The worst part of getting old is days like today. I woke up with some pain in my ankle. I tried to get out of bed and realized the pain is severe. I can’t stand. I’m in Madison, Wisconsin and I have a meeting for half the day. I won’t get home to Austin until sometime around 10 PM. I don’t know how I’m gonna make it through the day.
I didn’t injure myself. I may have taken more stairs than normal, but I didn’t injure myself. I simply woke up each morning with a little bit of pain in my ankle. And then today the pain is excessive and great and severe enough that I don’t know how I’m going to be able to do all the things I need to do today.
I’d love to say this is a new experience for me but it’s not. I tore the meniscus in my knee a few years ago just by a misstep. I’ve had issues with my feet for a few years. Specifically, I have a growth on one of the nerves in my right foot that makes it feel like I’m stepping on a marble when I walk. The supposed solution for that is to wear loose-fitting shoes. So now I wear shoes that are a half-size bigger than I need. They don’t really fit, so they aren’t comfortable. Oh, and I have to wear shoes with a lot of cushioning so yeah… old man shoes.
Gone are my cool stylish shoes, cowboy boots and various other shoes that I really enjoyed. I’m forced into wearing a mocassin made by Crocs most days. But not my dress shoes. They are boring, but not completely ugly.
It’s days like today that make me really question what I’m doing with my life and how I’m going to make it another 20, 30, or 40 years. My body is just about worn out. So here I am laying in a hotel bed on my side, the pillow under my foot and an ice bag on my ankle. I had to hobble down the hallway at 5:45 AM to get some ice to put on my ankle to see if there’s some way I can get the pain to subside.
It’s times like these that make me very happy I get up early. If I had slept in and tried to wait until the last minute I would’ve never been able to get ready in time. So I guess there’s a silver lining.
I’m dictating into my phone today because I have no way to actually write laying on my side. So if my tone is different in my writing it’s because I’m dictating, not writing.
A note to you young kids: I’m only 50. I’m in relatively good shape. I’m not overweight anymore but I haven’t worked out enough. That seems to be the thing I need to do next. However, I won’t be able to work out until I get my ankle under control. Life can be so much fun.
After the ice, and a hot shower, and a quick dose of Alka-Seltzer (the only thing close to an anti-inflammatory in my bag) I was able to get dressed and get on with the day. Slowly, however. And I get to walk through two airports today and drive home in my stick-shift car at 10 PM tonight. It’s already been a long day, and I just got it started.
I prayed in the shower, which I don’t do often enough, pray or shower, actually, but God as he does, answers my feeble prayers. I can manage the pain now. I will be able to walk around. Hopefully, with a little stronger drug in my system, I’ll be able to ignore the pain enough to pay attention in my 5-hour meeting with one of my biggest customers. Soldier on. Then I get to sit still for 6 hours in two airplanes. That won’t help much.
The drive home made me realize I should probably grow up and buy a car with an automatic transmission. Even the soft clutch in my car nearly made me tear up during the 30-mile drive. The meeting was good, however, and my ankle healed nicely, although I’m still not sure what I did except run up and down stairs more than usual. Getting old better beat the alternative, because days like this really make you question your life and your future.
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