I realize I’ve essentially written the same blog post over and over recently. I mean I’m sure in the many years I’ve been writing here I’ve repeated myself a time or two, but these last few entries are all basically saying the same thing: everything is terrible and beautiful, all at the same time.

So okay, self, maybe you can try and move on from the sweaty existential grappling spiral. Yes, life contains multitudes, got it!

Can we instead do some group complaining about the various ways in which we have become increasingly decrepit? For instance, I just learned that my cholesterol is in the red flag zone. The LDL number is worryingly high, along with the total cholesterol number, along with the number of triglycerides. How scary is this? I have no idea! I was informed in a very brief telehealth appointment that ended with the doctor recommending red yeast rice supplements, which I had not heard of, and now I have to ponder whether I can lower my cholesterol on my own with lifestyle changes (fortified with RED YEAST I GUESS) or if I should be thinking of going on statins and/or getting another doctor’s opinion and this is just a lot of adulting.

Q: Were you able to transform this diagnosis into an ongoing opportunity to berate your personal worth as a human because it feels like damning evidence that emotional eating is bad and now you’ve ruined not only your thighs but also your actual blood? A: Oh you betcha.

I wouldn’t have known about the cholesterol thing if I hadn’t recently had labs done, which also indicated some lackluster thyroid performance. Other aspects of aging — aside from the vanity stuff — that are much more apparent:

• Everything just kind of hurts and is super stiff whenever I get up after sitting for a while, and if I’ve been sitting cross-legged then I basically have to walk like a stop-motion Argonauts skeleton for a hot minute

• My knees and I have a very tenuous relationship now and sometimes they are just like LOL NOPE


• Especially my right knee, which isn’t the same after I fractured the tibial plateau several years back (trivia time! Do you remember the story about the Maui woman who survived 17 days being lost? I read that she had the same injury from that experience, and on a whim I emailed her to see if she’d recovered completely in her knee. She was very kind and responded that she had not) (I did not go on to pepper her with five frillion questions about what happened out there although boy I would love to)

• My lower back, particularly left side, is always, always on notice. Like always. However, I haven’t had it ratchet up the pain factor or go out completely since I started doing yoga regularly. It’s just there lurking, occasionally sending out a little zinger to remind me who’s really in charge

• I’m ashamed to confess I haven’t had my eyes checked since I went to my follow-up LASIK appointment in uhhhhhhhhhh 1999? But one thing’s for sure: I need reading glasses. I’ve been using an ugly drugstore pair and wow the sweet relief of that magnified text


I’m actually so lucky to have had good health over the years, I’m skidding into my fifties with more brain baggage than I still want to be carrying and apparently my arteries are slowly closing up with what I can only assume is Twinkie filling but otherwise I’m hanging in there. Things are bad, things are good. Multitudes.

If you feel like sharing, how is your meat-sack falling the fuck apart/still truckin’ these days?

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Jenny Nowosielski
Jenny Nowosielski
6 months ago

Currently on year two of never-ending low back/hip/leg pain that no one has been able to diagnose. I’ve had injections in all kinds of spots that are supposed to work for what they *think* I have — sciatica — but nothing works. So I guess this is just…how it is now? THANKS I HATE IT.

Koa Roberts
Koa Roberts
6 months ago

Well, when I did labs recently prior to the surgery to look for the missing piece of IUD (not found) I saw that my blood sugar or one of those kind of important things was slightly elevated but “multitudes” my EKG was fantastic but “multitudes” there is still a piece of copper IUD in my uterus so idkwtf. Last birthday my back/hip/leg/knee “general area” went out I think because I lifted a too heavy Yeti cooler out of the car then next morning got on an airplane for 5 hours with a tweak but anyways I could barely walk for like a month. But that caused me to discover accupuncture and I really really really like it. For an hour I am at full and complete peace. It’s all really dumb and I don’t like it at all.

Mike
Mike
6 months ago

On Monday I walked across my bathroom and my back went out for a second. Tuesday I couldn’t get my 48 year old ass out of bed and I’m using a walker today. :D
I also have lingering issues from the ole tibial plateau fracture from nearly ten years ago, but my knees are a pair of twinkling dumpster fires all around.
Otherwise, you know, I’m fine.

Heather
Heather
6 months ago

*I* have developed osteoarthritis in BOTH my mid-feet (mid-foots?)! So forget about heels but also forget about walking at all without your feet reminding you that they no longer bend…..

Erica
Erica
6 months ago

Hello! I am 45 and mostly ok but some getting old stuff. I had my bunions removed by surgery last year and it was not fun but I’m happy they are gone. I get a lot of moles and skin tags. I bought this funny kit off Amazon where you put teeny rubber bands on the skin tags and it slowly turns them black and then they fall off. Very weird but it worked on some. I wonder if they will come back? I have lots of sun spots. I get night sweats sometimes- I think it’s pre-menopause or just regular menopause happening bit by bit. Thank you for this body complaining space.

