Thursday, July 3, 2014

Entering Decrepitude

This week I went to the doctor for a check-up for the first time in several years. 

"I'm a poor old man, my sight is sore, my ears are gnarled, my legs are old and bent," I told her.  *

"Optometrist, audiologist,..." she said, and... "put your hand here," and placed my hand on top of my kneecap while I swung my leg. She didn't even bother to check it first herself.  

"Feel that crackly stuff?" she said. "Arthritis!"

I guess I turned pale or something because she patted me and said, "You came by it honorably." In other words, I made it past fifty.

She wrote me a referral to PT for "crepitus" in my creaky knees.

Creptitus? I thought. Is that related to decrepit

It is.
 decrepit: from de (down) + crepitus, past participle of crepare "to crack, break" (see raven)


raven: . . . from Old English hroc, "rook", from PIE  root *ker- (2), imitative of harsh sounds (cognates: Latin crepare "to creak"...) 

I felt pretty low for a couple days. But what're you gonna do?
Consider the ravens!
"...for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?"
--Luke 12:24 (King James Bible)

I don't know, how much better am I than a fowl?

At any rate, at midlife it seems more fitting to consider the ravens than the lilies of the field. 

P.S. Tests show my hearing is normal. I can hear my knees creak just fine.
 * from Monty Python's Life of Brian. But you knew that, right?


Zhoen said...

I can hear my knees when I go up or down stairs, or if I just stand and bend them.

Still beats the crepitus when I have to prep an arm or leg with a broken bone. Even when I know they are fully anesthetized, that is just the most disturbing sound/feeling.

Zhoen said...

Oh, and this.

Michael Leddy said...

My wife Elaine says "You're only as old as your knees." Can fish oil help?

When I started reading, I thought that "crepitus" was a joke. It sounds like something from The Simpsons.

Fresca said...

ZHOEN: Oh, talk about creepy! The sound of broken bones. Shudder...

Thanks for " Star Trek Meets Monty Python"!

MICHAEL: Fish oil? injected into my knees, like the Tin Man? :)

Let's see...
Mayo Clinic says "Some preliminary studies have found that fish oil supplements may reduce rheumatoid arthritis pain and stiffness."

But this is osteoarthritis, plain old wear and tear. Not sure about that, but anything that helps oil the joints...
And, yeah, fish oil and other foods with omega 3 fats are good for all sorts of things.
(I like walnuts for Omega 3 fats.)

I'd never heard "crepitus" either!