Of course, to be balanced on the issue of "It's GREAT to be over thirty!" I should mention the whole potential for physically falling apart after forty. At thirty I was, and you might be or could be, a wiry little powerhouse of health and strength, "with the heart of a fourteen year old" said an examining nurse. Had she known she might have added, "With the maturity to match." However, it cannot be stressed enough that, in general, female fertility takes a nosedive when we are about thirty-five. So that goes first. Next come the random aches and pains and whatnot, which often you can prevent through exercise, rest and good nutrition, apparently.
Anyway the dark side of the forty occurred to me yesterday when I decided I had better mention the nagging pain over my left breast to someone. And I wouldn't mention it now except that finally I get to say something nice about the National Health Service, other than that they fill out prescriptions like little angels. In short, after five years I was asked to take my top off and a doctor actually poked around.
Back in Canada I always had to take my clothes off, and every check-up meant the doctor examining me for any possible bump, lesion, or rebellious mole. Ever since I got them, my breasts were prodded for lumps. Prod, prod, prod. This wasn't particularly nice, but it was normal. Also normal was having my heart and lungs listened to on every visit, plus blood pressure checked, and all that. So imagine my shock that in Scotland doctors did not want to see me with my clothes off or to listen to my insides. The cheek.
However, I must say that at the magic words "pain in my breast", Doctor "Female Locum" (as she was named on my reminder card) swung into action. Blood pressure. Stethoscope. Deep breathing. Top off. Prod, prod. And the upshot is that your dear Auntie has to do no more than take ipruprofen three times a day. We think the pain is muscular, and it may indeed be caused by too much typing on a lovely formica-topped table that really is, alas, too high for comfortable typing. It's the sweetest robin's egg blue vintage '60s table, but it's too high. Boo.
By the way, I have been thinking about cancer, diabetes and heart disease a lot lately, for I am on the famous 5:2 diet, not that I asked a doctor's opinion on that, and thus have been reading about nutrition, particularly glucose. (The 5:2 diet is totally compatible with trad Catholicism, which is why I figured I could do it. And I shall be writing all about this in the CR, stay tuned.) And Hilary White convinced me during our Christmas holidays that sugar is very bad, so I have drastically slashed how much sugar I consume.
The weirdest thing happened on Sunday when, after being off sucrose for a few days, I espied a piece of the most delicious-looking Turkish Delight (the real thing) and gobbled it. It was so good, I might have been tempted to sell my brothers and sisters to the White Witch for some more. Fortunately, this was not required, so I immediately stuffed a second piece in my mouth just as ---WHOOEEEE!--I had the weirdest sensation--as if my blood had gone dizzy. So I won't be doing THAT again.
Incidentally, the other danger of turning forty is that you might start talking too much about your health. So now I will shut up.
Update: Every once in a blue moon, there's an MTV video I don't hate. I saw this one at the gym yesterday. What I like about it is that it underscores that a woman is not a sexy cartoon, if she's "lucky", but a woman who normally wears real clothing, and has muscles, bones, and organs under her skin. Oh, and something else, which pops up in the dance near the end.