Passing the age of 50 mark has its pros and cons, I've found. On the pro side, well, there are some who turn to you for advice or wisdom. If you're lucky younger folks treat you a little better than if you were 30, but not always. And sometimes on those days you look your age, you can even slide in a senior discount despite being 10 years away from retirement age.
That's pretty much where the pros stop.
When it comes to the cons, I have my body to blame. As I said on Facebook this week, after 50, it's pretty much always something. In the past three or four years I've had more nagging, irritating little gitchas with my health than I can count. And perhaps the only thing worse than me enduring them is you having to suffer through hearing about them. So, I will spare you that.
Suffice it to say that the ailments are from head to toe. None are debilitating, but most are reminders that I won't make the cut as a walk-on free agent for the Packers - perhaps ever. At least I won't have to worry about concussions - from football, anyways.
I will tell you about my most recent ailment because I think it's kind of funny.
The past few months I've had a numbness in the pads my left foot. It feels like a sock is scrunched up in my shoe. I can walk okay, but I figured I'd better get it checked out anyways. The last thing I want is someone to find a tumor on my spine after it's too late.
So I go to the Foot and Ankle Specialists clinic in town and end up with a doctor that looks just like Ben Stein of "Win Ben Stein's Money" fame. Once I got by that fact, he poked me with some poking devices and determined that I wasn't lying and yes, there was some numbness in my foot. He referred me to a radiology clinic for what is known as an Electromyogram or EMG.
What this is is a sadistic torture test for people to determine that yes, their is some numbness and loss of feeling in my foot.
This doctor had me lay on a table, and proceeded to poke me with even sharper poking devices including a "dull" poke and a "sharp WTF" needle poker. (WTF is a non-medical acronym, here.)
So after poking my feet and calves, the real fun starts.
The doc tapes some electrodes to my feet and says, "Okay there will be a series of electrical shocks that will increase with intensity."
As it turns out these are WTF electrodes too, designed I'm sure by the same company that designed the "sharp WTF" needle poker thingys.
The shocks start out not so bad, but by the third or fourth one, my leg is jumping like a meth addict at Starbucks. I'm not sure if it's jumping because of reflex or because it hurt like WTF. Then, when he was done shocking that spot, he'd move the electrodes and start shocking me in a new spot. This triggered more jumping legs and colorful internalized language generation. (or, CILG, another non-medical acronym).
This went on for about 20 minutes. I hope it is as close as I ever get to what mentally disturbed people went through with electroshock therapy years ago. Because it sorta sucked. Not unendurable, but kind of annoying. It was like a bully poking you with a needle to the point where you kinda wanted to slug the doctor.
Now, I know this is all necessary and modern science is great and all that, but near as I can tell the only thing it determined is that, yes, I do have some residual nerve damage from a back issue I had 15 years ago. And, no, there's nothing they can do about it.
Despite knowing this, I still have to schedule a follow-up with Dr. Ben Stein who's winning my money.
So, yeah. After 50, it's always something.