falling apart at the seams

Wondering why there hasn’t been much in the way of book reviews, or music reviews or anything here? Here’s why:

Sheesh, what is it with this aging thing? Or maybe it’s just an out-of-shape thing. Whatever the cause, this has been a rough week or so for yours truly and Wife. My back went out (again!) about 10 days ago and I’m still hobbling around and unable to reach below knee level. Of course this is when one realizes that EVERYTHING is suddenly on the floor or on its way there. Pick something up, it slips through the fingers and it’s down there. My shoes, the ones I need to put on right now are, of course, on the floor. Same with the bookmark I dropped, the socks I need to put in the washer that slipped out of the laundry basket. Speaking of which, ever try to get the stuff out of the dryer while your back is out? The little stuff that’s always way in the back? No way.

This morning I set out to run an errand. I dropped the car keys. Outside, in the ivy. Ouch, ouch, ouch!

Meanwhile, Wife has had a sore shoulder for a few weeks, getting worse little by little. Unlike me, she works out several days a week, so the injury has continually been aggravated. Finally today – after much pestering by me – she went to the doctor and sure enough it’s some kind of a pinched nerve and attendant inflammation. A shot of cortisone should fix it, but it will take a week or more, but for the moment she can’t raise that arm above shoulder height while I’m sort of hunched over doing my imitation of Quasimodo’s walk and existing on Motrin and Extra Strength Excedrin.

You might say this is a good thing, but I can’t even sit in my favorite chair, it doesn’t keep me stiffly upright enough. And I can’t read in bed, something I usually enjoy, for the same reason. I’m sick and tired of this and ready for it to end.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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20 Responses to falling apart at the seams

  1. Carl V. says:

    I am so sorry for the both of you! Aging or not, pain sucks, and when it is bad enough that it negatively affects the pleasurable activities, then it is even worse. Please pass on my sympathies to your wife and I hope you are both back in fighting form before you know it.

    In the meantime, sounds like you need one of those claw/grabber things to deal with the stuff you can’t bend down to reach.

  2. Richard says:

    That’s not a bad idea, Carl. Wish I’d thought of it a week ago.

  3. Patti Abbott says:

    Yes, I am going too– from the feet up. Suddenly my high arches have become a problem. Too much walking over the years. It’s the same thing for everyone I know over fifty-five. In the past, we died off quickly and didn’t have to endure this for thirty years. Which is worse?

  4. Richard says:

    I’ll take the bad back, and that’s somehting I need to concentrate on, instead of thinking about how #%&@#& much it hurts.

  5. Scott Cupp says:

    The warranty on my body gave out at 45. Suddenly I needed bifocals and then I got diabetes and started taking a fistful of pills each morning and night. And then long driving (which I did regularly for 20 years as a part of work) brought about a pinched nerve and I could not reach over my wast or sleep. Required much therapy and it still comes back every 3 – 4 years. So I sympathize quite thoroughly. Aleve, therapy, and time are about all that works.

  6. Bill Crider says:

    I bought one of those claw/grabber things long ago. You never know when it will come in handy.

  7. I couldn’t exist without my grabber/thing these days. Get one, they aren’t real expensive, and things will be so much better.

    And good luck to your wife and you on your attendant pains. It will get better, albeit maybe a bit longer than it used to.(sigh)

  8. Richard says:

    After all those comments, I’ll get one of those things for sure. Did you get yours at the hardware store? Target? Grocery store? I don’t think I’ve sen them anyplace but television commercials, years ago.

  9. Mine came as part of the deal when I was recovering from an amputation. But I’ve had people tell me they seen scads of them for sale at flea markets and such. I would imagine Wal-mart might have them as well.

  10. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Bummer, Rick. Sorry you guys are hurting. We recently bought an exercise bike which seems to be doing great things for Jackie’s bad knees. Also got hand weights to fight osteoporosis.

    Scott, the eye doctor told me everyone over 45 needs glasses (not true, I know) because of changes in the lens. My distance vision is still great (20/20) but I can’t read without glasses, other than in strong sunlight.

    But yes, getting old beats the alternative.

  11. A fellow morning walker said to me a few days ago that “every day I wake up” is a good day. I try to dwell on that when things seem to go down hill.

    Hope for rapid healing for both of you.


  12. Todd Mason says:

    For no compelling reason my leg failed for a day or so about a week after my gall bladder was blocked, its own little slice of joy, a year or so back. I enjoyed styling a cane. As one approaching 46, the eyes are definitely in need of aides again (I thought they were being severely tried by diabetes when I last saw an opthamologist a year and half back, but was nonplussed when she informed me after testing that my eyes were actually good for my age…yikes). And I’m not now sure if I’ve been messed over this past week by a chest cold or perhaps the full flowering of allergies, at long last (my parents started having full-fledged seasonal allergic reactions when they were both about thirty, so half-again later seems all too likely).

    You definitely have my sympathies, and when my back was out, I found it was most comfortable in my car’s driver’s seat…I don’t suppose the climate will allow for some reading in that position, if it proves useful for you, eh?

  13. Everything after 50 is maintenance (some would argue 40). It’s just one big fight against entropy. Diane walks 2 miles a day. I go to the pool every day to aqua jog. I’m a big believer in vitamins, especially Vitamin D which all of us in the overcast Northern U.S. are lacking.

  14. Cap'n Bob says:

    I’ve always said I want to die in perfect health.

  15. Laurie Powers says:

    It seems that my physical health is staying with me – it’s the disintegration of my memory that is really starting to scare me. I certainly hope that you and the Missus issues get cleared up soon – these things certainly come in groups it seems.

    I got one of those grabbers when I had surgery about 5 years ago and I could not pick up anything off the floor for several weeks. It saved my life and I continued to use it for picking up things even after I was well. You can get them at larger drug stores like Walgreens and CVS. they should be in the pharmacy area and they aren’t that expensive.

  16. Richard says:

    I know what you mean. Sometimes I can’t remember what I can’t remember. Thank goodness for lists, computers, calendars and such. When people occasionally tell me “you’re so organized!” (this doesn’t happen often) I say organization is my defense against chaos.

  17. Those grabber things are great. We’ve had several over the years. My back goes out every now and then, and I’ve also had knee trouble off and on. I try to walk at least a mile every day, but it’s getting harder to find the time and energy to do so.

  18. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Twenty minutes on the exercise bike + four + miles, James.

  19. Carl V. says:

    I would imagine you could get one of those grabber things just about anywhere that they sell other medical equipment like crutches, etc. I would try Walmart or Target first as it wouldn’t surprise me if they stocked them.

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