October 20th, 2016

Reiss’s Pieces

By Judy Reiss
If I had a better sense of humor I would be able to laugh at all the really stupid things that are happening to me as I grow older. First, I should share with you that no one ever told me, when I was young and yes I was young once, that old age is as difficult as it is! Now that I think about it, it is probably a good thing. You would probably not believe it anyway. If you are wondering why I seem to be “down in the mouth”, let me tell you about my aging process.

I am sure I have told you I have spinal stenosis and severe arthritis in my back, which is not only very, very painful, it makes it so I have difficult walking and of course, can’t stand up straight. Over the past 3 or 4 years, I have done everything possible, with the exception of surgery. And nothing really helps. This past Fall, I went to a spine specialist who told me that I should know the truth, which was that there really isn’t anything to do…except to exercise as much as possible and keep moving. And you know, I was pleased to finally hear the truth. It was then that I decided to just keep on truckin’ as much as possible. I also thought this was my lot in life and that I shouldn’t complain or worry. Well, I swear to you I tried.

Finally Spring or what passed for Spring but is actually Mud Season came and I started to get a slight pain in my right knee. Again, I swear to you I just figured I had somehow tweaked it. But week after week and finally a month, I went to see my doctor and asked her what she thought was going on with it. Because she is not only terrific she is also kind, so she ordered an X-ray for me. Well, I went to have the X-ray and also went to a physical therapist to work on it. Now, my primary physical therapist said that I had to go and spend some time in a pool because the water would be very good for not only my knee, but my back also. So, I went. I have to tell you that fortunately I loved the pool and was able to do a lot more exercise than I can do “on land”. OK now I am in the pool and I decided to ask the therapist if she had heard what was actually wrong with my knee. And she said, “of course. It isn’t a torn ligament or any of the other well known knee problems, what you have is severe arthritis in your knee and you are old!” I have to tell you I wasn’t sure if I was relieved or not. I just could hardly believe that the excruciating knee pain that I had was primarily “Old Age”. She also told me, are you ready for this, that I had to exercise every day and come to the pool twice a week or I would be in a wheelchair by next winter. Needless to say I am doing everything that she said and even made arrangements to continue at the Cape. What a good woman, right?

Well, that is what I thought, too. And not even just good but because I was so wonderful, I had reached the end of problems. What a dope! First, I should tell you that I have the most wonderful dentist in the world. I would walk (!) a million miles to see Steve Zonies because he had gone far and above what is expected to keep a few teeth in my mouth. Before I went to St. Lucia, he came down the night before I left at 8:30 to repair a chipped front tooth. And then about a week ago, he came down on Sunday afternoon to repair the same tooth, another chip. Now, a few days later I went in, during his work hours, thank God, and he looked at still another chip. This time he told me that it was no longer able to be repaired because he had repaired it over nine times! So, we decided that a cap was the only way to go. Remember this is my front tooth. So he ground down that old tooth to a tiny little pointer and glued on a temporary cap. Now knowing me you must know what is coming. Of course, the cap has fallen off, oh probably nine times in less than a week. And as I sit here, right now, I have no front tooth, just a little fang! It is Sunday and I refuse to call him again. I did go to our local drugstore and bought some tooth glue and I am waiting for Malcolm to come home in order to glue that cap in, just one more time.

As I sit here, I have a bad back, a very bad old knee and just a fang in my mouth. And I hate to think that I don’t think that there is nothing else that could go wrong. Of course, my toes are killing me too and I know the answer, just arthritis and this time I am not telling Malcolm, my doctor or even Steve Zonies. I now believe the old adage, Old Age is a B*tch!

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