Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Old Before My Time?

I have made many a self-deprecating comment about being "old". The big "four oh" is looming large on my horizon. Not that I truly consider myself or the over 40 crowd as old. If anything, I haven't accepted I'm not 21 anymore. I keep trying do the stuff I could do 20 years ago, and my body is starting to tell me "no" more often than I like!

Back in the summer, I mentioned how I popped my achilles tendon. Well the year before that (2 years ago) I injured the knee in the same leg (my right) working on my deck. Over the winter it had healed on its own; I had full mobility and was able to play road hockey with my sons. While playing baseball last summer I felt pain again in that same knee, which would fade away by the next day after the game. But then the achilles popped, and I forgot about the knee. After 10 weeks in a cast, the leg was completely rested. I resumed walking again, and I was rapidly working back to full mobility once more.

And then something weird happened. While walking in the office, my right leg just collapsed from under me. I found myself lying on the floor, wondering what just happened to me. This kept occurring for the next few days, but I learned to feel it coming as all of a sudden my knee would pop out of position, and that it couldn't sustain my weight. Went to the doctor, an x-ray session and an MRI later, and they have confirmed that there is a medial meniscus tear.

Surgery consult is scheduled for this March. In the meantime I'm wearing an athletic knee brace, which keeps me upright.

So what does this cripple do? Do I rest and wait for the surgery so that my body can get back to full health? Nawww! I take this week off to resume finishing our basement. We've been in our house for 10 years now, and we have yet to have a dry, finished basement. Our patience is wearing as thin as the funds available to do the work. We only have a living-room and kitchen on the main level, and having the kids playing in the same room we watch TV and entertain company in is driving us nuts. We want what every parent wants, to be able to exile the kids to the basement and shut the door! Being considerate parents, we do want that exile to be in some sort of comfort. That ain't concrete floors and walls.

Today I bent over to pick up a pair of pliers, and bam! I felt a wrench in my back. 20 minutes later I was popping Advil and trying not to move as the pain in my back was excruciating (I blame you Ken, you just had to mention backs and age in the same sentence!) 10 hours later, and the pain is mostly gone. The plan is to resume work in the basement tomorrow as I lost a full day of productivity today. If I don't get back down there, I've pretty much wasted a week of vacation. I just hope that this injury doesn't reoccur, not until after I finish at least!

So in quick succession I've experienced immobilizing pain in the right achilles tendon, right knee and now my back. I haven't even made it to 40 yet! My wife is making wry remarks about trading me in before all value is gone. My parents are somewhat shocked as well. It isn't often that a child out-paces their parents in decrepitude.

I don't know what to make of this. I'm more annoyed than angry. But I had to laugh when I heard that Health Canada is now recommending 60-90 minutes of exercise every day. Well, I've got a question, what do I do if every I time I move, I break something?

I haven't hurt myself yet sitting and watching the boob tube. Maybe my body is trying to tell me something.

1 comment:

Ken Breadner said...

Hey old fart,
Next to go, your hip. And before you know it, you'll be in a home.
In all seriousness, SLOW DOWN. You can still do everything you did 20 years ago, just not so...exuberantly.
Backs are weird. So many people I've talked to have thrown their backs out by waving at moonbeams, usually three minutes after they lifted a fully loaded dump truck with no ill effect.
Get better. And for a day or two, don't watch the home reno shows on that boob tube.