‘Getting older sucks and I’m not doing it willingly’

Mar 12, 2019
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Robyn is frustrated that her body won't let her do the things it once did. Source: Getty Images

What does one do to keep their day full and happy? My days often go so slowly that a snail slimed through at jet speed. Other times the hours fly by and I don’t get nearly as much done as I wanted to do. I can’t win!

At the start of the new year, I decided to make my days interesting and productive without being too tiring. My body won’t let me do or indeed go at the pace it used to, but I do get assistance from my caregivers and they are normally quite positive, which helps.

Last year I broke my back by moving a microwave from the floor to the sink bench (I am now 1 inch shorter) and I have never been in such discomfort and pain. Giving birth to my children was nothing by comparison. I did the doctor’s run and he said initially that I had a muscle spasm (bugger me, no way). Then when he finally had an X-ray done — after my third visit — he realised it was a lot more serious than first thought. I couldn’t bend over at all and had to wear a brace for 12 weeks, then have bone density tests etc. I have a 12 per cent chance that if I fall next time I will break my hip. They wanted me to go on medication, but as I take handfulls of pills now I wasn’t going to add. Basically, I’m going cold turkey. The disc squished, hence me being shorter and I won’t be lifting anything so stupid ever again.

The reason for the microwave change was because I blew up my old microwave and this new one was the insurance replacement. Here, I thought I was doing the right thing by bringing the item upstairs and placing it on the bench and then taking the broken one outside onto the outdoor table.I did a good job except I totally did my back in … and badly. The bone scan showed the density as being quite brittle, so I’ll do my best to avoid falling over.

I’m telling you all this because I had not learned the fact I cannot do what I used to do without consequences prior to this accident. It’s a hard lesson. Things like hanging washing on the line have me unsteady on my feet and feeling like I’m going to fall over standing on one spot. Bugger! This isn’t what I had anticipated when I got older. I thought I would slow down (not actually knowing what that meant in real terms), but it comes with much more unpredictability.

Typically I looked for instant help and purchased a Powerfit machine (from the middle of the night on TV) and have been using that. Honestly, it has helped. I feel such a dill standing on a fast moving platform every day, but my legs are certainly stronger and I’m starting to be able to stand up on the platform holding onto the rubber bands you can use for exercise postures.

I haven’t ever done anything like this before. It made me feel so stupid and idiotic when I moved the microwave. It’s so hard to remember that I’m unable to do the things I used to take for granted. Getting older sucks and I have decided that I’m not going willingly, but my life has had to change considerably without my input it’s just the ways the cookies now crumble.

Are you frustrated by the things you are no longer able to do now you’re older? How do you keep yourself busy and your days happy?

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