Every so often, a few days go by and you are feeling pretty good. Your clothes seem to fit, your hair is looking just right — and then, all of a sudden, something happens to make you realize that you are getting older. That you are no longer 16 years old.
It could be something obvious, like how can you be 16 when you have three boys who are older than you are? Or it could be a sudden pain in an area where there was no pain previously. I like to call it the “newitis.” A “newitis” is an “itis” that you haven’t had before. It could be many things, but since I am writing this, I will talk about what happened to me. My lower leg started to hurt, which made me sad because it affected all of the walking I do. I decided I would go to the “friendly” urgent care to see what was going on.
Long story short, an actual doctor diagnosed me with cellulitis.
Now those of you who know what cellulitis is, you know that it can be serious. One Facebook friend even cautioned me that once her mother had it, she would keep getting it over and over again. Though this fb friend probably thought she was being helpful, she just added to my already ever-present anxiety. Fortunately, I soon found out that my cellulitis was actually tendonitis! That meant no more antibiotics but hello new ACE bandage, three Advil every four hours, and the occasional pain med to make everything all better. But my walking was restricted by my very mean, but adorable, orthopedist. In any event, I was diagnosed with two new-itis’s in just one week! Yay late 40s! So much fun!
And then, if you aren’t feeling old enough, you have a conversation with one of your kid’s friends about soap operas. They had never heard of soap operas. Remember soap operas? Who didn’t know about the wedding of Luke and Laura? Even if you didn’t watch “General Hospital,” unless you were in a coma for most of the 1980s, you knew about Luke and Laura. And then there was “All My Children” — Greg and Jenny. Again, even if you didn’t watch the show, you knew about them. Erica Kane and her eight or so husbands. And then there was “my” show — “Days of Our Lives.” My mother started watching that one the day it first aired because it was right after my sister was born. I grew up with everything working around “Days of Our Lives.” It was on from 1 to 2 p.m., and before the days of VCRs and DVRs, sometimes we had to watch it in shifts so my mother wouldn’t miss anything. Hope and Bo, Patch and Kayla, Roman and Marlena, the other Roman and Marlena — what a show. I stopped watching it years ago, but the other day, husband #1 was home because it was either Christmas or New Year’s Day and we happened across Channel 4 and “Days of Our Lives” was still on!
It was like time had stood still. Julie, from Doug and Julie — not sure of their last name or what happened to Doug. They may or may not be Hope’s parents — anyway, Julie looks amazing. She has not aged in over 30 years and she was old over 30 years ago. God bless her plastic surgeon! And then there was Kayla, from Patch and Kayla, and she hasn’t aged either! Who is her surgeon? Also incredible! But don’t get too excited. The “other” Roman also looked good, but he couldn’t move his face when he spoke. It was like the words were coming out, but nothing was moving. So his plastic surgeon’s number is not one that I will be needing.
But it got me thinking, if Kayla’s face looks the same, does her knee crack every time she gets up? Does she say “oy vey” every time she gets out of the car? Does a face that doesn’t age translate into a body that doesn’t age either? How does Julie, who has got to be in her 80s, still walk up and down the stairs unassisted? It’s a soap opera miracle!
But maybe that is why there is a generation of folks who still watch soap operas, because if those characters never age, neither to do the people who follow them…
Gee, I answered my own question. The power of denial. Good times!
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is happy to report that she got her money back from her misdiagnosis. Husband #1 was even happier that she is walking again… (Nope, he is happier about getting the money back, let’s be honest.)