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Baby Boomer’s body revolts

March 5, 2012

My body is rebelling against me by giving me sports injuries.

I am a 57-year-old typical Baby Boomer destined to remain physically fit and mentally active until I’m at least 90.  I eat a balanced diet, am average weight “for my age” and exercise everyday, including using weights and doing core training.

So why am I stricken by so many ailments?  It’s just age, the doctors say. NO NO NO, I answer.  It can’t be.  I’m doing everything right.  I can’t accept it. Not accepting it.  Why?  How can this be?  Sound familiar.

Slow down, take some days off, don’t use the injured arm, the doctors tell me.  But I can’t.  I have too much to do.

Now you would think I’m some kind of great athlete with all this complaining.  Not so, the injuries are called “sports injuries” but they hardly came from athletic activities.

Two years ago I had so much arthritis in my big toe that I had the joint replaced.  “Probably came from wearing those high heels when you were younger,” my podiatrist told me.

When I was recovering from foot surgery I also had a little puppy—the cutest Goldendoodle in the world named Lexie, but that’s another story.  Lexie needed exercise.  Since I couldn’t walk her, I took her to a neighboring schoolyard and threw a ball for her to fetch.  She loved the 30 minute fun time.  My arm–not so much.

I got tennis elbow from that foot respite. That was a year ago.  “Stop the ball throwing, “my orthopedic surgeon said.  “Give it a rest.”

So I started taking little Lexie on long walks.  Oops irritated my SI joint by walking through my neighborhood that doesn’t have sidewalks.  “Only walk on sidewalks,” my sports medicine doc told me.

Ok, switched to sidewalks, and then my big toe started hurting again.  Too much pressure on the pavement. “Stop doing the walks for a while and try a pair of MBT shoes,” my podiatrist offered.  “Give it a rest.”  Lexie’s walks became my husband’s activity.

In the meantime I spent weeks at physical therapy for my tennis elbow and my SI joint.  As my elbow and toe healed, and my SI joint no longer hurt, I jumped back into life.  I rode the stationery bike and resumed my only hobby—knitting and returned to my passion of writing.

Things were going along swimmingly until last week.  Tennis elbow returned—this time from “over clicking” the mouse to write blogs and research topics.  Hmm…does this qualify for workers comp? Maybe if I wasn’t self-employed.   And then there’s knitting….it caused pain in my hands.

“Your tendons are pissed,” my orthopedic surgeon said.  “Cool it on the knitting.”  And as for the mouse, I’m supposed to lighten up on clicking and wear a wrist band.  None of this is making me happy.  What’s going on here?  Why is this happening?  And why isn’t there a magic cure?

Like all my other Boomer buddies, my body tells me I’m not 25.  I have to change my habits.  So now when I use  the computer, I wear a wear a wrist band  and I use an iPad when I can so I don’t click so much. I’ve cut out knitting, at least for a while, and Lexie walks with her dad while I ride the stationery bike.

But my mind keeps sending me another message: I’m a Baby Boomer—I’m tough—I am not getting old.  I can keep going.

As Welsh poet Dylan Thomas so eloquently said, “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

That’s my mantra—even if I have to wear a wrist band shouting it.

What about you—how are you coping with the “aging thing”?  Please share your methods to combat this madness.

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