Whoís Been Drinking Out Of My Glass?

 

"Old age is not so bad when you consider the alternatives"
Maurice Chevalier (1888 - 1972)

For years and years Iíve been hearing the expression ďthe glass is half fullĒ or ďthe glass is half emptyĒ depending upon your viewpoint at the time. Since Iíve become older and am now officially a card carrying member of AARP, Iíve come to the conclusion that the glass is pretty much half empty for most senior citizens. We donít want it to be half-empty and we're not completely sure how it got half-empty, but we just donít have a any choice in the matter. So I decided to name this section "Who's Been Drinking Out of My Glass?"

Thereís another expression that fits the section also and itís called ďage discriminationĒ and itís something that most elderly people have to deal with on a daily basis. I didnít know this until I became elderly and now that I see it first hand,  Iím overwhelmed by it.  We experience it when we drive down the road, when we go to the grocery store, in the workplace, in the movies that are made, in the books we read and in just about every facet of our lives. You'll see me refer to that topic a lot in the articles I've written in this section.  

I wish I could wave a magic wand and make my glass be half-full again. I wish I could eliminate age discrimination. I wish I was eighteen and know what I know today. I wish I could re-live the bad parts of my life and do it better this time. But no matter how much I wish for these things to happen, no matter how hard I rub the magic lamp, itís just not going to happen. So I think I have two choices at this point in my life. I can accept my lot in life and get on with dying. Or I can bitch, scream and holler and get on with living. Which would you do? Which are you doing?

Well, for me living is my only option. That's what this part of the MilanArea.com site is all about. This is my chance to let off some stream over the issues that affect me as I get older. If you're reading this and you're an "older person" maybe these issues affect your also and perhaps you'll get a smile or two out of reading my take on aging. 

Mother Nature: Every morning when I wake up Iím 21 years old or maybe younger. And if I could stay snug under the covers, warm and cozy, not quite awake Ė not quite asleep, I would be a happy man. But then my bladder reminds me there is some business that needs to be taken care of, so I get out of bed and put on my robe and waddle slowly to the bathroom. Along the way, I remember that Iím not really twenty-one, perhaps closer to 41 or maybe older. I know because I feel all those little aches and pains that didnít used to be there when I waddled to the bathroom each morning. And later, as I stand in front of the mirror above the sink, I look up at the mirror and am shocked to see that there is a gray haired, slightly stooped, older gentleman looking back at me and he doesnít seem at all surprised to see an elderly person staring back at him. It can't be me...although there is a strong resemblance. Every morning, when I see this reflection in the mirror, I have this same rude awakening to aging.

Why am I beginning with Mother Nature? Well, I'm beginning here because good old Mother Nature is playing the cruelest joke of all. The simple fact is that our bodies wear out - some faster than others. Who'd you think I was going to blame? There is no time clock that works for everyone. Our joints wear out and we get pain and sometimes swelling in the joints and thatís called arthritis. Sometimes it gets so bad that people have to have joint replacements. I think some day there'll be a super race of bionic elderly people setting off metal detectors in airports all over the world. Actually, joints wearing out is probably the least of our worries. How about high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sugar diabetes, memory lose, hearing lose, eyesight lose, teeth lose, Alzheimerís, depression (who the  hell wouldnít be?) and of course, a variety of heart diseases. Aren't these supposed to be our golden years?

Given all the modern medicines we take for our various ailments, and the surgical options available, itís no wonder weíre living longer today. Itís not unusual to see someone live into their 80ís or even 90ís today. Of course, as with any change in natureís plan, there are repercussions to extended life, which are mostly related to quality of life issues.  

First, the number one problem is our spouses surviving with us. A husband and wife in their 80ís can often get through daily life by helping and watching out for each other. However, if one spouse should happen to become very ill or pass away, itís often impossible for the other spouse to survive alone. Loneliness can be lethal in the elderly. Many seniors simply loss the will to live once they lose their partner in life. The moral of this story is to keep each other healthy by visiting the doctor regularly, eating correctly, getting exercise and taking the correct doses of prescribed medicine.   

The second quality of life issue is the side effects of medication. While itís wonderful that we have all the modern medicines available to treat our illnesses, the simple fact is that any medication you take is likely to have some side effects on you physically. When those side effects affect your quality of life, itís time to discuss it with your doctor. For example, most people who take high blood pressure medication or strong arthritis medication often suffer from diarrhea. If itís bad enough, the person simply stays home with greatly affects their quality of life. If you suffer from depression and take anti-depressants, there's a good chance you'll lose your sex drive. So while these medications may extend our life, the quality of life decreases in direct proportion to the amount of medication we are taking. I discuss some solutions in the "Where's The Bathroom" section.  

The next quality of life issue is money. Most of us didnít plan on living into our 80ís and 90ís so there are two issues that greatly affect our cash flow. The first is social security and the second is cost of illnesses. The truth is that many elderly people couldnít survive without their monthly social security check. And the other side of that coin is that medication eats up way to much of our monthly budget. A major illness can wipe out our savings in a heartbeat. All the more reason to work to stay healthy.

So perhaps the above information will give you a sampling of what this section is all about. Listed below are the topics I've discussed so far so you can just click on that title and it will take you right to that page. This is a growing section, and in fact this is a growing site. Check back from time to time and you'll see new pages added to this section which may be of interest or help to you.

Senior Moments - Keeping Your Memory

Where's The Bathroom?

Grocery Store Complaints/Suggestions

Grocery Shopping in Norwalk

Senior Citizens Humor Page One - Page Two

In future pages I'm going to be discussing, among other things, driving, sex, fast food and entertainment for elderly people. There's actually no topic that I will not discuss so if you have a suggestion, send me an e-mail by clicking on the following message:

Click Here To Send Me An E-Mail

 
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