Trade-offs

1This post is by Joe Stephens

One of the joys of getting a little older is that feel more comfortable in my skin. Things that used to bother me just don’t seem all that important anymore. I’m finally feeling self-actualized, at least some of the time. I wrote a post yesterday for my personal blog about my bucket list and, frankly, I had trouble coming up with many items to put on it.

But this spiritual and mental comfort has been offset by some of the physical struggles Stomach, Anatomy, Human Body, Biology, Sciencethat come with getting older. The biggest one for me right now is acid reflux. It’s gotten to the point where I have a Pinterest board for nothing but reflux home remedies. And I have to say, some of them have actually helped. I seem to have it at least mostly under control, but I’ve had to alter my diet pretty drastically. The good news is that the foods I can eat, while nutritious, are boring enough that I don’t really want to overindulge. And who knew chewing gum after each meal and making sure not to lie down for three hours after eating could make so much difference?

Walking, Walk, Sports, Diet, Exercise, Aerobic ExerciseThen there’s my knee. My doctor says it’s arthritic and I will likely need a new one sometime. There’s good news on this front too, though, because the steroid shot seems to be helping it a good bit. It hurt me a little last night, but that was because I did a pretty strenuous 4-mile walk yesterday afternoon. But it hasn’t bothered me today. Before I got this shot, I would have been crippled for days after a walk like that.

Even though I seem to be coping well with these issues, it’s just the fact that I have to that’s galling. Just when I’m getting to point in my life where I can financially and emotionally enjoy my life, I have to deal with physical issues. I know that my ailments are nothing compared to many and I’m grateful to have the health that I have. But it’s aggravating nonetheless to have to constantly think about whether I should try that food or whether my knee is going to hold up to that exercise.

I guess life’s a trade-off. When you’re young and mindless, you have your health because, well, you’re too mindless to take care of it. Partly because of what you did when you were young, but mainly because it’s just the normal cycle of life, that health starts to erode, but it happens after you’ve grown up enough to take care of yourself a little more wisely.

Any of you facing these issues? How are you dealing with them?

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23 Responses to Trade-offs

  1. I’ve been able to do many things in my youth and I have wonderful memories. That doesn’t help me when I try to walk the dog and end up for two days in excruciating back pain. I’m banned from walking right now by my doctor, but once we get moved to the campground for the summer I’ll pick it back up and use the hot tub and pool to ease the pain. I have to take two pills a day for heartburn. It’s been severe since my 30s but is controlled well now. I try to deal with each day as it comes. My main issue is the back and since I have been in constant pain now for twenty or more years I’m pretty used to it and refuse to take medications unless I absolutely cannot stand it. I tend to still do the things I like if I feel well, even if there are repercussions. It’s all part of aging, I guess. Good post Joe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      I’m sorry to hear your back is so bad. Mine goes out from time to time, but nothing like that, especially since I’ve lost some weight. That doesn’t look or sound like weight is your issue, though.

      Like

  2. katewyland says:

    It is frustrating that about the time we should be able to sit back and relax a little, physical issues raise their head. 😦 I was a tomboy as a kid and have had horses most of my life, so I’ve gotten banged up in the process. Have had a variety of muscular-skeletal issues over the years but through using alternative techniques I’ve put most of them behind me. Except for my knees. In spite of all my efforts I finally had to give up and get a knee replacement last month. In a few months I’ll get the other done too.

    One thing to keep in mind: according to my physical therapist most people wait too long to do their knees and by that time they’ve damaged the surrounding soft tissue structures and those can’t be replaced. So if it looks like you’ll need one, do it sooner rather than later. (Also you heal better when you’re younger.) Good luck with both issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      The doc who looked at my MRI said I would need one younger than average. I hope that’s not true, but I don’t want to be in pain all the time, so I will get it done.

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  3. Wranglers says:

    I have too many ailments to mention, but I don’t let them slow me down much. I’m a very active person and sometimes I have to just keep going through the pain or I wouldn’t be able to do anything. I am on several medications which help. I have tried natural remedies. Omerpersole is what the doctor gave me for an irritated esophagus and it works on heartburn and acid reflux and even a burning stomach. Absorbine Jr. patches work great on odd and end pains. You can cut them and make them smaller. I don’t like the extra strength ones. I just get the regular for backs and cut them to the size I need. I try to excersise regularly, and since I’ve moved to FL, I have access to the pools, hot tubs, and beaches. all the time. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      I take Omeprazole too. It helps a lot, but I still can’t eat like a young person. And I like the patches too. I use SalonPas. They’re great until I take them off. Then I realize just how much hair I have on my back.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kathy Waller says:

    Joined a gym last summer so I could be fit. Because I always throw myself into exercise and hurt myself, I arranged for a trainer once a week to make sure I didn’t hurt myself. Second week, I hyperextended both knees and spent the next three months using my arms to push myself up out of chairs. (My knees hyperextend naturally; now they tell me joints get looser as you age, so…) I decided, finally, that the best thing I can do for my health is to sit very still for as long as possible, as often as possible. The real problem with getting older is that you have no idea when it happened. Take care, Joe, and be kind to that knee.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joe Stephens says:

