Being in pain 24 hours a day ages you. I think it’s to do with all the facial contortions of oohing and ahhing and ARRRRRRGHing as the daily pain gradually grinds you down.
A couple of years ago, people used to shave years off my age, now they add on decades. Like yesterday for example, when an elderly woman asked me if my thirty-nine year old friend was my ‘other daughter’…my other daughter being the Womb-Fruit who was not best pleased at being mistaken for a female.
I know I look tired and worn, but I was mortally offended, although not as offended as the Womb-Fruit at his assumed gender. Plus it would mean that if my friend was my daughter, I’d had to have given birth to her soon after I was born!
But that was not all. The
old biatch woman then proceeded to ask what was the matter with my leg, that being the foremost question people usually ask when they spy my walking stick. Before I could answer, she followed that up with another question, “was it arthritis?” Rather then go through the list of my myriad of conditions, I replied “yes, osteoarthritis. It’s everywhere from my neck and spine, to my toes and fingers”, to which the She-Devil responded, “oh, so you’re not too bad then.”
Whaaaaaa??? Was my first overriding thought and then I considered that maybe she hadn’t heard me. So I explained that eventually I would need to have both hip and knee replacements and this is when Satan’s Mother piped up with “well, you’re still not too bad.
It was time for me to leave.
This morning, sleep proved to be an elusive son-of-a-bitch as I struggled with breathing difficulties, and so I did what most people do when slumber evades them…I ate chocolate. But of course chocolate at 4 am plus IBS, equals a not very happy tummy. And as the old saying goes,’a moment on the hips means a lifetime of agonising pain, a trip to the loo and a blocked toilet’…er…I pretty sure that’s how it goes…
And that’s when my thoughts turned to the old woman from a day ago. (not while I was on the toilet I may add) I constantly complain that when people see my walking stick, they wrongly assume what could be wrong with me. Or the assumptions that are made when I’m the youngest person in the rheumatology department, which is chiefly that I’m too young to have arthritis and so therefore, it must be something else.
I had made the opposite assumption with the elderly woman. I assumed that because she was old, she automatically knew what arthritis was and what it felt like.
Shame on me, because she probably had no clue what I was talking about.
So apologies elderly lady wherever you may be, although I take back half that apology for thinking I was old enough to be my own mother.