Funny how you hear people toss around sayings such as “60 is the new 50,” or “you’re only as old as you feel.”
Well, this year, more so than any other, my body is in a very argumentative mood.
“You need to either stop running and playing tennis for a while or go see a doctor,” my wife said after watching me hobble around like a cartoon-variety peg-legged pirate for a month.
“Well, the first two aren’t likely to happen,” I said.
Several weeks later, I found myself sitting across from a doctor.
“Part of getting older,” he mused. “Get used to it.” His sly smile seemed to hint he’d prescribed this particular dose of advice to a long line of patients before me.
“But it hurts,” I said. “Can you give me something to make it go away?”
“I can give you something to mask it, but the only thing for sure is rest and a bit of physical therapy if you ever want it to get better.”
“So, it’ll go away?”
“I didn’t say that,” he said in a near stoic tone.
He then explained to me what my particular condition was – something that sounded more like a dinosaur than an ailment. Still can’t pronounce it properly.
So the doctor gives me advice, some anti-inflammatory pills and the number of someone who can advise me on how to treat my unpronounceable condition long-term. The last part I found particularly depressing.
Armed with pills and typical male ego, I gave myself a couple days off. Inflammation decreased noticeably, and I self-proclaimed myself healed. The following day I ran a 5K, cycled and played three hours of tennis in my newly found pain-free environment.
The next morning, my old friend, the pirate, was back and limping across the kitchen toward the coffee pot.
“How’d that work out for you?” my wife asked. Sarcasm is a dangerous tool in the hands of a professional.
The next week I’m back in a sterile office sitting across from another professional explaining to me how I’m going to have to treat my dinosaur-sounding foot condition.
“These will go in your shoes,” he said.
“Just my running shoes, right?” I said.
“No, all your shoes.”
“And I’ll just wear them until I feel better?”
He shook his head, and it felt like he’d just welcomed me to “Club Old.” Instead of a glossy card, he hands me funny little blue inserts for my shoes. Forever.
Credit is due – between the medicine and inserts for my shoes, I’m finding myself walking more like a landlubber again. But recently my right elbow sent me a message in the middle of the night.
“Hey,” my arm seemingly throbbed in Morse code, “can we talk?”
Great. Just what I needed – another part of my body voicing protest against me.
This could – pardon the pun – get old.
Woolsey is publisher of the Times-Georgian.