Christine
Christine
6 months ago

Hi, yes, two years ago I turned 50, and bought myself a horse (I have been riding for a long time, so not a midlife crisis purchase). I fell off of said horse six weeks after I got him and he stepped on my right leg and shattered it all to hell. I’m basically titanium from the knee down now, and hoo boy, does titanium like to TELL YOU ALL ABOUT THE WEATHER! Every damn day.
Menopause has brought me the neverending joy of hot flashes, crappy body image, and straight-up depression. I don’t know if it’s *waves vaguely* ALL THIS, or I’m just riding the struggle bus lately, but man, I’d like to get off this particular ride. And I’d like my 52 year old brain in my 25 year old body, please.

Kim
Kim
6 months ago

Along with the high chloresterol, blood pressure, non-function thyroid, a fun new development has started: when I walk at a moderate pace for any length of time, my hips and legs just start to ache/burn so badly I have to plot sitting points along my walking route every day. Walking has been my constant mental release (yay podcasts/audio books) and only physical exercise I’ve been able to stick with for years and it’s really messing with my head. I’m 53…let’s just say my drug collection these days is WAY less fun than it was 20 years ago.

Belle
Belle
6 months ago

I’m 72 and can’t believe I’m even typing that. For all my good health, and trust me I am thankful for it, I mostly have major arthritic body aches and pains. My back has been a chronic problem since I was 21 so you’d think it would be over its nasty habit of flaring up every whipstitch. I can’t go to a museum or a nature trail because I simply cannot walk that much or that far. I went from no drugs to enough to choke a horse. There are days I can’t remember what month it is or what a particular word is, my cataracts are ripening and my hair isn’t as thick now nor my ankles as thin, but by gum my doctor told me last week that he couldn’t believe I was 72 because I sure didn’t look it. (He’ll be my doctor for life now, thank you very much.) I’ve watched good friends and wonderful relatives die off, so I am not going to really complain, though. As the saying goes, I’m in fine shape for the shape I’m in!

Shes
Shes
6 months ago

Thanks for asking! Let’s see- on the recommendation of my (new) doctor, I was getting caught up on my recommended testing- mammogram, colonoscopy, pap smear- all the fun things. I was just doing them to get them done/off my list. But then they found a cyst cluster and I had to have a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound and the colonoscopy revealed early stages of diverticulosis- precursor to diverticulitis, if you don’t avoid seeds, nuts, and popcorn, all of which I adore. And the lymphedema in my legs went haywire since I went back to work in office on some days, and it just sucks feeling 85 at 45! I guess I’m glad it’s nothing more serious and I am ‘healthy enough’ to work on improving it all, but still! No likey!! We shan’t speak of my blood work either. Curses!

Swistle
6 months ago

OH MY GOD YES I WANT TO COMPLAIN

Knees, yes. Painful, stiff.

HIPS is new. They wake me up, especially combined with knees.

Upper arms, I know it’s cliche, but I just hate the jiggle so much, even as I notice it looks totally normal on other women.

If I eat too much or too late at night I get heartburn, which makes me feel old, but also is gross and painful.

My back starts hurting if I sit too long, like at a task at work. Or also if I stand too long, like at a task at work.

MCW
MCW
6 months ago

I’ve been so lucky to have good health, but there’s the sudden awareness that things could go wrong (e.g. needing to follow up about a thing on my mammogram. Turned out fine). In the annoying category are the Sudden High Cholesterol and the need for reading glasses. Now I’m blind for distance and up close, but I got some increased reading power in my contacts and don’t wear reading glasses just yet. After seeing a dietician and ‘eating healthier’ my cholesterol stayed stubbornly high so I went the statin route. It works amazingly well!

Lee
Lee
6 months ago

Oh, yes, statins and supplements, middle age is a delight. Cholesterol is high, my back hurts constantly, my gums are extra sensitive (apparently all these years I’ve been brushing too hard), and I can’t see sh&t without my readers. Wrists hurt too, carpal tunnel. So Fun.

Mary
Mary
6 months ago

My doctor once told me exercise can have a major impact on cholesterol, more so than diet.

When I went through menopause, I started experiencing a lot of joint pain, which apparently can happen with menopause because estrogen is, among other things, a lubricant for joints. So HRT, if you are willing/able to use that can help. I did not opt for HRT because this info was not presented to me at the time I went through menopause, but I learned it later when I went searching for a reason for my pain. I do get some help from using collagen. But I also have thrown out my back from doing such things as bending down to fill the dogs’ food bowls or plug in the vacuum. And forget rolling over in bed. I have to sit up, rearrange myself, and lie back down. It’s a bit disruptive to my sleep.

