Clare County Review & Marion Press Columns

Pat’s Bits and Pieces: Recovering and complaining

Most of the time, I consider myself pretty lucky. I am nearly 77 and other than having my tonsils out at 5 or 6 years old, have not had many hospital visits or stays, other than for certain tests, a surgery a couple of years back, a bout with pneumonia and a battle to get my COPD under control. Oh, and surgery to remove a ‘hot’ gall bladder.
All of that stuff came along a few years ago after I sold the newspaper, “semi-retired” and started getting my AARP magazine. You know you are old when that magazine arrives in the mail.
By the time you read this I will be recovering from out-patient surgery for another aging related condition, a cataract on my left eye. I have to admit I am (at this point just before the procedure) a bit apprehensive to have surgery, especially on my eye, but the view from that side of my face is like looking through a gauzy curtain, so I guess it’s time.
My doctor and everyone else has told me how much better I will be able to see after this procedure.
I hope so because I certainly didn’t see that deer in my headlights January 8th on my way to the City Commission meeting. Fortunately, it wasn’t because of poor sight. Jack was with me and he didn’t see anything either until we smacked into that deer at around 50 miles an hour. We blamed it on truck headlights coming at us that pretty much blinded us both. As the truck passed, the deer was suddenly right there, standing in front of my little blue car, and now both the deer, and my little blue car are no more.
It was a pretty good vehicle for the nearly 14 years I had it, but insurance companies don’t want to fix one that old, we found out. So now we are down to one vehicle to use, as Jack’s vintage truck is in storage until summer rolls around again. Hopefully our “single vehicle family” status won’t last too long though, because son Don is getting me a new (to me anyway) vehicle.
Meanwhile, back to my medical woes lately.
A December visit to the doctor’s office and a couple of complaints by me has led to a battery of tests on my achy aging body – extensive blood tests that found a slightly high cholesterol level and nothing else of concern. And then it turned out that hospital x-rays showed that my back and neck problems are not as serious as I imagined but are due to arthritis, so my chiropractor and therapy that has been prescribed should help with that problem.
My osteoporosis (the first problem that showed up a few years back) called for my semiannual (every six months) prolea shot this month (gotta keep those bones sturdy) and after the eye surgery this week, I am scheduled for an echocardiogram and stress test next week to check out my heart and see if it is the cause of some of my breathing problems, Shortness of breath has always been related to the COPD, which was diagnosed back in 2012.
With all of that done, I should have time to set up those therapy sessions and my biannual mammogram.
Oh joy.
Hopefully that will be all for a while.
Who was it that thought up the term “golden years” for those of us over 65 or 70? All of the problems listed above appeared for me between 65 and 70, starting about twelve years ago in fact, and there is very little “golden” about it.
My mind says I’m still the same old person…and I am the same person, only old, as I discover when I attempt anything remotely strenuous.
If I sound like I’m whining, I guess I am, a little anyway. We are all entitled once in a while you know, but I only have to look around to see so many who have it so much worse than I do.
We are not rich and famous, but with a job and a couple hobbies I still love, a cozy little home, relatively good health, good friends, a hubby who is my best friend, a great supportive family and a batch of beautiful grandchildren and great grandchildren, I guess I am pretty lucky after all.

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