3 Doctor’s Appointments in 1 Week

Aging.jpgOn Monday, Bill went to the dermatologist to have skin cancer removed from his bald head. On Wednesday, he went to a neck specialist because he can barely turn his head. On Friday, he had knee surgery for a torn meniscus, and, by the way, the surgeon removed a one-centimeter sized floating piece of cartilage.

That’s three doctor appointments in one week. One definition of old age is when you have a doctor’s appointment every week. Bill had three in one week. The neck specialist diagnosed the problem with Bill’s neck as O.L.D. His neck is old. Arthritis plus the vertebrae and discs are worn thin. Nothing to do but go to physical therapy.

Bill has two physical therapy appointments next week—one for his neck and one for his knee.

My friend Debby jokes about her ologists—of which she has several: cardiologist, pulmonologist, dermatologist, gastroenterologist, etc.

Aren’t we glad we have access to all these specialists? We may be old, but we are a much more comfortable old than previous generations.

Last summer, Bill went to his 65th boys’ school reunion, and half of the 83-year-old men from his class were still alive. Since the life expectancy of men is 76, fifty percent alive seemed pretty astounding. Of the 36 still alive, thirteen came to the reunion, and those thirteen looked pretty darn good. None of them needed a golf cart to ride in the parade of classes. Of course, their class of 1954 is sneaking right up to the head of the parade.

We all have a diagnosis of O.L.D. even if we consider ourselves young. The body wears down, the body wears out. The skin loses elasticity. I remember this every time I look in the mirror.

Welcome aging. Welcome life.

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