I have been fortunate enough to have had remarkably good health my entire life. While my wife has suffered from a variety of maladies ranging from acute asthma, to thyroid issues, and a chronic bad back, I have managed to reach what I was (perhaps naively) still considering upper-middle age … relatively unscathed.
In fact, I reached 60 last August without the help of any regular medication. Quite an accomplishment apparently. At least judging from the raised eyebrows of the various nurses who look at the medical information I hand them when I’m in for an appointment.
I have a sneaking suspicion that this is all about to end. At my last physical, I got the news that both my blood pressure and my cholesterol were slightly elevated. Slightly … moderately … a little bit …
My doctor said we would “re-evaluate” my situation in three months to see if things had improved, or if I would “benefit” from a regular daily course of the more popular drugs of choice.
Of course, I’ve avoided all this studiously for the past 20+ years. When TV ads encouraged me to “ask my doctor” if the latest treatment was “right for me”, I just listened to the laundry list of unpleasant side effects during the disclaimer and decided with a fair degree of certainty that none of this was right for me … at least not yet. I felt pretty darn good then, and I still do.
I told my doctor with a broad smile on my face, that I had always wanted to reach 60 without having to depend on any of these medications. What I really meant of course, was that I always wanted to go my entire life without being tied to one of those annoying days-of-the-week pill boxes.
He simply smiled back at me and said, “So, your goal was to reach 60?” “Well, now you have.”
He finished by adding, “Now, let’s see if we can get you to 70 and beyond.” His tone implied that I had stretched the envelope by going as long as I had, so basically I think I know what’s coming.
In a little over a week, I fully anticipate my official entry into the realm of the senior citizen. I will become a golden-ager and will be expected to be one of those people who actually asks for the senior citizen discount at Bojangles rather than being offended when it’s just given automatically. Man that used to piss me off!!
To me, the thought of going on regular medication is a bummer … a negative milestone. It consigns my youth to a distant memory and makes middle age something that I was until recently, but apparently something I’m not anymore.
But, what can you do? What’s the point in resisting?
Write the prescriptions Doc … and I’ll fill’em … and I’ll even try to stay faithful in taking them regularly.
But WOE UNTO the first person at Bojangles who sizes me up and automatically assumes that I qualify for the cheap coffee!
My resistance is being reduced, I’m slowly coming around to the fact that I’m getting older. Some day soon, I may even start counting the few cents I save on a cup of joe as a benefit.
But, not yet.