Today is my 2nd 39th birthday. And I woke up grouchy. Unusual for me on my birthday. I like my birthday. I eat fun food, hear from family and friends, sometimes do some shopping, just have a good ole time. I thought today would be the same. Never mind that I came back from a nice vacation with a wicked fibro flare, birthdays usually make it all better. And then I remember what birthday it is today. You know, the one where people like to celebrate with you by wearing black (too hot in TX for black so I am in some nice blues). Yes, that’s the one. The one where you first start counting backwards. So, my 2nd 39th birthday.
Truth me told, I am a much happier, more content person than I was in my 20s, or even much of my 30s. I have an abundant life. A wonderful husband, caring friends, parents still healthy, good relationship with my brother and sister in law, a job doing something I love, 4 furry friends, a welcoming church family et cetera. All those blessings are something I have only recently begun to truly appreciate. This being said to remind myself that with each subsequent 39th birthday, I will likely come to value things more.
At the moment though, I am just rather ornery. Frankly, I could care less what # of years I actually am, if numbers were just that. And until about a year ago, I thought they really were. I turned 39 without much of a thought and wondered what all this fuss about the 2nd 39 really was. I figured people just didn’t like the idea of growing older. I didn’t pay attention to the ramifications until I was smack dab in them.
I am used to my body doing weird, unexpected, inexplicable things, often without warning. I used to go to the Dr. for every new strange symptom until I came to realize that the fibromyalgia body is the cause of the majority of these oddities. In fact, sometimes I fall so far into this thinking that it takes me a rather long time to realize that it isn’t the fibro causing the symptom and I DO need to go to the Dr.
Such it was with the first reality check I got this fall. I went a few months thinking my fibro had gotten worse, way worse. What else could be making me so tired, clouding my thinking, depressing me, and finally, making my mouth so dry. I grew despondent, thinking this was how the rest of my life was going to be, knowing full well I have fairly well managed symptoms. I could have gone on for months like that except for one blessed new symptom. Who would think one could be grateful for hot flashes? At the time I sure wasn’t feeling gratitude, I was just hot hot hot. But hot hot hot is NOT a fibro symptom, and it is most definitely a hormonal symptom so off to the Dr. I went. Lo and behold, I had hit the beginning of perimenopause, and it is with much gratitude to bio-identical Estrogel that I write this today.
As I am accustomed to doing with added symptoms, once they are managed they just become part of my world, fading into the big heap of annoyances I live with, melting together until one is scarcely different than the others. And so I marched closer to my 2nd 39th, not giving it too much more thought other than that it was a nice round looking #.
Invariably, the second reality check was less expected than the first. Sure, I had been getting headaches all year when I was on the computer too long at work, but that was just because I was spending more time on the computer than usual. Needing to make the font bigger at the end of the day was just a result of that as well. And the trouble with focusing far away after looking up close and vice versa, that was just because I was on my iPhone too much, that thing is so small. But I mentioned it to the eye Dr. on my annual visit just in case, and bam! The other shoe dropped. Even she had thought I would not need reading glasses this early on since I am so nearsighted, but she herself, being around this age, admitted she also gets headaches when she does not wear her reading glasses enough. And so I got an early birthday gift to myself, a few colorful pairs of cheap reading glasses, perched low on my nose over industrial strength contacts (yes, I know I can faddle with progressives but not this summer, too much too much).
So now, two reality checks richer, I have come to the hard conclusion that the reason people have so many 39th birthdays is that they are, perhaps, in search of the body that existed up until that 39th year. The one that may have had aches and pains, and even chronic illnesses, but that was yet young, and untarnished by the passing of the years. And so, without unecessary further pontifications I think I shall go do something fun. After all, one only has a 2nd 39th birthday once.