Midlife Thoughts

1, 2, 5 – exactly how many midlife health issues do you have?

Barack Obama said that being past 50, “you wake up and something hurts and you don’t know exactly what happened, right?”

Hello midlifers, time to face up to some home truths. I call it ‘home truths’ because midlifers, including me, hate acknowledging that our bodies aren’t functioning the way it once did. We make excuses for not going to the doctor. Something that doesn’t feel right is explained away as a symptom of stress.

Stress becomes the rug under which we sweep health concerns away. No matter how old we feel on the inside, our philosophical dimensional take of our age does not match up to our biological age. This is why I love Obama’s quote above. We don’t know what has happened to us and ignore the gaps in our understanding of bodily changes.

Last year, I was given an emergency medical appointment. I had ignored some symptoms for some time and, when I did notice them, I put it down to being perimenopausal. After a friend urged me to pick up the phone to the GP, I was given an emergency medical scan for potential womb cancer. It did turn out to be nothing but, the point is, I hadn’t paid enough attention. I was lucky.

We have a tendency to balk at facing up to the reality of ageing. In a global culture which celebrates youth as being the apotheosis of happiness, it is easy to fall into a state of self delusion about health issues. Young equals vigour, vitality and no health issues right?

In a study published by the UK’s BMC Public Health journal on multiple midlife health issues, chronic back problems, mental ill-health, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and high-risk drinking were some health problems identified. You can read about it here. The authors of the study hope for breakthroughs in how multiple health conditions are managed.

In short, whether we like it or not our bodies undergo changes in midlife and not all of these are for the better. So, don’t ignore pains, cricks and aches. See the GP and embrace growing older in your body as a necessity.

Till the next time – keep smiling.

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