Getting Older: A Good Thing?

A multiple sclerosis guest blog by Jennifer Digmann

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Ahhh friends, autumn is here and I couldn’t be more thrilled!   The weather has been just perfect and I am so happy that I have been outside a bit, picking up some natural vitamin D.

I have been enjoying this time of year so much that I didn’t leave much time this week to write a new blog.  I was just going to offer up an oldie when new friends, Dan and Jennifer Digmann came to the rescue.

 

I met Dan and Jennifer on Twitter recently, a social media site that I only moderately know how to use.  Luckily, Dan knows how to use it and he tweeted me about my blog and then I tweeted back and tweet by little tweet, I got to know him, his wife Jennifer and their awesome work.

 

Dan and Jennifer have been married for 9 years and both are living with multiple sclerosis.

And while that seems like a huge cosmic cruelty to have both a husband and wife struck with this sucky illness, it was actually MS that brought them together.  They met at an MS event titled “Finding Your Buried Treasure.”

 

How cool is that?  I bet neither expected their buried treasure to be a spouse.  I am officially making more of an effort to get to more of these events!

I have been to a few and have met many wonderful people but I have yet to find a husband at one- perhaps I am not looking hard enough?

Anyway, Dan and Jennifer totally rock!   They regularly write about their experiences on their blog on their own website       www.danandJenniferdigmann.com and on the website Healthline where they also blog.

Thank you so much Jennifer and Dan- so glad to have made your acquaintance.

For your reading pleasure, dear readers, please check out Jennifer’s thoughts on an upcoming birthday.

Yum-cake!
Yum-cake!

 Getting older: A good thing?

by Jennifer Digmann

I turn the big 4-0 in less than forty days and there has been a doom-filled cloud following me for, oh let’s say, the last 320 days or so.

There is a daily countdown to the big day, November 6, on my refrigerator. This age has been hanging over my head because up until now, getting older always has been followed by a great life-altering event.

Think about it: you start driving when you turn 16; vote at 18; and drink (legally) at 21.

Even turning 30 was fantastic because that was the age when Dan and I got married, and it seemed my life really began.

 

But I am a little more than a month away from turning 40, and I can’t stop thinking that it’s just downhill from here. Forty is just plain O-L-D, and so am I.

I posted this #TBT picture of Dan and me on Facebook a few weeks ago, and my aging was noticed. Our friend Michelle commented, “Look at those fresh, young faces!”

Ouch!

Normally, I probably just would have smiled and forgot about it, but being close to turning 40, the comment stuck with me. I’m not ready to get old.

Recently as Dan and I drove to our Multiple Sclerosis (http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/multiple-sclerosis) support group meeting, we talked about that subject. I was lamenting about getting older when he asked about my 30s.

 

“Ah, such good times,” I waxed nostalgically. “We were married, moved into our house, I finished graduate school.”

“Yes, Jennifer, but what else?”

Whether intentional or not, I began seeing what Dan was getting at and began looking at my 30s through less rose-colored glasses.

“Well,” I thought, “39 hasn’t been all that great, especially with Trigeminal Neuralgia and my Gamma-Knife surgery not working as well as I hoped. And I haven’t driven or walked in this decade.”

With all the good stuff, this decade also kind of sucked.

 

And maybe that’s what Dan was getting at: in life you always have to take the good with the bad.

Perhaps it was just his sage wisdom that comes with age. After all, he just turned 42!

This conversation got me thinking about the promise of the new decade and the opportunities it has in store for me. But these opportunities won’t happen on their own. I need to take control of what I can. (link to http://www.healthline.com/video/managing-multiple-sclerosis).

I’m realizing I’m finishing my 30s to position myself for greatness in these once-feared 40s. I have started aggressive physical therapy that is focused on building my core strength and increasing my range of motion. I also took the necessary steps to begin Rituxin, a more-advanced treatment to control my MS.

All of this is very empowering and fills me with hope.

Maybe turning 40 will be better than I thought.

 Happy pre-Birthday Jennifer!!!

80s kids

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “Getting Older: A Good Thing?

    • I didn’t know that Susan- how come I didn’t know that? Had you heard of Dan and Jennifer before? My best to you and your hubby!

  1. Yikes! What does this say about me? I can’t even remember turning 40… or 50… and 60 is fading fast That’s OK, cuz my motto is, “You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever!” (Originally said by everyone if you believe the internet.)

    Hang in there!

  2. Happy Birthday! When I was 49 I found out I was pregnant with my 1st child! He was born November 4th and will turn 10 years old this year. I was also diagnosed with MS 3 years later. When I was down I asked my son if he would rather have a “normal” Mom that everyone didn’t assume was his grandmother and he assured me that he wouldn’t have any other Mom but me – MS and all.

    • That’s awesome Yvonne and what a smart, sweet boy you have raised! I’m not surprised as people named Yvonne are the coolest ever!!

  3. I’m with Rick,
    Aging! Really? In a couple of years I’ll be 70. That’s what I think of as aging. But I’m still hanging in here with MS and wish the two of you many happy days of “aging”.

    • And may I add Bobbie that Mick Jagger is 71 and man, does he have energy and moves!! Perhaps age is just a number. Although stupid MS doesn’t help that number.

  4. This is a lovely blog and being in my 50’s (ugh how did that happen and mre importantly WHEN?) I know the feeling so you are a mere child in my book! I can’t say it gets better just gets different. I keep waiting for this tolerance thing to begin but alas not yet. I keep waiting for the anger about this disease to dissipate – nope not there yet either BUT I can now go without a bra under a huge sweatshirt (I know TMI) and I no longer have to worry about putting on eye make up daily as most only would see my eyes in surgery (not a great thing as you tend to get lax on the make up end) but it has its perks I guess. One thought – I guess it is better than the alternative? Happy 40th. Celebrate, enjoy, work hard in PT but not too hard as there is only so much the human body can endure and may you live happily another 40 years and hopefully with a cure in place or at the very least remission.

    • Thank you Judy for your great comments!! I think the aging thing really hit me when my nephew had kids and I became a “great” aunt to my “great” nephews. Yes, my nephews are great. And I’d like to think that they think I am great too! But to be a “great” aunt??? The only “great” aunts I ever knew were in their 80’s!! And while some days I might feel like I’m 80, I’m not really 80 yet!!

  5. Thank you for all of the awesome, supportive comments. When I celebrate 40 next month, I will remember them all! Having MS stinks, but being part of such a GREAT community is fantastic. Thanks again and BIG thanks, Yvonne!!

  6. Remember, “40 is the new 30.” (Who came up with that?)
    But it is true.
    Look at old photos of your parents or grandparents when they were 40. You look better than they did, right?
    Age is just a number when you think about it.
    None of us really feel our age.
    I am now 51 (gulp), but geez, I feel like I should be in my 30’s.
    Where does time go?
    (The preceding random, disjointed thoughts have been provided by old age.)

    • Awesome comment My Odd Sock- thank you for making us all feel better! It’s true- sometimes I feel like I am 90, other times 25 and sometimes I even feel like I’m 6! Bring on the Etch a Sketch and Barbies!

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