Bursitis. Arthritis, Hip pain. That’s right, I’m old.
Oh, sure, statistics will tell you that I’m relatively young, that I’m merely on the cusp of middle age. Tell that to my aching shoulder. It started hurting a few months ago, waking me up in the night as the pain radiated down my arm.
“I think I might be having a heart attack,” I told my concerned wife early one morning. Then I remembered that my heart was on the other side of my body. “Never mind, honey. Sweet dreams!”
The pain gradually worsened, however, so I had a physical therapist friend of mine check it out.
“Looks like bursitis,” he said.
Bursitis? I didn’t even know they had that anymore.
How could this be? I’m just a writer. Not much shoulder strain in that. That’s when my friend told me it could just be from sleeping on that side. Great. Now I’m getting injured in my sleep.
What’s happening to me? Just a few years ago I was young and fit, without a pain or ache to speak of. Then I had kids, and now all of my joints are inflamed.
When did I suddenly become so flammable?
I know I have a few more gray hairs than I used to, and maybe I’ve gotten a little soft around the equator. But that still doesn’t explain how, last year, I was mistaken for my father—TWICE!
I went to see an orthopedic surgeon about my shoulder pain the other day. (There’s a sentence I’d never thought I’d write.) As he was examining me, he pointed out a small bump that was visible on each of my shoulders.
“That’s the onset of arthritis,” he said. “Don’t worry. Happens to most guys.”
Gee thanks, doc.
Then he tells me that the pain in my shoulder is due to a problem with my rotator cuff. Again, not sure how this could have happened sitting behind a computer all day. Oh well. So much for my dream of pitching in the majors.
I had a birthday recently, and I was joking with my daughter that I was so happy to be 5 years old.
“No, Daddy!” she said giggling. “You’re 60.”
OK, I realize that 5 might have been a bit of a stretch. But 60? How about 45 or even 48? I could live with that. But 60?
I tend to blame my children for this acceleration of the aging process. Before they came along, no one ever mistook me for my father. Before them, I never went to bed before 11:30. Now every minute after 9 p.m. is a struggle.
And speaking of being tired…when did standing become a strenuous activity? After playing Ring Around the Rosie with my daughter for two minutes, I’m beat. “How about you go ahead and dance around while I sit on the couch? Daddy needs to rest.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking. That I’m exaggerating. That I’m being overly dramatic. In the grand scheme of things I’m really not that old. I have a long way to go before I can start collecting Social Security and justify eating dinner at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
So, I guess I’ll just have to suck it up and take my anti-inflammatories and do my physical therapy exercises. And I should probably stop blaming all this on my kids. After all, they had nothing to do with my hip pain.
I wonder if Medicare will pay for the replacement surgery?