09 Dec Cabbage Compress
Post menopause I hear phrases like ‘bone density’ with alarm. In my head I play back my mother’s mobility story, the uneven steps from orthotics to stick, then sticks, to walker and eventually wheelchair. I try to remember when it began. Over the last few months I have been experimenting with elastic stockings, ice, turmeric, magnesium, ginger, needles, massage, supplements and exercise. The word ‘arthritis’ has become a spectre. I find I am ignorant of the facts, the differences between osteo arthritis and rheumatoid. I vow to experiment with leg weights. I groan as I stand up from the comfort of the sofa. I fantasize about putting my feet up. Tonight I steal the cabbage leaves from tomorrow’s menu to prepare a compress. It is elegant in its simplicity. It does make me feel better, not least because I am taking action that increases my hope. My moods run in tandem with pain’s visits. Tonight I shall wear the delicate light green of crinkled cellulose.