Big Baby

By: pbcmedia

Jun 14 2010

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Aging, ANXIETY 2.0, Arthritis, Authors, Blessings and Curses, Caregiving


Focal Length:35mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

I’m in the midst of a mild arthritis spell.  The doctor told me that on a scale of 1-10, my arthritis limitations are minor you big baby they only rated a 2 on his lifestyle interference scale.  OK, he didn’t say “big baby”.

His scale doesn’t prevent me from looking at the wider world moving easily, however.

I remember my wheelchair bound mother asking me to straighten a picture hanging on the wall and how she watched me get up and cross the room and then return back to my chair with a look of longing and, yes, envy.

Big Baby your day is coming she would say.  Ok, she didn’t say “big baby”.

Here is the entire quote from “The Infinities” by John Banville that I borrowed a sentence from in yesterday’s post.  He is an Irish writer who rates 10 (on a scale of 1-10) of those deserving to have “Writer” on their passport.

OF THE THINGS we fashioned for them that they might be comforted, dawn is the one that works.  When darkness sifts from the air like fine soft soot and light spreads slowly out of the east then all but the most wretched of humankind rally.  It is a spectacle we immortals enjoy, this minor daily resurrection, often we we will gather at the ramparts of the clouds and gaze down upon them, our little ones, as they bestir themselves to welcome the new day.  When a silence falls upon us then, the sad silence of our envy.

John Banville, “The Infinities”

©Pat Coakley 2010


**Select photographs from this blog and my wider archive can be purchased at

6 comments on “Big Baby”

  1. I hope you feel better! There’s nothing like perpetual discomfort to bring on the blues.

  2. Yep, old age isn’t for wimps! Or at least that’s what my mother says.

    A while back I was getting pains in my thumb and I went to the doctors about it. The doctor said, “oh it’s just the beginnings of arthritis”, as though it was the most natural thing in the world.

    As if I was getting old! The cheeky bastard!

    Although the arthritis in my thumb gives me a bit of curry every now and again, it’s when I get gout (I’ve had to give up eating prawns) and can’t walk due to excruciating pain, that the issue of mobility it put into perspective for me.

    It’s a frightening thing to loose one’s mobility, and when I see people with greater problems than my own (like those people with cerebral palsy in wheelchairs who have been trapped in their uncontrollable bodies), it makes me realise that things aren’t so bad (I guess the operative word is, “yet”).

    Once again I’m reminded of a quatrain by my old mate Omar:

    After a momentary silence spake
    Some vessel of a more ungainly make;
    “They sneer at me for leaning all awry:
    What! did the hand then of the potter shake?”

    • Yes, Raz, frightening to contemplate and yet some who do suffer terribly every day (unlike myself)—I see them every day at the YMCA pool I go to and they unfailingly always inspire me.

  3. ocean swimming is good for it, also hot baths in the evening with a large cup of sea salt added to the water. dont use cold on it. gentle massage with warm olive oil. and eat dandelion leaf, yes, dandelion leaf the way the greeks make it which is pretty much the way the italians make sauteed escarole. with lemon. supposedly there is something in the dandelion leaves that staves off arthritis as well as improves circulation and cleans toxins away. right now wild ones are good to pick but you have to pick them before they get all hairy. another week or so and they wont be edible. but you can still get them in the produce section pretty often during the summer. just my holistic helpful hints! hope you are ok.

    • Kathi! I so appreciate these suggestions. Honestly, I believe in trying all natural resources. And, yes, I’ve heard about eating dandelion leaves and I’m looking out a my lawn in a new way!! Thanks!

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