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Is This What Aging Is?

As I’ve been getting slightly oldish, I find that I wake up some mornings, sit up, and think to myself, “Whoah! What kind of wild night did I have? Did I have too much to drink?” It’s that old feeling from college parties the morning after. But too much to drink has become two beers. And most of the time I feel like that, I haven’t had anything to drink at all.

For the people who visit this forum who are older than I (35), let me ask: is that just how mornings become as you age? One ever-bigger hangover without the carousing?

20 thoughts on “Is This What Aging Is?”

  1. Tom says:

    No, Jim, your body is trying to tell you to see a doctor and get a check up. You should feel well rested, your mind clear and your body (after a good stretch) full of energy.

  2. truby says:

    You’re not alone Jim. I feel the same way n the mornings but I have 3 young ones that get me outside for the fresh air and a few good stretches. It never hurts to go to the doctor for a check-up. Vitamins always help too!

  3. Bob S-K says:

    Yep, you’re not alone. To everything you said, I’d add creaky and strangely sore joints.

  4. Iroquois Honky says:

    Oooh, Jim, 35! I’m old enough to be your…well, never mind, I’m old enough for a lot of things. As Harrison Ford said, it’s not the years, it’s the mileage.

    If you have kids, how much do you sleep? Do they really let you sleep through the night? Maybe you’re coming down with something. If you had a flu shot you might still have a low grade flu that isn’t severe enough to act like an illness but makes you drag around. I’ve started pushing vitamin C, free radicals, you know. For all those years I was running, (I did finish a couple of 10K’s), I now have Lodine 500mg (generic name etodolac) prescription, which works for the arthritic changes which have showed up on X-ray and everything else that creaks as well and helps me keep up with dating guys your age. (oh, all right, I’ve moved up to 40-year-olds, they’re more mature and very frisky) And I think everybody gets a little Seasonal Affective Disorder this time of year.

    But no, you aren’t supposed to just fall apart all at once. You’ll hsve to start taking your habits apart one by one, use whatever medical resources you have for routine preventative health, and negotiate for whatever you need to stay rested–naps, day care–and worst case, wait for spring. January is also the right time for a week on the beach in the Carribean, if you can afford it, to knock out any lingering bugs from winter.

  5. Laurie O says:

    I have noticed this winter break I am feeling way more sluggish than my 40 yr old body needs to. I am sure once I get back into the school routine I will back to normal. But I agree with the others, your missing something. I am taking calcium magn. but that is because of the epilepsy med I take, it also supposedly helps with fighting of colds etc. For sleep, I highly recommend meletonin, my neurologist told me to take to off set the side effects of the “not sleeping” of my meds.

    Anyway, see a docter, if you have any heart history in your family, slugginess is a general sign that something is not right or do you snore? That also gets worse as you get older. Do you smoke – join me in kicking the habit —AHHHHHHGGGGGG!!!!

  6. Iroquois Honky says:

    Jim, Laurie is right about the doctor. The other posters too. I am thinking about a friend of my father who collapsed and died in an airport on a business trip when he was 40 years old. You have connections in that field. Use them. If your wife is at work you want to pick up the phone now while she has people around her who can give information. She may have an idea who she is comfortable with.

    If it’s nothing you will know quickly enough it is nothing. If it is something, you want an appointment for tommorrow.

    A couple years ago at age 51 I dragged around the same way for months not knowing what was wrong while my boyfriend suggested non-traditional remedies. It turned out to be a serious respiratory condition that needed conventional treatment.

    You wouldn’t have written something if you thought everything was okay. You can’t trust the blogosphere on this one. You have to trust yourself to know what is right for you.

    Do post an open thread or something tomorrow so we know you are all right.

  7. Jamie Spencer says:

    35, lol. Wait til you turn really old like me (37).

  8. Iroquois Honky says:

    So, did some one at least take your temperature and blood pressure? How are you now?

  9. Mike says:

    Seriously, Jim, you want to see a doctor, if this is a chronic problem. I did. Unfortunately, here in California, the “medical care” afforded to those of us who are in the low income range is somewhere in between bad and worthless, so, if you have no medical insurance (as many here don’t), you’re gonna get what you pay for.
    Example: in my early 40’s, I was complaining about chronic back pain. The Medi-Cal “doctor” told me that I needed to “walk more…at least a mile a day”. Good advice. If one can lift one’s legs. Thank God for the Veteran’s Administration and their fine, if underfunded, hospitals. Took a while, but I found out that I have extensive spinal cord damage, as well as bulging/herniated discs all the way down my spine. I have nothing but praise for the medical staff at Mather VA Hospital and Palo Alto VA Medical Center. And I curse Dubya to the deepest depths of Hell/Sheol/Tartarus for cutting the funding to VA hospitals…”Supporting the troops”, my ass…

  10. Lisa says:

    Old is forgeting the child in you. Remember to look at your shoe size and remember what made you smile at that age and relive those memories and share them with the next generation

  11. truby says:

    Kudos Lisa! Great advice for all of us.

