Ten Things I Can No Longer Do

Do you remember those heady days when you could do whatever you damn well pleased? Eat what you wanted whenever you wanted to, drink whatever you felt like drinking, sleep for however long or in which ever way you desired? How I envy those who can do whatever they like in life. Ahh, to be free of all these restrictions and limitations that age and questionable health place on you. And my restrictions seem to be mounting up with each passing day.

1) Eat Pies

I want to be clear from the get-go, I like pies. Not sweet appley or fruity things; proper savoury meat pies. With a base. And a lid. Don’t give me that poor substitution of a mass of meat and gravy in a dish covered with a poofy, airy bit of puff pastry that disintegrates at the mere mention of saliva; I’m talking full-on, honest-to-goodness pies. However, love them as I might, for the last five years or so, I haven’t been able to eat them. You see I suffer with gastritis, which is inflammation of the stomach mucosa (mine is of the erosive form which affects part of the stomach lining. Yay!). I’ve been taking PPI’s (Proton Pump Inhibitors) for years – medication which reduces the production of stomach acid to alleviate this. And I’ve had to learn to eat differently too; learn which foods upset me the most. One of those foods is pies. Yes that delicious pastry we all love can keep me awake all night in great discomfort. So pies have had to go. Goodbye pies, I’ll never forget you.

2) Leave House Without Glasses

Even though I received my first fairly unnecessary pair of glasses at around the age of 15, it was only when I started taking driving lessons in my early twenties that the fact I couldn’t see number plates made glasses officially a part of my life. But up until the last few years or so, I still didn’t consider myself a glasses-wearer. They were kept in the car and used only for driving. Now I’m 44, I wouldn’t leave the house without them.Without glasses, I can’t see our TV (and it’s a big TV), and I can’t go to cafés or restaurants or anywhere that would require me to look up at a board to make a menu choice. I’d be like a foreigner in a non-English-speaking country because I’d feel helpless and simply not know what was on offer. Without glasses, I couldn’t do the school run because mum-friends would virtually need to be on top of me before I recognised them, and I’d just walk by without a wave or smile, ignoring everyone and be universally hated (more than I am already). I still don’t wear glasses all the time even now (but they’re always in my pocket or up in my hair), but that’s more out of vanity than anything. The optician says I’ll need them full-time when I reach fifty (in five-and-a-half-years). Bring on the lasers!!

3) Take Nurofen

Nurofen/Ibuprofen/Non-Steroidal-Anti-Inflammatories, call them what you like, I can’t have ’em any more. This comes back to the gastritis thing again; they affect my already-damaged stomach lining and make me feel unwell. So I’m pretty much left with plain old Paracetamol (Tylenol) for pain relief; which in some instances, just isn’t strong enough. I can’t take codeine either as it makes my head spin. Unfortunately, Ibuprofen is just top of my medicine-kit-list for some ailments; I don’t think anything lowers your temperature quite so well. One year I had terrible flu – completely burning up; Paracetamol just wouldn’t touch it. So out of desperation, I took some Nurofen. Flu-wise, I felt infinitely better. Stomach-wise, not so much. But it was a one-off. Ibuprofen, I love you, but you’re dead to me.

4) Sleep Through Night Without  Needing a Wee

I’m hugely miffed about this one. I wouldn’t say I’m at the point of having a peanut bladder, but it’s fifty-fifty whether I’ll have an entire night of uninterrupted sleep. And I know that will only get worse with time. I’ve already limited how much I can drink after a certain point in the day. I go for a wee just before I go to bed, read for about half an hour, have another wee (just to be on the safe side) and turn off the light. Fingers crossed I won’t wake up until morning.

5) Drink Wine

It makes me throw up. It didn’t used to, but it does now. It’s a pisser.

6) Eat More Than 1700 Calories

I’m not going to labour the point as I’ve talked about diets FAR too many times in the past. I’ve lost weight and now I’m in the process of maintaining that weight loss. I’m 44 and I’m short – so this (bar the occasional splurge), is how much I get to eat on a daily basis or, without a shadow of a doubt, I will gain weight again. It sucks a little bit.

7) Sleep Without Earplugs

I’m going to keep this brief and attempt to be diplomatic. My husband snores. I’ve never heard worse. He didn’t snore when we met. He does now. He’s getting older too, so it’s not his fault. But without a pair of nightly silicone earplugs stuffed in my ears, I would be awake for the entire night. Or he would dead.

8) Sleep Without Gum Shield

Another ailment I have picked up along the way (they’re mounting up, aren’t they?), is bruxism. That’s teeth-grinding to you and me. It started after a bereavement five years ago and it’s never gone away. I grind my teeth all night long (and some of the day if I don’t catch myself). The dentist says it’s already wearing down and cracking some of my molars (and it’s caused a delightful clicking of my jaw whenever I eat. Yay!). So now I wear a gum shield at night. All I need now is to put curlers in my hair before bed too, just to add to my already highly attractive night-time paraphernalia.

