I never had a pain until I turned 50 | Opinion | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | April 29, 2017 5:00 pm
Last Updated: April 26, 2017 at 4:06 pm
My husband, Widdle Baby, has a saying: “I never had a pain until I turned 50.” Since he married me when he was 50, you can take that two ways. But I get what he means. It took a while, but I get it.
Widdle was a runner for years, then took up cycling. He eats lots of vegetables, gets his teeth cleaned twice a year, avoids sodas and enjoys physical labor. (His fave hobby is cutting up dead trees with chainsaw.) All in all, he’s a pretty healthy guy.
Then about 10 years ago, he started getting “twinges,” aka aches and pains. One day his foot hurt, the next day his shoulder throbbed. He had a sore knee, stiff elbow, heartburn and headaches. (Eventually the heartburn was diagnosed as a sulky gallbladder, which was promptly removed.)
What was I doing all this time? Not being a supportive wife, that’s what. “You need to exercise more,” I’d say. “Stop eating fried food. Start strength training. Hang upside down. Do cardio every day.” A delightful spouse, I was.
“It’s age,” he sighed.
“You’re not old yet,” I pointed out.
In his 20s, Widdle worked with crews of older men. “They all claimed they never hurt until 50,” he said, gloomily. “Now I know it’s true.”
“You just need to get your mind right and take better care of yourself,” I said. (See bad wife reference, above.)
Karma never fails, and now it’s my turn.
Last month I couldn’t sleep due to a stabbing pain in the third toe on my left foot. Yes, toe. I rubbed it, bent it back and forth, scratched it, even put ice on it. Nothing worked. I only got four hours’ sleep that night, but the stabby feeling went away and hasn’t come back.
It was replaced by a cramp in my posterior. I took potassium and hot baths, tried stretching and massage. (Self-massage; I’m not going to ask another person to see that.) The cramp hung around for about three days.
Then I developed a 50 mph tic in my left eye, which made me draw black eyeliner down to my chin. So now I’m walking around with naked eyes winking at everything and everyone.
What’s next? At this point, I’m just waiting for my head to fall off.
Which brings us to an article posted at www.higherperspective.com, about pain being a manifestation of emotional issues.
I’m skeptical; while we all know unrelenting stress can cause illness, I don’t think my shoulder hurts because I was toilet-trained too early. But apparently I am woefully uneducated.
For example: Did you know pain in the knees indicates that you think too highly of yourself? (Maybe that’s where the phrase cutting someone off at the knees comes from.)
ν Pain in the hips means that you’re “afraid to move or change, and are too careful in making a decision.”
ν Hurting hands mean you may not be reaching out to others, so spend some time with friends and socialize.
ν Elbow pain means you’re too stiff and resistant in life. Consider compromising.
ν Lower back pain: You’re concerned about money. (Who isn’t?)
ν Upper back pain “means you don’t have enough emotional support. You may feel unloved and unwanted.” (Adopt a dog.)
ν Shoulder pain means you’re carrying a heavy emotional burden. (Again, aren’t we all?)
ν Pain in the neck? You can’t easily forgive yourself or others. Try to overlook their mistakes, and be kind to yourself.
So there you have it: I’m indecisive, stiff-necked and afraid of change. And my cramp just came back.
(Julie R. Smith, whose fingernails are starting to hurt, too, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)