Grumpy old man

Reflecting back over the last few weeks in PR, I have been told on numerous times "to pace myself". Yet I think that I do a good job of pacing by the end of the session's 10 min walk, I am moderately out of breath and cannot go another step due to the pain from the claudication in my legs, so surely I have judged it just right. I admit that my son calls me a "power walker", the therapist has to jog occasionally to keep up with me, but that is just the way I am, I have always walked fast. I have a problem with coming to terms with the fact that I am getting older, so I'm told.

Do we have to slow down when we get older? is it mandatory? I don't feel any older inside my head. I will still TRY to run to catch a bus, only to find that I am sob and unable speak to the driver to pay for the journey. My reflexes are still razor sharp, I can still catch a glass before it hits the floor, that gets knocked of a table by my elbow.

How does one grow old gracefully when you don't feel old? or is this another of those Urban Legends perpetuated by those who are younger. Whatever happened to, "you are as young as you feel"?

Coming to terms with COPD was one thing but this getting older business is a whole new ball game.....and I don't understand the rules!

25 Replies

  • do what ever you can and what makes you happy , my dad is 82 he has bad asthma and copd he still walks and go mile to get his paper , will be up a ladder on the roof his last big thing he been doing is making a dove cote then carried up a ladder and fixed in a big tree how he managed to get it up they on his own I haven't work out ,

  • Hi Ya 2Greys

    it's not compulsory to grow old....but if you have to ...grow old Disgracefully .

    Be like me...forever's such fun !!

    I still have razor sharp reflexes catching a glass before it hits the floor, especially if it has some wine left in it.


  • shouldn't think its out your hand long enough to knock over

  • I talk to my animals too John, Cinders and Sinbad. Sinbad talks back prolifically, noisy blighter doesn't shut up, if he's not talking, he is whistling or banging about. Cinders marches about the floor barking like a dog or quaking like a duck.

  • Hi 2greys

    What are cinders and Sinbad ?


  • They sound like birds to me Velvet :)

  • Spot on. They are African Grey Parrots, had them for 31 years now, part of the family.

  • How lovely 2greys.

  • 😂😂😂 XXX

  • I think I'll join your "19's club" Velvet, that appeals to my "head's lifestyle", I just hope my body can keep up with my head.

  • I'm with Velvet on this one. If you have to grow old then grow old's the only way to go! Be yourself, not what people tell you you should be, and if you want to walk fast......go for it.

  • Hello 2greys,

    Malcolm's right..... age is unimportant as long as most things are working ok. I'm enjoying being one of the older generation immensely, because I only have moderate copd and can go for our lovely walks, work in my garden and enjoy the fresh air. I cannot carry heavy shopping but I have it all delivered anyway. I've disposed of nearly all my thousands of books, all my clutter, apart from fresh clutter I have gathered this year. I don't dwell on what I can't do, but absolutely relish what I can. There are no rules. We just are.

    Belonging to H.U. fills me with optimism for the future.......... I am never alone here for long, and everyone is so very positive:-)

    As long as you are keeping well, exercising, eating the right foods, just live as you want to live:-)

  • I think we both suffer with the same condition my head refuses to catch up with the age of my body, my head is saying 21 my body is say quite a few years older.

    My mom had COPD and walked faster than me she was like Linford Christy on speed and would constantly be looking back to see where I was.

    Take your time no rush to get old

  • I'm sorry 2greys to take your post a bit seriously. The thing is that you're not old, you're still working and still able to do many of the things you want to do. You have a great positive attitude which helps enormously. There's no reason to behave as though you're old and when there is you can do it as disgracefully as you chose!

    There are however friends on this site who are a lot younger than you with different conditions who are more ill, struggling a lot more and who appear to be 'old', even though they're not. Can I suggest that if you're being told to pace yourself that it has little to do with your age and more to do with managing your COPD?

    You can be and behave as young as you feel for as long as your body can keep up, and that's the issue we all struggle with.

    Be young! 🙂 Sue x

  • I do fully appreciate that there people worse off than me, by a mile and are to be commended for their courage and fortitude. I would never suggest otherwise.

    I am lucky that I am strong enough, physically, to power through being breathless nor be frightened to get breathless in the first place. I am still working, only due to being self employed, being my own boss and I can't be dismissed or retired off. I also have two employees who depend on me and neither of them would likely be able to get other employment with one being 66 like me and the other is 56.

    I very nearly gave it all up when I was first diagnosed, but was fortunate, through the Internet, to discover that staying active was important. I do find that everything I do now takes a huge effort but I fight through it. 7 months down the line I still don't regret my decision at all. I still enjoy my work which helps too. I quite often spend the entire working day moderately out of breath, which is extremely exhausting and requires an early night.

