Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My 20-Pound Geriatric Thug Purse



(post copyright 2016, Dawn Weber)

Mom jeans, sensible shoes, giant purse. You probably wouldn't peg me for a drug smuggler. But that's what I've become.

Of course, you'd have to define "drugs" in a geriatric, ibuprofen-and-probiotic sense, and "smuggler" as one who carries around perfectly legal prescriptions and over-the-counter supplements, but still -- you get the point. My purse has become a big bag o' meds.

This realization hit me recently as I walked into work wondering why the hell my handbag was so heavy. As I plunked it down on the counter of my soul-killing cubicle, a bottle of Aleve and pack of multivitamins poked from the interior, and I realized the reason for its heft. Pain relievers. Supplements.

Drugs.

I have pills to make my back feel better. Pills to help me sleep better. Pills to grow my hair. Pills to keep me regular. Pills to improve my joint health.  And more.

So much more.

Now before you call me a pill popper and I hear from all you granola hippies out there about the benefits of good diets and healthy habits and kefir yogurt that smells like ass, let me say this: I do all that. I am something of a granola hippy myself, and regularly manage to annoy my family by making them exercise and eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

(But never kefir yogurt that smells like ass.)

All this medicine is a relatively new development. You see, I've hurt myself. By sitting. In a chair.

Yep, you read that right. I'm having sacroiliac joint problems due largely to the fact that I sit for 12 hours most days a week, thanks to ten-hour workdays and two-hour round-trip commutes. Oh sure, I exercise on my breaks and days off, but that's a lot of sitting.

You know, they say sitting is the new smoking. But still. I can't believe I've reached an age where I've actually injured myself by sitting.

In a damn chair.

As a kid, I remember groaning and rolling my eyes in the back seat of the car as my grandmother rode in the front and complained about how long rides hurt her back. 

"C'mon, Gran!" I thought. "You're just sitting there!"

And now, these days . . .

Ha ha haaaa!

Did you hear that? She's getting a big kick out of this up there. Not funny, Gran.

I see a physical therapist, a chiropractor, and an MD for the back problems. My days off each week have become eight-hour geezer events consisting solely of doctor's appointments. And the back issue isn't even all of what's going on with me. I will spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say it involves the aforementioned probiotics and lots of whole grain foods.

Whoops. Sorry. In typical senior citizen fashion, I can see that I'm oversharing and bemoaning my many and various maladies, as well as forgetting the original point, which was . . . what? Oh yes, my huge, ridiculous, drug-filled purse.

The other evening, as I pawed through its contents looking for the glucosamine pills so I could swallow them down with my evening Metamucil, I realized that not so long ago, things were very different for me. In the 80s and 90s, I owned tiny handbags that contained only a few items. And on most weekends, I didn't even carry a purse -- all I needed was my go-to checklist of money, ID, keys. That's it. I was out the door, and onto the dance floor. 

Not so much anymore.

Now I have a behemoth bag filled with an entirely different, way longer checklist, consisting of (but not limited to) prescriptions. Supplements. Vitamins. Wrinkle cream. Pain relievers. Sunscreen. Fiber chews.

In fact, all my purse really needs is an AARP card, a handful of lightly used tissues, and five or six stale butterscotch candies, fuzzy and forgotten at the bottom.

Geezer level: complete.

Ha ha haaaa!

Yeah. There she goes again. If I squint, I can just about see her. A short, smiling old woman with a cardigan, bright blue eyes, and a perpetually aching back.

Not to mention one giant purse.

19 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading this first thing this morning. I can relate to the aching from sitting all day. I sit behind a desk 8 hours a day for 23 years now. I walk in the afternoons and weekends, Unless im aching to much. I have resorted to healthier eating but that don't help the bad knees and boney butt. Thanks for the laugh. Oh and by the way, they do have bigger purses on wheels. Have a great day.
    Lisa

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    1. Glad you stopped by, Lisa! I may be on the way to a rollie-cart-purse, although they annoy the hell out of me rolling down the sidewalk.

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  2. Aging is not for the faint of heart, is it? Thanks for the tip about kefir. I was going to try it. Now I'm not.

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  3. I don't carry a European Man Bag because I have too much machismo. I carry a lunch box instead which serves the same purpose as your purse. I used to take glucosamine for my knees. Didn't do much so I got new knees. They don't hurt now. I get out of my chair as often as possible at work because I stiffen up and not in a good way. Have you noticed gravity is getting stronger?

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    1. Congrats on your new badass bionic knees, Jono. Gravity is an asshole.

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  4. My boss makes her own milk out of kefir grains. Which I then have to use to make her morning protein shake every morning. I can wholeheartedly attest to the ass factor. Rancid is not a flavor I ever want to experience.

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    1. "Makes her own milk out of kefir grains." There is so much wrong with that sentence that I don't know where to begin.
      I miss your writing, Vixen. Love your stuff.

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  5. Give us this day our daily whinge.
    And since I have damaged a hip, I am very, very glad to hear I am not alone.
    As an aside. It was pillows which made me realise I had turned into an old fart. As a teenager I can remember hearing (and sneering at) a friend's mother saying that she really missed her pillow when she was away from home. Last time I went away I took my pillow.

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    1. Omgosh, EC. Do you know that I am right now sitting in a hotel room - with my pillow?!?!?

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  6. Now I'm intrigued by this kefir yogurt. Does it really smell that bad? I have a lot of stuff in my purse too but only one small pill case with a few advil. I take my regular prescriptions, but I'm pretty bad about supplements. I only remember the multivitamin every day cause it's gummy and tastes so good. The magnesium and Vitamin D just way too big for me to swallow w/o gagging and dry heaves.

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    1. Yes, Jojo, it really smells that bad. And I like Greek yogurt, which also doesn't really smell like daisies, so it's not like I'm being snobby here.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Oh I feel you!! I just finally got myself one of those little pill cases things that says MTW, etc... to help us old folks remember what day it is. I literally have 8 morning pills, and another 3 at bedtime. Well, THATS embarrassing. 46 years old and popping pills like a hooligan. Damn I feel old.

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    1. Jessica, I, too, am 46 and popping pills like a hooligan. 46 is the age of decrepitude, apparently. 46 is the new 90.

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  8. Yeah ... the sitting thing is not so good for us humans, is it? I, too, can remember the days when I didn't have an ache or a pain. Those days are long gone.

    I tried kefir, the beverage, because I read it could help acidic stomach (it did the opposite for me). It didn't smell bad at all. It must be the extra culturing involved in making yogurt that gives it that wonderful aroma of which you speak.

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    1. You probably nailed it, Jenny. It's probably the bacteria that create the cultures that make it stink. Like ass.

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  9. I am not one of these anti-medicine people, and to be honest I am sometimes annoyed by them. Medicine can be good. It has doubled the human life span for goodness sakes!!

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  10. Sick and tired of sagging skin?
    The ChinUp Mask will help reduce the appearance of fat around the neck and chin while hydrating the skin.

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