so, now it’s skin tags

As I stood in front of my full-length mirror after my shower, commending myself on losing almost 15 lbs over the past four months, I noticed them. I ran over to my computer and googled “tiny skin flaps cause.”
Skin tags.

It’s not bad enough that my gums are receding. It’s not bad enough that, despite losing some extra pounds, I can’t get rid of the (neck) waddle. And don’t get me going on the state of my upper arms. Now I have skin tags.
Yes, yes, I know. I’m not only getting older, I’m getting wiser. (At least that’s what we like to tell ourselves.)
But I’m GETTING OLD! I’m developing all of those obvious signs of old age. Why does that bother me — after all, I consider myself smart enough to keep it all in perspective and be proud to be an “elder.”
Actually, I think there are two reasons I am bothered by those obvious signs of aging (of course, I’m not bothered enough to have what body I have left carved up).
The first reason is my own sense of what I want to look like, my own personal sense of vanity and aesthetics.
The second reason is more valid. These physical signs are reminders of the time that is passing in my life, time I can never get back. What if my mother lives ten more years. I’m taking such good care of her that it just might happen.
In ten years, I will be 77. My dad died when he was 72.
What will I look like at 77? What personal joys will I have missed having during those 16 years that I will have been my mother’s primary caregiver? What will I still be able to do? Drive? Dance? Blog? Knit? Read?
Maybe. Maybe not.
And that made me think about how I would rewrite this poem of Jane Kenyon’s (another of Culleny’s daily poetry emails). I would have to turn it inside out and upside down.
by Jane Kenyon
I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.
At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

It’s otherwise for me now. And then I’ve got skin tags on top of that.

5 thoughts on “so, now it’s skin tags

  1. Yeah, “otherwise” enters the picture all too often for many of us, one way or another.

    As for skin tags, they all came out on my neck a few years ago to my great dismay, along with a few other items on the rest of my body. Had to see the determatologist about some moles. Dr. noticed my constant hand-to-neck as I unconsciously was picking at those tags. She concluded that rather than have me cause a medical problem, they should be removed — seemed like jillions of them. Sure am glad I had that done, as now my hands stay safely at my side. I recall they even seemed itchy to me at the time.

  2. Hi Elaine,
    I had several tags removed by a dermatologist a few years ago, just to be told that they will return. They haven’t yet but other little things pop up now and then :-). If they bother you, as mine did, get them removed.

  3. Well, so far they are in places my clothes cover, and I’m careful not to irritate them.

    I wish I had a chance to go to a dermatologist. I’m still trying to get my brother to commit to a time to take care of my mother so that I can get a DEXA scan that my doctor prescribed.

    A friend of mine said that she was getting some on her neck, and using Oil of Olay Daily Regenerist Serum make them go away.

    I just wish I had more time to take care of my own self. 🙁

  4. Yep, skin tags. Had one batch removed, and they haven’t specifically come back, but I have others. Yep. And my father died when he was 54, and I’m 55 now. Sometimes it feels as though I’ll live forever (and I’m not sure that’s good news), and sometimes it feels as though I’m living on borrowed time. But yes, the Kenyon poem. I still get up on 2 good legs and go for a run with the dogs in the morning. And it definitely could be otherwise!

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