There are a ton of things that no one tells us about getting older, or, if they do, we just pass it off as moaning. So, allow me to enlighten you about one of the worst things. You start getting random pains in places you never had them before. You’ll wonder why the fuck something hurts and there will be no apparent reason. Either it will go away or eventually you’ll succumb to going to the doctor, who will probably recommend ibuprofen. But then you worry about your liver and you don’t even fucking take it.
Of course, now that you have access to Doctor Google, every random pain you have will result in extreme anxiety and hypochondria as all of them seem to be terminal. This will only be reinforced by the fact that your contemporaries have started dropping like flies at an alarming rate. The apparent logic of Occam’s Razor (please don’t embarrass yourself by saying you don’t know what this is, but just in case Let Me Google That For You Occam’s Razor link ) becomes obsolete, so when you have a pain in your side, instead of thinking it’s a stitch or gas, you think it’s a heart attack. When you have a pain in your head, it’s a stroke. When you have a pain anywhere else, it’s cancer. I have had cancer of the toenail.
By the way, if you’re female and you have any reproductive organs that will cause you to go through menopause, even more things hurt. Hormones are fuckers. They make your boobs hurt (heart attack), they give you headaches (brain tumour) and they make your ankles swell (definitely a blood clot, diabetes and possibly an impending stroke). Don’t even talk about when you have pulled a muscle in your chest (pneumonia) or anywhere else (MS). All of these symptoms we would probably ignored when we were young but now they mean we are going to die.
The problem is that – of course we’re going to fucking die. As we get older our mortality becomes real. When you hit 50, you know you’re probably well over half way there and you have to decide whether you are going to live your final years as a raging hedonist, never wasting a moment during which pleasure could be had, as a somewhat cautious, embarrassing old fart who refuses to act like a person of elderly proportions would be expected to or whether you’re just going to become a boring fucker, grumble a lot and wait to die.
Unfortunately, while many of us wish we could go with the first option, our arsing age reigns that in effectively. Hedonism involves sex (ooh my back! oh and this book is more interesting now), drugs (hangovers last for days, sometimes weeks) and rock and roll (that neck ache after head banging, is it a stroke or neck cancer?). But we can certainly try and I know many who have found a steady pace at which to take huge risks and abuse their bodies with alcoholic beverages and drugs in such a way that they are never sober enough to feel the pain. Well, that is until they fall down the stairs and break their fucking hip. Or, fall off a bar doing the splits and break their leg, which a friend of mine really did at about the age of 60.
My own personal path into this being old thing is to continue to take social risks by being as obnoxious as I can be, while exploiting my age to my benefit and using it as an excuse for completely inappropriate behaviour. Physical risks not so much. Did I mention it hurts and that the pains I have right now are probably a heart attack, a stroke, cancer, diabetes and MS? At least I know I’m not fucking pregnant.
Much love from your Badass Auntie