What has happened to me? When did I get to feel like an old man? Why is it that as we age, our bodies seem to not want to work as well as they used to? It seems like every day after work, my feet are achy, and my body gets stiff after stopping work and driving home. Some days, I feel like an old man, wanting to fall asleep before 22:00.
I think the part about my feet is because I suffer from flat feet. My feet don’t have that “normal” arch that most people have. My whole foot makes contact with the ground, thus throwing off my body’s natural balance. This makes it so I have to wear wide shoes, and even needing special orthotic insoles, which cost a pretty penny. It’s really hard to shell out $50 for insoles that will probably wear out in a couple of months.
Once I get going at work, my body tends to do fine until finishing my shift. If I stop and sit down, even for a few minutes, however, my feet get achy and my body stiffens and tightens up. That might just be the natural wearing-out of the body. Like any machine, eventually the human body gets to where it can’t function anymore and gives out. I guess, turning 48 within the next few weeks, I’m somewhere on the downhill slide of life.
There was a time when I could work 60 hours in a week and not feel much worse for the wear. I’ve worked 17 hour days before. But now, working 12 is taxing. Sometimes, even a 6-hour shift, like today, leaves me spent by quitting time. Before this pandemic, between last July and February this year, I was working a consistent 60 hours every week—30 at each job. Now, I’m doing less around 50 between both, and some days it’s too much. No matter how financially strapped I am, I’m not going back to that schedule. It’s way too demanding on me, and I’m not a teenager or even 20-something anymore! The other thing that really makes me feel decrepit is my arm. My right arm (of course, my dominant arm) is a constant source of pain for me. I’ve been told it’s probably a torn rotator cuff, as the pain is not in my shoulder itself, but about two inches down from the joint. I can lift my arm to about shoulder-height, but not past that without excruciating pain. If I use my other hand to lift or support my arm, I’m okay. Just picking up a 2-liter soda bottle at the store is torture for me. I’m having to depend more on my left arm to do some things. I’ve been experiencing this for around 7-8 years, and I think the only way to fix it is surgery, but I can’t afford to have an operation, nor take the time off for recovery. I guess I’ll just keep killing my kidneys, taking massive doses of ibuprofen to dull the pain enough to do my job at work. By “massive dose”, I mean like 1600-2000mg per day. Doctors say to not take over 3200mg per day, and one of the signs of mild overdose is tinnitus (ringing in the ears) which I suffer on a daily basis. So, I might be taking too much ibuprofen, but it’s the only way to survive day to day right now. And honestly, I really don’t much care about the risks anymore