    I am also unwilling to let the SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) and 10 years my junior, from having to become the breadwinner. That is not going to happen either. One does what one has to do and have determination to see it through, that is the nature of responsibility.

    I might sound like my achievements come easily to me, but they don't, far from it. What does come easy for me is being able to shrug off that "I can't be bothered today feeling". Even through the extreme exacerbation, that caused so much damage to my lungs, I had continued to work. I have only had 2 days off sick, in my 35 years of being self employed and that was when I accidentally cut the end of my finger off 14 years ago. Work is a large, important, chunk of my life, I would also go round the twist without it.

    I think perhaps it is probable that the therapists are used to patients being in a poorer physical state of fitness than myself (this was in fact mentioned during my original assessment). I exercise to the required moderately breathless level, which can also be a cause of confusion. The level of what I call being moderately breathless another would maybe call it as being severe, these levels are purely self decided by each individual. All as clear as mud I think.

  • Hoping that you keep well, 2greys. x

  • Seems to me that when no longer young, and have little oxygen reserve besides, moving (and speaking) slowly and carefully lends dignity to one's aspect . . .

  • Love your post, I decided that growing old can be great fun! I can flirt with all the young good looking fellas now and they don't take me seriously.... and I often get a kiss and a hug. I stuck my tongue out in town at a bus driver who wouldn't stop for me. I sit in the front seat on the bus in the elderly and disabled seats and gab to anyone who looks interesting.

    Growing old disgracefully is our compensation for being old f....ts and for the mirror being our enemy. :) x

  • Doing moderate exercise seems to keep me going. I do get out of breath if I hurry, but stop and wait until I can breathe again.

    As for being old, men do seem to get distinguished while us ladies become invisible. I find that annoying.

    I like to wear fashionable clothes and have my hair done regularly, even through it is falling out rather a lot.

    Why not buy yourself a bright red track suit and do as much as you are able. No need to over do it.

  • Hi - I know what you mean about the 'pace yourself' mantra at PR. I felt pretty much the same way as you so went along with what the nurses wanted at PR but did my own thing once I was out of there. For me the best thing I gained from PR was PLB (Pursed Lip Breathing) which enabled me to walk faster and further than I could before. I was Fev1 29% (post ventolin) at diagnosis 9 years ago, which climbed to 40% over the following year ( after a year smoke free and on meds + the oxygen I needed + daily treadmill and outdoor walking). Another 5 or 6 years after that I had raised my Fev1 to 46% - this was with daily walks and then adding swimming. I still need the oxygen but my breathing is much better and stronger. Obviously you will need to take any cardiovascular problems into consideration, but other than that go for it! I don't know if the following will be of any interest to you but if you want to have a look here's my blog - if you scroll down to the older articles you will find ones on my doing the Great North Run (speedwalked), swimming etc and also a couple of articles on others in the UK who have really gone for the exercise. By the way, when I was diagnosed I could barely walk 10 metres and got extremely breathless just trying to change position in bed. Keep in mind that with COPD you really are the captain of your own ship - the meds do little more than ease our breathing slightly - any real progress, our degree of breathlessness, mobility etc is down to ourselves - i really is 'YOUR life, in YOUR hands'. Good luck!

    My blog:

    Or if you don't want to scroll through it all, these will take you straight to:

    Swimming, including my improved fev1 and fvc figures


    Andy Barker walks Malvern Way

  • I left P R because they told me to slow down !

    Just happened to be a lot of older people & people who were disabled on oxygen etc.

    Nobody's fault but didn't help me as was slowing my walking pace down, I too walk quite fast even though I have advanced copd & emphysema.

    My son got me a fitbit& now I walk loads, if weather bad I do my Jane Fond dvd 'walk out'

    Happy Christmas to all xxx

  • There are no rules, yes be sensible and pace yourself as best as you can. You know your body, and like mine, your mind and reactions are still sharp. I think, probably, out of care, folk tend to think the elderly should now be conforming to the image of what they imagine the older person should do.

    I am often told" slow down,... oh you can't do that,.... well unfortunately for them I can & will.

    Just go with life, follow the rules that fit the quality of life that makes you happy.

    Keep in touch with medics and do what needs. I do, but it's hard to accept the slower pace of life.

    And l' m a good ten years older than you.

  • move how you feel and what is normal for you--Many of us just find ourselves going slower and what took and= hour now takes 2plus--Don't worry about it--you are you and you are fine the way you are--lucky person you!!! Love MmeT

  • There are no rules ,just kicking back when possible , l'm told off often.

  • Some of us just aren't cut out to be 'pace' ourselves. I prefer to go all out, take a break if I need to or as others say, pursed lip breathing keeps you going further.

    go for it I say. I want a trampette for Christmas

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