The Missing Body Parts of Women Over 50

Posted on December 30, 2011

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(The following is the ninth in Life in the Boomer Lane’s new series, “Old Posts to Dredge out on Slow Weekends Because When I Posted Them Originally People Cared More About the Economy and World Peace Than My Blog.” Although nothing has changed, it’s the start of a really slow weekend, blogging-wise.)

LBL’s tonsils have been gone since 1954. Since she has  never understood what, exactly, tonsils were, she never missed them. And she also knows that after her generation, doctors seem to have decided that whatever tonsils are, they are not scary enough to have to be removed. So LBL’s children’s generation and her grandson’s generation are all walking around with something in their throats that, like, the appendix, probably used to be really necessary about 100,000 years ago.

LBL’s wisdom teeth were removed in 1968. (This may explain why she can’t understand technology or read maps).  LBL doesn’t know where wisdom teeth would have been anyway, because when she opens her mouth as wide as it can possibly be, she doesn’t see any spaces where more teeth could have fit. Other body parts succumbed at midlife and beyond. LBL’s uterus has been gone for about 15 years. Since it wasn’t required to house a fourth child, it did seem to be a bit extraneous.

LBL’s right knee was replaced about one and a half years ago, and the doctor tells her that eventually, the other knee will have to go as well. LBL does miss her real knee. It allowed her to whisk successfully past the folks at airport security. Now, she has to get to the airport an extra 10 minutes earlier than she did before. LBL knows that the alarm will go off and other passengers in the immediate vicinity will swivel their heads and then expresses visible relief that she is not holding a Uzi. Then she will have to go through the drill of having all her body parts caressed in public,  something she hasn’t experienced since college.

LBL has lost height. She used to be a statuesque 5’2 1/2”. Now she is about an inch and a half shorter. She still hasn’t figured out where that height has gone, and if she loses any more inches, she’s going to request a guest shot on that TV reality show, “The Little Couple.”

Let’s not even talk about brain cells. There are times when LBL’s brain cell leakage approximates the current oil spill disaster, without anyone coming up with plans to pour concrete into the gaps in her head to prevent further spillage. Actually, LBL thinks the correct way of describing it is that some of the synapses between the brain cells aren’t firing correctly anymore. Other brain cells have made interesting new connections, sort of like a brain cell speed dating event. And, like many of the initial matches made at a speed dating event, the cells then find they are totally incompatible, sometimes leading to dire consequences.

The bottom line is that there are other women her age who have fewer body parts now than on the day they were born. LBL has friends who have lost a variety of body parts. They all look perfectly normal on the outside, and they rarely talk about the fact that they are slowly disappearing. The only thing that continues to puzzle us is that the loss of body parts seems to be inversely proportional to weight, something that must defy one of the basic laws of physics.

Thank goodness LBL’s mouth is still intact. Which reminds her, you’ll have to excuse her now.  She has an appointment with the refrigerator.

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