I'm mid-60s and have always struggled with my weight. I have arthritis in my wrists and ankles and also knees, probably part of my genetic inheritance from my mum's side of the family and also probably due to some years spent nursing. I do Pilates and try to keep stretching and doing yoga, but what the menopause and the arthritis, I'm nowhere near as flexible or quick-moving as I used to be and I'm also now a size 16-18. My hair's thinning, too, just as my mum's did, and there are days when I limp painfully because of the arthritis in my ankle. I'm having physio and see an osteopath, but there are days when I'm not up for walking more than a mile or so.
He, on the other hand, has always struggled to keep weight on, can eat and drink whatever he wants and still has the wiry, youthful body of someone in their late 30s. And a full head of thick hair. He was swimming earlier this year and walking back up the beach from the sea in his swimming shorts and a woman I know vaguely said to me 'Oh, I didn't know you had a son.' And then, as he got closer, she blushed and said 'Oh, it's your husband.' She asked me if he was a professional athlete. No, he's not. And then when he came up to us she made a point of telling him how good he looked in his swim shorts.
In the heatwave recently my feet swelled up slightly and he made a big fuss about it and suggested I needed medical attention. His own feet were as they always are - slender and muscular. He also made a comment about a varicose vein that's made an appearance on the back of my leg. I have another on my thigh that he's told me I need to see a doctor about. I've explained that I'd need to go private to get my veins done.
And today, while I was walking barefoot across the living room, he did a big 'What's going on with the blue veins around the arch of your foot?' number — and he took his socks off to show me he didn't have any.
How do you explain to a husband who's enjoyed fabulous health all his life and has rarely seen a doctor that you are ageing relatively normally and that swollen feet when it's hot, fairly minor varicose veins and other physical changes are the reality for a lot of women as we age?
MargotLedbetter Tue 11-Jul-23 17:27:21
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