Sunday, November 15, 2020

Dealing with the aches and pains of old age

Starting in 1979, I took daily walks, year around, for exercise.  Back then, I enjoyed it so much I'd often go seven miles daily, but usually, 3 1/2 miles sufficed.  Sometimes I wonder if that's why my knees are such a mess now; if so, I'm not sorry.  It was worth every step.  My job at Kohl's Distribution Center sounded the death knell for my knees:  for over four years I walked briskly, eight hours a day, slinging merchandise onto a conveyor.  By the third year, I was hurting.  But that was worth it, too.  The extra income made it possible to get bills paid off before retirement and also let me do some things I would never have been able to do, had I not been working at Kohl's.  We are still reaping the benefits of my time there.

Long-time readers know I have quit my walks more than once when knee pain made it so miserable it wasn't worth the effort; then I'd start back up again at a slower pace, or I'd shorten the amount of time I walked.  The last time I quit, months back, I figured it was for the last time.  If I did my normal slow, half-hour walk, I suffered for days.  So I quit, resolving to at least ride the recumbent bike every other day.  And then, that caused too much pain to continue.  

The other day I decided to try the bike again, but I turned down the tension in hopes that would make a difference; apparently it did, because I've ridden four times in the past week and so far I'm handling it.  Two different days I also went outside with Gabe on a leash and walked slowly on level ground in the pasture for about fifteen minutes, telling myself that fifteen minutes of slow walking is better than nothing.  I was able to do that, too.  I know that unless I die first, the time will come when exercise will be more than these old bones can bear, but I refuse to live my life sitting down all the time unless, or until, I have to.  I will keep adjusting my workouts as long as possible, just so I can keep moving.  I don't want to lose all my strength.

All older adults with arthritis understand the nature of the beast.  Some days it isn't too bad, other days you just thank God for Tylenol and try to go about your business, although there are times when Tylenol doesn't help much.  I remind myself often that almost all senior citizens have the same problem, and also that there are people of all ages who have even greater afflictions.  Do I hurt so badly I want to die?  That would be a resounding "NO"!  I still enjoy my life.  

I am blessed to have my husband around, because we commiserate about our aches and pains all the time.  One of the great benefits of being married is that you always have someone around who actually cares about your joys and and sorrows, your aches and pains.  Nobody else wants to hear it; they have their own problems.  

Cliff and I are wondering whether we should shut ourselves in for awhile again, with the Covid numbers rising so rapidly.  I feel no danger attending services at either church I attend, but one of them is planning a Thanksgiving carry-in dinner; I'm a little leery of that.  Cliff and I are both wondering if we should cancel our Thanksgiving dinner with family on the big day.  If so, we need to make a decision soon, because the rest of the family might want to make different plans.  The thing is, the people who will come to our Thanksgiving dinner go to work every day, so they're all somewhat at risk, which makes them a risk to us.  We pulled off the trip to Georgia, but how long will luck be on our side?  Who would have thought there would be such a time as this?  

Beam me up, Scotty!

I finished "A Time for Mercy" by John Grisham:  This is the third book he's written with Jake Brigance as the hero, and it didn't disappoint.  The courtroom scenes alone kept me almost biting my nails.  The Jake Brigance books and "A Painted House" are my favorites of Grisham's work.  I don't know what's next to read; I'm considering reading "A Tale of Two Cities", since it would fit in with Poldark, the series we're watching on Netflix right now.  I read it in high school, but all I remember are the first words in the book and the beginning of last line.  Those, I can quote.  

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

"Tis a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done..." 

It's strange how some words stay with me over the years for no apparent reason.


  1. Northern AB gal11:53 AM

    I'm a few years behind you, but I too have been feeling the pains of arthritis and joint stiffness during and after my walks. I had a desk job but walked twice and sometimes three times a day with my dogs. Now I do 1 1/2 miles twice a day with a couple of 3 mile walks a week. Mostly my hips that give me problems, knees not so much. I remember a while back you mentioned that you wouldn't consider knee surgery again, are you still of the same mind? My SIL had knee surgery and she has had nothing but pain since and that was over a year ago. She is scheduled for hip surgery on the same side, she's hoping that will lessen her knee pain. I only hope that her surgery doesn't get bumped because of Covid. We are having a real surge in cases here as well and they are talking about a complete shut down. I have a question, - since a lot of people are wearing masks these days compared to early days, why is there so many more cases now than then if masks are supposedly the answer. This whole thing confuses me, so much so that I am starting to believe the conspiracy theories :) Take care and stay healthy!

  2. Yes, I have read "A Time for Mercy" too. In fact, I have read all of Grisham's books. He is my favorite author.

  3. I think it's important to do what you can and stay as active as possible. My dad had to give up walking at 92 and I know he misses it a lot. It was hurting too much and he was too unsteady for it to be worthwhile. We're in a partial lock down again because, as predicted by the experts, the weather has gotten colder, people have moved their gatherings inside, and they're tired of the pandemic(who isn't?) so they're not wearing masks, if they did in the first place. We're also seeing shortages of toilet paper and paper towels AGAIN which makes me anxious. (not so much for me since I have two bidets, but for my parents)

  4. I know how you feel. I have arthritis as well. It already ate through my left knee so last year I had a knee replacement and I can walk now. For me, it was the best decision.

    IT does seem once you hit a certain age, like 65 - every 6 mos or so, something new is added to the list of new ailments. Plus this year with covid, and not being as active as I was (swimming) I feel I am aging extra fast. I am noticing new wrinkles and some sags in places I never sagged before.

    Oh the joys of aging.

    God Bless.


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