Over the years I have found that my milestone birthdays are marked with sickness. I recall my 18th birthday sitting in a chair with my tonsils so swollen with tonsillitis they were touching while my family was trying to be cheerful and celebrate around me. I recall that although I wasn't specifically sick on my 21st birthday I had walking pneumonia most of that year. My 30th birthday present was a trip to the doctor because I couldn't get rid of a cough and worried as I prepared for a visit to my sister and her one year old daughter that I might have strep. I was about to walk out the door after they said it wasn't strep but the doctor insisted on testing me for mono. I was laughing at the thought until the test came back positive.
So I guess it should be no surprise that with my 40th birthday looming some medical disaster was on the horizon for me.
The funny thing is that I seem to be aging backward with my illnesses. Tonsillitis and mono are illnesses you get as a kid not an adult. One of my girlfriends husbands, who is only a year or 2 older than me, is having hip replacement surgery on my birthday. It isn't uncommon for people to experience pre-mature aging. To have illnesses that would typically be seen in much older adults. I have known a 20 something who had a stroke. Heart disease is on the rise in younger and younger people. A neighbor in her 40's had a mild heart attack last year. It is unfortunate when it happens but not totally un-heard of. I, on the other hand, am like Benjamin Button who was born an old man and aged backward dying as an infant. My illnesses seem to originate in a younger and younger crowd as I go from milestone to milestone.
And so here we are 5 days from my 40th birthday and I am waiting for my husband to return home with lice treatment. That is right. I have lice. Yuck.
And the funny thing about all these sicknesses. I never had any of them as kid. Although I had large tonsils as a kid I never had tonsillitis, my sister had mono but I didn't and not once did we ever have lice in our home. Until now.
I wonder what it will be for my 50th birthday. Cradle cap? Thrush? Ear infection? croup? Maybe I should just start planning to have the big celebration at 49 instead.
Since this seems like a childhood problem I did what any child would do, I called my mommy. She is on her way to help me comb through all my hair with a little comb, seek and destroy all the eggs on my head. What would we do without moms?