I have felt, for a number of years, extraordinarily blessed because I have never suffered chronic pains. I'm well into my "mature years" and finally some chronic old age pain has surfaced. It's nothing terrible, just a knee that is approaching the bone-on-bone stage of existence where the meniscus or pad that keeps the bones from rubbing against each other has warn down and now allows the inside edges of my leg bones to begin grinding against each other. In the future all of the pad will cease to do it's job and I will creak as I walk.
The pain itself is nothing intense; on a scale of 1 to 10 it never goes above a 4 and I can generally walk it down to a one. The problem is the nighttime when any little pain can so easily disturb sleep. Now I am limited to only a couple of sleeping positions where it doesn't cause me too much discomfort and I can fall asleep. 4 months ago I was sleeping soundly, now I'm not. Bummer.
So I have now begun to take, Cosamine ( over the counter) and Aleve at my orthopedist' suggestion. It seems to be helping but I hate having to take any pills/meds on a daily basis and have avoided it until now.
All of this is a "heads up" pointing towards a future with more limitations. The modern surgical solution is a knee replacement, some friends of mine have certainly experienced great benefit from knee/hip replacements but I hope to avoid that option as long as I can.
So I continue to ride the bike as long and hard as I can. Surprisingly the riding motion seems not to bother the knee though I'm careful to refrain from hard accelerations which could lead to ligament strains or tears. My friends assure me that when the time comes to give up the racing bike I'll look just fine on a 3 wheeler with a metal basket on the front to hold the groceries. (Yes, those are the kinds of friends I have - dryly.)
But I have recently joined a gym (not yet open) and am going to try lap swimming plus other things to keep me invigorated and young.
I am grateful, I can still work ( I have a job that requires no physical labor ) and my pains are minimal. But in the far distance I can sense the final horizon.
I am determined, I WILL be thankful to the Living God who has with great patience granted me much grace over the years. So let the aging process continue; tomorrow I start searching Craigslist for a 3 wheeler with an aerodynamic basket in which to store the groceries.
It's all good.