WQW #38: Four Aspects to Being Fit As a Fiddle

The phrase fit as a fiddle dates back to the 1600s in British English, but had a slightly different meaning then. The word fit had as its primary meaning ‘well-suited, apt for a particular purpose’. The violin was picked out as the exemplar because of the alliteration of fit and fiddle, and because the violin is a beautifully shaped instrument producing a very particular sound.  

Macquarie Dictionary Blog

Photos: Garry Armstrong

So I guess my question was wrong. It was not whether or not fiddles were fit, but if I was going to be able to play one — the answer to which is “maybe.”

I’m a walking miracle, living proof how modern medicine can keep someone alive who should be dead. I’ve got pins where bones were, a spine held together by some kind of natural calcification. I’ve got two replaced heart valves, a pacemaker, a missing stomach times two. Two fake breasts because they were having a sale on breast cancer that year so I got it twice.

“Fit” isn’t the same for everyone. For me, “fit” means that I can eat and even digest food. It means the medications I take are helping me. It means I can outside, make dinner and hardly any more hair fell out.

There’s a time in your life when getting something fixed means you’ll be better after the “fix” than you were before. At some point, that stops being true. You have to choose to keep trying to fix yourself or realize you are probably as fixed as you’ll be. In the end, nothing will solve the biggest problem: age.

When I had heart surgery in early 2014, they told me I was going to feel a lot better after the surgery. I asked them if they were going to repair my broken spine and they looked at me as if I had two heads. What they didn’t understand was that although my heart was on target to kill me, I hadn’t noticed it because my back hurt. If my doctor hadn’t heard how noisy my valves were, I would never have noticed there was a problem.

I’m glad I had the heart surgery. It kept me alive. Unfortunately, the real problem remains. I’m old. Not ancient but well on in years. Nothing will make me younger. Nothing will replace the missing pieces.

So fit as a fiddle? I think, all things considered, I’m doing fine. I’m functional and in less pain than even a few months ago. After all the things I’ve gone through, what I need is to NOT have any more medical crises for a while. The longer the better.

Fiddle fit? Right now, I’m tuning the strings. Fiddling will have to wait a bit.

Categories: #gallery, #GarryArmstrong, #Health, #Photography, Anecdote, Life

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9 replies

  1. I love your humour with “they were having a sale on breast cancer”. Anyway you beat me on the CV of chronic health conditions … but I am just a mere male 🙂


  2. You represent what is classically known as a “MESS”, but never the less, a lovable one. I, for one, am glad you are held together by modern technology, further putting forth that feisty nature and fast wit. YAY MARILYN!.., anybody for doing the “WAVE”?


    • Well, it IS the middle of the World Series, so the wave works for me. I’m actually doing a bit better than I was. My doctor has been trying me on new medications and they seem to be working. It’s not curing anything, but I’m in a lot less pain.

      Meanwhile, we spent the entire afternoon at the hospital. Garry was being tested for his glaucoma. LOTS of tests more tests, consultations between doctors. MORE tests. It has gotten worse but not enough to require stronger or new medication, but enough to require he be seen more often and have tests done more frequently. There’s a bit of disintegration to his right optic nerve, but again, not enough to make him unable to see — but enough to make his right eye strain a be a bit fuzzy.

      What is the cure? POT. Yes, good old marijuana has a powerful effect on lowering pressure in glaucoma-affected eyes. I think Garry might actually be entitled to a real medical marijuana prescription though there are so many pot shops less than a mile from home, it seems a bit redundant. But maybe medical dope is cheaper?


  3. I think that’s the best we can hope for; to be as healthy as possible in our current state


    • I’m glad my medications are working (finally) properly AND I can get out of bed and DO stuff. That’s a huge improvement over a few months ago.

      I think we all need to recognize that we are not the same and have different issues and there’s no single solution. I’m pretty OK with where I am right now. I have been much worse.

      Liked by 1 person

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