Sunday, November 16, 2008

I am Old

How I know I'm getting old:

1) I remember as a kid, I used to love going down slides. LOVED it. Especially those twisty slides where you go through a long tunnel. In the last year, I've had the pleasure of going through a handful of slides with Melly on my lap, and every time when I get to the bottom, something hurts. Usually my butt. Those slides are treacherous.

2) Prior to a year or two ago, I had never experienced lower back pain. Never. When I was stooped over a patient for whatever reason, the attending would often warn me, "Be careful you don't hurt your back." I would scoff. Back pain? No, I'm way too young for that! But in the last year, I've had back pain constantly. So far, it's all just been muscle strains that got better in a couple of days, but I suspect I'm on my way to a herniated disc. I try to be careful... I tell my patients to take off their own damn socks for the EMG. I'm aware of the correct way to lift an object so as not to cause back injury, but it's hard to lift with perfect form when you're lifting a quickly moving, wriggling object, if you know what I mean.

3) I used to love roller coasters. When I attempted to ride a roller coaster a few years ago, I found that I not only did not enjoy it, but when I came home, there were actual bruises all over my poor back.

4) About a year ago, I found my first gray hair. I haven't seen any more since then, but I'm clearly still traumatized.

5) I still get the standard "gosh you look way too young to be a doctor are you sure you aren't still in grade school" response from patients, which I know most of us have experienced. The only difference is that now I'm really HAPPY when they say that to me. I don't even get fake insulted, like I used to. Then I get overzealous and injure my back while examining them.

I am impressed that people have kids after age 35. I'm not even 30 yet and as you can see, I'm already falling apart.

(Yes, I'm under 30 and complaining about feeling old... go ahead and mock me.)


  1. I remember turning 30 and suddenly needing to replace the chain on my favorite necklace, because it was too tight. A colleague said "didn't you just turn 30? Yeah, that's when my neck started to get fat, too"

    So you still have much to look forward to!

    I blame it on being a mother. That ages you like nothing else. And then seeing all the women who became parents in their 20s rather than their (cough cough) mid (cough) 30s. Lordie, do they make you feel old at school, when they are still young and trying to be hip (or worse, not even trying but being hip anyway) while you are just trying to get through the day.

    welcome to the club.

  2. I hit about 40, and suddenly started not feeling nearly as old. I think I started getting better exercise and having enough money to eat a decent diet. And orgasms got way better starting about 35.

  3. Boy, is that great news.

  4. Jiminey! Wait till you hit 50. Acutally, I feel better now than I did in my 30's, mostly because more time to exercise. And menopause isn't so bad, either, despite the horror stories.

  5. I think kids did it for me. I felt young and hip (and by no means over 30) until I had my first at 32yo. I don't even think internship and residency did what kids have done to my body. That's when the grays began, the random aches and pains, the lack of exercise (if you can find the time in my day to exercise, I'd hug you), etc. After kids is also when I became much more aware of the world; not just of neighborhood dangers (my g-d, people drive too fast), but overall environmental, political, social issues as well.

  6. I second the mommy doctor comment. I did become more aware of the world after I had kids.
    Children do age you more than medical school and residency, and it is not just because of the physical changes and the added stress to the schedule, but the worry. I never understood what it was to worry until my children were born.

  7. I was right there with you until you 'fessed up that you're not even 30. You are so not old. Sorry. Give yourself a decade--THEN you'll be old.

  8. I am 67.

    and still wondering what I am going to be when I grow up....

  9. Ditto, Elaine - age is a state of mind. I'd add that to all of the other sound advice that keeping company with people younger than you (besides your kiddos) gives you the benefit of feeling wise and at the same time staying with the times. Love having a college student in my ofice for that purpose - it's win-win for both of us.

  10. I'm 21.... almost 22 (Feb) and I feel aged beyond my years..... I've had so much emotional trauma that I don't really want to feel ANY emotion ever again.... (this may sound insane but I've just been taumatized again, so let me exxagerate)..... I'm in nursing school and bored out of my mind.... I don't really have to work for this stuff anymore.... The first couple weeks I thought I had to, but now its gotten to the point where I will maybe read a few hours worth of stuff, and just guess on the rest.... probably shouldn't be saying that as a NURSING student... but I'm still getting A's in my classes when people who read everything twice are gettings Ds.... anyways.... oldness..... It is a state of mind... and as far as I'm concered, my emotions are pretty damn close to their deathbed.... so I feel your pain....

  11. Oh honey. I turned 40 this year and now look at those people who ride the carts at the grocery store and think...that would be so nice. Sigh. I feel ya, girlfriend!


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