Funny, but I have heard forever that life begins at 40. I have also been told that old age is always 15 years older than you presently are. I realize now that both of these adages are crap. Life begins to get really crazy at 40, and the fact is, if you are 40 or older, well dammit you're pretty old and if you make it another 15 years, you are damn near ancient. That makes more sense, at least to me.
I have been lucky that my health has always held me in pretty good stead. I have managed to keep myself in one piece and so far have been able to avoid invitations to spend the summer at any state mental institutions. Still, once I turned 40, things haven't been the same. Anymore when I get out of bed in the morning, you'd swear I was having group sex with those damn Rice Krispies midgets. All of my joints are screaming snap, crackle, and pop! I have various mild aches and pains where I never knew I had body parts. And where I used to consider myself a feminist, I now laugh at anyone who burns their bra. You're going to need those things one day, you fools!
At any rate, I have reached a point in life where I have to take calcium supplements, vitamins, omega threes and even extra fiber! Fiber! For all of the times in my 40 years that I have been told I am full of shit, there is no way I should ever need to take a fiber supplement. But here I am. It shouldn't come as a surprise. Having worked as a supervisor in a call center and having spoken to some of my fellow crabby-over-40 Americans, I know good and well that many, MANY people need more fiber...and anti-depressants.
I think I know when it started for me. Everything was moving along fine my whole life, and then one night, Jerry, Jenda and I went out to dinner at a diner-type restaurant that I will call Lenny's. Since I wasn't terribly hungry, I ordered a cheese steak sandwich with only meat and cheese. Jerry, on the other hand, not only ordered a bacon double cheeseburger the size of a gopher, he also asked the waitress to bring the onions, peppers, and mushrooms that would have been on my sandwich. Now, I took a bite of my blandwich, consisting of bread, meat, and cheese that I can only describe as funny in taste and consistency. Not funny-haha, this was bad funny, like cheese left over from the Reagan administration. After my second bite, I began to feel rather ill.
After Jerry finished his dinner and the food that Jenda didn't finish, I insisted that we leave. I told Jerry that I felt funny and that I thought there was something wrong with the cheese.
"Maybe it was WIC cheese, or as they say in the South, Gub'ment cheese....bwahaha! Anyway, take an Alka-Seltzer when we get home. You'll be fine." Now those of you who know me know that Alka-Seltzer is my cure-all. I take it, holding my nose and gagging it down because it works. But in this particular case, it didn't work, and I knew I was in trouble.
Fast forward two weeks and that damn depression era cheese had blocked things up worse than the line for the Halal cart at 53rd and 6th. (My New Yorker friends know what I mean!) It was not pretty. Hell, I can't even say it was ugly. Nothing happened. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I finally reached the point where I had to call out sick to work to go to the doctor, and imagine my humiliation having to tell the triage nurse what was wrong. My stomach was SO bloated that the doctor insisted on doing a pregnancy test before the x-ray because he was convinced that I was about to give birth to ten pound triplets. And yes, there was thirty pounds of somethin' in there, but I knew he wouldn't want to be the one to deliver it!
When I came back from the x-ray, the doctor was amazed. He turned to my husband and said, "I can't believe how backed up she is. There seems to be some sort of intestinal blockage," to which Jerry replied, "Yeah, she's full of shit....hahaha!"
Fortunately, we were already at the doctor's office so they were able to treat his wounds immediately. While Jerry was having my foot removed from his ass, the doctor suggested that I take an over-the-counter fiber supplement to get things back to normal, and he assured me that I would be feeling better by the next day. It turns out he was talking shit.
After another 48 hours of agony, during which time I tried Castor oil, fiber-laden beverages, and pretty much anything else out there, I sent Jerry back to the drug store and told him to empty Jenda's college fund and buy everything he could get. Strangely, he came home with a single bottle of something. What is this, I asked?
"I went to the pharmacist. I told him your symptoms, then I told him your name and showed him your picture. We had a good laugh and he told me that you should drink this stuff. It's called magnesium citrate."
Suffice it to say that they give this liquid nastiness to proctology patients because it cleans things out. Unfortunately, it also makes Alka-Seltzer taste like a glass of Dom Perignon. Nonetheless, I drank it down and hoped for the best. Be careful what you pray for....
About an hour or so later, with no warning, I knew that Judgment Day was at hand. I barely made it to the bathroom. Fortunately, I did make it, but unfortunately, I didn't have a seat belt to hold me down, because I almost took off like that guy in the movie 'The Rocketeer.' Talk about being cleaned out...Martha Stewart could perform my first colonoscopy. But it's all good, I feel much better, I finally read 'War and Peace' cover to cover, and Jerry finally repainted the downstairs bathroom.
Per the doctor's orders, I take my various vitamins and peculiar potions and eat a fiber fortified diet. I try to get in some exercise (somedays, I try harder than others) and I eat a diet rich in whole grains and fiber. Of course, I still haven't given up my Kendall Jackson on occasion.
I have enough crap to deal with!