Old Age Finally Sets In

Merrill - pajamas

This seems to feel okay


It’s now official – I’m an old man. Not that I haven’t looked old for quite a while, I’m finally starting to feel old.

This condition sets in when you have body pains that have no known origin. This is beginning to happen to me on a semi-regular basis now. For example, about 3 weeks ago I strained my back, but I don’t actually remember straining it. My lower left side started aching, and it was difficult to move around without feeling intense pain. It’s not gall stones, spleen damage, or liver malfunction – I know when those things are happening – I think.

This just felt like an old-fashioned strain. But what had I done? I didn’t lift anything heavy – I quit doing that years ago. No more moving relative’s furniture anymore, sorry. My face probably projects it to strangers also, as the box-boys at my local supermarket ask every time now if I need help lugging the groceries to my car. I think I’ve heard a few “Pops” and “Gramps” sprinkled into their conversation also.

But this back strain is a completely different issue altogether. I think it came from a galaxy, far, far away, and like some alien life form, settled in for a 4 day ride. During its gestation period I could barely bend over. I have a natural stoop anyway, so maybe the alien spotted me from space and decided I had the perfect posture to carry its spawn.

Of course I could be wrong – but when back pain comes from seemingly nowhere, stays for a few days, and then leaves, I have to think there may be something supernatural going on. Or, maybe I’m at the point in my life where I sleep in the wrong position. I fall asleep in a contorted position and when I wake up I have a muscle ache. But the real problem now is every position is a contorted position. I haven’t been able to sleep on my stomach in over 30 years, and my sides are no longer sleep friendly – even though I still do it, but the knees have to bend at just the proper angle and the pillow has to be in between the knees (A Cure For Insomnia,The Continuing Adventures of Insomnia), but this position is subject to leg cramps that can strike at any time. I’ve had dreams where I was having leg cramps, only to wake up screaming when I realized it wasn’t a dream.

That leaves sleeping on my back, but I wake up several times from somebody making snoring sounds – not sure who it is, as I sleep by myself.

So what else is there? Stand up and sleep, like a swayback horse?

Well, I do have a swayback – I’ve got that going for me.


From A Memoir of Most of It

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