Kate
Kate
6 months ago

I was diagnosed with chillblains to go with my RA several years ago and this past winter was pretty bad and even though it’s JUNE, things are not back to normal. My toes are still purple and red and super painful, like I whimper out loud if I just lightly bang one on my chair, and so swollen and cracking with dry skin, and it sucks so much. I used to love wearing fun toenail polish, regardless of how the rest of me looked, the bright colors always cheered me up, and now they hurt too much for polishing. I have a WHOLE BUNCH of other stuff I could complain about too, but this is what’s top of my mind all the time.

Jane
Jane
6 months ago

Oh, so many complaints, and also so much gratitude. I’m five months shy of 50.

  1. Sciatica on both sides
  2. So much heartburn
  3. Have to take Tylenol to go to sleep at night because…
  4. Arthritis in both shoulders, right thumb, coccyx, aforementioned sciatica…
  5. Menopause (this belongs in both complaint and gratitude categories)
  6. My eyesight–good Lord! Worse every year for the last 5. Got a new script 6 months ago and I feel like I already need a new one. Had to make this page bigger to read it.
  7. Anxiety, depression.
  8. Balance! What the hell? Why am I so unsteady on my feet? I live in constant concern I will wipe out and break something.
  9. Zero flexibility. Herculean effort to pull weeds, put on socks, unload dishwasher, put on bra, take off bra, get out of a low car, get out of a high car…
  10. Okay, grateful to be alive. Truly. My husband died in October after 2 years of cancer and it has wrecked us. Every day, while shitty, is also fantastic.
  11. Job, colleagues, friends, house.
  12. Nature. Damn nature is so freaking amazing.
angela
angela
5 months ago

This post is a checklist for all my ailments. I feel so seen!

Jenine
Jenine
5 months ago

I learned recently about a non-invasive scan you can get to see if the cholesterol is doing bad things to the vessels around your heart or not. It’s a “CT scan to get a calcium score” and my doc said insurance didn’t cover it but it’s $60 and I said take my money. Nothing scary was found in mine so we’re going to wait and see on the statins.
My diet is okay and I do exercise on and off but my cholesterol keeps getting worse – dwindling ‘good’ number and rising ‘bad’ numbers. I know it’s genetic – happened to my mom as well. She had a heart event in her late 60s so I was worried that I, just turned 55, might be fixing to have a heart attack. That dread is reduced for now. I can do the scan again in 3 to 5 years, whee.
I hope everyone in this conversation gets their hedonism on in one way or another.

Annie
Annie
5 months ago

A week ago, I slept in a strange bed with a strange pillow and I’ve been crippled ever since. My right neck/ shoulder is fucked.
And my bad cholesterol is high too, despite losing 35 pounds
I call bullshit!!

Shawna
Shawna
5 months ago

I taught BodyPump for 18 years (I started taking the classes in 1999), then the pandemic hit and I was “temporarily” laid off for two years. During those two years I faithfully continued to buy the new releases and do classes at least two times a week in my living room so that I would be ready when the time came to return. I was even stronger than I’d been for the previous few years because I could reach further and risk losing my form when I wasn’t in front of people and I was doing pushups on my toes like a badass.
Then I was permanently laid off in March – I would have had my 20-year teaching anniversary this year. You know how many times I’ve done a session since then? ONCE. Because that one time I did it I still loved it and kept saying the choreography along with the instructors in the video and kept thinking about how great those songs were to teach and it fucking sucked to realize that I wasn’t going to ever teach it again, so I just… stopped.
And I can feel my body getting less strong, and less flexible and I hurt my back a couple of weeks ago and I’m sure it’s because I’m not in the shape I’m normally in. And I’m gaining weight. I know I should just pick something active and do it already, but I’m wallowing.
I turn 50 this fall and I know that means I’m in for a battery of tests including some new ones and I’m kind of dreading even the normal blood tests because I’m just not active like I’ve always been. Plus, you know, perimenopause.

Shawna
Shawna
5 months ago
Reply to  Shawna

Oh and how could I forget? I need reading glasses, and when I first get up in the morning I can’t curl my fingers all the way closed without pain. It goes away, but it’s new and I’m hoping it’s not a harbinger of worse things.
And my wattle? Eech. I’ve never been a super-vain person but I do idly find myself wistfully thinking of plastic surgery.

