Able again

About 18 months ago I pulled a muscle/did something in my lower abdomen/groin on my right hand side. After that I was heavily restricted in my movements, to the extent that I could no longer do any meaningful exercise. Any lateral movement brought sudden and sharp pain. I couldn’t do anything that relied on my stomach muscles, and I couldn’t run any quicker than an ungainly shuffle. It was extremely frustrating.

I’m generally a quick healer, but this has taken a long time to mend itself. I’m not right yet, but it has improved to the point that I can now do crunches again for the first time since then. I’ve taken stairs two at a time most of my adult life. Throughout this I didn’t have the range of movement to do so. I wondered if I ever would again, and it weighed upon me as another sign of increasing age. Now again I’m taking the stairs at the double. I have to be careful not to aggravate the condition (whatever it is – at one stage a suspected hernia, but no), but t feels good to feel physically able again.

I’ve come to accept that with age there comes a physical decline. It’s not just the things that fail, it’s the general aches and pains. At first it seems to unfamiliar that you think there must be something wrong. Eventually you realise it’s just the wear and tear of life catching up with you, and so perfectly normal. All the same, it’s important for me to keep up a healthy level of fitness. I dislike the concept of decline.

The other physical thing I have to deal with is my leg, which looks like it will never get right. I see a specialist every 6 months to check on it. I’m meant to be on daily medication, but as I can’t afford the price I’m on it maybe 2 months out of 12. The other week I saw the doctor for my regular check-up. Reviewing the results of a blood test she expressed satisfaction. “Looks like we can rule out cancer,” she said. Great, I thought wryly, except that till that point I didn’t even know that cancer was a possibility.

This is typical medical profession in my experience. I like my doctor and we get on well, and she’s pretty cute besides. We banter and carry on conversation like two equals – something rare and refreshing given my current status. Still, I like to know things before the fact, not after. But I guess I should be happy – I don’t have cancer. But I do have a bloody ugly leg.

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