Elder decline starts at birth.
We are not aware we are living it until we start to notice our friends with elder decline. At age 50 you are still active enough and at a level of functionally fluid motion that you notice nothing has changed until your adolescent child says, “Dad, Why do you sigh a lot, when you get up?”
“Well, I don’t!” ends your conversation, but leaves a question. “When did I start to sigh?”
Standing from a sitting position has always been a non-conscious event. You just stand up. Getting up from laying on the floor working on the car or the kitchen sink was always fluid motion, you just got up. Kneeling in the garden was also always a non-conscious, fluid motion event, you knelt down, planted the tomato plant, pulled the weeds from the row and you just stood up…
Until the day of rebellion came, you started the motion with the thrust of your hips to stand and the stand wouldn’t happen. You braced with both arms and pushed on the arm rests of the chair and you slowly raised from the chair to stand. “I was just tired.” Was your first excuse.
On the floor it was a different story, you threw your leg to leverage the move to stand and your hips refused to rise. Slowly you crawled to the counter and used the extra strength of your arms to help your weak legs lift your body to a standing position. Your second excuse was lame at best, “I just got a hitch in my get-a-long laying in that unusual position on the floor.”
The garden was the revelation moment! I’ve been through my garden on my knees a thousand times. Here I am in the middle of the garden and I can’t stand up! I would look like a fool crawling all the way to the end of the row, out of the garden, through the grass to the nearest tree. But crawl I do, I can’t stand, no matter how I try. Crawling encourages me that nothing is wrong with my body.
I found my hoe laying beside the squash. I was able to use the hoe like a staff and just used my arms and legs together to lift up and stand. Then, walking was no problem, and I put the garden crawl out of my mind.
Sitting at the restaurant, I went to get up, there were no arms on the chair, so I used the table to help me stand by pushing down. The table tilted, the water spilled, as the glass hit the floor. My son helped me lift to a stand and I knew I was going to ask my doctor, “What is going on with my ability to stand?”
“Well”, the seasoned sage of 34 with a fresh PhD, expounded, “you know you are getting on up there…
Maybe you need to exercise more.”
After months of the gym, a bicycle and walks in the mall everyday, I go for the garden, prepared with a chair, that nobody would notice, I thought…
I enjoy the garden, it’s not work it’s therapy, for the mind, body and the collection of vitamin D.
Feeling great and confident I weeded my way, away from the chair, without noticing. Thirsty, I started to get up and found my “get up and go had got up and went”! I was stranded on my knees again! Humbly, I turned around and crawled back to the chair. I sat like I was resting knowing my kids weren’t watching but maybe the neighbor was. I didn’t want to appear the fool.
Finally, I sprung to get up and only raised a couple of inches then promptly plopped back down. Twisting, I grabbed the back of the chair to push up, the legs sank into the soft dirt, the folding chair collapsed and I heard my back pop as, folding chair, old getting up there, me, and the tomato plant became one, as I nosed into the sand.
I was instantly irate as I sat in the sand unfolding the chair so I could stand behind it and use it as a “staff” to help me rise to my feet. I left the chair in the garden and limped back to the house with rotated hips.
The next day I asked a long-time friend who had been my chiropractor for years, “Doc, what gives? I ‘m looking like I need a walker or cane. But it’s only when I need to get up from a sitting position or heaven help if I need to get up from the floor!”
His answer was quick and without Latin. I didn’t need an interpreter to understand. He said, “Your paralysis seems to be because of limited nerve messages getting to your four major prime mover muscles. Those two in your legs (one on each side) and two in your arms, (one on each side). First we can test these four motor muscles for strength.”
I failed all four test, I was weaker than a child.
The doctor said, “Even neural surgeons can’t explain nerve, blockage, nerve damage or nerve repair, so it is no wonder they would tell you that you are getting old, just deal with it.”
I couldn’t wait for the long answer, so I said, “Doc is my problem permanent, I did all the exercise things?”
He smiled and said “Exercise will never restore a pinched nerve! We need to get the electricity flowing back to your major motor nerves and you’ll be much better!”
“Now that we know why you can’t rise on your own, let’s find the problem. Without an x ray I would guess you had a prior spinal injury, bone spurs or disc degeneration that has slowly pinched off these nerves causing you to have no strength.”
“But doc, I don’t feel any pain, how can it be my back or neck?”
The doctor was patient with my impatience, he continued, “ There are no nerves inside the spinal cord to sense pain, similar to you can have a cavity without pain in your tooth. All that you will notice is what you have now, ‘weakness’.”
“Doc, I’m an embarrassed basket case, can you help or am I headed for the rocking chair for good with this Elder Decline?” I lamented in surrender…
My friend, the doctor, smiled and said, “You are one of the fortunate ones that has many productive unassisted rises left in you. Dave, you are not plagued with Elder Decline, you have a condition of limited nerve transmission. Your muscles are good, your nerves are good, we just need to open the pathways of the nerve to let the full message get back to your muscles.
We’ll find your nerve restrictions, open the flow and you will rise again!”
1. Find a qualified chiropractor with an x-ray knowledge base that can read your x-ray and adjust accordingly,
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Call a specialist who knows what Elder Decline is and how to treat it. Rindal Chiropractic, for both 360 424 1066.