I’ve written before that my knees are at least twenty years older than my actual age.
Heck, I’m willing to bet that England’s Queen Mother had better knees when she died at the age of 101.
Part of my aging journey is needing to accept that I will probably need two new knees someday.
But because I’m hard-headed and stubborn, I’m going to put it off surgery as long as possible.
I’ve never been great at exercise follow through–throughout my life, periods of adequate exercise have been interrupted by weeks of inactivity that can only be compared to catatonia.
But age and chronic health conditions have forced me to be more active, so that I can feel better and do all of the things I want to do with my life. Because I’ve decided that my aging journey is going to be active, healthy, and kick-ass.
I told you I was stubborn, right?
So I walk, every day, and I also have a walk at home program that I follow, especially when Seattle is experiencing rain that just won’t quit. I can walk in a light rain, in fact I love to do this, but I tend to stay indoors more when it’s coming down sideways and umbrellas are useless.
I’ve also started doing a few minutes every day on the treadmill in the small gym at my apartment complex.
And I’m doing some Pilates, which I find useful for my knees.
My doctor tells me that I have wear and tear arthritis, which is different from the rheumatoid kind. With wear and tear, inactivity means pain and stiffness. Walking up stairs can be difficult. Doing things on my hands and knees can be painful.
But today I did something that made me pump my fist in the air and yell out like a crazed sports fan. Because today, I scrubbed my kitchen floor on my hands and knees.
For me, aging with my chronic health conditions means I must take care of myself differently than I ever have before. I need to eat right, exercise, get enough rest (I cannot sleep 14 hours at a time anymore; getting seven hours nightly is hard sometimes).
So today I’m celebrating my success, and writing down the experience so I have a way to keep myself motivated, especially when I come home from work dragging and wanting to crash right after dinner (a NO-NO).
And now, before my motivation peters away, I’m going to go hit the treadmill for a few.
I’m feeling blessed these days.
But like everyone, life still has its challenges.
I’m 59 years old, and inside, I’m still a young woman.
I still have hopes and dreams, wonder what I’ll be when I grow up, and hope Santa Claus is good to me this year (joke on that last one).
But my body is feeling a bit sore and bruised these days, and I’m learning that I need to take care of myself differently than I used to.
I can’t go ‘Mach 1’ day and night anymore; my energy takes some pretty serious dips every night and definitely by the weekend.
I’ve lost some weight in the last year, but I still need to lose more.
I will probably will be going on blood pressure medication very soon.
I’m takings vitamins, eating better, and getting some exercise, but I’m a bit bummed about getting older.
Aging is inevitable, for all of us, and intellectually I can accept, even welcome, my inclusion into the older folks club.
But my heart feels a bit heavy some days, as I remember the days when my bones didn’t ache, when I took my body’s strength for granted, and I didn’t think about getting old.
So I’m trying to be good to my body, get lots of rest, exercise, and eat right.
End of pity party, because I am a lucky and blessed person.
I plan to work until I drop, stay mentally active, and take care of myself.
And yes, I’m happy I can stay home and relax for two days before heading back to work. As I watch CNN, I’m praying for the safety of anyone having to evacuate their homes and lives right now.