. . as in disabled, handicapped, weakened, incapacitated – this getting older thing is really pissing me off! Before you jump in with, ‘Alan, mind your bloody language!’ I’d better explain.
When J and I got back into our early morning track-pounding routine a couple of weeks back, we had done barely four days before my knobbly knee felt utterly knackered! Days of rest made no difference – walking, standing, sitting, lying down, the discomfort got to be intolerable. Trust me, I do not do stoicism in the face of agony! This same knee had surgery five years ago when the cartilage split like sliced bread so I thought ‘Here we go again!’
Today it was an early appointment with my favourite bone surgeon before he sent me off to do the rounds of blood-suckers, radio-active ray gun wielders and resonating magnetic photographers. I have to admit that it is all pretty efficient and virtually instantaneous. Makes me glad I live in Turkey – (assuming it doesn’t get postponed, my sister will have waited 16 months for a second hip replacement in the UK!) By the afternoon we were back with ‘Bones’ for the prognosis – ‘I remember your knee. Look, it is still perfect!’ he proclaimed proudly. ‘No need for operation. You have crystals of uric acid in your knee joint – very painful!’
Now, uric acid was something that we ‘Toms’ in the British army used to good advantage for breaking in new boots.
This from some obscure source: “The traditional method of ‘breaking in’ or softening boots was to apply polish without buffing, urinate in them just before lights out, and leave them overnight. They were then worn the next day and the process worked wonders on the hardest leather. The routine was repeated until the leather was sufficiently softened.” The boots ponged for a bit and the flies could be a nuisance but the leather was like a baby’s bottom! I mean, in boots I get, but in my knee??
Don’t I bloody-well know that!
‘I forget English name’, continued ‘Bones’. Sounds like bloody gout I mumbled. ‘Yes! Yes!’ he exclaimed, ‘You have gout! I will write prescriptions and I want you to have complete, 100% protein-free diet and come back in one week. You will see, pain will be gone!’
Bloody hell! I mean, come on, gout is what old men get in their big toe for gawd’s sake! Gout! At my age!
Alan Fenn, (knackered)