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“It’s not nice to grow old!”
“Ouch! Ouch! Owww! Ouch! Owwww!”
If you’re 50 or older, you’ve probably already said these things once or twice. There’s always some new health problem to deal with. Let’s look at one of mine now.
It started about a year ago. A strong pain pounded my right knee for a few days when I walked. I’m not the type to go to the doctor, especially since I live in Moscow and I don’t have any health insurance. And, my level of medical Russian isn’t good enough for me to accurately describe my problems in Russian.
So, at the beginning I simply equipped myself with a walking stick, telling myself that it was nothing. I was just going to limp a little like Doctor House for a while. Or that I was now a stylish gentleman with a cane.
But after several days of suffering, the intensity of the pain was only increasing. It wasn’t getting better. Now, it wasn’t only painful when I walked, but also, and especially, when I went down the stairs. I resolved to consult a doctor.
At the Doctor’s
Not surprisingly, I had a hard time accurately telling the man of science my pains in Russian. But, when he made me lie on his medical bed and began checking my knee, we didn’t need words to understand each other. My grimaces were enough!
Once the exam finished, the man in the white coat gave me his verdict: it’s osteoarthritis!
Shit ! Really ? My knee is so worn out? I’m an old fart at 49?!
I asked him if he could give me the cause of this disease. He told me that it could be due to too much physical activity. What? I jumped. Too much physical activity? Those who know me know that I’m not a sportsman!
The only sports I do are cleaning the flat and exercising my elbow in bars. The second is my favourite! In neither of these sports is the knee put to the test!
Confronted by my stupefaction and my arguments, he told me then that it could come from being overweight. Well, I must admit that this hypothesis is the most plausible. Because yes, I am slightly overweight.
Sitting in front of the doctor I was a little annoyed. As if it was not enough to tell me I was overweight, he then told me that in general, osteoarthritis attacks both knees! And to be sure, it would be better if I had an MRI!
“Great!”, I thought then. I, someone who already doesn’t go to the doctor, has to now go to a hospital. And in Moscow. And therefore deal with this problem once again in this difficult language. Not to mention the additional expense of such an examination.
I left the doctor’s office and went home, a prescription for a special knee brace and expensive anti-inflammatory tablets in my pocket. The bill was getting heavier. My depression too!
The MRI Experience
A few days later I arrived at the clinic which was equipped with an MRI machine. My usual good mood already on the way out, I was told then that I had to remove my piercings because the MRI doesn’t like metal objects. And they couldn’t say what would happen if I didn’t remove them.
Those who know me, know that I have three piercings. Three rings on the left eyebrow arch, and I can’t remove them alone. It took a young and pretty nurse to remove them. At the end of the day, this was a pretty fun time because it was the first time she had faced this situation. She was a little embarrassed and afraid of hurting me. Anyway, it was a rather nice exchange.
However, after the exam, she explained to me that she was unable to put them back in for me. So I had to go to a piercing place to get it done. No problem, there are a lot of tattoo and piercing shops in Moscow.
Back to the Doctor
A week later, I’m back at the doctor’s office with my MRI results. And the verdict has fallen: my cartilage has been eaten away, and I have first degree osteoarthritis in both knees.
The doctor said that it was not too serious, for now! “Whew!” I won’t pretend that I hadn’t already pictured myself walking with a cane for the rest of my life! And, although it was nice to have people giving me their seat in the metro, I wasn’t looking forward to decades of walking with a cane!
However, this story doesn’t end with an American happy ending. No, it’s not my style.
Because there is another problem. There is no cure for this disease. Indeed, the cartilage doesn’t grow back. Nevertheless, there are still medications to soothe the pain, as well as special knee pads that help keep the knee in place.
What can you do?
There are also natural remedies more or less effective in case of suffering. Such as, for example, massaging the knee with special gel or Asian massage oils, or taking baths in hot water at 39 ° C for about 20 minutes. And, although it may seem surprising, walking a lot is recommended. On a flat surface and with good shoes of course. It doesn’t mean hiking in flip flops! You can go cycling too, again on a paved road, not mountain biking in the woods!
And of course, losing weight is helpful too.
All these natural things may relieve the pain, but they don’t kill the beast. And that means that this bastard is in me forever, more faithful than a dog! At best, it keeps quiet, and at worst, it gets angry.
For the moment, it’s rather quiet, even if from time to time it bothers me a little bit, just like that, suddenly, without any particular reason. And then, suddenly, I start to limp. So without hesitation, as soon as I can, I apply one of the remedies I mentioned above, hoping it will prevent a deterioration of the condition!
I don’t know yet how this trauma will evolve, but I often say to myself, and I’m not the only one to say it, “It’s not nice to grow old !!!”
What about you, do you have any aches and pains due to your age? Tell us about it in the comments and let us know how you deal with it.
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