On the virtues of keeping one's mouth shut-

Posted August 23, 2014 @ 11:27pm | by S. Cutshall

As I sat, Amy to my left and Chloe to my right, one holding a glass of grape juice champagne-the other, the real stuff, wishing me a happy 50th year on planet earth, I answered their heartfelt sentiment with some mumbled speak -tepidly dark, sarcastic, laced with a small cry for reassurance... a slight curl of humor-

"Yeah, well, I never thought I'd get 50 years on this earth or any other, for that matter, and I do know I ain't getting another either. Jesus I think that's the most troubling thing about today," they were still holding their sweating glasses upright near my face, "all the shit I haven't done... and sort of feeling an abdominal dread that if I have not in these now spent 50 years, I am probably not."

Their faces went from a happy, festive, polish to a 'oh shit, here he goes again' look that also forced their arms down, saving that toast for later.

Continuing, "Honestly, you don't get another 50 and if you could, hell, have it guaranteed, who in their right mind would want it? I don't want to be around, alone, drenched in memories of what was and is no longer, watching those I love die off one by one and have to slap a past tense 'ed' to that love."

They were silent. I was ruining their birthday toast to me. I needed to wrap this up on a positive, upbeat, note...

"Well anyway, thank you. I love you both completely, thoroughly." They were smiling. "And hey, I did make it to fifty. Guess that's something."

They were smiling even bigger now so I finished with what I mistakenly thought was my best material, "Of course this will be the year the shit hits the fan." And with that, we all drank.

It was a couple months later that I started to notice, just in little teeny tiny crumbs of note really, my left drumstick -more than the normal occasion- falling out of my hand while practicing or playing live. Intertwined with that, long bike rides left my left thumb, specifically the first knuckle of it, throbbing on the handlebar. Tried every position I could think of and barring not having my hand on the handlebar at all nothing seemed to work. On long walks, ankles began to hurt. And then big toes on both feet. Finally my right shoulder, about three months back, its range of motion began a sudden and encroaching downward spiral that left me in more and more pain while playing drums, riding a bike, using a fork... shit even brushing my teeth hurts if I use my right hand.

So even though I trust the average Western Medicine-based doctor about as far as I can throw my Kaiser Permanente card, I finally buckled and went to see mine.

Arthritic ankles and left big toe. Stress fracture that's been undiagnosed so long it healed incorrectly and is also arthritic, right big toe.
Calcium buildup and arthritic left thumb at 2nd joint.
Rotator Cuff degradation in right shoulder with, yep, more arthritis.

After all that great news the guy finished up with this tidbit of wisdom, "I recommend a reasonable weight gain. It might help strengthen and support some of these arthritic areas. I also strongly suggest reducing your amounts of exercise."

I guess if you live enough years eventually you will get to hear a little bit of everything including the true resounding definition of Irony.

He finished up with a Soup-to-Nuts list of pain meds he wants me to live on for the rest of my days plus shoulder surgery when:
A. I can't handle the pain any longer
B. I can no longer lift my right arm at all.

So, the moral to this little sad shitty story you ask?...

This is what a life spent morbidly overweight and the next seven underweight & highly active gets you.

It's hard to ride a bike or walk now, and sitting & playing drums is becoming more and more difficult these days too.


Oh, and on that title, you know, of this blog post... No, my best advice: regardless of year, if someone sincerely wishes you a happy birthday followed up with a toast, just shut the fuck up, smile, say "Thanks' and call it at that. 

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