Happy Birthday Eve…


It’s the eve of my 35th birthday and I’m experiencing true mortality issues for the first time. I’m not sure why I’m letting 35 bother me, it is just a number after all, but the gray hairs I can see, and the pain I’ve been in lately are probably helping.

For the past year I’ve been experiencing steadily growing pain in my feet, knees, and hands. My hands hurt so severely lately that it’s difficult to hold my iPhone or type on a keyboard. It feels as though nails are being driven into my fingertips, or I’m being electrocuted. My knees, specifically the right one, feels stiff, burns, and radiates pain up my thigh and down the back of my calf. It’s not at all pleasant.

My general practitioner told me that I probably have neuropathy–a terrifying diagnosis by itself–or possibly arthritis, gave me a prescription for Celebrex and sent me on my way. The Celebrex doesn’t really help, and comes with a four page warning list. Great. So I had my records faxed to a pain specialist, arthritis expert, and a neurologist. I see them in November, December, and January, and will hopefully have answers soon.

The pain isn’t debilitating but it has certainly changed the way I live. I’m having a hard time working since 99% of my job is done on a computer and my iPhone, and it’s been harder to play with my son Jack the way I want to. I can’t get on the floor and rough house like I did 6 months ago. Constant pain also affects your mood and focus. I find that I’m way more agitated and short fused of late, and I’m prone to forgetfulness in a way that I never have been before. I hate this.

Add those symptoms to the multitude of gray hairs and wrinkles I see in the mirror every morning and I’m feeling my age for truly the first time.

I know 35 isn’t “old” as society defines it, but this is perhaps the first birthday that I don’t feel like a kid anymore. I think this is compounded by the fact that I sold nearly all of my “toys” over the summer–all of my electric guitars, amps, ‘Star Wars’ collectibles and boxed action figures, video game systems–because we were in a financial crunch and I was trying to pay bills and provide for my family. It was a tough summer.

I think my brain feels old. Is that possible?

But the good news is that Jack informed me tonight that he’s getting me a boat tomorrow for my birthday and we can use it in the “fish pond,” which I assume is down in the canyon at a local trout hatchery. So I’ve got that going for me.

Happy Birthday to me.

* * *

NaNoWriMo began November 1st, and somehow I have been coerced into participating. I don’t have a solid story idea, or even a hook as in previous years, and this lack of planning is already hindering me. My word count should be well over 3,300 words by now, but I’m sitting at a pathetic 210.

This could be because I have only written on my iPhone using Dragon Dictation and Pages. Both are fine apps, but Dragon Dictation is only about 80% accurate so I’m constantly correcting its dictation, and Pages really isn’t built for speed on the iPhone. Maybe I can find a bit of special time with my laptop this weekend.

I hope you’re word count is much more robust than mine.

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