for my fellow WPers who feel [or ARE] old and struggling

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who here is old and/or struggling to cope?
i am older and getting infirm. :| 30%  30%  [ 11 ]
i am younger but prematurely aged. :| 14%  14%  [ 5 ]
i am older but good genes/fit :) 22%  22%  [ 8 ]
i am younger but fit/no problems :) 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
where's my @#$%ing icecream? :chef: 32%  32%  [ 12 ]
Total votes : 37

auntblabby
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21 Apr 2021, 2:01 am

this thread is devoted to those oldsters among us [or even those who are prematurely aged due to unfortunate genes/life circumstances], and is meant to serve as a clearinghouse of sorts, for life stories, stories about aging, and tips/tricks for coping. i will go first - i was not a winner of the genetic lottery, so i had various mental addlements and physical cripplers [arthritis, one leg shorter than the other, improperly curved spine, poor proprioception/clumsiness et al] that made my life a challenge beyond what some of the "beautiful people" are made to experience. but i learned eventually, in my later years, to cope in various ways. i was keeping relatively fit, and i thought if i could keep it up i could avoid some of what some of my elderly neighbors suffered, such as having to use canes and electric scooters and such. but as soon as i turned 60, it was as if God [or Satan] himself said "HAH!!" and flipped a switch and suddenly my body just started breaking down big-time. now i have pedal sores and my hips [esp. the right one] will not bear weight and will not let me walk, and my knees and back and elbows are screaming at me due to the strain of pulling up the slack, esp. the elbows having to drag my dead weight around on two canes. i mean DRAG, as i can't take walking steps without my hips singing sharply, with palpable crepitation [clicking/popping/grinding of the bone-on-bone joint] and associated agony. combine that with a health care system that doesn't really give a good GD, no pain relief other than what i can scrounge from available-to-consumer sources here and there. i never thought i'd say i miss being able to walk to the mailbox and back, miss being able to mow the @#$%ing lawn for christ's sake, miss being able to clean out my own gutters and sweep the crud off of my roof. i miss doing yard work. i miss being able to ride a bike. i can't even properly bathe myself anymore, downright pathetic. getting into and out of a bathtub or car, or even getting up and down, is a major [and time-consuming] pain. but i chose these genes before i was born, i must be stoic.

please, good WP people, post here about your own experiences with aging and physical infirmity, i need to hear your stories and swap wisdom.



kitesandtrainsandcats
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21 Apr 2021, 3:18 am

Don't know that I have any actual wisdom to swap.
am definitely dealing with a defective body today.
Ocular migraines as well as cramps, spasms, inflammation, pain, in my hands.
And similar, and different, in plenty of other body parts too.
My days of handwriting in cursive are done, gone.
My days of filling sketchbooks with pictures are done, gone.
My days of going for walks, hikes, are done, gone, thanks to decaying tissues in my feet.
Plenty more to detail but my hands hurt.


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auntblabby
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21 Apr 2021, 3:34 am

kitesandtrainsandcats wrote:
Don't know that I have any actual wisdom to swap.
am definitely dealing with a defective body today.
Ocular migraines as well as cramps, spasms, inflammation, pain, in my hands.
And similar, and different, in plenty of other body parts too.
My days of handwriting in cursive are done, gone.
My days of filling sketchbooks with pictures are done, gone.
My days of going for walks, hikes, are done, gone, thanks to decaying tissues in my feet.
Plenty more to detail but my hands hurt.

i'm sorry about your hurting hands :( :flower: i can tell you that a mixture of doans pills and tylenol is somewhat beneficial for minor aches/pains, even deep ones. voltaren/diclofen cream rubbed on ouchie body parts also works, or traumaplant comfrey cream, esp. mixed with DMSO. i slather various pain-dulling gels on my ouchie bits every few hours.



FleaOfTheChill
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21 Apr 2021, 7:01 am

I'm not sure how to respond to this one. In some ways I feel ancient, in other ways I feel young. I'm a forty-something, so I'm not that old, but still... I have some spinal cord damage, part nature (scoliosis), part nurture (an old injury). In my thirties, I was worse off physically than I am now. I used to have days where I'd wake up, go to stand to get out of bed and fall to the ground when my leg (it's my right leg as well) gave out from under me. It was problematic. I have nerve damage (sciatica) meh. These days, thanks to stretching and exercise, my body is more cooperative now than when I was ten years younger. Except for the pain on my left leg (feels like I have an iron pressed against my thigh all day every day for the last twenty plus years) I can walk pretty much all the time now, hell I can even run, and I do. :lol:

