Lucky number 8

I’ve been away from WordPress for so long that it no longer looks or behaves like I remember; very annoying. Aren’t upgrades meant to make things better/easier?

It’s been 8 months since my last update; no news is mostly good news but this has come coupled with some sobering realisations. I had thought that my aches and pains, stiffness and occasional shooting pains etc were part and parcel of ageing; aren’t old folk all creaky and complaining about their knees/backs/necks the whole time, just like me?

But on a day trip out to Skomer Island in search of puffins, I discovered that there might just be more to it. As I crawled up the 92 steps of the steep slope from the dock to the ‘top’ of the island (effectively, you’re climbing up a cliff, really), I was panting like a steam engine and honestly so tired I didn’t think I would make it all the way up.

But I did, and then ensued three solid hours of tramping over the island along its well-marked paths. It was hot, it was hilly, I was Not Doing Well At All.

And then I realised I was being lapped by the oldies. Sprightly, grey-haired folk at least 10, 20, maybe even 30 years older than me were strolling around, not breaking a sweat. Then there was me, dishevelled, red in the face, exhausted and cranky.

That’s when it really struck home, the damage which RA has done to my body. Not just the weight gain (still stubbornly refusing to shift), not just the swollen inflamed joints, but the simple fact that I’ve been too ill and too tired to be anywhere near as active as I used to be. There was a time I could walk for hours. Now I can manage an hour, two hours tops, and that’s me done (and paying the price for it the next day).

I’ve started Zumba classes (really just low-impact aerobics, same as when Jane Fonda made it trendy in the 1980s) and again, I am surrounded by women a decade or two older than me, bouncing around barely out of breath, while I shuffle from one foot to another and wonder how the hell I got this way.

BUT: I like counting my blessings, so here goes. I am not in severe pain. I can move and get around and do most things for myself. I have my girls and my cats, my Mr C who looks after me and makes me laugh, my job, a roof over my head, food on my table, friends, the interwebs, the coast nearby and summer coming up. Life may not be perfect, but it’s still pretty damn good.



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