Gratitude,  Musings,  This Life...

Sunday Snippet: The Aging Sometimes Bites Edition

Yes, yes, I’m going to whine. This week, I’m entitled just a little, so grant me a moment and then sunny Nan will be back onboard.

I fell off my garden stool a few weeks ago–putz move. Just lost my balance, toppled backward and bruised the living crap out of my hip and thigh. A fall that 10 years ago would’ve been silly, but not awful. I’ve had a giant bruise on my hip and thigh for three weeks now…I mean the whole back of my leg is black-and-blue and it drifted down to my knee (thanks to my thin blood). I showed it to my doc when I went in for a checkup this past Thursday and she commented, “Wow you’ve got quite a hematoma going.”  Turns out the lump in the middle of the bruise has a name, and it could be with me for up to six months. So, I’m supposed to watch it and if it gets bigger or hot or red, I need to call her.

This is in addition to the lump on my hand from a clothes hanger incident at Kohls a couple of weeks ago and the big toenail I’m going to lose thanks to stubbing my toe on a chair in February. Sigh.

This whole affair got me to thinking about aging, about how (and yeah, this is trite) it’s not for the cowardly. Husband and I and so many of our friends are discovering that our bodies aren’t as flexible as they once were, that we tire more easily, that we bruise at a touch, that we fall over a crack in the sidewalk, that joints need replacing, that we aren’t remembering everything, that we’re not hearing as we should, that our organs are seriously considering turning in their notice and might need a raft of meds to keep them going.

I think that as Baby Boomers–the first generation to step away from the traditional roles men and especially women played–we didn’t anticipate aging. So we’re going into it kicking and screaming and not accepting graciously what our forebears took as a normal part of life. I’m not promoting that we go back to that either. I remember my grandmother as an old lady with stumpy shoes, hairnets, and formless dresses. She was old–I mean old. (She’s on the right in this picture, and I think she might have been in her sixties when this photo was taken.) At the time, I was seven, and she seemed ancient to me.

Maybe when Grandboy looks at me, he thinks wow, she’s old, but my grandmother didn’t swim in the lake with me (I doubt she even owned a swimsuit), she didn’t ride bikes with me or play with me or take long walks with me… She was old. She did make good cakes, though, and she always had gumdrops. She certainly wasn’t writing romance novels at 70 or even reading them for that matter, and she wasn’t working full-time… sigh.

I don’t know where I’m going with this except to say that aging is a surprise to this Baby Boomer–I wasn’t expecting all the stuff that is probably exactly what happens as our bodies age to happen to me or to Husband. Yet, here we are. And yes, I’m fighting it every step of the way. Walking every day to keep my knees lubricated, taking all the damn meds that are keeping my heart beating, eating the superfoods that help my system, and paying attention to what my cardiologist and my doc tell me to do.

I refuse to accept that it’s my job to be old–I don’t object to being 70, I object to being decrepit…so I’m refusing. And not just for me, I’m refusing for Husband, too. Life is shorter now, so I’m going to live every single moment of it, and I’m bringing him along with me because almost 51 years ago, I promised I would…in sickness and in health. I’m going for the health.

Gratitude for this week: My leg isn’t going to fall off; my office garden ferns are unfurling in green glory; the irises are blooming, got to have lunch with a lovely friend, and the doc pronounced me strong and healthy at my checkup on Thursday. 

Stay well, breathe in the spring air, be kind to one another, and most of all, mes amis, stay grateful!



  • Latesha B.

    Ugh on the falling and the bruise. It’s true when they say growing older isn’t for sissies. Sending healing vibes your way.

  • Kimberly Field

    Ouch Nan! I am glad you got it checked out. I had a hematoma on my arm that lasted for months it seemed. It is hard getting older and trying to figure out how to make the body feel better and be better. Most days I feel like I am doing the 2 steps forward and 3 steps back.

    I agree with you about previous generations, I remember thinking my grandparents were old in their 50’s and I would never consider myself old at the same age.

    Life is fragile and has an end date, as I was reminded this week. So live each day to the fullest, even with the bruises and bumps that show up all the way.

  • Lisa

    Nan, thank you for sharing details about your recent mishaps. I just love that the YMCA in my neighborhood offers “Forever Fit” classes for us baby boomers. The instructor cleverly weaves in strength, balancing and hand-eye coordination movements into the hour-long class. I’m so busy grooving to the music of the ’70s and ’80s, it seems almost effortless.

    • Nan

      That is cool. I should check my neighborhood YMCA for the class… I do water aerobics where we work on balance and moving. It’s fun! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Roseann McGrath Brooks

    I think the clutzy stuff happens when we try to do things too quickly — things that we could, in fact, do quickly 10 or 20 years ago. I’m not saying “slow down”; we just need to take our time. And I agree with the others’ comments about hydrating — and walking and reading and writing!

    • Nan

      Maybe, Roseann. I do seem to get tangled up in my own feet and legs sometimes. In my defense, the stool was on a bumpy place in the yard… 😉 Hugs, sweetie!

  • Kathleen Bylsma

    Boy howdy, are you speaking the truth…I was going great guns despite having a lacking S1 joint until that beast H pylori got me…not once but four times total…certainly took a toll on me, have never been the same since…

    BUT, I am not “going gracefully into that good night” … fighting all the way…and will continue to do so…

    And YES, dehydration is a major problem for older people…we don’t absorb anything, let alone water, well at our age…dehydration is a major cause of illness causing death in nursing homes…

    • Nan

      Kathleen, ack! 4 times?? Dear heavens! I know dehydration is a biggie for us seniors. Husband and I keep our bottles full and close by. Let’s all agree not to go gracefully, okay?

  • Kathleen Shaputis

    Truly perfect – just like our mother’s didn’t warn us about menopause, this getting old stuff is rude. And do keep an eye on the hematoma, my sister-in-law ended up with a huge blood clot that had to be surgically removed from a bruise on her upper thigh. Who’da thunk we’d be “this” old? I still feel like I’m 40 or 50, not 70, inside my mind. But the body doesn’t get it.

    • Nan

      Hey Kathleen, yeah, the doc said they sometimes have to remove a hematoma if it doesn’t dissolve as it should. Sigh. My body and my mind are totally different ages, too! 🙂

  • Janine

    Oh my goodness. You really took a tumble. I’m glad you’re starting to heal now. Getting older does stink. We all have incidents that we could have just laughed off years ago. Last summer I took a fall in the shower that left me bruised for almost a month. I turn 60 next year and I can’t handle as much as I used to. The slipping and sliding and banging around the tub was almost comical, but it sure hurt. When I was younger, I would have laughed at myself. My mom still tries to do things she did when she was younger and at 81, she is learning she can’t do them. Her last incident landed her in bed with exhaustion on Easter and I finished cooking dinner and helping my step-father for the day. We even had to call 911 for her. Luckily there was no stroke, heart or blood pressure issue. Like you said, “sometimes, aging bites”.

    • Nan

      Oh, man, Janine, scary stuff! Hope Mom continues to believe she can do what she did when she was younger–maybe that’s the key to staying young? I dunno…our bodies may disagree. Hugs, honey!

  • Liz Flaherty

    But hematoma sounds so much more dramatic than “big bruise,” don’tcha think? Hope this is a healing kind of week and that we all continue to laugh about that which can’t be changed! Hugs.