficult for me (for reasons that I won’t get into here). But once I got past that I am back to doing things that I enjoy and balls to the age thing. If you can do it then as Nike says … just do it.

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  18. Pingback: I’m so vain (I prob’ly think this post is about me) « The Edge of Vanilla

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