53, So Far

I had a birthday earlier this month, the 53rd installment of My Life! I always tell people, I don’t mind getting older. It’s true. I think my dad dying at 57 gave me some perspective about life. It can be short, you don’t know what will happen in the number of years you get, or how many, so appreciate them. It also goes by quick. I can’t believe it is already my 53rd crack at this!! I keep it going, I have some fun. You all know that.

Things are going pretty well, so far. I have some fun stuff coming up to look forward to, like our company trip in January, and hopefully a triumphant return to Spring Training in Arizona. Life gives some opportunities, I hope to take them. Plus there are always things that just pop up and happen, and often those end up more fun than things you plan months and months for, and that is the charm of living life.

I won’t lie about this: getting older is hard! This is by far not high medical drama, and to be fair it started while I was still 52. I had a weird infection along my jaw. It started like a swollen gland type of thing, thanks to Google doctoring, I took it in stride, and didn’t worry too much. But about mid-November, it started getting red, angry and quite painful. I went to the doctor, like a responsible grown-up would do. Now, I wasn’t worried, but this thing took on a life of its own! I had some tests, a CT scan of it, and it wasn’t really anything we could put a finger on. It wasn’t dental, it wasn’t really glandular as far as we could tell. It was like the spirit of an angry old man had decided to possess my jaw. I named him Walter.

Ok, Walter, not that I don’t love an old man but I don’t want to host you the rest of my life. I would have gotten married if I wanted that! You gotta go, man. So we tried some antibiotics, and steroids to treat it. He pulled back a smidge, but wouldn’t quite give up the possession of my face. He got pretty pissed, for sure. He did not care at all for the eviction notice. He got more angry, really red, and looked like a giant zit waiting to be popped. After he really acted up, my regular doctor tapped out, and sent me to an ENT.

I have never had the easy things, medically speaking. Lost some toes, got bit by a brown recluse spider and had a nasty infection in my knee, had a random seizure, and kidney stones and an ovarian cyst that was angry like Walter. This whole adventure was just regular Coco, as far as things go. But Walter was one stubborn bastard! The nice ENT doctor was a little dry on my first visit. Not my best audience, and he was all business! Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate him taking Walter seriously, but dude was no fun. He took a good look at Walter, and opened him up, squeezed out what I assume was nasty goo- it smelled like nasty fart! I thankfully didn’t see it, although I did have a morbid curiosity, and he packed it with some drain tube gauze stuff. Gave me some more antibiotics, and sent me away, to return in about 5 days. I had to keep Walter covered, safe and dry for my birthday weekend. Antibiotics kept me from too many birthday beverages, but that was ok. I went back to see the Dull Doctor, and this time he was a little more relaxed, and borderline cordial. But Walter wasn’t ready to give up, and I had to keep the tube in. Come back in 5 more days.

Five days later, I am back! And now the Doc and I have a rapport, we are laughing and I tell him Walter’s name. But, he wouldn’t budge on Walter’s tube. 5 more days, by the way, let’s add another course of antibiotics. After a month, I am antibiotics. We are one. I did finally on the next visit get to have the drain out, thankfully! Walter doesn’t really live here anymore! I feel kind of normal, for me! I still have a few more days of the antibiotics to finish up, but I will have a Walter Free Christmas!

I am thankful that I have gotten this under control, finally. It didn’t feel like a month and a half adventure when it started, but it sure turned into that! I have had some conversations with people about all of this, and most will agree, it’s kind of an age thing. More junk will pop up as you get older, and very rarely are they normal things. Neat. I can’t wait for the next thing. But I do have a fantastic job that makes sure I have fantastic insurance, so I ain’t scared moving forward. But it just stinks that your body does this to you, betrays you in weird ways. We don’t know what exactly brought Walter into my life, and we may never know. But he got kicked to the curb, and I will always have the memories.

While Walter and his demise has been the main focus of my time lately, I did also get a pretty fantastic surprise early in the month too, and I would hate to not bring it up, again. I was awarded Employee of the Month at my job! Anyone who has ever worked with me knows how much I joke about being the Employee of the Month. Most jobs I worked had no such award, a shame really, since I was always asking to be it! Anyway, I am truly honored by this award. People ask me what I got for it, and I got a sweet travel mug thing, a shiny pin, and the Employee of the Month Parking Spot, which nobody ever uses because it isn’t a great spot, ironically. Now that my face is back to normal, I will also get my picture taken and put on the Wall of Fame, or whatever we call it. All previous E of the M are enshrined there. But the one thing you get, that nobody really celebrates, is no end of grief from my fellow co-workers! The comments are awesome, and constant, and I even have a few people who bow every time they see me! Of course I eat that shit right up! I love it!

All in all, being 53 has been pretty awesome. I am only a few weeks in, and medical crap aside, I enjoy the life. There is no reason not to, as long as I am able. Don’t focus on the bad things too much, they will always be around, but if you only see that stuff, you are likely to miss out on something great. I am looking forward to the adventures that are out there. Life is a gift, open it and use it! Bye Walter!!

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