Nine
Nine
5 months ago

I was finally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and major depression in my early 40s. When I say ‘finally’ I mean it’s something I’ve dealt with my entire life but it got sooooo bad I FINALLY had to reach out for help because I was seriously considering the benefits of playing in traffic on the turnpike during rush hour. Drugs that worked = YAY BUT ALSO BOO because the weight gain sucked (and continues to suck) giant donkey balls.

Now I’m staring 48 in the face and realizing that maybe I have undiagnosed ADHD that’s getting worse with age because HOLY SHIT I HAVE SO MUCH ADHD. Recently I cannot deal with any.fucking.thing until it has gotten to the point of ALL THE WORK WHILE CRYING stage on the procrastination scale. Allie Brosh describes this so perfectly, like I can see the trainwreck/space ship disaster coming but can’t even MAKE myself do fuck all to prevent it until it’s a millisecond away from destroying my job / credit score / relationships / mental health / entire life.

The cherry on the shit sundae is I caught an unexpected glimpse of myself in a window’s reflection recently and thought ‘who’s that fat old lady wait a minute THAT’S ME OMFG.’

Then I listened to Weezer’s Pork and Beans on repeat until I felt better. I highly recommend this, especially if you sing along like it’s karaoke and wave your middle fingers in the air during the chorus.

Linda
Linda
5 months ago
Reply to  Nine

There’s this terrific TikTok creator, Elyse Myers, who did the best video on procrastination (she also has ADHD) where she basically said there’s nothing less motivating than having enough time to do a thing and I FELT THAT.

Melissa
Melissa
5 months ago

OK I just want to talk about how I have to SLEEP more carefully now! Im 44 and if I lay too long in one spot it takes deliberate time and slow movements to get out of that position. Sleeping is now too strenuous for me apparently. Screw this aging business.

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5 months ago

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Betty
Betty
5 months ago

I am 53 and probably in the best health of my adult life, thanks to the fact that I quit drinking a year and a half ago. The running helps too. But I’ve also noticed that my face and neck have aged at an alarming rate. What happened to my neck and why do I have a neck wattle that I expected to get in my 60’s, not my 50’s?!! I found an article last night that very straightforwardly said this: the neck loses collagen starting in your 30’s and there’s not much you can do about whatever genetics you are dealt in that arena. But there are two huge things to help prevent the inevitable gravity slide: sunscreen the crap out of your neck (most people stop at their jawline when applying) and–this one was a shocker–stop looking down at your phone/laptop all the time. Apparently the “neck wattle” complaints at an earlier age have increased in the past decade and the constant looking-down-at-a-phone is a large part of that. Keep your head up! Noted.
As for your question “Can you lower your cholesterol with lifestyle changes?,” the answer could be yes. My meat-loving dad had very high cholesterol at the age of 70, refused to take statins for it, and instead switched to a vegan diet after reading “The China Study.” He lowered his cholesterol levels by half in a couple of years. When he asked his doctor why he had been told that he could only get it under control with statins, his doctor shrugged and said, “When I tell people they could lower their cholesterol by dietary changes, they almost never follow through. So I stopped giving that advice and just prescribe statins.” My dad is now 80 and still going strong! Not advocating a vegan diet necessarily but just answering your question. :)

Heather
Heather
5 months ago

Did you know that hypothyroidism can cause high cholesterol levels, and that for some people, treating the thyroid issue leads to improvement in cholesterol levels as well?

Christine
5 months ago

I, at the tender age of almost 49, only a little bit overweight, and who has always prided myself on eating well, cooking good food mostly from scratch, liking vegetables – well, now apparently I’m prediabetic. There is no justice. I’m quite put out.
I also have a knee that creaks when I go upstairs and I know it’s from that time I tripped on the threshold of my mother-in-law’s front door and landed directly on my knee because there was a baby in my arms.
And don’t get me started on my gums. Why does a human body have so many bits?

Jen
Jen
5 months ago

I’m 47, almost 48 (ugh) and have noticed body changes as well. I too have seen my LDL total creep up. I’ve been getting labs since age 40 so I have a baseline of sorts. I am not a big meat eater, but what I do is snack! All those processed foods elevate cholesterol. I’ve cut back substantially on the snack consumption and dairy and my cholesterol has gone down. Maybe it worth going doing a food diary-I did and it was eye opening. Cutting back and almost eliminating sugar has helped me too-not with my cholesterol level but my overall energy level and keeping my weight stable.

Cynthea
Cynthea
4 months ago

This is such a great comment section. HELLO MY PEOPLE. Me: 51, Achilles tendonitis, bad back, poor eyesight, also think I’m getting hard of hearing. Yea baby,

C.S.
C.S.
4 months ago

Not to be THAT person but statins are AWFUL for you. I recommend checking out Dr. Berg and Dr. Fung on youtube.