Getting Older and Aging

by Free Speech on November 9, 2010

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Fall Colors

    Recently, I experienced an unfortunate happening that woke me up to the reality that I’m not a spring chicken or a youngster anymore. I believe that as we age we forget that we can not do the things that we could do before in our lives and the lifestyles that we choose to follow as we get older. There are numerous variables that can affect our lifestyles and mobility like arthritis and various injuries as we age. I think that we keep doing things and continuing our lives until “something” happens which affects our activities and what we do as we age.

    I had one of these moments a few weeks ago that woke me up to the fact that I’m getting older and cannot do things in the outdoors as I once could. As we age, it often takes a rude awakening for one to realize that we can’t do things like we could twenty years ago. If you have followed my writings over the years, you may have heard me complain of my arthritis which I believe is directly tied into my earlier days of playing football and hockey. The arthritis has worsened over the years requiring a full shoulder replacement and the need to have another one in my other shoulder. But, I’ve been putting this off until next year or sometime in the not so distant future. Some people that I know have had good luck with joint replacements while others have had a tough time. I’m one of those that have had a tough time with rehab and have been putting off further surgery till later in my life.

      But, I had a painful and insightful experience a couple of weeks ago that has opened my eyes to getting older! All I’ve been writing about the last month is what a great time of the year it is with all the activities that there are for the sportsman and for those who enjoy the outdoors. There’s great opportunities for those who like to fish, hunt (about anything is open from deer to pheasants to ducks), bird watch the migrating ducks, geese, and songbirds, and enjoying one of the years prettiest and most enjoyable seasons. Though, I don’t hunt anymore I have a new Labrador puppy (Katie) who hunts for my friends and is a full of energy. She keeps me active and always on my toes.

      The fall that we’ve experienced this year has been wonderful with above normal temperatures and blue skies just the kind of weather that one cherishes before the cold and harshness of winter sets in. I’ve had a great fall and have been looking forward to some late season muskie and walleye fishing. The southern part of Wisconsin has a late muskie season which lasts till the end of December and should give anglers an added month of fishing for these big fish that are “bulking” up for the cold months that lie ahead. Last year was the first year of this added month for muskie fishing, but cold weather set in after Thanksgiving and the area lakes froze solid. This is why I was hoping for the milder weather to remain so that I could try fishing for December muskies.

       But, two weeks ago my little world came tumbling down and crashed to say the least.  I was throwing a training dummy for Katie in my backyard and the dummy (which one?) got caught in a tree. What did this middle-aged genius do, but get a lawn chair to stand on and a rake to throw at the dog dummy. Anyway, the chair fell over and I came crashing down on my right shoulder. Besides the shoulder, I also was hit in the head by the rake as I layed in my backyard unable to move. The pain was as bad as I have ever felt before and I was lucky enough to be able to crawl to neighbor’s house and be driven to Sauk Prairie Hospital for x-rays and doctor consultation. My x-rays showed a fracture and the emergency room doctor, Dr. Taylor, gave me some pain meds and sent me home with my arm in a sling and orders to keep it on ice for a few days. Later in the week, I saw Dr. Hebert who took more x-rays and confirmed the fracture. So, what looked like a promising fall with numerous outdoor adventures came tumbling down in my own backyard. No muskie fishing, no filming, no photography, and basically nothing left for me to do this fall but try to heal and mend.

   The moral of this story is don’t try to get something out of a tree when you’re alone and have to climb and don’t try to do something that you shouldn’t be doing at an older age. Be careful because bones get brittle as we age and doing things when you’re alone is wrong and looking for trouble when you should have help for doing certain things. I’m paying the price for my stupidly and missing out on the best outdoor time of the year for being in the outdoors! This column also took many more hours than normal because it’s difficult to type with one finger!  www.garyengbergoutdoors.com

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