  12. Iroquois Honky says:

    A lot of parents here don’t realize they have health coverage when their kids are covered under the state’s “KidCare” program (administered by the same office that administers the federal food stamp program). There is a sliding scale based on income, you submit bills in a “spenddown” scheme for each individual in the household and any bills over a certain amount in one month are covered. A lot of these state programs are triggered by federal funds, so other states may have similar programs.

    But that’s not the only reason people don’t seek medical care. There is sometimes a period of “denial” when the person is just in stasis and can’t make a decision to do something. I know it takes me three days to make a phone call even if I know for certain something is wrong. Identifying the three day thing hasn’t made it any easier for me to act. So far, nothing bad has happened to me in that three day interval.

    If Jim won’t let his wife take his temperature, she should be kissing him on the forehead to see if he feels feverish.

  13. Jim says:

    Thanks to everyone for asking after my health. I’m fine: no temperature, no arthritis, no nuffin. Hale and hearty, after 9 AM. I think what I wrote was misinterpreted. I’m just referring to the change from when I was 26, and could bounce out of bed and practically into a sprint. These days, I feel like I have to peel myself out of bed with a spatula, kick the gravel out from between my toes, shuffle for 20 minutes, pry my eyes open, mumble for 20 more minutes… you get the picture. After an hour, I’m ready to go. To get that, I used to have to have a hangover. Everything’s just slowing down a bit.

  14. Tracy are you reading this says:

    Sounds like a classic case of denial to me.


  15. Bob S-K says:

    Semi-related, but I have to take a moment to echo Mike’s comment. VA medical care is exquisite. I’ve been going since 1992, and the model for socialized medicine is exceptional, especially with regard to computerized medical records.

    And now the tie-in for Jim’s situation (since my annual physical at the VA keeps me current in their system): Jim, do you undergo an annual physical, as a matter of course?

  16. Tracy You Need To Look At Your Significant Other says:

    What kind of hangover only lasts until nine o’clock? On what planet? Iowa? Based on that does anyone really believe Jim went to college? Or that he has ever had more than 2 beers? No, this really triggers my bullshit detector.

    On the other hand, it was in my 30’s I gave up the beer/coffee rollercoaster and went to decaf. Maybe we should all be telling Jim to drink less caffeine and more chicken soup. Oh, and touching will help trigger the mind/body connection that makes married men live longer than single men. Jim can make the chicken soup but his wife has to bring it to him. And she has to give him backrubs too, right? In the interests of health?

    Jim’s a big boy, he’s surrounded by capable people, and maybe he’s just trying to tell us he wants privacy for what is, after all, none of our business. If that’s the case, I would be the first person to butt out.

    Live long and prosper,

  17. Jim says:

    Bob, good question. As you may guess, I don’t do much of anything as a matter of course, but during my 20s I volunteered for a number of medical experiments during which I learned about a lot of things I DON’T have to worry about, like the sort of circulation in the brain that lead to a nasty aneurysm. I have had a physical in the past year, and my cholesterol was on the high side of normal, but otherwise I was ruled in dandy health.

  18. Jim says:

    And no, the doctor didn’t say “dandy.”

  19. Tracy Are You Keeping An Eye On This One says:

    Hmmm. I had slightly high cholesterol in my late 30`s but no one ever recommended I do anything about it…not sure if diet has any effect on this anyway. My mom was given Lipitor for cholesterol after heart attack, so maybe blood level can only be changed pharmaceutically? I have never been retested that I can remember.

    One interesting test I had (late 40`s)was a sort of simplified CAT scan for blockage in blood vessels based on presence of calcium deposits–it was 100% clear which seemed to surprise them, I guess some amount of deposits is expected. The test was recommended because of my weight: 5`9″ and 200 lbs. at the time. I am heartened by the attention the medical establishemnt is giving to heart conditions in women. It used to be totally neglected. In spite of my mom`s vague symptoms, as is common in women with heart attack, she got diagnosed correctly and quickly.

  20. Vynce says:

    Jim: my two cents, as probably the youngest person in the thread: the things you describe sound liek sleep inertia (look it up) which are worsened, as i recall, by caffeine addiction (seriously, drop the caffeine, said the can’t-practice-preacher) and overnight dehydration. in fact, one of the pieces of hangovers that they have figured out is basically just that — dehydration. try drinking a glass fo water before bed, and another glass right when you wake up, and see if that helps.

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