Old Age Indicators
Laughter is one prescription that we can all afford. Tears of pain can be hard to overcome if the body is diseased as we grow older, but laughter sure helps. When most people start to grow old, they usually wish they would’ve taken better care of their bodies when they were young. We seem to be stuck with the physical consequences of the wild oat sowing, and the cane that got raised years. Thankfully some good memories can be conjured up from those early days of our lives. Much about growing old is only in our minds. We have to learn to keep our minds and bodies active as we get older. We can either dwell on that troubled old body or grin and bear it, don’t look in the mirror too long.
Worry will never become a problem solver, not even in those senior years, when we have a lot more time for it. We usually don’t consider old age troubles until we get close to writing our last chapter in life’s book. We might as well try to make it one of the best episodes, by dwelling on the right things. High sugar levels in the blood will not sweeten a sour disposition. Try telling that to someone eating a cookie, who can see the light at the end of the tunnel, even though cataracts on those old eyes.
As we get older, sharing information about our bodies, even the most private, doesn’t seem to bother us. I had a cousin who started talking louder as she was losing her hearing. One day while having lunch in the local small-town cafe, she confided to a friend about how dry her vagina was getting. Everyone in the restaurant got that private information about her discomfort, even the cook, and the dishwasher, way back in the kitchen. When you said hello to her, you would be careful not to ask, “how are you today” unless you planned on spending a lot of time listening to her reply.
Dear cousin Flo has gone home to be with the Lord, but she left many memories with us. One morning she announced, “I LOST MY HEARING AID.” They could not find that hearing aid anywhere in her small apartment. She said, “I HAD IT WHEN I WENT TO BED.” Later at coffee, she said, “OH MY, I thought my cat coughed up a hairball last night on my pillow, and I flushed it down the toilet.” It must have been my hearing aid!
My life plan never included getting old. The idea was to stay my young, happy, carefree self until I died. I would always eat what I wanted; bacon, eggs, Sugar Pops, and Fruit Loops I could never imagine bran cereal or prunes in my diet. Most digestive systems develop plans of their own, no more regular like a clock, in any time zone.
Then the old ticker develops problems. Hey Doc, what do you mean, no salt? My grandfather lived to be ninety-six without heart trouble, and he covered everything was salt. Doc says, ‘he sure was lucky’ you have high blood pressure. Now about your new diet, no salt, carbohydrates, saturated fat, sugar, caffeine, etc. I decided to get a haircut last week when I got in the Barber’s chair. He said, “Looks like maybe your only going to need one more clean shirt.” You cut the old doctor’s hair, didn’t you? “They aren’t supposed to talk about their patients.”
My wife asked again this morning, “Did you take your pills?” I say no and start for that pill container with all the different compartments for each day of the week. I get sidetracked on the way to my pillbox, and it is about 20 feet away from my La-Z-Boy recliner. An older person can have many distractions on a long walk like that. Some days that pill trip is repeated several times, and I still miss my pills. I wonder if it natures way of telling me I don’t need all those pills.
I never thought I would be leaving notes for myself to remember appointments, calls to make, chores to do, etc. Now I have post-it notes all over the place, sort of like little wallpaper sheets. My hearing is still excellent, one thing that I can’t understand is why my wife keeps talking lower and lower all the time. The only time I can hear her real good is when she says,” DID YOU TAKE YOUR PILLS?”