2017-08-11 / Commentary

Random Pains

40–Something

I came home from work the other day and suddenly felt a stabbing pain in my ribs. The pain stopped me in my tracks for a second and then left as quickly as it came. This process went on for several hours until I went to bed, and then it quit.

What was that all about?

I asked my wife if she had punched me in the ribs the night before. She has done that once or twice to silence my sinus serenade, but this was not one of those times. Besides, I figured a punch to the ribs would have created a more consistent pain. This pain was completely random, and unfortunately, it was nothing new. Random pains have become a regular part of my life.

I’ve heard 90 percent of bodily pains are caused by gas. I guess I need to lay off the fiber, but does gas get between your ribs? Does it get in your knees or find its way to your ankles or even the right heel? What about a headache behind the ear? Am I having these brief interludes with extreme discomfort because of the butter beans I ate last night?

As much as I’d like to believe a couple of Beano tablets could solve all my aches, I’m going to have to assume these pains are coming from something else...and that “something else” is the glorious process of aging.

Being on the downhill side of my 40s, I’ve come to terms with ear hair and other such unpleasantries. God has a wonderful sense of humor, and I get the joke. As we age, hair falls off our scalps and grows with unfettered abandon in all the orifices on our heads. Ha. Ha.

No worries; I’ve just got to make sure I’ve got a good trimmer and plenty of AAA batteries in the house.

I’ve also got to make sure I’ve got a good ophthalmologist because the aging process is quickly turning me into Mr. McGoo. But hey, that’s cool. That’s why God invented glasses, although I’m not sure He meant for me to need three different kinds...one for reading, one for seeing far off, and another just to make sure I don’t walk into any walls.

The short-term memory issues may actually be a little more troublesome. The fact that I can vividly remember every single error I made on a high school baseball field 30- something years ago but completely forget where I left my keys this morning is more than a bit traumatizing. But I can handle that...or at least, forget about it.

So, I’m good with most symptoms of the aging process. It’s not like I’m going to dive into some midlife crisis and buy a fire-engine red convertible Corvette just because my trimmer broke and I’ve given up looking for the keys to my minivan. However, I could most definitely live without random pains regardless if they’re from gas or getting older.

Some of my more “optimistic” brethren tell me, “Don’t worry about random pains. You should worry if you do not feel any pain.”

“Why?” I make the mistake of asking.

“Because it means you’re dead.”

Well then, I guess I’m grateful. Pass the Beano...but just in case, how about a couple of ibuprofen too?

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