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All Of The Things Are Happening To My Body

It's amazing what we look back on as we get older, wishing we had done things differently. If you're like me, you got a lot of things wrong when you thought about what your life would be like when you were 53. Being the overachiever that I am, I took it a step further. I never thought for one moment about what life would even be like after I got my happily ever after. I took for granted many things, but at this stage of my life the most important thing I should have considered, should have planned for, was what I wanted MY 53 to look like.

I have to admit that I carried my age (and weight) exceptionally well for a long time, but seemingly overnight my body decided to throw in the towel, one system at a time. My hormones began misbehaving in ways that made puberty seem like a 70 degree day at the Magic Kingdom with no lines. My metabolism was recently spotted on an episode of America's Most Wanted, but is still at large ("large" being the operative word here). My midsection grew exponentially, compounded by a hernia that feels like it is expanding even as I type this. I would go several months without a period, then hemorrhage for three weeks. I couldn't leave the house, which didn't matter anyway because I couldn't fit into anything suitable to go out in public!

Now, don't get me wrong. After a period a month since the age of 12 (with the exception of two pregnancies), I was more than happy to relinquish that part of my womanhood, although if we're being honest, it does sting a little bit more when you realize that the choice of whether or not to have a baby has been taken away from you. With the hernia, though, I still LOOK eight months pregnant, so there's that. Then the hot flashes hit. I was convinced that hundreds of tiny little villagers with torches were coming at me during the night, lighting my neck on fire and jeering as the flames spread to my scalp. They must have felt SOME guilt about it, though, because I would wake each morning to find that they had obviously doused the flames. I know this because my pillow (and my head) would be soaking wet. God bless those little assholes.

I became addicted to sugar, and before I knew it my physician was telling me I was pre-diabetic ("insulin resistant" is how she put it, actually) and began listing all the things I needed to do to avoid developing full blown diabetes. I came home and cleaned out my fridge and pantry, switched from Mt. Dew to Dr. Zevia (which is quite good, actually), and managed to drop twenty pounds. I was so proud of myself!! Just a hundred and forty more pounds to go.

Then, on March 2, I was helping another nurse by attempting to draw labs on a couple of her patients. Now, I pride myself on my lab drawing abilities, and nurses do not like to admit defeat, so when I saw that this resident had one arm in a sling and the good arm pushed up against a wall next to the window, I was challenged! I proceeded to march in there and Cirque du Soleil the shit out of my body in order to get that blood sample. I felt the pain starting as I was working, but kept at it until I got the sample. By the end of the shift I knew I had done something very bad to my back. I actually felt popping.

Four months, two ER visits, two rounds of oral steroids, and two injections later, I am still dealing with this injury. Not only the injury, but the effects of long term, high dose steroids. So now I'm fat AND irritable. I gained back every bit of the weight I had lost and then some, I can't stop eating, I've developed the unique ability to break into a full body sweat while sitting in a chair watching tv, and my anxiety is off the charts. The fact that I have not yet earned myself an orange jumpsuit and a set of leathers is what some might consider a miracle.

Over the years, and especially the last couple of years, I've become adept at self-deprecating humor. I make all the jokes about my weight so no one can do it behind my back. People see me as a strong, confident single woman. And I am. But here's the thing. I hate it. Not so deep down, I hate my body and everything that is happening to it right now. I know that time is running out for me to be able to get back anything even resembling the body I used to have. I don't want to leave my apartment if I don't have to. I don't want people to see me. I make plans then cancel them at the last minute, using whatever excuse seems appropriate that day. But for those of you who have been on the receiving end of this, I am truly sorry. It's not you, it's me.

ALL OF THE THINGS. ALL OF THE THINGS ARE HAPPENING TO MY BODY. But I keep going. I pray to God every night for patience, for self control, self discipline, and put my faith in Him that He will bring me through this. And I truly believe I will get through it. If any of this sounds familiar to you, you will get through it too.

For now, I'm off to fight tiny villagers.

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