The Swim To My 50s – {One-Two, I Can’t Buckle My Shoe}

A little tighter, please.

A little tighter, please.

First things first.  In my earlier blog I used the term ’50 Shades of ___’ after hearing that I would get more traffic on my blog.  The truth is, I don’t know if it worked.  My stats told me that my ‘views’ had increased, but it was probably just me checking to see if my views had increased that made them increase.  🙂 I did get a couple of new followers though.   
 
Swimming right along on my journey to my 50s, I took a look at my chubby arthritic fingers and thumbs.  They really don’t look as bad as they could.  If you have ever seen hands and fingers of a person with severe RA,  you know it’s not a pretty sight.  I am very fortunate that I don’t have such deformities but I don’t think I will be modeling for Tiffany’s anytime soon.  In my opinion, they don’t look like 50-year-old hands.  They look more like…46 {a totally random number I just chose}.  
 My knuckles, however, when inflamed, can serve as weapons, defending me from harm’s way.  You don’t want to mess with me during a knuckle flare-up!  
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The good news is that because of this little problem, I am now the proud owner of this beautiful, shiny 2.0 karat…faux diamond ring!  Isn’t it gorgeous?  Don’t get me wrong, I love my engagement ring and wedding band my husband got me back in ’89, but there is no way those babies are getting past my killer knuckles.  Until I decide to spend a thousand dollars getting them re-sized, they will have to remain tucked away in my safe.
We all take for granted what we do with our hands and fingers on a daily basis.  We don’t even think about it.  Until, your hands and fingers don’t work they way they should!  I can’t tell you how often I have had to ask for help putting my bra on.  It’s not that easy to have to reach way back and try to blindly hook on the tiny hooks, preferably at the same time.  I know many men practice and have become quite apt at un-hooking bras, but hooking them on is a whole different story, especially when your fingers are stiff, swollen and throbbing.
Like the time I was stuck in my bedroom trying frantically to put my bra on and get dressed, so I could attend to the two workers I had hired to paint my living room.  They ended up waiting 45 minutes for me to come out to tell them what color paint I had chosen.  If only you could have witnessed my desperation and distorted maneuvering I had to undergo to get that small garment on.   I wanted to cry.  But most of all, I wanted to call the workers into my room and say, “Hey, men in my living room, ‘you guys mind coming into my room and giving me a non-arthritic hand and hook my bra on for me?”  
Fortunately, after 45 minutes, I achieved my goal without the help of my painters.
 
In addition to being pretty good at using my teeth to open packages and my toes to pick things up from the floor, I have gotten savvy at utilizing the many gadgets and user-friendly products out there that make my life easier.  One of my favorites is the bag of cooked/hard-boiled eggs that come already peeled!  Yes, they sell them in grocery stores.  Not only do I not have to boil the eggs, but I don’t have to use the fine motor skills required to peel the eggs!  I highly recommend them, even if you are arthritis-free.
 
One one occasion, when my older, ex-football player brother was eating dinner with us, I complained about having to bend my wrist in order to get the fork into my mouth to eat.  I expressed the wish for someone to make forks that are bent so that you don’t have to do the bending.  Within seconds, ‘Mr. Hulk‘ had my fork in his hands and effortlessly bent it.  He handed it to me and said, “Here you go”.
 
Well, I loved my fork so much that I used it every day.  Then, a wonderful friend of mine surprised me by running out to our local medical supply store to buy me the whole set!  Ta-da!  So, although I may not be able to buckle my shoe,  I can eat my already peeled hard-boiled eggs utilizing my bent fork, pain-free.
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The Swim to My 50s – 50 Shades of Scars

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Who says chicks love scars?

Yes, I went there.  I used the phrase 50 Shades of ____ in my title.  I took the advice of a blogger who gives tips to new bloggers on how to increase your traffic on your blog.  They say that if you categorize or tag the phrase 50 Shades of Grey, or something close to it, that your blog will be seen by tons of people!  Gee, I wonder why that is?  I can’t imagine that anything having to do with SEX would attract readers.  Hmm, I am going to try it out and I’ll let you know how it turns out.  

In my last post, I examined the demise of my gravity-stricken breasts.  I had to accept this fact as part of the aging process and becoming an almost 50-year old.  I can live with this; I don’t hear my husband complaining.  

It was time to continue to navigate south-east and south-west of my breasts, to my arms and wrists in preparation for the big day. Have you ever confused your upper arms with your thighs?   No?  I get confused all the time!  I look in the mirror and swear that I am looking at my arms but realize that they must be my thighs because, well, they look like my thighs!

My sister {the one with the long eyelashes} can attest to this.  For many years, we have ‘nicely’ cursed our mother for giving us her arms.  How could she pass on this family trait to us?  It’s bad enough that my father is to blame for my butt chin, but now this?  ‘Tis the reason I refuse to wear anything sleeveless.  People might think I am standing upside down and flailing my thighs!  I vow to make my arms pencil thin by September 2, 2013.  I will welcome my 50s with thigh-less, shapely arms! Gulp.

Swimming along to my wrists, I am reminded of the demon that lives inside and outside of my body.  The one I did not invite in.  The one that at the age of 26, decided to invade my being.  The not so honorable, Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease.  I have mentioned him in my earlier posts.  For those of you not familiar with RA, it is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally, attacks flexible (synovial) joints.  In other words, it’s a {sucky} chronic disease with no {f-in} cure, that leaves you scarred, deformed {yipee}, exhausted and often, disabled, but who’s counting?

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My wrists were the first victims of this vicious attack by, what’s his name? Oh yea, RA.  I will never forget during surgery on my left wrist, waking up, staring at the bright surgical lights shining down on me and hearing voices in the near distance.  I looked around and realized that the surgery was NOT over!  It was in process.  Feeling pretty loopy, I began to talk.  The somewhat concerned anesthesiologist, reassured me that I would not feel anything but that I had woken up a bit earlier than expected.  You think?  I was scared, but under the influence of happy drugs and began to tell jokes.  Not just any joke, mind you, they were butt jokes! I could hear myself telling them to my audience {two surgeons and an anesthesiologist} but I could not stop myself.  Where had I heard these butt jokes and why was I telling them?  I blame the very sloppy ragged scar on my left wrist on myself.  I must have had the surgeons in stitches with my butt jokes because they did a horrible job stitching me up and my scar is horrendous!

The scar on my right wrist is lovely.  A true work of art {in comparison}.    I do worry sometimes that people may think I tried to hurt myself since the scars are pretty visible, but in reality, the scars are vertical and not the typical horizontal scars one sees when a person attempts to hurt themselves.  And, they are located on top of my wrists and not under.  Sorry, not a happy thought.

So you see, scars do come in all shapes and shades.  All of mine have their own uniqueness and coloring.  During my next post, when I discuss my chubby arthritic fingers and my biggest scar of all, I will share some more stories with you.