Saturday, January 30, 2010

Getting older

Doesn't it just bug you when little things remind you that you are getting older?  Me too!  I am happy thinking of my age as a hypothetical - not something I want to think about and I can just go with what age I feel like.  But, when something reminds me of my age and that I'm getting older, then I start thinking about money and if my health problems will get worse, and what other health issues may arise, etc.  As well as thinking, I don't want to get older.

Reminder the first recently - my 21 (YES 21) year old son just moved out to his own apartment where I co-signed the lease.  Move out?  I can't pretend he's younger and so am I if he moves out on his own.  Plus I miss him and miss having my baby boy - so long ago that he was 6 and dressed as Batman or 10 in Tai Kwon Do lessons on my old home videos.  He's grown up means I'm grown up even more!

Reminder the second recently - my youngest son, my baby, is turning 17 (YES 17) on Monday.  Starting college a year and a half from now!  I miss my young children.  Yes, I know the purpose is for them to grow up and realize their dreams and be independent and I want that for them.  But, how did it happen so quickly?  It was just yesterday he was 4 and convinced that St. Patrick's day (his name is Patrick) was a holiday that was created just for him and wouldn't be swayed (I folded and bought him a present, I kept explaining that St. Patrick Day was named for a saint, but he responded "yes, I am really good" - gotta give in to that).  So, I work on finances for his college tuition coming up and worry if he'll be happy and make good decisions.

Funny story - my 21 year old said when he came back after having been moved out a week that he thought my migraines would improve after he moved out?  I never knew he thought he was a factor in that?

So, I am getting older and am budgeting savings, retirement, debt, etc.  As a CPA, I am great with a spreadsheet and budgets and actually enjoy working with them - better with someone else's numbers - so not all that bad and I'm in bad shape due to health costs on me but not as bad off as others are so I have to be thankful.

How much longer till I cannot work?  Well, last week, my neurologist said that if we don't see improvement then sooner or later they will require I go on disability and reduce my work to half time or less or none.  So, that's a worry. 

Then, I think maybe age will improve my conditions?  Some women after menopause see an improvement in their migraines?  But, I know too many who don't.  And then, my neuro talks about the white matter building in my brain from constant pain and increased risk of stroke as it continues.  Perhaps that means I need to save quicker and be more efficient to retire sooner to lower the risk?  Since I can't seem to stop the pain and it's primarily caused by stress.

Then, there's the fact that due to my disability, my career growth has been stunted.  I do well where I am but the company won't promote me or grow my career so my income is going to flatten.  Change jobs?  Change their minds?  Possibilities, but I'll worry about that later - just not too much later because the clock is ticking.

One thing I do know, every woman in my life close to me - friends and family - say the 40s are/were the best years of their life.  So, I am not going to be afraid of the number.  I adore my friends and family and my incredible husband who takes such good care of me - and me of him financially (for now) since he's an artist and I'm the breadwinner.

I hate my pain but I am happy with my life and I want to remember my life and events not being taken over by the pain.  That's the task, changing that - since right now the pain is in control. 

I still have good times.  A great memory from recent is last November seeing 75 year old Leonard Cohen in concert just after our wedding anniversary (one of his songs was our first dance song).  Seeing one of the greatest poets and writers of our time perform flawlessly and incredibly and skip off stage for 4 (YES 4) encores.  so, I have to say, age doesn't stop everyone.  Love you, Leonard Cohen - You are The Man.

I do want to talk more about my IV therapy and other things that I think are going to help, but want to see how they play out first.

Love and hope for pain free days for you as always,

Elizabeth

5 comments:

  1. Elizabeth,

    Without discrediting/invalidating any of your feelings (something I would never do!), I can tell you that I recently turned 41 years old and I have to agree with the people who have told you that the 40s can be a positive time in life. For example, I worry less about what people think and I follow my instincts more. These are good things in my book! (They are also healthy traits for a chronically ill patient to have. I am better about setting boundaries and knowing my body's limits).

    I am very sorry for your pain! :( Having lived with chronic pain since I was 13 years old and having multiple chronic illnesses that cause a great deal of pain, I know it can be very hard to focus on anything else at times.

    You're doing the best you can with the circumstances you're in. That's all you can do. Please just don't push yourself too hard. Working yourself more hours now won't "save you more money" for needing to leave work earlier than planned. It'll just make it that much more likely that your body will rebel on you even more from pushing it too hard for it to handle.

    Hang in there!

    Jeanne

    P.S. Thanks for the reminder to do a "check-in" with my daughter to remind her that none of my illnesses are her fault. We've talked about this subject before but hearing your son's comments makes me think I should re-visit this topic. I would hate for her to ever think that she is in any way responsible for any of my illnesses/symptoms!

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  2. Have you tried essential oils like Frankincense and Myrrh. Both are very calming and healing but I guess it depends on why you get migranes. Check out my blog.

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  3. I have tried the essential oils - they do help, but no full relief - but thanks!

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