Turning 50 is a milestone. Goodness, it’s half a century, as my son reminds me.
I’ve always been a ‘glass-half-full’ type of person, but this aging business sure has its ups and downs.
They say wisdom comes with age but it can be difficult to find anyone willing to listen to me.
They also say, ‘what goes around, comes around’. I suppose that refers to the relationship with our parents in our youth. My spine tingles when I hear my teenage words coming from my children’s mouths and my parents’ words coming from mine.
When I turned 40, my close-up vision began to weaken, and I gradually held things further away to see them. As I move from denial to acceptance, I now admit that I have to wear reading glasses.
Last year, I wanted to prove that I could maintain my Bronze Cross lifesaving award, and I pushed myself through the endurance swim. I made it — but recovering from the subsequent aches and exhaustion took noticeably longer.
Along with a card from distant family, I received some special birthday recognition notes in the mail — a breast cancer mammogram reminder, and a colon cancer test kit.
These are sure signs that I’ve reached that magical age where we should pay very close attention to the changes going on with our bodies.
This is where I get personal. I’ve experienced mammograms before, and it’s nothing I’m in a rush to repeat. I know it’s a necessary diagnostic procedure, but I’m sure most women will agree, the discomfort and pain can be almost unbearable.
"Hold my breath for how long? Are you kidding?!"
If I grit my teeth any more, I’m going to need a whole set of caps. Now, about the colon check test, or FOBT (fecal occult blood test). I’ve seen these kits before, when my children researched and presented their science fair projects on the subject of colon cancer.
Unfortunately, we had a family connection to this topic five years ago, and we wanted to educate ourselves and the public about the warning signs and importance of early diagnosis and testing.
The FOBT test displayed on their backboards looked sensible, in theory. Now, though, I have to put it into practise.
Don’t worry. I won’t be publishing the details.
Suffice it to say, I recommend that everyone use these tests and pay attention to your body. Any lasting changes should be reported to your family doctor.
Another gift I received, which is considerably more fun than the FOBT test, is my new tablet.
You may see me sipping an iced capp and attempting to type out my next article.
Until then, please enjoy this photo of the Little Free Library, and share a smile — it’s free.
Wanda Prychitko is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org