Sunday, June 8, 2014

Aging...Not So Gracefully

Remember when you were little and you mom would tell you to wait thirty minutes after eating before going swimming?  Otherwise you'd get stomach cramps and drown?  Did anybody really wait thirty minutes?  I don't think so.  Unless you had a mom with a stopwatch and some kind of weapon, i.e., belt, yardstick, wooden spoon, hair brush, or the dreaded "wire hanger"...the latter which has since become synonymous with Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest..."NO. WIRE. HANGERRRRRRS!!!." you never really paid attention.  (I'm really glad Joan wasn't my mom.)

I never got a cramp.  In fact, I never knew of anyone who did, did you?  My eyes never stayed permanently crossed either.  AND my face never froze with my tongue stuck out at my bratty little brother.  Saying shit like that made kids not believe other stuff parents said that was true.  Really, how many times have you burnt the roof of your mouth or your tongue because you didn't believe "don't eat that, it's too hot"?  If they hadn't cried wolf with the other shit we might have believed them.

But the cramp thing...I never got a cramp when I was a kid.  I didn't start getting cramps in my feet until I became an adult.  It may have had something to do with walking around in platform sandals or some other such nonsense but whatever the reason, that's where I'm saying they started.

I get different kinds of cramps in my feet.  Sometimes they're in the top part between my second toe and my little toe.  They make my foot sort of flatten out in the toe area and my toes actually spread apart.  Very unnatural looking.

Cramps in the arch of my foot have the opposite effect on my toes.  They all try to move to center stage at the same time, some curling up, some curling down.  Oddly enough, my big toe is never involved in this mad dash to the middle.  Ms. Big Toe remains calm and secure in her place as the largest toe, causing me no pain, while the others vie for position as second toe...with little Miss Second Toe pushing back against the others.  Fortunately for me, the toe battle usually lasts less than a minute before the losers give up and return to their delegated positions.  But once they start fighting, they end up having to try again, and again, and again.  I think the fight is over and can walk like a normal human being again...and then they start fighting.  Fuckers.

The cramps I get in the ball of my foot are like being pierced with a very large needle with little electrical shockey feelings pulsing from the center.  These, while extremely painful and rendering me a unipod, don't force my toes into unnatural positions.  I am, however, rendered immobile for the duration.

I get so mad when I get a cramp in my foot.  Other than swearing profusely, I have no ritual or remedy for dealing with foot cramps.  I guess the swearing is kind of a ritual but it does nothing to remedy the cramp.  I drop F bombs, on myself, which only fuels my rage.

I've tried rubbing them out.  No go.  I found I'm Queen of the Wimps when it comes to inflicting further pain on myself.  It hurts so fucking bad trying to force a cramped foot back into its normal pose.  I've tried putting my foot on top of a tennis ball and rolling over it with my foot when I get arch cramps.  Still no go.  I found out the hard way not to do this when the cramp is in the ball of my foot because it feels like I'm shoving the needle directly into the nerve endingings. Triple F bombs filled the air when I tried this.

Leg cramps, while still painful, are usually a little easier for me to deal with.  At least I can walk around while I wait for them to relax.  Okay, maybe not "walk"...more of a hop/hobble combo.  A hopple.  Sort of like Grand Pappy Amos on the Real McCoys...who always had a hitch in his git along.

So the other night I'm sleeping all nice and cozy when for no fucking reason, the muscle alongside my left shin bone starting cramping.  Really bad.  I flung  myself out of bed and started hoppling around, and get this...I actually heard myself moaning in pain.  WTF???  I was actually hoppling around moaning out loud...to myself.   Do I do this all the time and never noticed before?  Do I do it in front of other people?  How fucking embarrassing is that?  

I know I grunt alot...especially getting out of the car or off the couch.  Unlike old man noises like farts...for which the nearest dog or cat gets blamed, I call them old woman noises because I don't remember making them when I was younger. Although it could be that since my memory is going I just don't remember making them when I was younger.  Now I wonder how many other things I'm blaming on my advanced age that have been a part of me all along but I just don't remember?

What's up with the whole moaning thing anyway.  You read all the time about people moaning in agony.  Why, when we have the ability to form words, do we emit incoherent soundage?  I can see why a baby would do it or a mute, but a person with basic language skills should be able to say "ow", or "ouch", or "fuck that hurts".  Don't you think?  It probably comes from some reptilian part of our brain...the part that gets blamed for all inexplicable behavior.

Rambling on and on, and getting sidetracked is another thing I'm blaming on advanced age...

So in the midst of my hoppling and moaning, I bend over and for some reason notice that the second toe on my right foot has a wrinkle in it.  Really?  Wrinkled toes too?  I thought maybe it was a piece of lint and tried to brush it off, but it stayed.

In order to confirm this latest bodily insult, I needed visual verification.  Since I can't see shit close up without them, I donned the nearest pair of reading glasses. While I'm pleased to announce it wasn't a wrinkle I'm totally mortified to see that it's a long hair growing out of my toe.  WTF?????

I've never had hair growing there before.  How did it get there?  How long has it been there?  I've been wearing sandals since it got hot and never noticed it.  How many other people noticed it but were too polite to tell me?   Is it a little lost soul who's migrated south for the winter?  Like the migratory chin hairs who ventured south and liked it so much they decided to stay?  Is my future destined to be finding migratory pubes where they aren't supposed to be too?

Hoppling to the bathroom to get tweezers I make quick work of the little migratory menace.  The sad truth is in addition to all the other aging insults I'm forced to endure, I've become a fucking hairy footed Hobbit...it's the stoopidist thing.