9) Chew Gum

Because of number 8, I have a disorder of the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) too, caused by the teeth-grinding. This has caused clicking, pain and I can’t open my mouth fully. Chewing gum makes this considerably worse. I love chewing gum (apart from the slight drawback that I often used to bite the inside of my mouth, causing mouth ulcers) but I did love that minty taste. And a packet could always be found in my bag. However, that love can no longer be. No more gum for me.

10) Wear Natural, Undyed Hair

I don’t even want to put a guess on how long I’ve been dying my hair. Oh alright then, I’ll take a stab at it. I’d say I was 12 or 13. Of course I didn’t need to dye my hair back then. It’s just I’ve always had dull and boring mid-brown hair. Or at least I think I have; I haven’t seen my natural colour in decades. But I do see the roots. Ah, the roots. The bane of my bloody life. And those roots are definitely more grey than brown now. Damn it, I’d kill for dull and boring mid-brown hair that needed zero intervention right now. But no, every six weeks, out comes the hair dye – wiping out a quarter of a day with a head covered in cold, purplish gunk just so I’m not greying any more. It makes me so frustrated when dyeing-day comes around, I could spit. I could spit, I tell you!

11) Go ANYWHERE Without Lip Salve 

Sorry, had to add an 11th. After years of lip-salve-overuse, my lips just cannot produce their own moisture any more. What’s that about?

So consequently, I’ve pretty much just spent the last few hundred words moaning about how I can no longer eat or sleep the way I want. Your beefs may be completely different, if you’d like to tell me about them. But my daily life takes a lot more thought and consideration than it once did. That overnight bag I would once pack with gay abandon, is now packed with far more consideration. I painstakingly tick off each necessary item before I leave my house; money, keys, phone, glasses, ear plugs, gum shield, Paracetamol, PPI’s, antacids, lip salve, nail file (oh, and clothes). Ready! What do you mean we missed the plane? I mean, I know things could be infinitely worse and I should count myself lucky, it’s not like I’m having to carry around a 10kg oxygen cylinder or anything. But I’m no longer footloose and fancy free either. I can’t jet off at a moment’s notice, live on a commune or a desert island. I am tied to the trappings of the western world, because of the stresses of the western world. Life needs a little more planning than it did when I was in my 20’s. I’m very healthy really, as long as I don’t ignore the restrictions. The general day-to-day upkeep of me has become more complex. It’s the same with all of us and the list of things we need to do for self-maintenance will grow and grow, I expect. It’s true, that old saying, ‘age doesn’t come alone’. No it bloody well brings along with it countless, uninvited and annoying friends. Thanks for that.

No commune or desert island for you, Archer!


18 thoughts on “Ten Things I Can No Longer Do

  1. This aging business is not for the faint hearted, that’s for sure!
    If you ever need to borrow a gum shield Adele, as a rugby family, we always have plenty lying around (you might need to pluck the grass out first though!) X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Number 7? – come and listen to my lady, we both wear wax earplugs now! Seriously, I know I have got worse with age and she has started as she has got older, particularly after after a night of Number 5… (we can still do that without a problem!) That will make them wonder on the sharesies.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Damn Adele, you’re screwed if the Zombie Apocalypse happens. 😉 I could also imagine it would be a nightmare for you too if you go away somewhere and the hotel fire alarm goes off in the night.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Things really get spicy one you cross the 50 threshold! I love this post. I can completely relate with #2, I had the vision of an owl until my mid forties, then, as if someone flicked off a switch, I couldn’t read anything that was in front of my face. My distance vision is great, but around the house now, my reading glasses always hang from my neck (I saw Kevin Costner wearing them in a movie and thought if Kevin can wear them and still look cool, so can I – my wife thinks otherwise). I also can’t drink like I used to either, but I haven’t given up on that one. Great post Adele!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ummm.. All of ours time will come, but since mine is a hopefully a few years away, I can’t help but have fun reading this..

    Although, I have had to wear my glasses all the time since I turned 6, and a bit of grey too already. But still.. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting post Adele! At 35, feels like I already relate most things you have pen down. please tell me guys its not that scary down the road of aging :-). BTW, i got my first set of glasses just last week which is totaly a waste yet. claiming I got to wear it for headache.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can relate. Quite a few years ago, hubby and I both commented that the strength of television transmission seemed to go down a lot at night. Turned out he needed a stronger prescription of glasses and I needed my first pair.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah yes. I’m 9 years ahead of you. Some details are different, but I do get you on this! You handled the A word with honesty, grace and humor. Thank you!
    My sweet, heroic 91 year old mother-in-law, who can no longer walk, etc.- frequently says “getting old sure isn’t worth the senior discount!”

    Liked by 1 person

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