Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Getting Old

Reader Warning. This is not a warm and fuzzy posting

A recently acquired additional part time job has prompted some serious evaluation of my life, and lifestyle. I do back up pharmacy deliveries to care centers on an on call basis. This takes me into the halls of the care centers and among the residents, many who are younger than me.

At one care center, I occasionally see my mother, who hasn’t recognized me for years. She is ninety, has profound dementia, and now needs to be lifted from her bed to her wheelchair. She has little response to anyone. 

Damn, tough Celts. The body lives on while the mind is gone.

The care centers I see are all clean, and the residents seem well cared for. The sense I gather is one of profound boredom. How does one transition from an active life to one of little stimulation? I don’t like television. Reading is a passion, and the internet keeps me stimulated. If these aren’t available, how do I occupy my mind? What purpose does my life have?

I know the day may come. I’m already on five prescription medications, my knees are shot, and recently I found myself struggling to handle an oversized 50 lb. box. In my youth, I could bench press twice my weight.

So, I now pay much closer attention to my health. Take a lot of supplements. Supplements don’t work? I was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration in my right eye in 2005. Started immediately taking supplements containing marigold extracts (lutein and zeaxanthin). The degeneration, which is usually progressive, has stopped. At my last examination I was told, “Whatever you are doing, keep doing”.

The eye that is the problem is the right, and I am right handed. Sometime during the last few years, I’ve become left eye dominant, which has made my very marginal revolver marksmanship more marginal. Using a scoped rifle, the horizontal cross hair on the right drops off in a series of zig zags as I look through the scope.

So far, my mental state has remained about the same. My mother had four siblings. She is number three in the birth order. One older sister survives. All of her siblings were/are mentally sharp to the end. My mother’s progression follows her mother’s almost exactly. The one difference in that family is lightning strikes. Her mother once, my mother twice. Can’t help thinking that might be a cause.

On my father's side, there has been lots of cancer. Some years back, I read about using 35% food grade H2O2 as a health tonic. Statement was made that cancer can't thrive in a well oxygenated body. Maybe so, maybe not. At ten drops a day, a quart costing around $40 delivered,  lasts me several months. I also try to keep my body in an alkaline, not aciditic, condition. 

My father died at age 64 from congestive heart failure brought on by undiagnosed, and untreated, sleep apnea. I’ve used a CPAP since 2003. Have been through most of the cardiac tests with no issues except the funny, funny techs saying things like, “I’m surprised to find a car salesman with a heart.”

This paying attention to my health is a work in progress. Getting enough exercise is a problem. Probably need to do light weight training. Weight loss is definitely needed. The warm, caring physician assistant I see monthly gave me a formula for solving my problems. After listening to all my moaning and bitching, her answer was, “Stop getting old”.

 I wonder if her response was prompted by me being both stubborn and a smart ass? Nah, couldn’t be that.

For now, have the living will in place along with the regular will and my written wishes. I’ve had “the talk” with my sons. And, each morning, as I’ve always done, I get up, start putting one foot in front of the other, and drive on.


Scotty said...

One day at a time.....that's all any of us have!

Scotty said...

And I'll add this....all my time since 1970 has been a bonus!

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I understand fully.

Old NFO said...

Yep, keeping 'track' of one's health IS worth it...

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Dangerous to be a "sheeple" about it.

Ami said...

Here I spent all this time thinking you were a typical man. And I find out that you go to doctors? And take care of yourself? I think you're going to have to turn in your man card.


Well Seasoned Fool said...

Other than two wisdom teeth extractions, I haven't seen a dentist in over thirty years. Does that count?

Ami said...


Well Seasoned Fool said...