Health & Medical

Some Senior Days Suck: Seniors Getting Sick

I don’t care what they say. Gettin’ old ain’t for sissies.

Oh God! I awoke this morning with my neck as stiff and as painful as an Old Testament judgment. Inflexible as ironwood, my unyielding neck refused even to turn to read the alarm clock.

At breakfast, I felt something hit my chest. Unable to look down, I had to ask Carolyn if I’d spilled food (as usual). Good thing this didn’t happen a week ago. A week ago, Carolyn was blind. Some virus or something knocked out her vision for about 36 hours.

And so goes life in the Wonderful World of Geezers.

Old Man Napping CartoonI’m telling you, getting old sometimes sucks. Big time! But then, if you’re over 60, you already know that. Like they say, age is a very high price to pay for maturity. Especially when you consider how overrated maturity is.

Now as I lie here in bed staring at the ceiling, my heating pad set to the max, I wonder where I can get a pair of those glasses with built-in angled mirrors, you know the kind beach bums wear to see babes when they’re flat on their backs? (The beach bums, not the babes.) Although my neck tells me I’m way beyond checking out babes, a little TV wouldn’t hurt.

Have you noticed – it’s always something?

New aches and pains, new creaks and cracks; gets so that what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work. And just yesterday I felt so good!

What Does Deepak Chopra Know?

Maybe my friend Robert is right. For Christmas, he sent me Deepak Chopra’s new Life After Death. When I told him that I wouldn’t be needing it for quite a while yet, he replied, “You never know, Frank. You’ve got to be ready.”

Oh boy!

Getting Old CartoonLast night I read the book. Slouched up in our big old chair, I finished it about 2 a.m.

Must have held my head wrong, though. Whatever, it’s that damn book’s fault that this morning my neck won’t allow me to even drive to my chiropractor.

Life after death, indeed. I’d like to experience real life before death and without neck pain if it’s OK with everyone.

Chopra’s book? It’s about the miracle of death, “when we shed our old identity to experience ‘I am,’ the identity of the soul, and we assemble the ingredients of a completely unique life in our next body.” Although Robert admonished that I must get ready, even after reading this manual, I don’t know how to do that. Nor am I certain I want to do whatever that is anytime soon. Know what I mean?

With all its aches and pains, life in my eighth decade is still pretty darn good.

Eighth decade! That’s what it is when you’re 71. Both age and decade sound ancient. Can I be talking about me?

I mean, don’t you usually feel about age 40 or so? Fifty tops. That is, until you make the mistake of glancing into the mirror and, for an instant, wondering who that old fart is looking back at you. I have days feeling as young as 30, at least until the bliss is shattered by some fool trying to sell me an annuity, nursing-home insurance or a reverse mortgage.

Old Body Cartoon

Eight years ago when I started Suddenly Senior, I promised readers that I’d report untold stories from the front lines of Geezerdom, revealing the awful/wonderful truth about what it’s like to get old, ear hairs, operations and all. (Who else that you know has a photo of his lower bowel posted on the Internet?)

And so I stoop to report my stiff neck, dragging libido, sloppy breakfast habits, and all the rest.

But in the optimistic spirit of the senior who told me, “My memory’s about gone, but I can still retain water,” I know that by tomorrow my neck will be better. I’ll be able to look at babes, young and old, without mirrored glasses.

And I’ll again both give and get a big kick out of life. For such is life in the Geezer lane.

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