Stuff I’ve wanted to write about but didn’t have the guts to.
It stinks to feel old. I am well into being 78 years old, which is a blessing and a curse. My hearing is miserable. I denied my hearing loss for many years, blaming it on overactive wax glands and sinus congestion, but my E.N.T. a doctor who excavates my ears searching for wax, shamed me into taking a hearing test during one of my drilling days. The results were that I had rather severe hearing loss. I needed hearing aids to hear clearly.
I bought pricey ones from the fellow who worked with him, and they definitely help, but they are no panacea. Certain frequencies defy their effectiveness, and they are useless in understanding voices in a crowd. At a party I am in a dither. If I am not looking at somebody and watching their gestures and mouth movements, I am in trouble
My vision stinks. I’ve had seven surgeries for a detached retina and subsequent scarring. Unfortunately I am one of the unlucky 5% whose retinas scarred after surgery, and there is nothing the surgeons can do about it.
I still drive, but cautiously, and it feels like every driver who gets behind me creeps too close for my comfort. It makes driving stressful, so I defer to my wife when we travel together.
The other thing that is a consistent irritant is the need for reading glasses. I have five, six or seven pairs scattered throughout my home, office, and car. The number varies because one or two pairs are always lost.
I have a long roster of medicines I take which are supposed to help keep me alive. Blood pressure pills, beta blockers, statins for cholesterol, aspirin, arthritis calmers, fish oil, pomegranate juice for prostate. Add a little CBD salve to smooth things out and a Valium here and there.
Put them all together in a day and you have a recipe for bathroom aggravation.
Aging also brings mood swings. I am grateful for every day except for the days I am not. I am really happy I get to work in the machinery business and write this blog, except when I don’t feel “on top of my game.” I am quite sure I would go nuts to merely be a TV blob between naps. My wife, Risa, has an educational therapy practice, and if all I had was Oprah, cooking shows, and the Cubs to talk about, I think she would be considering a divorce or at least a separate bedroom at a retirement village.
This is the lament of a well-off American with a wonderful family, a brain that still allows him to play word games, and legs that can carry him to the bathroom at 3:00 a.m. It is probably healthy to honestly bitch occasionally, so you know I am not a pollyanna.
What is a pollyanna anyway?
Question: What’s the best thing about aging?
It beats the alternative!
Reading your post about what’s coming! Honestly, at age 61: enjoying our family; doing what I do with a willing hand (Merle Haggard line) and enjoying the proficiency from a lifetime’s learning; time to learn new things.
I feel your pain Lloyd. My list is almost as long as yours, 2 hearing aids, 6 eye surgeries, 2 joint replacements, kidneys that hold enough rocks to make a yard of concrete and a handful of minor maladies. My 97 year old father always said his secret to long life was “just keep moving”. I’ve got a ways to go yet to 97 but I am following his advice!
Grandkids are great. Do they make you feel younger or older when they beckon you to the hot tub and you feel like watching sports on TV?
Younger – I am the Grandpa that plays with them. Can’t run like I used to, but still fun!
Like my Dad always said, when I complained about my health. Don’t worry, It gets worse.
The best things about aging. That is a pretty short list. Seeing the kids doing well probably tops the list. Being able to spend a little more time and focus on relationships instead of the to do list is a close second.
As my mother used to say…”There’s nothing golden about your ‘golden years’.
I too have had hearing issues since my teens with deciphering a conversation within a cacophony of voices.
Years ago, I had mandatory hearing test from our company. I had good hearing resolution in the high frequencies. So I have that going for me. I can converse with my dog.
Wisdom and stronger faith.
No one gets out of this life alive. The looming question (to which no one wants the answer) is “when and why?” The trick to catching the whole wave of life, at least as I see it, is to remain as alert and oriented as possible and to keep moving. Having friends and family with whom to engage is a proven quality of life enhancer, as well.
Lloyd, you’re doing quite well in my opinion.
Wisdom gleaned from life experiences. If you are able physically and financially, do the things you want to do. The “have to do” gets less the older I get. Life is too precious to waste time with things and people who don’t bring you joy.
I don’t know who should receive credit for this statement but I try to live by it…… “Don’t let the old man in”
I too have hearing aids and they make a BIG difference. They have different programs for different situations but restaurants and concerts are still challenging. I have modified one of the programs to compensate but it still is not perfect. As an example there is an “outside” program that blocks out wind noise (and in Kansas we have a lot of that). Speak to your audiologist.
Pollyanna – an excessively cheerful or optimistic person. “Just wants to pretend that all is sweetness and light”