My newest perfume is Ben Gay


My newest perfume is Ben Gay

overhill2When all you do is roll over in bed and then have to deal with a herniated disc you know without a doubt that the slow decline has begun. That you’re on the other side of the hill, the train has left the station, the ship has sailed, that….oh forget it…you know what I mean.

I had every intention of joining the ranks of millions who had vowed to lose weight for the New Year.  Knowing my “start date” I ate and drank everything in sight before the big day. I signed up at my gym for a month of step, pump, CX, and RPM classes.  I replaced dips, cookies, fried chicken and wine with lots of fruit, protein, and vegetables. Then I heard, “POP” and I needed a crane to lift me into a standing position.

I guess this is the beginning of the decline. I have vowed to go down kicking and screaming, but that’s a little hard to do when you can’t bend over, roll over, turn left or turn right without wincing. Actually, I’m still OK with the screaming part. It’s the kicking I’m currently having a hard time with.

My kids, home for the holiday, were so concerned they took a video of me trying to get out of the chair. As they were laughing I could so relate to those animals that eat their young. If someone tells me they saw me on YouTube I will disown them.

I have used so much Ben Gay in the last week that if you don’t wear a mask when entering my house your brain will be instantly numb from the fumes.

craneMy husband has started to complain about the pervasive smell of menthol so I switch it up every other day and use Biofreeze. It’s important in a long-term marriage that you appear to care what your partner thinks.

The chiropractor who has become my new BFF suggested that when I stand, I raise a foot up onto a book.  Hello! I need a crane to stand and I have to bend to get the book on the floor, so clearly that’s not going to work.

He suggested I sleep on my right side.   Unfortunately I’ve been spending so much time on my right side that now I can’t feel my right shoulder.

The good news is my sinuses are clear from the fumes.  The bad news is that if someone lights a match I may explode.

I was told that with a herniated disc I need to adjust my life accordingly.  What exactly does “adjust my life accordingly” mean?  According to the 20 year old in my head (who doesn’t yet have weight, vision, memory, or body issues), or the 54-year-old who is living la vida not so much loca?

And how do you adjust your life when all you did was roll over in bed?  Does it mean that I have to avoid rolling, that I need to sleep standing? Why is this happening?  Don’t I get a say? Is there an age limit on throwing a temper tantrum?temper

No wonder we’re all on some form of Prozac.  Who can deal with this aging stuff without being medicated? I suppose I could drink a little more wine, but have you seen the sugar content in wine? I’m on a “get healthy” kick, remember? Prozac has fewer calories.

This morning I opened my eyes, actually making a mental plan on how to get upright.

  1. Slide to the side of the bed,
  2.  Check to see if my concerned darlings are anywhere around with their phones,
  3. Slowly place 2 feet on the floor,
  4. Bend knees and slowly rise to a standing position.

I haven’t done this much planning since my wedding.

Lo and behold I have very little pain and actually pass on the Ben Gay.  Maybe it’s just an Advil and ice pack day.  Advil and ice….what has my life become? It used to be that when I said ice, I also said gin, tonic, and lime.

I put my new sneakers on and my new workout clothes. I grab a carrot and I simply go for a walk.  A very slow walk.  Do you think it’s OK that secretly I want to trip the young runners as they go by? “HEY” I want to scream…”you too shall be slowly walking one day”! Perhaps I have anger issues too.


I finally feel well enough that I put the Ben Gay away.  I’m sure I’ll need it again because as they say, “you’re not getting any younger.”  And for all those people who say they wouldn’t do 20, or 30, or 40 again.  That they are so happy being 50….STOP SNIFFING THE Ben Gay!

About Tracy Buckner

Tracy’s humor writing appears in the new book Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now...Before We Forget. She regularly blogs for the Erma Bombeck Humor Writers workshop,, and is a syndicated contributor to The New Jersey Hills Newspaper,,serving Morris County. She enjoys writing about life's slow decline and vows to go down kicking and screaming.

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