Feeling old? a counter-intuitive prescription

I was old again 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.

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.(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.) 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.

Life tips for myself

  • Don’t stay too long in the same position, whether lying, sitting or standing.
  • Drink enough water and not too many coffees.
  • 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, I don’t get so 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.

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.

  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.

  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.

  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?

  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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