Feeling old? a counter-intuitive prescription

I was old for a couple of months this year, and then I stopped.

Old age started abruptly, out of the blue. I began feeling tired every day and worrying in a boring way about a work overload. Something was wrong.

One day I had been reading after lunch in the sun. Then it was time to get back to work.

But no. I felt tired—again. Tired? How daft was that? I’d already been resting like a dear old Methuselah for the last half hour or more. (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a fascinating book with an onion of a story, hard to stop reading. It’s Anthony Marra’s first novel, set in Chechnya, 2004.)

I drew the logical conclusion, or so I thought: maybe it’s time I began to work less, relax more. So I stayed in the chair and read another chapter. By the time I finished, my hands were shaking: I was more tired, not less.

Off to the GP to be diagnosed with a harmless little condition that is, I’m told, almost universal after a certain age: postural hypotension.

Prescription: don’t stay too long in the same position, whether lying, sitting or standing. Drink enough water and a reasonable number of coffees. (I can handle that.)

And when you feel tired, don’t just sit there — move!  Get that blood pumping again.

Knowledge is power. Now I know what to do, so I don’t get tired. I’m back to normal, which is full of beans.

Work overload? Bring it on. That’s normal too, and no reason to worry.

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16 thoughts on “Feeling old? a counter-intuitive prescription

  1. I’ve been suffering with a severe 3 p.m. slump. I know that’s when your sugar level drops but something sweet doesn’t fix it. Nor does more liquids. What did I really crave? A nice long nap. I’m going to check with my doc because I thought my iron level was low (or something was low besides my energy!). I am glad you have your fix. I will try moving more when it comes on and see if that helps.

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  2. You delight me when you talk about your health issues and what you discovered about dealing with them. I found this piece fascinating. I’m quite sure my husband is suffering from postural hypotension, and I intend to share this post with him ASAP. I think he’ll take it much better coming from you than from me.

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  3. I had postural hypotension badly when I was a child, Rachel, and still have it a bit, but it doesn’t make me tired. It makes me feel faint if I reach up high or bend down low. I’m okay if I then stand or sit for a bit and wait for it to pass off. I hope you are adjusting to it.

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  4. Thank you for the information. Now, when I’m working from home, instead of taking a three-hour nap (that totally throws off my work schedule and my life), I’ll try to make myself take the dog for a walk. In my case, it’s going to come down to self-discipline. I’m glad you recovered from old age. Who knew it was a curable condition?

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  5. Laughing and nodding my head. So glad you found my blog Roughwighting, and I in turn have found your delightful presence here. Never heard of postural hypotension, but I’m sure I’ve experienced it. Most days, I wake up with so much energy I feel like I’m 20, only better because I have so many great thoughts/memories/joys in my head. That’s why I begin my day at 5 a.m. – use up that energy while it’s stored and ready to be used as fuel. But yes, by 3, I’m ready for a nap (but I can’t/don’t nap). I find that doing jumping jacks, walking, standing in yogic tree position, drinking a tall glass of sparkling water, and laughing at something (usually my guy, or a grandkid or two) gets me enough energy to last me until at least 7 p.m. 🙂

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