Getting Old – uh, what was I talking about…

There is plenty of evidence of getting old. Having a heart attack. Finding out that you have arthritis in your hands. Chronic pain in various parts of your body that just don’t go away.

A few weeks ago, someone mentioned that they were ignoring the advice of their physicians and abusing their bodies. I of course had to weigh in.

As I approach the magic five oh, I am falling apart. Early in my life I had a similar belief. As a teen, I got heavily into motorcycles. Starting with off road, it was an every weekend practice. I was young, I was invincible. I would ride any trail, I would do anything. Hills, jumps, gnarly tree-filled trails. Absolutely bulletproof.

Then at the ripe old age of 16, I got the first life lesson. Riding at Hollister Hills on the TT track, I was riding a friends bike. It was a 1979 Yamaha TT 500. Big single thumper. A natural slider. Not a lot of suspension travel, but a natural slider. I was flat tracking it that day like Mert Lawill at the San Jose Mile.

Then in one corner, I got nailed. A rider on a Yamaha YZ400 hit me while I was sliding. Off, on the high side. Massive dislocated shoulder.

Groan. 3 years later, it is popping out while I am sleeping. Right after I graduated high school, I get it repaired. A Bristow repair of my shoulder.

Fast forward to today. Somewhere at age 26, it re-dislocated. Not worth describing how, but it was painful. Today, I have a constant ache. It isn’t agony. But it is getting worse. Since my heart attack, I have been on medicine that preclude taking NSAID’s, and oh boy, that causes pain.

Have a heart attack (age 44), dislocate a shoulder (age 16, repaired at 18, re-dislocated at 26), have plantar fascitis at age 45, jam you knee badly (again off road motorcycling) at 38, and at 49 you are in a pretty constant state of pain.

I wouldn’t recommend getting old.

Long term, low level injury

One of the joys of getting older is that I no longer bounce back from even minor injuries. Case in point:

About a month or a month and a half ago, I jammed my left thumb. I don’t remember what I did, just that it hurt like hell and was tender for a few days. Usually, these things pass, and in a week or so, you forget that you ever did it.

However this time, it didn’t quite go that way. It still hurts when I grip with my left hand. Like holding a beer bottle is a struggle (oh noes!!!!!). I can’t use my left thumb to dispense soft soap at the washbasin. I can’t open jars (can’t grib the jar with my left hand).

Cycling is hard, as you need to grip to be somewhat safe and efficient.

So, off to the doctor. Probably a referral to a orthopedist, and X-Rays to ensure that I didn’t break anything.

But really, I just want my left hand to work right again.