Saturday, July 07, 2007

What's "Old" Nowadays?

With all the near-magic that doctors and drugs do for us nowadays, there seems to be a growing belief that "old" does not exist any more.

You (supposedly) are as old as you you're willing to let yourself become. If you exercise, eat properly, keep your weight below 25 Body Mass Index, take your medicines, meditate, do yoga, take a nap, forgive all who have offended (or hurt) you, maintain a lively social life, give to charities, love thy neighbor as thyself, wear comfortable shoes, take a baby aspirin every day, take good care of your teeth and gums, etc. you can live a long time and stay well and enjoy every day of your life.

So, as part of my effort to live a long time and stay well, I visit my dentist and five doctors (primary care, eye, kidney, skin and blood) with some regularity. (I have seen many other doctors and surgeons during the past eight years, but only as required.)

On my recent visit to my blood doctor, I was speaking with nurse Hilda. She was busy sticking a needle into my arm to pull out a blood sample for analysis. I was complaining to her a little bit about the trials and tribulations of becoming old. I had recently celebrated, sort of, my 78th birthday.

So she tells me quite firmly (she is that kind of a person) that 78 is not old. Definitely not old.

Try telling that to Beverly Sills.


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