Still, my back hurts. I have to pace myself so I don't hurt myself. It takes me twice as much effort to see half the results in everything. It's annoying, but it's life. I have to stretch in the morning for an hour while waking up just to be able to get around okay in the day (laying down for that long wrecks me but sitting up sleeping is way worse). Early stretching is part of my routine now, so I don't mind it, it's just a necessary part of the day that comes with the territory. I can't sit or stand too long and stupid things like sweeping have a possibility of setting my body off and stopping me in my tracks. Driving still hurts like hell, and I feel it all day (sometimes a few days after) if I'm in a car for more than ten minutes or so, but I can do it. I have to watch it and be careful of what I do in general, be mindful of my actions, activities. But still, I'm way better off now than I was when I was before. Today I'm off to help my parents move some things up from their basement. I can actually do that, I'll feel later, but I can do it. It blows my mind, and I'm thankful for it. I'm going to keep doing what I can do as long as I can. I know the day will come when I can't do these things. Being wrecked in my thirties gave me some perspective on my body and my pain, what I have now, is nothin compared to what I had going on back then. I'll deal with it.

Today is a good day physically though. I do get days that mess me up, have days where I can't move. The way my brain works, it's like if I'm okay, all I really connect to are okay days. If it's a bad day, it's like they're all bad days.

You know, that's probably the worst impact aging/life has had on me... my executive functioning and memory have gone to sh**. Things are very much out of sight, out of mind for me. I can only connect to my immediate reality and I forget my other realities have existed. If I were trying to achieve that whole 'live in the moment' thing, I'd be pleased by this. However, it is not a choice. I'm forced into this. My mother (she's in her 80s now) gives me crap about it, just wait until you're my age, she says, then she tells me how screwed I'll be. :lol: She's not lying. I know a lot of this is related to my last major burnout, my executive functioning went to hell during all that and I never did fully bounce back.

I'm a lot less capable of navigating life in general now. I used to be, or I fancied myself anyhow, a somewhat intelligent person...now? :lol: I can't recall the bulk of the things I used to know. It's wild. I used to be able to multitask, plan, execute those plans... now? Going to the grocery store is an overwhelming process that requires mental preparation on my end. Then I end up forgetting stuff (even though I have a damn list) and being annoyed with myself for it. It's ridiculous. I was more capable of being an adult as a teenager (and I know it because I did it) than I am now. I can handle most physical things on my own these days, it's the life stuff I need help with now. Meh.



auntblabby
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21 Apr 2021, 7:08 am

^^^thank you for your story :) physically i was where you are at now as recently as last december, before the big downhill plunge into geezerhood. i am thankful my noodle still lets me do stuff mostly as i used to, cognitively. i find it is a matter of "use it or lose it" in terms of some things. i've been re-learning french [last took it in high school decades ago] and it the process has sharpened up my thinking some.



kitesandtrainsandcats
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21 Apr 2021, 8:32 am

FleaOfTheChill wrote:
I'm not sure how to respond to this one. In some ways I feel ancient, in other ways I feel young.

That thought brings to mind a thing I've said for a long time; that yeah, my body ages, but the intangible whatever-it-is that makes me, me, has absolutely no sense of age whatsoever; it has always been whatever "age" it is.


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kitesandtrainsandcats
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21 Apr 2021, 8:39 am

auntblabby wrote:
i'm sorry about your hurting hands :( :flower:

Thanks! :D
Do have some useful pills.
I need to be careful about creams and make sure they are not toxic to cats.

(speaking of drugs and cats, the guys are totally stoned on catnip here,
some can be seen on carpet around them)
(they ate some then flopped down on top of the 2 piles)

Image


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auntblabby
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21 Apr 2021, 11:40 am

looks like they are in cat heaven :cat: :cat:

for the younger folk who may be perusing this thread, this old geezer will exhort you to make sure both your legs are the same length at key points and that your gait is correct, otherwise your chances of picking up an arthritic hip condition go up, avoid my fate.



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21 Apr 2021, 4:28 pm

In February 2015 I suffered a minor stroke.

In September of 2015, I had half of my tongue replaced due to cancer. The Cancer reoccured and I had to have that half of my tongue replaced again in February 2016. This means I was nonverbal for over a year due to a tracheostomy and got my nutrition from a feeding tube through the stomach

These days I have some residual weakness and balance issues from the stroke.

My speaking can be understood by others maybe 60 or 70 per of the sound but my voice still has that "retard" inflection. That I had a slight speech impediment before all of this I am sure did not help. My diet is limited to Nutrition drinks, baby, and other pureed foods. I still use the feeding tube a lot.


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auntblabby
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22 Apr 2021, 1:45 am

wow :) i hope you did not experience too much pain during all that. it is a real hassle when any part of our bodies fails us. in my mind, this is also complicated by a sort of envy when i see people older than me who are in perfect undisturbed health, i wonder to god, "am i chopped liver?"



