Old age indicators
Laughter is one healing 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; that is why we must 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.
As we get older, sharing information about our bodies and health, even the most private things, do not bother us. I had a cousin who started talking louder as her hearing got progressively worse. One day while having lunch in the local small-town cafe. She confided to a friend across the table about how dry her vagina was starting to get. Everyone in that restaurant got that bit of information about her discomfort, even the cook and dishwasher way back.
When you said hello to her, you were always careful not to ask, “How are you today,” unless you planned to spend a lot of time listening to her reply. One morning she announced I lost my hearing aid she had her friend searched, but they could not find that precious hearing aid anywhere in her small apartment. She said, “I HAD IT WHEN I WENT TO BED .” Later at coffee, “Oh my,” I thought my cat coughed up a hairball last night on my pillow, and I flushed it down the toilet, “that 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 life-altering plans, 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. I get sidetracked on the way to my pillbox, and it is about 20 feet away from my La-Z-Boy recliner. A busy 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 to remember appointments, calls to make, chores to do, etc. Now I have post-it notes all over the place, sort of like tiny pieces of mismatched wallpaper.
My hearing is still excellent. I can’t understand why my wife keeps talking lower and lower all the time. I can only hear her real good when she says,” DID YOU TAKE YOUR PILLS?”
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