Arthritis? That’s an old man’s problem. S**t, I am an old man!

Arthritis? That’s an old man’s problem.  S**t, I am an old man!

A stumble on the top step and I was on the brink of Luke Skywalker’s fall into the center of Cloud City in “The Empire strikes back.” Considering that recent studies show that falls account for approximately 60 percent of all injury-related hospital visits for people aged 65 and older (and over 50 percent of injury-related deaths annually!), does the word ‘pro-active’ strike a note?
Lying face down on the chiropractor’s exam table, a rat’s nest of electrical simulators not-so-gently buzzing around my buttock, I am curiously unruffled about the arthritis pain in my hip joint. I am aware of the realities that accompany the passage of time and the list of physical aches growing with the paunch made one belt size wider by the ‘Corona ten.’ But it’s not as if I’m on the torture rack during the Spanish Inquisition.

I’m taking care of myself; I have a choice as to how I go on living despite the pain.

With the fatalistic cadence of the Wailing Wall I can wake up in the morning and ask, “Why am I here?” Poor me, I’m isolated from society, nobody listens to me; my life is lonely and luckless. What’s the point, why go on?

Or, shifting the energy behind the query, I can get out of bed and choose to turn the question into a statement, “Why I am here!” I have time to volunteer for worthy causes; the wisdom I’ve accumulated can help mentor others; I have much to teach my granddaughter; I can offer unconditional love without judgment.

The negative apologia for lingering on becomes a positive affirmation for being alive!

It’s not easy when your hip is made from titanium and you’re finishing dinner before most people leave the office. But I urge you to push yourself to stay in the mainstream.

Accept life’s invitations! How you respond defines your life. Do not die before you are dead (I’d like to attend but my back hurts). Embrace the person you have become (I’d like to attend and my back hurts). You don’t have to give up the life that circumstance suggests you abandon. Life’s journey is not over.

Just walk slower.

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