Aging takes time, and a whole lot of laughter.

“It could be a stress fracture,” the doctor says. “But it’s most likely arthritis.”

He presses on the swollen and inflamed part on the top of my foot. Not so gently I might add.

I pull my foot away.

“Ouch!” I exclaim, before adding kind of jokingly. Kind of not. “I’m not old enough for it to be arthritis.”

He doesn’t sense my ‘funny’. He looks at me. Looks at the computer monitor where my file is open. I imagine my date of birth flashing at him in big red numbers, a sireen blaring somewhere in his head. Age Alert! Age Alert!

He quickly does the math and says, “Yes you are.”

Thanks. I feel so much better.

He does tell me arthritis can happen no matter how old you are, but risk increases with age. Mostly because the soft tissue between the joints wears down with use.

“But I’m not that old!” I exclaim. I’ve checked the data. Sixty-five is the average age for symptoms. I’m not that old.

He looks at me. At my chart, again and replies. “And you’re not that young.”

Yup. I feel so much better.

I went to the doctor yesterday to have my foot examined. I’ve been struggling with lack of sleep for the past few days. It’s been hurting so much it’s been keeping me awake.

I’ve tried ice, heat, stretching, coddling, moaning and groaning. Just about everything I could think of but mostly, I was trying to ignore it in the hopes it would just go away. Time, that wonderful healer of break-ups and other heart aches was not making it feel any better. I decided to have it looked at.

The doctor gave me a requisition for an x-ray and a prescription for an anti-inflammatory cream.

“I love this stuff!” the pharmacist exclaims as she hands me my filled prescription. “The more you rub it in, the better the absorption. The friction heats it up.” I think she might have winked as she said it. I know she was smiling. Big.

She shows me the contents of the little white jar filled with buttery yellow ointment.

“I like to rub it all over my body,” she tells me. Again with the laughter and wink. She looks at me intently. “You know at our age anything that keeps the joints running smooth is a good idea.”

I pretend to laugh with her and take the container. “Does the funny bone get arthritis?” I ask. “Because I’m not finding this part of the journey all that funny. I’m kind of finding it makes me a bit grouchy.”

“Oh don’t let it do that!” she exclaims. “Laughter really is the best medicine.”


I hobble away and leave the drugstore, climb into my car and drive home.

Beaumont greets me at the door, his entire body quivering with the joy of having someone come home.

Take me to the park! Take me to the park! he says (or so I imagine he’s saying) pushing his body up against me, tapping his head against my hands, insisting I pet him as I try to get through the door.

I’m feeling kind of sorry for myself and mostly try to ignore him.

I lay down on the bed. Rub the ointment into my foot and the excess into my hands, just the way the pharmacist told me to do.

Beaumont jumps up and lays on top of me, placing his head on my shoulder, looking at me with pleading eyes.

Okay. Okay, I tell him. We’ll go.

He leaps off the bed in one giant bound. I envy his youthful joints and energy.

I find a pair of shoes that don’t press against the sore point on  my foot and we drive off to the park.

Outside in the fresh air, throwing the ball for Beau, feeling the softness of the summer evening’s breeze against my face I finally accept the truth of the pharmacist’s advice.

Laughter truly is the best medicine.

I can’t change my age, but I sure can change my attitude.

I laugh at myself, shake off my self-pity and cast it to the wind.

I throw the ball again for Beau and laugh out loud as he races in circles trying to catch it as it bounces on the grass.

Aging, I decide, is a journey best taken with a good dose of humour.


Photo by Alex Harvey on Unsplash


16 thoughts on “Aging takes time, and a whole lot of laughter.

  1. any journey is best taken with good company – and, since our ‘self’ seems to go everywhere we go, we’ll have a lot more fun if somebody is laughing …

    I can relate to your wincing at the doctor’s words; I remember my own when the word was ‘gout’ … but now I take a pill for that and manage my diet better – and when my toe hurts, I don’t say I’m limping from gout – I tell people I’ve got some arthritis … and they smile knowingly ..

    it is ALL in our heads

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes. I too am finding the journey to ageing interesting. But I’ve been kind of a health detective my whole life and so when legs started to hurt when I walked and my doctor said, “well you aren’t getting any younger” (Grrrr!) I decided to figure it out myself. I do lots of things now that I didn’t do before and my legs get better every day. I take a bath in Dead Sea Salts. The unique minerals absorb into your body and a good many of our ageing problems are caused by lack of minerals. And chronic dehydration. I sprinkle Himalayan pink salt into my sauces. I read a little about CBD oil – trying that too. Remembering to take my vitamins. And I’m still working – physical things like setting up tents and tables and dragging my jewelry from show to show. And hosting guests at my AirBnB studio at my house. I’ll be 77 next month and going strong!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Louise, you know that “old adage” – aging gracefully! Well the person who coined it is probably a ” young thing” and thought it would make us mature folk feel a lot better with a diplomatic, allegedly tactfully adage. Nevertheless, I would like to have that individual experience the aches and pains of aging. Frankly, there is nothing graceful about it. We either suck it up or complain all the way to the end!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Some of us get arthritis young, some of us like me I have had arthritis in my right knee since I was in my 30’s yeah 30’s what the hell is with that. My mum is riddled with it runs the length of her spine and her knees and hips and of course her fingers all that means a lot of pain

    Liked by 1 person

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