CXV – Good For What Ails You?

Can someone please tell me why it is that as we get older, aches and pains seem to become the norm? Is it really true, or is it just me? I would hope that it is not just me, since many people older than myself seem to have a hard time with simple things.

I understand that I’m no young person anymore. I recently turned 48, and I’m staring 50 right in the face (just two more years). Is it because, as we age, our bodies are wearing out, like a machine? There does come a point where the body simply gives out and there’s no hope of repairing the ailments we are subject to.

I’m sure there are a number of factors as to why, in my case, there are days when everything, including my mere existence, hurts. For starters, due to my leg getting broken by a car nearly 32 years ago, my leg and ankle have a hard time supporting a lot of weight when I crouch down. When I have to squat, I must support myself with the other ankle, as it is stronger. Useless trivia: if you were to feel my right shin, you would feel a bump in the exact spot where my leg bones broke in 1989. And now, right above that spot, there’s a huge patch of psoriasis on my leg. It’s not contagious, as it’s an immune system response. The skin grows and forms dry, red or white, itchy patches on the skin. And oh, god, does it itch! Sometimes when it itches, I scratch it so much that some of the scales break and begin to bleed. It’s not a pretty sight, but there’s not a cure for it. It can be treated with creams or ointments—I’ve tried several over-the-counter things and even CBD once, but this shit doesn’t go away. I’m going to have to get a prescription for something to help make it go away for now.

Psoriasis on legs. Itchy, painful and unsightly, there’s no cure, but it can be treated

I have found on many occasions that I feel like gravity has gotten much stronger over the years. I can get down without too much effort, but getting back up can be a real chore. Maybe I don’t get out and move enough, maybe I work too much, I really don’t know. I just know that I wish I had a toddler’s energy and mobility—to be able to squat and get up effortlessly and to constantly be on the go. I have to have my energy drinks to get me going in the morning.

Of course, my right arm is a cause of much grief for me. I’ve been experiencing daily, nearly constant, pain in my arm. I once asked a doctor during an unrelated visit for a family member about my arm. From what I said, he thought it was a torn or damaged rotator cuff. As a result of my own searching (yeah, I know, internet searches usually lead to a cancer or death diagnosis), I’ve concluded that the rotator cuff injury is the most likely culprit. The downside for me is that I have no health insurance, and I can’t afford the thousands it would be to have surgery. Nor can I really afford to take the time off from work. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. In the meantime, I’m killing my liver by taking around 1600 – 2000 mg of ibuprofen daily to dull the pain enough to be able to work. Besides the near-constant pain, probably the biggest thing that sucks about my arm is that in certain directions, I can’t lift my arm above shoulder level. If I use my other arm to lift my bad arm, I can go up and down with no real issues. Unaided, it hurts like a motherfucker🤬. Many times I go to reach for something, and in the process I feel a sharp pain in my arm, and I immediately regret the attempt. While grocery shopping, sometimes I have to have my kids grab stuff for me, since my doing so would be rather painful.

Rotator cuff injuries happen, and they hurt like a bitch if not treated

Another wonderful, joyous experience I had back on Saturday, 29 August, was that I burned the shit out of my hand. Some hot fryer oil splashed on my hand (when I say hot, I mean 350°). I got my hand under some cold water as quickly as I could and later applied some aloe vera burn gel with lidocaine to the burn. My hand felt like it was on fire all day, and I couldn’t even continue cooking the rest of the day. I was unable to even hold a spatula, and working around hot equipment was torture. The next day, I was able to work somewhat normally. Later in the week, I had to work with a glove on that hand, and because of the glove, the heat, sweat and whatnot, my hand began to break out with bunches of little blisters all over the back of my hand. Let me tell you one more thing: if you ever get a blister, for the love of god, do not pop it! It’s bad enough when they pop themselves. It may not hurt immediately, but later on, especially if the blister was on a joint, it’s going to hurt like a son of a bitch.

Getting burned with hot oil is definitely low on my list of fun things to do.

Another malady that really annoys the fuck out of me is tinnitus. What is tinnitus? If you have it, you know it. It’s a constant ringing in the ears. After hearing loud noises, your ears ring temporarily, and it usually goes away. For someone with tinnitus, that ringing goes on 24/7. When there’s background noise, it’s not quite as noticeable. However, in a silent setting, like the bedroom at night, it becomes quite noisy in our minds. Many who suffer from tinnitus will sleep with a fan or some kind of white noise, just to attempt to alleviate the noticeability of the ringing. Unfortunately, like psoriasis, tinnitus has no cure. It can be managed and hopefully reduced, but in my case, I’m stuck with it. Hopefully, it doesn’t get so bad that it will drive me bonkers.

Apparently, tinnitus sufferers can hear different sounds. I did not know that. I just wish it would fucking go away and leave me alone

The last malady of mine that I’m going into is flat feet. Normally, the foot has an arch, which helps with balance. Good, strong arches help adjust to different walking surfaces. For someone with flat feet, walking can be an excruciating experience. With flat feet, the foot arch that is supposed to exist doesn’t. Your body weight is not distributed properly, and it knocks he body’s natural balance out of whack. For me, normal-width shoes are torture devices. My feet require wide-width shoes. I should be using orthotic insoles for my shoes, but the good ones run at least $50. I usually don’t have that kind of cash lying around to be able to fork over that much on a pair of insoles. It might be a worthwhile investment, but I have to get up the courage to shell out a Grant for something I’ll be stepping on.

Most people’s feet and footprints look like the one on the left; my feet are like the one on the right. Anyone with flat feet know how much that shit can hurt

Even with these problems I have, I know for a fact that things are not quite as bad as they might seem. There is always someone out there who has things much worse than me. Some are blind, some are paraplegic, some are deathly ill; some have fibromyalgia or severe arthritis. I am thankful I don’t have anything worse than what I have; I also don’t wish those conditions on anyone.

Is there a malady or condition you have? Do you wish you never had it? Or are you thankful for everything? Comment or let me know over on the social media things. Please have a pleasant Sunday and the rest of your week. Appreciate what you have, be happy, be safe and be well.

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