So now I have diverticulosis—or so said my primary care physician. I wasn’t sure what it was when she left a message on the phone but was happy when she said it was minimal and appeared where it “not uncommonly” appears in an older person around the sigmoid colon (the narrowest part of the intestintial tract). As one gets older, it appears, a whole host of things one has never heard of becomes “not uncommon.”
I went to an audiologist to have my ears tested for this tinnitus business. I have lost some hearing in the very upper range of the left ear and just a tiny, itsy-bitsy in the right. The audiologist informed me that this was “not uncommon” as one gets…..older and that there was nothing to panic about since I am far from needing a hearing aide. Well, that was nice to hear, but I am hearing this phrase “not uncommon” too much lately, and it seems the doctor persons always hesitate or don’t know quite what to say, like it’s the plague or something, when it comes to saying that it’s “not uncommon” in your older or old or aging or elderly person or, you know, person like yourself….and this is coming from a guy maybe 2 years younger than yourself who clearly dyes his hair.
I guess being older makes older doctor persons also nervous. Or perhaps aging is a kind of insult to the ego of doctor people since as far as I know there is no cure for aging, or getting older, or getting elderly. Aging, like some forms of cancer, or death itself, appears incurable, and the mere thought of it throws the doctor into a sort of existential quandary or awareness of his or her ultimate impotence both as a professional and a human being. In any case, the doctor persons who have spoken to me on these not uncommon issues seem to feel getting older is like a disease. I am pretty sure it is not because aging is a simple and naturally occuring melt down of every damn cell in your body.
I am comforted, though, to know what while I have diverticulosis, I do not have diverticulitis (what a difference a few letters make!). I have developed—if that’s the word—diverticula or small pouches on the outside of the colon. Multiple diverticula means one has diverticulosis. Diverticulitis is the infection of the diverticula. So I have, unfortunately, the pre-condition for a real condition. I asked my primary care person how I would know if I had diverticulitis and she said I would feel real sick, with a fever, and bad bowel, and most significantly, diagnostically, a pain in the lower left abdomen. The “cure” for the condition, depending on its severity, ranges from anti-biotics, to resting the colon with a liquid diet, to cutting out portions of the infected colon.
The cause for this condition: The usual suspects: genetics and possibly insufficient roughage or fibre.
I was also told that the gas producing CT scan revealed arthritis in the lower lumbar. Also “not uncommon,” for people of a certain age.
I now have scientifically confirmed artritis in my left knee, my right elbow, and my lower lumbar.
I am learning more about the inside of my body than I want to.