A few weeks ago, Crabby Old Lady complained about the time consuming aspects of growing old and found a lot of agreement from readers in the comments. Nobody tells you this stuff will happen when you get old so, for Crabby at least, it comes as a continuing surprise.
Today's post is closely related to those time wasting issues but specifically focused on nuisance ailments and let Crabby tell you, sometimes “nuisance” does not begin to cover it.
Some excellent medical advances notwithstanding, a lot of getting old is about making peace with these nuisances.
Crabby is certainly not talking about the devastating diseases more common to age than youth – not cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, diabetes, Parkinson's, etc.
Oh, no. She's talking about the day in-day out, pesky irritations that multiply as the years go by. What's amazing, is how many of them can stack up.
Crabby starts here with her own age-related nuisance list in no particular order:
TINNITUS The ringing in her ears - more frequently a rushing sound like a waterfall, but it changes from day to day – never, ever ends. It doesn't affect her hearing in general or diminish the volume of voices, TV or movies. It's just deeply irritating. Crabby longs to hear silence, something she'll never know again.
SKIN TAGS More formally called acrochordons. Crabby has several on her neck. They don't hurt or itch. They don't get any bigger nor do they get smaller or go away. They just sit there – one more minor, old age annoyance.
SEBORRHEIC KERATOSES Also known as toad spots are another skin growth that is benign although they can look like ones that are cancerous it's wise to check with a physician about them. For Crabby, they appear mostly on her back and like skin tags, don't hurt or itch. They do grow, sometimes to be as large as an inch or so in diameter.
Now and then Crabby asks her doctor to remove one but they eventually fall off in the shower on their own leaving normal skin beneath.
TEETH Just a few days ago, Crabby told you about her lengthy dental odyssey. In Crabby's case, teeth are not a new annoyance in old age. It has been a constant and expensive problem since childhood.
Even so, it is a big problem for elders. Somewhere, Crabby read that 25 percent (!) of Americans 65 and older have lost all their natural teeth.
HAIR LOSS Crabby Old Lady wrote about her hair loss at some length in 2013. Her solution then and continuing is to never leave the house without wearing a hat.
As you can see in the blog banner at the top of this page, Crabby had a lot of fun with different hair styles throughout her life and she misses that now although there is an upside in Crabby's case: nowadays, hardly any hair grows on her legs and under her arms.
It's the head that's the aggravation and the constant shedding of that hair all over the house. It happens to a lot of old people and remember, no matter what any snake oil salesman tells you, nothing known to mankind regrows hair.
URINARY INCONTINENCE When, following retirement, Crabby Old Lady allowed herself to gain 40 pounds, she discovered first hand the annoyance of urinary incontinence.
In her case, losing those 40 pounds eliminated (sorry, couldn't resist) the problem but Crabby was shocked to note that hardly any medical articles online about incontinence mentioned obesity as a cause.
There are other causes too which makes is a common ailment among old people.
DROPPING THINGS This annoyance was recently on the table here and Crabby is certainly not alone. Things just fall out of hands more these days than when we were young, attributable to weakening hand muscles and a diminishment of the sense of touch.
There seems to be no solution except vigilance – more annoyance to remind oneself to be careful.
That covers most of Crabby's list of nuisance ailments – a longer list than she imagined when she started writing this post. But she won't be surprised if your list is as long or longer.
Other nuisance ailments that come to Crabby's mind are constipation, stiff joints and muscles, sleep difficulties, general aches and pains that seem to have no cause so no solution and, of course, the ever-present forgetfulness of minor things.
Please don't misunderstand Crabby. If these are all the physical or health issues she encounters before her exit from planet Earth, she will be over-the-moon grateful.
Still, you have to admit the ongoing, daily nuisance of juggling it all is irritating – each one leaving Crabby to wonder what will next be added to her list. There really is nothing to do about them except try to find some equanimity. Complaining helps too.
Your list may be different from Crabby Old Lady's but she is guessing it is as much a nuisance.