Saturday, May 06, 2017

Crepito, Crepitas, Crepitat....





Ah, crepitus, he said, nodding sagely and listening to the snap, crackle and pop of my knees as he bent them back and forth. The doctor had sent me to physical therapy and the first thing I learned there was a new word.

Hmm, I thought. Crepitus. Maybe not entirely new.  The word had a vague, déjà vu ring to it.
Any relative of decrepit?  I wondered aloud. He laughed.

Actually yes, they both come from the Latin, crepitare.  Aha! And Sister Margaret thought she’d lost me at “ut.” I was fine with amo, amas, amat, declining verbs, struggling to translate(badly) the works of long dead ancients but crepitare? Not so much. 

But you’re not decrepit. I think he could have sounded a little bit more convincing…

Crepitus means rough, he went on.  It happens when cartilage wears down and causes the bones to grind together (the sound track of my life.) It’s quite common in sexagenarians, he continued blithely as mere quinquagenarians are wont to do.  Seriously? Was that supposed to be comforting? He was starting to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher. I struggled to focus, to tear my attention away from the devastation of being referred to as a sexagenarian, and focus on absorbing all of what he was saying.

 It didn’t work. I was already away, back on the beach at Lahinch, twelve years old, leaping like a Spring lamb from rock to rock, barefoot in the sunshine, glorying in my surefootedness, blissfully unaware that it would not always be so.
   
This should partially explain the large gap between posts – I’m reeling from the discovery that I am officially a sexagenarian. Had I thought about it I’d have realized it years ago but I didn’t. Denial perhaps? Or an aversion to labels? Not only that, but, in spite of the physical therapist’s assurances to the contrary, well on my way to decrepitude.

On a cheerier note we have a cactus plant in a pot that usually looks, well, decrepit. Until last week when it burst into glorious bloom.



Up next (in a couple of decades) - the lowdown on how it feels to be an octogenarian. Don't know about you, but I'm in no hurry. Meanwhile, if a decrepit looking plant like our prickly pear cactus can spontaneously burst forth in breathtaking blossoms, this sexagenarian blogger might still occasionally burst forth with a blog post, crepitus notwithstanding.

12 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Welcome back.
Smiling ruefully from the other side of the world. Currently I am as supple as a brick, and think of my sure-footed self. 'But that was in another country, and besides the wench is dead...

Ali Honey said...

Love the flower. I can't wait till you show the photo of yourself blossoming!
I am a Septuagenarian, so that's worse! Keep smiling my friend!

Marigold Jam said...

You always raise a smile in me when I read your posts. This one reminded me of when told years back that I had atrophy of my nether regions! Oh well as I always say "to live at all is miracle enough"!! Whilst I cannot say what it might be like to be an octogenarian I can tell you that being a septuagenarian is pretty good if one cuts one's coat according to one's cloth and doesn't expect to be able to leap sure footed here and there as one was wont to do more than half a century ago - how can I be old enough to have been here that long I wonder. Do keep your posts coming and even if you can't any longer crouch without grinding of bones then look up for your inspiration (no knee bending required). Oh and I meant to say isn't it strange that we can still remember Latin verbs from all those years ago but not what we had for lunch?

Sabine said...

As an almost sexagenarian, who when much younger once walked along Lahinch beach - and hopped quickly out of the freezing Atlantic, I salute you. Could try that in Latin but what the heck.
We are all slowly disintegrating. Why it does come as a surprise to me, I'll never understand.
Lovely flower.

Susan Kane said...

I qualified for Medicare last December, and it was a shock to my system. Can't be happening, I thought.

My bones are also making noise. Result of living an active life, which was fabulous.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

A sexagenarian , eh? Enjoy !
Creaky knees ? Well , one good thing is that , as you get older , the noise gets drowned out by all the other joints protesting , too.
And that sort of involuntary 'Poof' , when you stand up .It's possibly why we get slightly deafer each year ...
There is one consolation , though . We also become omniscient .

dianne said...

when i stand up and all those snap, crackle, pops shout to the World, i sing out "Rice Krispies" ... my grandbabies don't get it, but that's cuz they think that Rice Krispies only come in treats and not in a cereal box...

Pam said...

I too am a sexagenarian, though I have to say it sounds slightly sleazy. I've just come across a postcard I wrote home from somewhere I went, oh, I thought about 3 years ago, and it's dated 2005. So, 12 years ago. And in another brief 12 years I shall be nearly 78. Argh. Never mind crackly knees; I hear the Grim Reaper at the door...

I like to be cheerful.

Colette said...

Yes, aging wouldn't be all that bad if one didn't have to slowly disintegrate in the process. I am also a sexagenarian. I feel like I turned my back for a minute, and there it was. My 60's. Sheesh.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I had to look it up to discover I'm a quinquagenarian. At least for the next five years. Even so, my joints still crackle and pop at times.

Molly Bon said...


EC - Well I guess I'm happy to have such cheerful memories of leaping over rocks. Each decade has its challenges and its rewards.

Ali - I'm an optimist, most of the time, so I'm still smiling. I'm still here, creaky knees and all. There are certainly much worse problems a sexagenarian could have!

Marigold - I like that " cutting one's coat according to one's cloth." Good advice!

Sabine - If the choice were to have one's body fall apart or one's mind I think I'd
prefer (for want of a better word!) the former....

S K - Nice to look back and be able to say "fabulous!" Not only that - it's still pretty good, noisy bones notwithstanding.

S&S - I hadn't even thought of deafness drowning out the noise! Nice to be able to see the silver linings!

Dianne - I haven't been struck with omniscience yet, but things certainly bother me much less as I get older.

Pam - As the OC remarked recently, not every culture thinks "May you live forever" is blessing!



Molly Bon said...


Colette - I can remember as though it were yesterday (it wasn't!)writing the words "Tomorrow I will be fifty!" it seemed like I should feel older but I felt the same as when I was forty nine, even much the same as I did when I was thirty nine. And I still don't feel as old as I used to think I would at this age! Maybe we just are who we are and it has very little to do with numbers....

SAW - It is a mouthful isn't it! maybe a little WD40 is called for...