Aging – It's not for the young

I am at home, trying to type this without making any sharp movements. Today is the second day I’ve missed from work because I untied my shoes. That’s right. I strained my lower back by untying my shoes, not by doing the rumba or sky-diving. I used to bend down and lace and un-lace my shoes all the time, with no problem. But now that I’ve reached the ripe old age of 50, I guess I’ll have to be more careful when I do such wild things. Lest you think I’m totally decrepit, this back strain happened after a most invigorating two-mile walk to work in the cool morning air. It was also after I muddled through and went back to work the day after returning from Australia, in my loopy state of jet lag.

I’ve gotten medical advice over the phone, in lieu of seeing a doctor in person since they’re all so overworked with the hordes of people who think they have the swine flu. And just in case one of the patients in the waiting room actually has the swine flu, I’d rather not catch it. So I am trying home remedies – rest, advil, and a heating pad*. About seven years ago I had a similar back strain, and the "rest" part of the cure came  a lot easier then because of the muscle relaxer the doctor prescribed.

This back pain follows on the heels of scheduling my first colonoscopy. When I had to list my chief complaint on the medical form, I wrote, "I’m over 50." I mean, really, that’s the only reason I’m having this procedure done. Put the two events together and my mind has naturally turned to thoughts of aging. My husband (who’s older than me, I might add) sent me a list of Good Things about Getting Older. I can’t seem to remember many of them. (Hmmmm. I wonder why.) My favorite is: "In case of a hostage situation, people over 50 will likely be released first." I will end on that happy note, as I’ve now reached for a pen and re-tweaked my back.

*Kids, don’t try this at home. I have since learned that ice, not heat, is the preferred remedy.

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