Saturday, January 14, 2012

Don't get old

It seems that the older I get, the more winter weather affects my physical comfort. I'm not just talking about grabbing another layer of clothing to trap the heat, although I do that. I'm talking about the discomfort in my right hip, which I've been calling arthritis, although I don't have a real diagnosis. I'm 60, my hip hurts, why should I pay the doctor a hundred bucks to tell me I have arthritis? (Yes, my health insurance sucks. I can't wait to qualify for Medicare. And I will continue to work for single-payer health care – Medicare for all – until Congress passes such legislation. Or until hell freezes over, which will probably come first.)

I'm fortunate to be as old as I am and only have a cranky hip. It doesn't hurt as much when I'm walking or moving around, but when I sit down to relax it reminds me who's the boss.

Yesterday I twisted my left ankle. Right hip, left ankle, it sounds like a conspiracy to put me in a wheelchair. The ankle bothered me most of the afternoon and evening, and I ended up taking a couple Aleve and going to bed very early. I tried to watch a movie but couldn't concentrate and ended up sleeping for almost 10 hours.

And my ankle still hurts, but not as badly as it did yesterday.

It's not like a sprain, it's more like the joint is out of whack. I feel like I might be able to pop it back into place if I knew how to manipulate it.

So. My advice to you youngsters out there is this:

DON'T GET OLD!

Of course I know one alternative would be to die young, and I don't want that either. A better option is to stay active, control your weight and keep moving. The older you get, the harder it will be to regain any measure of fitness you once had. Don't let it slip away as you move through your 30s and 40s.

In other words, don't spend the last third of your life trying to fix something that could have been handled when you were younger and the task was easier. It could happen to you.

3 comments:

  1. Excellent advice, Deb. Wish someone had gotten through to me before my body started deteriorating!

    Did you put ice on your ankle? I keep a bag of peas in the freezer just to drape over injured, unhappy knees and the cold does help with pain management and swelling.

    Hope you're feeling better.

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  2. Gettin' old ain't for sissies, as they say. I'm sure we all wish we had gotten our your-know-what together when we were younger.

    Unfortunately, it seems that by the time we gain the wisdom to understand that, we're beyond the prime time to actually follow the advice. Ironic, eh?

    Yesterday on the Today Show this question was posed to a three person panel called "Today's Professionals" - if you could go back in time and give your 16-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

    I thought their responses were interesting and I've given a little thought as to what my answer would be, but in the end, I doubt my 16-year-old - or 20 YO or even 25 YO self would take the advice anyway. After all, back then we already knew it all, right?

    Anyway, interesting question to contemplate. Other than eating less and moving more (which, btw, we Star Jones answer) what else would you tell your younger self now that you have the wisdom of age?

    Hope your ankle gets better quickly.

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  3. Alas and alack, if only our bodies would stay as young as our minds, eh?

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