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22 Apr 2021, 5:40 am

I'm not sure if this is relevant or not, and hope I'm not being insensitive bringing it up.
Yesterday I happened across a surprising article somewhere in my phone news section, relating financial stress to later pain levels.

Specifically, it said that financial stress in mid-life was correlated to greater pain levels 27 years later 8O
Well, I thought that was weirdly specific - but also wondered if there might be anything in it.



kitesandtrainsandcats
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22 Apr 2021, 6:26 am

MrsPeel wrote:
Specifically, it said that financial stress in mid-life was correlated to greater pain levels 27 years later 8O
Well, I thought that was weirdly specific - but also wondered if there might be anything in it.


Found the study, but apparently you have to be a paid member of this research publisher to read it,
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/smi.3038
Midlife family financial strain, sense of control and pain in later years: An investigation of rural husbands and wives
Kandauda A. S. Wickrama
Eric T. Klopack
Catherine Walker O'Neal
First published: 09 March 2021
Quote:
Abstract

Research focussing on individual biopsychosocial processes leading to physical pain as a health condition is rare. The present study investigated sense of control as a mechanism linking early midlife stress to later‐life physical pain for husbands and wives in long‐term marriages. Using data from 508 rural husbands and wives over 27 years (1991–2017) with respondents in their early middle years (<42 years on average) in 1991 and in their later years (>67 years on average) in 2017, this study utilized a comprehensive analytical model in an structural equation modelling framework. Family financial stress (FFS) trajectories in early middle years were associated with depleted sense of control, which was related to increased physical pain in later years after controlling for concurrent physical illness, family income and age. In cross‐lagged analyses FFS influenced physical pain over mid‐later years. Physical pain also influenced FFS, suggesting a bi‐directional association between FFS and physical pain. Findings elucidate how early midlife FFS influences the progression of physical pain over mid‐later years through sense of control. Findings suggest effective intervention and prevention programs should focus on FFS in early years of adulthood as well as the maintenance and development of adults' sense of control.


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22 Apr 2021, 7:07 am

That would be the one, thank you.

Now I see 27 years was only the length of the study, that makes more sense!

And in my circles, FFS stands for something a bit different :)



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22 Apr 2021, 7:11 am

auntblabby wrote:
wow :) i hope you did not experience too much pain during all that. it is a real hassle when any part of our bodies fails us. in my mind, this is also complicated by a sort of envy when i see people older than me who are in perfect undisturbed health, i wonder to god, "am i chopped liver?"

No, they gave me some wonderful painkillers. OTOH all that noise, interruptions and poking and prodding.

I do not think I would have survived without my diagnosis. I had advanced knowledge that these would be particularly bad for me so I could find myself and tried to use whatever free time I had to pursue special interests. WP was a big help in that regard.

While I am accepting of my new normal I do really miss the stuff I used to physically be able to do and the freedoms that gave me.

One advantage though, when the old “autism is a cancer” or autism is a horrible disease comes up I can say from experience, most definitely not.


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22 Apr 2021, 8:26 pm

I developed a chronic illness when I was in my 40s. It came with a lot of pain. The kind where I would lie in bed crying because everything hurt too much, even when not moving. I was unable to work for many years. So, I started "aging" early and have never been as fit and healthy as I was then.

Now, at 67, I have to look at my life squarely and realize that I am never, ever going to be fit again. I will never take another long remote canoe trip. I'll never dance all night again. I won't even ever again be able to walk long distances or jog. My world is shrinking and some days I am fine with it. Other days it is difficult to face.

I don't have as much pain as I did before. I have an array of pills, exercises, meditation, that keeps things more or less on an even keel. But there are definitely limits. I can see the horizon.


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auntblabby
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23 Apr 2021, 2:02 am

blazingstar wrote:
I developed a chronic illness when I was in my 40s. It came with a lot of pain. The kind where I would lie in bed crying because everything hurt too much, even when not moving. I was unable to work for many years. So, I started "aging" early and have never been as fit and healthy as I was then. Now, at 67, I have to look at my life squarely and realize that I am never, ever going to be fit again. I will never take another long remote canoe trip. I'll never dance all night again. I won't even ever again be able to walk long distances or jog. My world is shrinking and some days I am fine with it. Other days it is difficult to face. I don't have as much pain as I did before. I have an array of pills, exercises, meditation, that keeps things more or less on an even keel. But there are definitely limits. I can see the horizon.

i am really glad you have figured out a way to cope with your pain. as for the horizon, i look eagerly forward to reaching and transcending it permanently :star: