Growing Old

I write this for those who have not yet grown old. No matter what you might think it will be like, you’re wrong. It is no one thing but rather a collection of little things.

As you grow old, the first thing you will likely notice is that the person looking back at you has become a stranger. Fight as you might, your face changes, seemingly overnight. Yet, as you think it over, you will realize it was gradually, not sudden.

Perhaps, the most devastating birthday will be your 40th. This is when you will awake to the realization that you will never become president. Most will face the reality of never becoming rich and famous. I’d settle for rich.

On my 49th birthday, I never had surgery. Since, I have had a list as long as my arm. One indication of aging is when yoy sit around talking of hospital visits. We old folks are always trying to outdo the others about our trials and illnesses.

Closely associated with hospitalizations are the meds. At 40, the only meds I took were for my alergies. Now, before retiring for the night, I take 10, most reqireing scripts. I mentioned to a doctor that I feel as if I have my own drug store. He laughed and told me of a patient he had that received a transplant. He had shelves of meds, many very expensive.

I guess 65 is also another big transition for most of us. It’s when we start dealing with Social Security. Personally, my transition went well. The people were nice and very helpful.

I have heard of some real problems, though. My wife’s grandfather was born on an Indian reservation and he had a very difficult time proving he was born.

At 72, my hair is turning white and starting to thin. I can’t complain about that. Most men my age don’t have much hair at all. Look at what President Trump did to conceal his balding. On the other hand, the current occupier of The Oval Office had expensive hair transplants, only to lose most of it anyway.

One of the biggest giveaways that we are older is that we start losing friends, relatives and neighbors. I look around and I realize I have lost many acquaintances. I hear about this one having a heart attack or this one a stroke.

I have known a few who died from alkzheimers disease. I lost 2 brothers to brain cancer. It makes me wonder why I have been permitted to live this long.

One day, I needed to get down on the floor to do something. Next thing I knew, I couldn’t get up, regardless of my best efforts. I found it utterly ridiculous. It was something I just took for granted.

Nowadays, I am far more careful. Moreover, I suggest, anyone who is able, exercise by getting on the floor and standing 10 times a day. You must realize, being able to stand is important.

You might find this odd, but you should cough regularly. The muscles used for coughing are very important. If you’re unable to cough, you won’t be able to clear your lower respiratory system.

Getting old is learning to think of such things.

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