Thoughtful Thursday: Old

December 20, 2012

Thoughtful ThursdayNormally I feel young-ish — my age, 30s — but lately there have been a few things that have made me feel downright old.

Suddenly, I am getting called Ma’am all the time. Every store, every restaurant, on the street. A few months ago I was Miss sometimes, Ma’am sometimes. Now, always Ma’am.

As part of diagnosing my weird affliction, I’ve had every imaginable kind of test, including two sets of x-rays. For the first, at a primary care office, the tech asked if I was sure I wasn’t pregnant and put a lead barrier over my reproductive organs. The second set of x-rays, at the office of the specialist, the tech didn’t mention anything about pregnancy and didn’t cover anything. To be fair, almost all of the specialist’s patients are elderly, so pregnancy isn’t normally a consideration for anyone at that office. Still, to be treated like pregnancy wasn’t even a possibility (which it isn’t based on fertility status but should have been based on my age) made me feel so old. Even moreso than being in a waiting room full of people in their 70s.

30th anniversary of Thriller. 30th.

What makes you feel old?

Thoughtful ThursdayA month ago, the New York Times photography blog posted a series of photos of a place that I am pretty sure I will never visit: the fake old west towns in Spain’s Tabernas Desert. When I go back to Spain, that is not where I want to be. I don’t even want to visit the actual old west towns that are within a few hours driving distance of me; why would I miss out on presumably limited time in Barcelona or Granada or Bilbao to go to Tabernas? The only way I can imagine would be if Burrito or Tamale becomes the world’s biggest Man With No Name fan, but even then, ugh.

Seeing those photos was a bit of a revelation because mostly, there is nowhere that is off my travel list. I have been lots and lots of places, including a few quite rarely visited, and there are a hundred others that I would like to visit. Even those that I’m not rushing to visit are all still possibilities. Australia? As soon as possible. Afghanistan? I hear it was amazing once; hopefully someday it will return to glory. Antarctica? Maybe… penguins are awfully cute.

My other lists in life aren’t quite as limitless as my travel possibilities, but still pretty big. I will never be the president, thank goodness, but it’s not impossible that I could gain wide recognition someday. I will never climb Mt. Everest, and I’m 100% fine with that, but I have climbed a mountain before and can’t rule out another one. But with my recent illness (which still hasn’t been sorted out, by the way), the possibility of true limits has descended. I saw a photo of the mountain that’s next to the one that I climbed in my youth, and instead of, “maybe I will climb that with Burrito and Tamale someday,” my thought was, “I can’t even climb a set of stairs right now; I will never scale anything again.” I don’t plan to run any marathons, but half-marathons have always been a possibility; suddenly when I got sick, walking became a big deal.

We plan not to have more children: DH doesn’t want to go beyond the twins, and most of the time I agree; even if we wanted more children, it would take herculean treatment efforts that would probably fail and cost us six figures and break our hearts. We’re done. It’s something I’ve accepted. But, getting sick made it feel like choice was no longer a consideration. I would forever be absent from the RE’s waiting room not because I chose never to return, but because my body had banned me for life.

At this point, with my health issues not yet resolved, I truly don’t know whether my pre-illness life possibilities remain true or whether a bunch of things have been permanently crossed off the list. Whatever happens, this crisis has cemented the fact that any mountains I climb or marathons I run will be accompanied by two children, but not three.

What have you already eliminated from your life list? Which items have you accepted willingly vs. regretfully?

Thoughtful Thursday: Scared

December 6, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

Welcome to the December Intelligentsia.

#38: Elana from Elana’s Musings
#31: Lost in Translation from We Say IVF, They Say FIV
#30: Strongblonde from Strong Blonde
#20: St. Elsewhere
#18: Lori from Write Mind Open Heart
#16: Photogrl from Not the Path I Chose
#15: Cat
#13: Sara from Aryanhwy
#2: Mina from Kmina’s Blog

Thoughtful ThursdayThe Prompt-ly listserv has been discussing a recent article about Munchausen by Internet and people who make up drama such as severe health problems to receive support online.

I missed out on the discussion because I have been dealing with my own severe health problems. Which I didn’t tell anyone online about (except for one Intelligentsia member whom I saw in person last week). Everyone else in my online life, not even a peep. Whatever those people have that makes them want to make up medical crises, I seem to have the exact opposite.

I won’t get into details now as we’re still not sure exactly what’s going on — for the third time in my life, I am once again a medical mystery — but I am out of the woods and somewhat on the mend.

My life wasn’t actually in danger, but there were a couple of days when the doctors, and therefore I, thought it might be. And, as calm as I always am and as hard as I am to rile up, fucking fuck was I scared. The fear was compounded by the hours spent alone with nothing to do, as the medical issues rendered me unable to sleep, unable to get up, unable to use my hands for the most basic tasks like reading or going online, unable to do anything except sit in a chair all night and worry.

I have felt plenty of other strong emotions in life, but I’m not wired for anxiety. Some people, like DH’s mother, live their lives being worried and scared every day. Not me.

The last time I was truly scared was the almost-worst day of my life.

Aside from those two incidents, I can’t remember a time in my life when I was really, truly frightened. Deep to my core petrified.

I hope I never have cause to feel that afraid again. It fucking sucks.

When was the last time that you were really, truly scared? How often has that happened?