Feet and Fingers as I Get Older

As I get older, my feet and my fingers are no longer my own

It may be that I’m looking for problems, but it seems that I’m more often fumbling a cup or a bowl when I take it from its cupboard. Sometimes I can field it on the way down, but if it’s one I’m fond of, it’s more likely to smash on the floor. Those mugs that someone brought back from holiday one year that nobody ever drinks from are still grotesquely intact.

I can still thread a needle as long as I have my spectacles, so it isn’t that the hands are shaking. Maybe I always was clumsy. It’s true, I’ve never been good at tying tiny knots or working fine crafts such as embroidery.

But I remember taking pride in my ability to open any jar without gadgetary assistance. (Didn’t I say I’d start making up my own words when the thesaurus can’t find them for me?)

The difference now is undeniable; I can no longer open jars without one of those gizmos that helps you turn the lid (although on a bad day the wrists don’t want to allow that either).

I’m not sure why my grip now is so weak. It’s as if the flesh on my fingers has thinned and I’m trying to grip with bare bones

I have, however, discovered that breaking the vacuum seal with the end of a knife or thin spoon handle makes any new jar easy to open, which has gone some way to restoring my self-respect.

Walking the dogs gets ever more perilous on the days when my ankles or knees or hips threaten to give way. Things seem to have improved since I started with a simple exercise I found on the web. (Since you ask, it’s the one where you lift each leg in turn with feet turned out, like a penguin.) I know such exercises won’t knit crumbling joints, but it’s muscles that hold those joints together.

dog walker

Even on a good day, I am less sure-footed walking the droves, or around the lake (not that I ever was sure of foot…) and if I turn an ankle, swelling takes longer to subside.

Like the legs, my wrists improve with exercise. (Look up carpal tunnel exercises, if you’re interested. I’ve tried several – the scattergun approach – so can’t say which has helped most.)

Don’t assume – as I did – that such simple exercises can’t be effective. In front of the TV is a good time for them, since I’m not doing anything else with my hands and feet. (The crochet is on hold at the moment. One family can only use so many throws, scarves and ponchos.)

I never had expectations of growing old gracefully; I’ve never been graceful in my life, so why start now? But somehow I didn’t forsee the creaks and crunches of ageing applying to me.

In our youth (and ‘youth’ is an ever-expanding parameter) we’re immortal in our own eyes.

Until we’re not.

What changes do you hope to escape as you age?

What are you doing to avoid or delay them?

14 thoughts on “Feet and Fingers as I Get Older

  1. I think the one word that sums it up is Yup.
    WD40 might be the answer, I’m not too sure whether a friend who swears by it is an actual user or just taking the mickey.
    If I try it I will let you know, however, its main ingredient is fish oil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. Sometimes I have a sudden thought that I didn’t look in the mirror this morning – is my hair standing on end? (It’s short enough to do that now.)
      Standing up from the sofa without using my hands is my challenge. Keep taking the tablets… (And thanks for commenting.)

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  2. I frequently do exercise to help keep all my parts mobile but still find if I have been sitting for a while I have to just stand still and flex bits of me before I can move safely. I also find myself making strange noises when I do move, sometimes it’s the crunch or creak of bones, but more often it is strange grunting sounds out of my mouth. Aging is definitely not for the weak and feeble.

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    1. I definitely get crunching noises around my neck and waist (what waist?) when twisting bits of me. Strange that I can still hear those when other sounds are getting muffled.

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  3. I think I defy looking my age with my vivid hair colours and choice of clothing. This then makes up for having had both hips replaced 11 years ago, having fallen often, and needing to use a walker, walking stick, mobility scooter or wheelchair because of my ME. Each of those needed accepting as a necessity, reminding myself that many young people, children have to use them, and at least I got so far through life. Ignoring the neighbour with little brain, who said using a stick made me look old! As for dropping things, misjudging distances…seem to have done it for years. NOT when driving I hasten to add. I used to blame it on the way my daughter stacked her cupboards, mugs and glasses only seemed to fall out on me. I did miss being able to walk the dogs though.

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  4. Old age is something you don’t get any training or preparation for, except that of middle age. I was doing fine until I hit 60, and then 60 hit back; by the time I was 62 I was so under the influence of arthritis and osteoporosis that I had to give up work. After all that, the creeping of advancing infirmities has been relentless. I can’t stretch the full octave and a bit that I used to manage on the piano – in fact, due to having to wear varifocals I seldom play at all now. I drive automatic vehicles because the pain in my left knee got worse with depressing the clutch. It’s probably easier to list the joints that work than the ones that don’t creak as they do. But I have found a pair of rubber gloves invaluable. Especially for opening jars. Further than that; no comment.

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  5. I think old age creeps up on everyone. Keeping muscle strength is important and leisurely walks are good. At my age my hands, joints and spine are already busted and hand surgeries to repair nerves. So, I may not be an antique yet, my mobility and issues have been with me since youth and I know the feeling of ‘old age’

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