Tag Archives: aging

Yearly Physical

Went in for my yearly physical this morning. Don’t know how many yearly physicals that makes. But it’s been quite a few. The package of materials on me has reached small phone book size.

According to my PCP (primary care person) I am–and I quote–“doing great.” My weight is even further down from last year to around 160. The PCP thinks I shouldn’t let it go lower than that and a few more pounds wouldn’t really hurt. The heart seems good, and the lungs sounded good. Also all the stuff in the lower parts is, well, hanging in there.

Still have to do the blood tests though and don’t know what that will show. Brother Dave went in recently for a routine physical, and it turned out not routine at all with all sorts of follow up tests before they finally concluded that all was fine.

I think I mentioned feeling as if I were suffering a fatal attack of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Turns out, according to the PCP, I had an intestinal bug making the rounds, a low grade infection, down in the bowel, hard to get rid of, that makes a person feel bloated (that’s what I felt) and that upsets the bowel (I had that too) and pretty much screws the appetite. I had that too. I mean I knew I was hungry but I just didn’t feel like eating. At one point I started drinking a lot of water. Turns out that was the thing to do. The bug is still there a bit. But I continue drinking water and herb tea.

So things could be worse. For me, that’s optimism.

On the way home from the physical, I stopped off at a Walgreens to get the H1N1 shot. Man, was that a pain. All sorts of paper work and then the person giving the shots disappeared for a half hour. So there I was mingling with a bunch of other old folks in a Walgreens waiting for a damn shot. A lady who was seated…and seemed clearly older than I…kept asking if I wanted to sit, because she would get up, if I wanted, and shouldn’t feel ashamed or anything. And I kept saying no thank you and wondering how the hell old do I look or miserable that she should keep offering me her seat.

And then when the person giving the shots finally showed up, the old folks there insisted I go first (the line wasn’t quite clearly defined), so I took the seat, displacing a mentally ill person who had failed to do the paper work. And the shot person kept trying to poke me through my nicotine patch, so I took it off finally. So I got up and thanked the others for their courtesy, and they said, Don’t smoke. Because they had heard me talking about my nicotine patch.

And I left wondering how the hell decrepit do I look.

This getting older stuff is the pits.

For me, that’s optimism.

cannady-d.jpgMy PCP

Potato Salad

Easter Day in Santa Barbara turns out gorgeous, clear skies with a little haze, and 75 degrees.

Usually Carol and I go to an Easter party a friend holds every year with plenty of food and Easter eggs stuck everywhere for the children.  But this year he and his wife did not have the party because she is recovering from major surgery.  I had been thinking about him and wondering how he was doing and his wife too.  So Carol and I went to the Farmer’s Market and bought some white roses, and we drove to their house.

Carol had called ahead the day before to ask if it was OK if we dropped by for a few minutes, and I made up some potato salad to bring along.  They have always been so generous with their food.  That was all I could think to do.  The potato salad, I mean, that I made Southern-style I think with eggs, pickles, onion and plenty of Real Mayonnaise.

I enjoyed seeing them.  But we started somehow into talking—I have known my friend and his wife for nearly 30 years—about people who had died and when exactly they died and of what and whether it had been expected or not, and if expected, how long had the end gone on exactly.  And what of the wife or husband or whoever had been left behind, and did one know if so and so was still on this earth or not.

Like that.

I wasn’t depressed or anything.  This just seems to be how the conversation goes when one reaches, I guess, a certain age.  I remember back in my callow youth being around some elderly people in a damn Jacuzzi somewhere or other—and all they could talk about on and on in the minutest detail was their most recent surgery.  This was back in the day of the triple bypass; so there was a lot to talk about with livid scars as visual aides.  And I remember thinking, Jeez, is this all these people have to talk about.  I know better now.

We were there an hour I guess.  Another couple came over too; and we started in on another round this time less about people who had died and more about people in the process of dying or suffering from some major physical problem with significant implications for continued quality of life.

 Then we drove home.  And I vacuumed the living room carpet.  The vacuum had been standing there next to the entrance to the living room for a couple of days.  I had managed to vacuum the upstairs carpets and I had vacuumed down the stairs and I don’t remember what happened exactly but I got stuck there and didn’t get into the living room.  So as soon as we got back in the condo I changed clothes back into my every day walking around duds and finished what I had started.

Still a gorgeous day.  And there’s some potato salad in the refrigerator.