Time seems to run a bit faster every day
There is an interesting thing about aging: the older you get, the faster time flies. The phenomenon is called “time dilation” and it’s not a particularly good thing.
When I was in college, about nine thousand years ago, I took a class on aging. We discussed all the various aspects of getting older, including everything that happens from the instant of birth to the moment of death. The class was interesting at the time, but this was probably due to the fact that I was much younger. For that matter, everyone in the class was young; heck, we were a bunch of smart-aleck college kids who knew everything, would never grow old, and would rather be out on a date than sitting in that classroom talking about aging. Of course we didn’t have a clue.
Now, however, since I went through that door marked “Middle Age – No Turning Back” I recall the lessons from that class with wry amusement…or horror – take your pick.
Pain is not a good thing
I am thinking about this subject today because of a recent trip to a physician. Last week I was working around the house, cutting and sawing on a kitchen floor (no, I don’t know why I was doing it on the kitchen floor, probably because it was closer to the refrigerator) and, a few days later, I moved some boxes of books out of my office. Normally this would not be any big deal. But the morning after I finished all this work I awoke to shooting pains in my elbow whenever I moved my arm (the old joke here is a man goes to his doctor and tells him, “Doctor, my arm hurts whenever I move it like this.” The doctor replies, “Well, quit moving it like that.”). I figured the pain would stop in a day or two, took a couple of Tylenol, and pretty much ignored it.
Well, the pain didn’t stop. So I made an appointment with Roy, the physician who has been keeping this body in more or less working order for the past few decades. Roy and I, it seems, are simply growing old together. He knows where I hurt because he hurts there as well.
Roy examined my arm and gave me the bad news. He told me I had something with a name that I can’t begin to pronounce. I asked him what it meant and he said, “You’ve got tennis elbow.”
“Tennis elbow? Me? I haven’t played tennis in years.”
“It’s just the slang term. You can get tennis elbow from all sorts of things, especially from doing things with your arms you don’t normally do.”
“So what can you do about it?” I asked.
He gave me a few options, but mostly it came to waiting it out and perhaps taking some laser treatments. My elbow problem was transient so pay on your way out.
A few years ago
The main thing is, a few years ago I never would have had this problem. A few years ago I could have built a house, shoveled a mountain, arm-wrestled Hulk Hogan (yes, I would have lost), and still not had any pain (at least not in the elbow). But that’s the key, “a few years ago.”
I hate saying “a few years ago,” it makes me seem even older (remember a grandparent saying, “Why just a few short years ago, your grandmother and I…”). Yep, I hate saying it, and yet I find myself saying that exact thing more and more. I would but it bugs my kids so I’ll undoubtedly keep saying it.
One of the terms people tend to use with aging is “age is catching up with me.” This is nonsense. Age doesn’t catch up with anyone. Age couldn’t care less. Age is simply a process that goes on. The problem is not with age playing catch-up but with our bodies losing the battles with:
3. Free radicals
5. Red meat
11. Dust mites
14. Too much exercise
15. Too little exercise
16. Not enough chocolate (okay, this is a personal belief, but hey, it’s my blog)
17. Electro-magnetic radiation
18. Falling meteors
20. Artificial ingredients
21. Bad drivers
22. Environmental problems and or disasters
23. Not enough oxygen
24. Too much oxygen
25. Stress, stress, stress
And on and on and on. There are so many things that contribute to aging that just when you find one answer, (don’t smoke), a new question rears its ugly head. Questions like:
* Which vitamin does what, how many should I take, and will it help anyway?
* Do I really want to join AARP?
* Senior citizen discount? Me? Are you nuts?
These are questions that either have no answer or the answer changes daily. Talk about confusing!
Personally, I don’t have a clue regarding what to do about it all except complain. And since I do that so extraordinarily well, I’ll probably just keep it up.