Remember playing Statues as a kid? You crept up on the person who was it but couldn’t move if they glanced at you. Ah, the games of children, first introduction to stress.
Age can be a bit like that. Glance away for a second and kapow, another chunk added into the mix. I still remember the nasty moment I glanced in the mirror and realized I’d inherited my father’s jowls. I was barely forty at the time, and I’d turned into Deputy Dawg overnight.
Anyway a couple weeks ago I went on holiday and caught a chill on the beach – as only I can – and for a couple of weeks I’ve been resentfully thinking damnit, one long weekend, and the switch flipped and I got OLD. A bit stiff in the mornings, aching in numerous joints, even a little bit deaf after that hellish double flight back. I finally went sighing to the doctor after a fortnight to see if anything could be done at least about the ears, because I’m now missing out on half the office gossip, and tell you what, I’m nominating that woman for sainthood. She’s a fresh-cheeked thirty-something, she could have glanced at my chart, recoiled, said yes you’re old, what do you expect at your age? And I’d have crawled out of there and ordered a zimmer.
Nonsense, she said instead. You have eustachian tubes dysfunction. You flew with a head-cold, you’re paying the price, and you should be as good as new in a couple more weeks. It will take as long as it takes.
So then I mentioned the stiffness and aching and she pushed and pulled at my legs and tied them into some pretty fancy knots and said nope, no problems whatsoever, you’re very fit and flexible, you just overdid things. Do a bit more exercise and the aches and stiffness will go away.
More? I hadn’t done any since getting back because I was feeling so ollllllllllllllllllllllllllld. So I started again and let me tell you, if you really want to feel ancient and decrepit, do your usual full exercise routine after a few weeks break. But I do feel better, already. Well, stiff and aching in different places, but I remember those places, they do stop whinging if you keep going.
I hope I’ve learned a lesson from this and won’t automatically hit the pause button when the next symptom, real or false, pokes its head up. I could kick myself. I blether on and on about the benefits of exercise and (fairly) healthy diet and forget everything the minute I feel briefly under the weather.
What are you doing, reading this? Get out there and dance!