So you’ve just spotted your first gray hairs and are now old enough to start getting free coffee and other perks that come when you’re considered a senior citizen. Hey, don’t knock it! You’ve earned every bit of it.
You start noticing other things, like it seems the world has started moving so fast it’s passing you by. In reality, it’s not the world moving faster; you’re moving slower. That 12-minute mile you walked in your 30s has turned into 20 minutes. Let’s face it; age takes its toll and the ol’ bod ain’t what it used to be.
It seems like your mailbox keeps filling up with ads for Medicare supplement insurance plans, life insurance, and holy mackerel, the flyers from every hearing aid company in the area suddenly become insurmountable. After hitting the magic age of 50, you might need some over-the-counter reading glasses to be able to see the fine print.
Makes you wonder, how do all these companies know we’re swiftly getting old and decrepit? It seems like all of our safe-guarded info has leaked and ended up in the wrong hands. My word, they know about us reaching the age of need before we’ve even thought that far off.
Much to our sorrow, the truth of our physical abilities finally hits us when we realize visits to our primary physician have increased and branched out to include other specialists: ophthalmologist for the eyes, orthopedist for the bones, cardiologist to keep the old ticker tuned up, just to name a few.
Opening the cabinet to reach for our daily multivitamin, we realize that bottle now has company among medications of every description. Good heavens, do we spend more time and money in the pharmacy or the grocery store? It’s a tossup.
How many of us have hung a “Dr. Google” sign outside our door, putting it to use when we think we can diagnose our own problems without seeing our physician? I did recently while aggravated by edema of my ankles. I searched for “compression stockings” and read they can boost circulation in your legs and diminish edema and leg swelling.
I visited a pharmacy and picked up a pair, following the sizing chart. The brand I chose said it would reduce pain and swelling in the ankles, stating, “Compressed legs are happy legs!” Works for me!
Returning home with my purchase, I anxiously opened the box to put them on, which turned out to be quite a fiasco. Holy moly, I about worked up a sweat getting them on! I wore them all day, feeling a little extra bounce in my step, so I decided I’d use my Dr. Google sign again and look for “compression stocking aids” to help put them on in the future. Turns out there are quite a few on the market, but I’m not sure they would be any help getting them off.
After finally getting them off at the end of the day, thinking I was going to end up being buried with them on, I vowed to never try that again. I’ll take down my Dr. Google sign and ask my physician for help on my next visit. Meanwhile, cutting back on sodium-rich foods has helped with the ankle swelling, along with a little TLC when watching TV by propping my feet up.
So go ahead and face it. Accept this aging process gracefully but gratefully, even after hearing complaints from your children that they’re tired of repeating everything they say. You know the hearing is fading when you have to start reading lips and you sing off-key in the hymns at church.
Make that appointment for a hearing test and invest your retirement in those hearing aids, because it won’t be long before you could be reaching for that medical alert button, saying, “Help, I can’t get up!”
From a quote of the day calendar, Louise Hall said: “Know that you are the perfect age. Each year is special and precious, for you shall only live it once. Be comfortable with growing older.”
Jean Tanner is a lifelong resident of rural Bluffton. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.