Today is my 57th birthday.  It should be a happy day.  Especially for me.

Some background

My father was 56 when he died 30 years ago this past August.  Albeit due to an accident, but still the entirety of my 56th year has been a bit touchy.  I’ve been looking forward to reaching 57, as a bit of a milestone. It’s here – I’ve made it –  but I’m less than jubilant.  I just don’t feel jubilant.  I hurt too, much.

In the past I’ve been asked, on birthdays, if I felt any different, any older.  And in the past, my typical reply has been, “No. Nothing out of the ordinary.”  But that is not the case this year.

Today, I feel much older than my 57 years.  Today, I can say I actually feel OLD

Why? How can this be?

Not 30 days ago, I was barreling down the slopes of the Snowshoe, WV ski resort on a mountain bike and, though with a bit of a struggle, climbing back up on the same mountain bike.  I was tired, but – as the outdoor athletic will say – a ‘good tired’.  I’ve felt this ‘good tired’ many times before.  And it felt good to ‘feel it’ again.  It had been a while.

But today, I’m in a new era.  Not to do with age, but to do with my MCS condition.  It is getting worse.

Aching joints. Muscle spasms. Shortness of breath.  Conditions that – out of the clear blue – are foreign to me.  I’ve done nothing – in the ‘normal sense’; exercise, outdoor work, or the like; to ’cause’ any of them. But something has happened.

As I wrote yesterday,  my exposure to the ‘waiting room’ of the Unity Health Center of Lafayette, IN, has resulted in a series of reactions.  These ailments are among those reactions.

This is new for me.  I’ve never experienced this level of discomfort stemming from a ‘hit’.   But there is nothing else to account for the current problems.

So, I’m staying very low – meaning I’m not going anywhere that could result in contact with chemicals.  Hopefully, the pain and discomfort will let up due to being in a ‘clean zone’.