There was a time when I thought it funny, quaint and even interesting how old people talked about being old more than, say, how I talked about being young or middle aged. Hang out with some old people and before long being old and all that means becomes the subject of conversation.
But it’s not all talk. If you grow old, and I hope you do, it’s very likely that you will encounter one or more of the degenerative disorders that plague he aging: arthritis, joint failures, cataracts, Alzheimer’s, glaucoma, diabetes, stroke, Parkinson’s, coronary issues, shingles and the all time favorite - the many faces of cancer. If I have left out your preferred disease, please let me know and I will happily add it in a later update.
My point is that all that talk among old people is about something real and usually something shared. I mean, what do you expect? If you have lived long enough you have had to give up mountain climbing, surfboarding, motorcycle racing - to mention a few. What’s left? You become expert survivors. Then you fall.
I live in a house with three and a half sets of stairs. The half is one of those death traps you pull down to reach the attic. I am up and down these stairs many times a day and have done so for nearly 20 years - without incident - until about a week ago. I successfully descended the stairs leading to the garage with a huge bag of recycling and after all these years, I thought I had one more step before the step down to the garage level and I was woefully mistaken. I ended up on my back, quite surprised with recycling all about me and CA calling out, “Are you alright?”
Well, no, I wasn’t alright and I needed a bit of assistance to get to my feet. It wasn’t long until I became aware of pain in my back and neck. These were old wounds now reactivated. Luckily there are no broken bones or even visible bruises, just an acute sense of stupidity.
So here I am again, nursing pain, taking pain medication and scheduling PT and acupuncture treatments. It gets old. But it’s life, and it’s my life. And I’m thankful for it. Now, where did I put that Tylenol?