Back-pain is fine.
Everybody gets back-pain. Athletes get back-pain. Footballers.
Back-pain doesn’t label you, it’s just a fact of life.
Hip pain is a whole different kettle of lobsters though. Hip pain is a real milestone in the decrepitude stakes. That’s one you won’t quickly admit to colleagues or friends.
I have a pain in my hip.
No. Sorry. Can’t see that happening. I’d rather say I have AIDS or scrofula.
Hip pain. If I told my children I had a sore hip, that would be the start of a very rapid decline for me. Even their language would change, subtly. You see, up to now, if I happen to trip over something while dragging great baulks of timber around the garden or hauling concrete blocks out of a demolished wall, or strangling a crocodile, one of my kids might just mention it to the other:
Did he? Is he all right?
Yeah. He just fell over something.
But if they knew I had a stiff hip, they wouldn’t say that. Instead it would be Dad had a fall.
And they’d frown at each other. A fall, eh?
Yeah. He had a fall.
It won’t end there. As time progresses, the language will turn even darker and the frowns will become furrows.
Dad had one of his falls.
Really? One of his falls? Maybe we should consider …
Nah. He’ll be fine.
Even that won’t be the worst. After a couple more years will come the absolute pits:
Dad had another fall last night.
Another one! Shit, we’ll have to …
Yeah. I think we will …
I’m keeping quiet about this hip. It’s probably just a strain.