      Exactly! I was young and vital and one day I was making noises when I got up out of a chair. But I’m still quite immature, so it evens out.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m only 54, and I’m already experiencing occasional sciatica in my right hip and tendinitis in my right hand, no doubt from my caregiving days, but that’s life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      Yes, that’s true. I really don’t let my ailments bother me much, but I’d had a bad night the night before with my acid reflux, so I just vented on here.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The things I know now, I wish I would of knew younger. My care of health would have been a lot more precious. Life has its way of giving us wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      I think it’s less what we don’t know and more what we’re capable of knowing. We’re convinced we’re invincible when we’re younger. And in some ways, that’s a good thing, I guess.

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  7. Doris says:

    Ah Joe, the joys of life. What is important to remember, they are important to you. Enjoy what you have, and the ‘trade-offs’, well they can be fun…I think? Doris

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      Exactly. I seriously think that if I’m forced to choose, which I am, I like older and wiser with some aches over young and dumb the way I was.

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  8. Mike Staton says:

    My life has been radically changed over the last 10 years. I’m 64 now. I’ve got a pin in my right hip. It’s healed but really achy. Got a back that gives out after about 30-45 minutes. I still walk but can’t do those 1 to 2 hour walks any longer. Had a x-ray thingy done a year ago that said I have osteoporosis, so now I take calcium. I take prescription blood pressure, anti-cholesterol and diabetic pills, but only nonprescription Tylenol for the hip and back pain. I figure I might someday have to get a hip replacement, maybe sometime when I’m in the 70s.

    Like

    • Joe Stephens says:

      Wow. You make me feel like a wimp complaining about my ailments. Good for you that you soldier on with all that. I might give up in your place.

      Like

  9. Neva Bodin says:

    I typed a fairly long reply a few days ago and it would not appear after I hit submit. So here goes again! Do take care of your acid reflux, as I started it in my early 40’s and ignored it as “just heartburn” and in early 50’s, lost part of my voice. Instinctively I knew I’d burned my vocal cords. The ear, nose and throat doc pulled my tongue down to my knees so he could look at them and confirmed that. I also had a scoping of the esophagus and found out I had Barrett’s esophagus or pre-cancerous lining. So I have been on Omeprazole or whatever my plan allows for over 20 years I think, and just this year they didn’t find any Barrett’s. Good luck with your other evidences of growing older and wiser! I retired from nursing a year and went back to work at age 65 and find I feel younger and forget my body’s bid for attention most of the time!

    Like

    • Joe Stephens says:

      My doctor told me that I needed to be careful with my acid because of Barrett’s too. But I agree. When I’m sitting around thinking about it is when things bother me the most. Thanks!

      Like

  10. Nancy Jardine says:

    I don’t really have many age issues, as yet. My blood pressure was inclined to be on the dodgy cusp during my last teaching years but thankfully never consistently high enough, so medication was avoided. Regularly yearly checks monitor it now. Otherwise, I’m not bad for a lady of my ‘delicate’ years- ie at 64. Running after my grand kids certainly keeps up my fitness levels.

    Like

    • Joe Stephens says:

      Good for you! I’m sure that does keep you busy–and young. I attribute my normally youthful attitude (when I’m not sitting around complaining about what aches) to being around my high school students all the time.

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  11. Ah, Joe, I was just bemoaning my aging and afflictions the other day! 🙂 My left knee seems to be following my mother’s lead, which means knee replacement sometime in my future. Currently, I can curb the pain with glucosomine but I don’t know for how long. And, just being out of breath and seeing more and more gray hairs… UGH!! I wish I had the body of when I was 25 but the wisdom of being 55 — LOL. Here’s to aging gracefully! 🙂

    Like

  12. When I was a kid, I had horrible asthma and allergies. Now that’s gone away (still have a few allergies like cats and various medicines) but now I have horrible migraines which I never had until I hit 40. My mom and my cousin both have awful migraines so it runs in our family. I thought I escaped it. When I was growing up, my mom would be in bed for days suffering from migraines and I couldn’t figure out why she can’t just take a Tylenol and be done with it. Now I understand. Ugh. I guess it’s a trade-off. Migraines for asthma!

    Like

  13. S J Brown says:

    I was raised to be a young lady. Young ladies didn’t indulge in sports or other activities that would attribute to future health issues. So I am fortunate enough to still be in good health.

    Hubby on the other hand raced motocross, jumped snowmobiles, plunged canoes, and even fell off a roof in his youth. As a result he now has back issues, knee issues, and has had one hip replaced and the other one won’t be far behind.

    Today, obviously I am the more active one, but I do understand how frustrating ailments can be.

    Like

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