Mind you, I’m not ungrateful for store-bought body parts; it’s just that they are such a drag on my mind. It’s been going on for years and I’m about to put an end to it.
My boobs are hanging down again. It takes the magic of Victoria’s Secret for me to look like I have more shape than any eighty-year-old man would have. A flat chest and a little pot belly is a lot less attractive on a woman than it is on a man – at least in my opinion. There was a time years ago, when I had nearly a pound of extra pulchritude on each side. They would have been hanging to my waist by the following Thursday. That is when I consulted a doctor who happily removed a couple of pounds of something or other and gave me a charming C-cup that lasted for several years. Now the C has flattened out to a C-minus. Don’t get me wrong here; I’m still grateful not to be carrying around that extra boobage.
Eyes. Well, here we go again. I was precocious when it came to cataracts. In my fifties, even with glasses, I was legally blind in one eye and couldn’t recognize my current husband across the room. Eye surgery happened, so I have a store-bought lens in each eye. Now, in my eighties, I can read without glasses but, over time, have become nearsighted and, again, if I had a husband, I would not be able to recognize him from previous ones. However, expensive and wonderful glasses provide excellent eyesight. Again, I am grateful, and somewhat poorer.
Then, there is that picture of my heart. With five by-passes, it looks rather like a plate of pasta. And, it works as well today as it did ten years ago after the surgery. I didn’t see it coming. I was about to get on a ship going to Alaska with a hundred people who were expecting me to produce an informative and borderline brilliant on- board retreat. Two doctors told me that my heart was a still-ticking, but not very well, and that I should not get on that cruise ship unless I was okay with being taken ashore, through icy waters, in the middle of a heart attack, to some place like Skagway, Alaska. That was not a pretty picture. Nor was it a pretty scene that I created, in that examining room, demanding a better prognosis. Ugly story short: Two days later, I had a heart attack in the hospital room while being prepared for surgery. Happy ending: My heart wasn’t damaged and my store-bought restructuring left my heart with no damage to major working parts.
My dentist. Now, there’s another story. She suggested that she might want to replace a set of four teeth, consisting of two crowns and a bridge. Even though they are a set of only a few teeth that I do not keep in a glass of water at night, I am going to hang on to them, at least for now, and save the several thousand dollars to use in my old age.
Then there is the “adult undergarment” bit that even I am not willing to go into right now. I know that almost all underwear is store-bought nowadays but, really, what a big business it is selling utilitarian and sexy (surely they jest) disposable underpants.
At night my sleep doesn’t really happen without a store-bought breathing machine. You may have one, too. They are fashionable today. It blows air up my nose while I sleep and, believe it or not, I sleep very well with it, and have been doing so for eight or nine years. It makes the nights so peaceful that I get sleepy just looking at that machine on my night stand. Sigh.
I don’t travel much anymore either. It is just too complicated to get all of the store-bought equipment and parts loaded up here and then unloaded on the other end.
Traveling with babies was easier than I travel with myself now. Granted, I was fifty years younger, much stronger and in possession of most of my original body equipment.
If this all sounds like a complaint, that is because it is. However, in closing, I want to express my gratitude for the store-bought body parts that I do not have – such as hips, knees, metal tubing around the spinal cord, artificial limbs, hearing aids, wheel chair (although I do have a fancy cane that I use from time to time), and I do not have an oxygen tank to carry around. The gratitude list for not having those parts goes on and on.
As does my complaining.