Getting old is a real pain in the ass.
It’s a pain in the hip, the shoulder and the lower part of my back, to tell you the truth.
I recently learned that I have arthritis. It’s killing me. Not the knowledge of this aging process, but the actual inflammation of my joints. My back acted up about a decade ago and I sought help from a chiropractor who strapped me to a rack and stretched those parts of me that needed stretching. I felt like that Greek fellow who had friends stay over, but all were given the same size of beds. The short ones like me were stretched to fit the bed, while the taller ones discovered their legs were cut off the next morning.
The aches and the pains have gotten progressively worse since then. And I spent a whole day in misery, afraid the excruciating pain shooting through my right shoulder would never end or loosen up. I couldn’t move the arm without causing a piercing jolt to my system, forcing me to cry out and call on God to help.
I stayed home. Something I haven’t done since I was really sick and couldn’t get out of bed until the afternoon hours. Yes, I was sick in my arm and I traced the hurt back to Sunday when I sat on the couch with my laptop computer which I had propped up on the side arm while moving the mouse up and down to read e-mails and stuff on the Facebook entries.
I must have spent several hours there, listening to music and trying to find out what Rolling Stone Magazine had listed as its top 500 Rock & Roll songs of all-time. (I never heard of half of ‘em but learned a lot of what I missed after the year 1975!)
I paid dearly for such an education. Yesterday, all movement caused me discomfort. Even walking was painful because I’d jar my arm with each step I took. I hate to tell you what it was like to try to raise my arm and what hell I went through later that night in removing the shirt from my back. I should have slept in the shirt, I thought, but I guess I’m a glutton for punishment.
Today (April 4th, 2016), I’m back on the computer writing with my weekly writing group. My laptop is elevated on a table and I hardly use the mouse for anything, save to make spelling corrections.
I never realized that writers could face such a miserable life when getting old. I guess that’s why the blind poet Homer never wrote anything. The Iliad and the Odyssey were oral stories. Stories past down by word of mouth. Even Socrates, my favorite Greek philosopher, never wrote with his hands. His student, Plato, acted as a scribe and provided us in writing all of his mentor’s greatest hits.
Perhaps, I too should give up the pen.
Yeah, that’s the ticket. No keyboard, no mouse and no pain in the hand, the fingers or the arms. I’ll just exercise the mouth. Arthritis hasn’t reached that far yet. The only pain I’d feel is the look of a listener or two who might find my offerings offensive or be totally disappointed about the suffering I might have put them through.