Sunday, March 7, 2010

Simply old

Being simply old seems to be the refrain of my current phase of life. It started a few years ago when I was proudly promoted to grandmotherhood for the first time.( Two hat tricks to credit now!) Along the laurels came the attendant features which can be classified as harmless, almost harmless and definitely harmful.

The grey hair and wrinkles easily fall under the first category. Mind you, I am careful to address only the physical aspect of the features! Necessity for reading glasses may well be assigned to the second category. The third is surprisingly – but, is it really surprising?- an ever-growing list of intriguing ills and ailments.

When the second grandson arrived began a problem that was obviously not to be dismissed as trivial. I began to feel an acute pain in both my heels, a pain which was at the peak in the morning making me shudder to put my feet down from my bed.

I learnt that it was an ailment which had a special love for the fair sex. Perhaps it was one like maternity, menopause, oesteoporosis and many other hormonal gifts from Nature to women. I found it prevalent in ladies of my age.

Scared of doctors as usual, when all external applications known to me failed I lent my ear to all advices which began to pour in from all directions. Concerned kith and kin, however, differed in their diagnosis of my ailment.

Some said the bones in my feet had worn away. Some others opined that bone growth was the root cause calling for surgical correction. There were yet some others who alarmed me with their expert knowledge saying only steroids can cure me. A hot ‘massage’ was also in the list of possible remedies.

Amid this avalanche of free advices there was one which sounded most sensible and practical to me: to soak my feet in warm, salted water for 10 to 15 minutes. I had no problem in accomodating it into my daily routine. Thereafter I began to enjoy the hot news in my morning newspaper with wet feet. But sad to admit, no alleviation of pain was felt!

My hubby and children considered the situation a grave one and decided I have had enough of fooling around with my feet. I was forcibly dragged to the clinic of an orthopaedic surgeon who, thanks to my stars, happened to be a very sensible doctor.

He cajoled us to believe that the situation has not gone out of control. He prescribed painkillers for 5 days after which his physiotherapist taught me a very SIMPLE exercise with just 3 steps.

Seated comfortably in a chair with my feet touching the ground I was first to pull in my ten toes 20 times, secondly to tap the ground with the front part of my feet 20 times and thirdly to raise my heels up and down 20 times while the front part of the feet rested on the ground. That was all!

I was to do this exercise daily – twice, thrice or as many times I liked. The too glaring simplicity of the programme made me highly incredulous of its efficacy. But lo! In a few weeks’ time I was completely relieved of the nasty pain in my heels.

In all humility, I admitted to myself the unforgettable, undeniable truth that just like all joys in life, all solutions to tricky problems also come with the label of simplicity. A fact we cannot contend or ignore.

Urged by my native altruistic instinct I decided to spread the good news about this miraculously simple cure among my fraternity( is there a word ‘sisternity’?) I penned my brave conquest of the pain in my heels as interestingly and impressively as I can and sent it to a popular women’s magazine in vernacular.

Not only was it promptly published but even a follow-up of thankful letters from benefitted parties appeared in subsequent issues! Enthused by such positive response I even posted the article in one e-zine.

Wisely has it been said that ‘the spirit is willing but the body is weak’. It is my endeavour to be ‘simply old’ and not ‘seriously old’. Not an easy task though. Being gifted with a constitution which has a strong predilection to become asthmatic smelling an allergen miles away I tend to wheeze at anything and everything especially when my immunity level dips low.

My slowing metabolism rate and sedentary lifestyle conspire together to defeat my weight control strategies. I have to invent easy shortcuts for cutting down my calories without doing great injustice to my poor palate. Also, I prefer deep breathing sessions to panting for breath on the walkers’/joggers’ track. Good health at this age calls for clever calculation in order to endure, nay, enjoy being simply old!

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