The day I realised I was getting old

It was a Tuesday in, I think, May, 2006. The plumber, Colin, was here working in our downstairs loo which was also the only bathroom in the house at the time. I was sitting on the settee in the living room, perhaps reading or just thinking. Suddenly I realised that my right ear was ‘stopped up’, as though I had gone up a steep hill or was on an airplane. I cupped my hand over my ear and made a vacuum, trying to clear what was obviously some sort of obstruction in it. It didn’t work and I realised I was “hard of hearing” in that ear. This was the day I started to get old!Before I knew that for a fact, though, I had to go through several visits to the audiology clinic at the QEQM and an operation to insert a ‘grommet’ in my ear. That grommet stopped my swimming for nearly a year and made it difficult to wash my hair, even in the shower. It was only two or three years later that a young doctor put forward the suggestion that maybe I had a cyst along the auditory nerve and sent me for an MRI. I am still waiting for the result of the scan as no-one got back to me! I am assuming that they would have if it had turned out to be a tumour.

Later, I had (still have) another symptom pointing in the same direction – tinnitus. I’ve got used to the feeling of there being something between my ear and the sounds around me but I doubt if I will ever get used to the constant shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh of the tinnitus. Sometimes it’s louder, sometimes quieter but it’s always there.

After my hearing went south my body just sort of gave up its vital youthfulness! First, another ulcer (and TWO gastroscopies), then pain in the lower back/hip region which, when scanned turned out to be – for want of a medical term – a squished nerve between two vertebrae, followed by first one then the other knee losing all cartilege, carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands and, of course, white hair!

Luckily for you, my friend, not all of these ailments are inevitable though there are others which I would not want and which you may come across in your journey. All in all, despite the gastroscopies, the grommet, the two replaced knees (another story for another time), the op on one of my carpal tunnels which cured them both(!) and the myriad  other  niggling age-related conditions, I am glad to be here to tell you about it.


About Candy

I am 74, was a teacher, then a dealer in antiques and collectables. When I retired to the seaside I started website selling antique and vintage games and wooden jigsaw puzzles. Now, I'm spending my time blogging, gardening and making oil paintings.
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4 Responses to The day I realised I was getting old

  1. Veronica Clarke-Hanik says:

    Candy, I empathize. For years, I had a horrible time sleeping. It got to the point of dreading going to bed because I would be awake for what seemed like hours.
    I tried sleeping pills which was a mistake. Later, after 5 nights in a sleep clinic I was told that I had non-restorative sleep disorder, no kidding!
    I tried everything. I don’t know how I was able to function at work after multiple nights in a row of not sleeping. I felt as though I was going crazy.
    Now that I am semi-retired and gardening, which as you know is very physical. I have been sleeping much better most nights. I actually had a lovely dream last night that I had a wonderful hike with friends and we came across an abandoned church manse and took up residence there and fixed it up. (Probably something to do with watching an episode of “Escape to the Chateau” last night.
    I still do have times when I am lying wide awake wishing I could sleep like Tony.
    I am sorry that you and so many women I know have such trouble sleeping.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Candy says:

    Thanks so much for this, Veronica. It’s really good to share these things and, perhaps, reassure others that they aren’t alone. Growing up I don’t remember anyone, male or female, saying anything about not sleeping. There are so many things that no one mentioned which is why I thought I would write this blog. For example, hair, which will be the subject of one of the blogs at some point. You won’t have got there yet but, suddenly, one day you may wake up and find that the ‘consistency’ of your hair has changed. I think this must happen to everyone but it was such a shock to me. Another change, which no one really believed when I told them, was that my feet grew a size! Not really ‘grew’, though – just spread lengthwise. I had always been a five and suddenly I needed a six. What a shock!
    I hope you will make many more contributions to the blog as we go along.πŸ˜„πŸ‘΅πŸΌ xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Veronica Clarke-Hanik says:

      So true!
      My hair changed drastically in my late 40’s. It used to be so smooth all the time, now it is very wirey and when I brush it, it becomes very puffy. I don’t know how else to describe it.
      I look forward to your next instalment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Candy says:

        Thinking back I suppose my hair did change in my late forties but, at that time, I seem to remember, I had my hair permed quite often and possibly didn’t even notice changes. I only know that when my hair went ‘white’ it also got ‘fluffy’ which was a real shock as I had always had straight, ‘unfluffy, hair. In my mid-sixties I decided to grow my hair from its very short style and as it got longer it seemed to get thinner! My hairdresser assures me, though, it’s not thin it was just so heavy that it seemed that way, Now that I have shorter hair it does look thicker again, though it’s getting close to ‘old lady fluff’ about which I am not at all happy! (Not as bad as going bald, though!)
        My next instalment is half way through. I wasn’t able to write any today as I’ve been busy and, also, up since 4am! (I should be able to sleep tonight 🀞🀞)

        Liked by 1 person

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