There are many joys to getting older, your children need less picking up, you’re more comfortable in your skin, you saw Tom Baker’s Dr Who episodes as they were freshly minted, you are more able to express irritation to those in need of correcting. One of the less appealing aspects is the slow degradation of your body. This year I’ve twisted my knee, hurt my back and been banned from running by three different health professionals. And now, to cap it all off, there’s the Sprained Ankle.
Once upon a time if I had careened down a snow covered hill and attempted an elegant stop beside my prostrate husband I a) would possibly have actually stopped or b) if I had cartwheeled over him I’d be able to leap up with a merry laugh and been on my way. Not so for this over forty mother of three. Months of physio followed, including some stuff that included standing on one foot on a cushion throwing a rubber ball at a cupboard door and occasionally falling over that I’m pretty sure my physio invented purely to amuse herself and possibly put on YouTube.
Four months later it’s still swollen and painful. That means X-rays and MRI scans and an escalation to a sports doctor. One of the other peculiar things about aging is that medical professionals get younger. This one I’ve drawn has just done his Achilles playing footy, so understands my angst about not being able to exercise – I’ve put a lot of work into getting fit – and is a serious young man with a straight brow that rests gently on his eyelashes. His great idea, after quite a lot of muttering over my scans and pointing out all the white bits, is to plunge five millilitres of cortisone into my ankle joint with an enormous hypodermic needle and to confine me to an ankle brace for one month. In case you think that’s something petite involving whalebone and a touch of French lace, here’s a picture
I’m to wear it continuously except for sleeping, showering, swimming and spin class. And, presumably, except for washing it, though perhaps wearing it in the shower might take care of that. I have to go down steps sideways. I’m looking enviously at elderly ladies zooming past on their Zimmer frames. If you see me soon without a glass of champagne in my hand, please procure one for me immediately, it’s going to be a tough month.