At fifty-four I’m not anywhere near as agile as I used to be, and I haven’t yet fully got my head around that sadly indisputable fact. I do recognise that some everyday things I used to do without a second thought I struggle a bit more with these days – even simple things like straightening up again after picking something up off the floor, or getting off the sofa quickly, or opening jars. I can still do it, but more slowly and a lot less elegantly, and not without a few creaking complaints from my painful stiffening joints.
I still feel a bit resistant to accepting my new reality – sheer stubbornness I suppose. I was exactly the same with my declining eyesight, it took me such a long time to accept that I really needed reading glasses. Part of my problem with accepting the gradual reduction of free movement in my joints is probably down to the fact I’ve been experiencing a lot of temporary joint pains over the last few years as part of my ongoing menopausal symptoms – and however extreme it got on each individual occasion, it always passed in time.
But although the ebb and flow of those random here today, gone tomorrow fluctuating hormonal aches and pains have almost totally subsided now, the ever-present difficulty with strength and suppleness and everyday movement in my hips and my hands has remained problematic. I’m not at all impressed. My husband has suggested it’s time I saw my GP again, and I have to admit, however grudgingly, that he’s right. I have had frequent mechanical issues with my right hip over the years, so I may indeed be in need of another physiotherapy referral.
To be honest, though, deep down it’s the constant aches and pains in my hands that concern me most. I do work hard to keep my basic range of movement going as best as I can, but my fine motor skills are definitely losing their delicate touch. I can see I’m getting old lady hands, wrinkly skin with liver spots and knobbly joints, and right now they hurt all the time. Sometimes they’re swollen, sometimes not, but either way I’m permanantly aware of my hands, and even when lying in bed resting I feel them throbbing, and it’s getting me down.
I don’t feel at all ready to exchange feeling agile for fragile, but ignoring it all and just getting on with life doesn’t seem to be working for me any more. So like it or not it’s time I admitted defeat and made an appointment. I really don’t like making a fuss, but it’s really beginning to get in the way of enjoying life, and is causing me problems at work, so I guess needs must… sigh!