Wednesday I went to my annual Oncologist appointment... only to find out that my doctor that I've had for 16 years is no longer available. He moved a few months ago to another state. "Shouldn't I have been informed?" I asked. Well, apparently there was a glitch somewhere and I was told that about 30% of his patients didn't get the letter sent out and the other 70% had the wrong names on it. OK...???
I was seen by another Oncologist who was taking on some/all of my former doctor's patients. He was very nice and we discussed a few things - as I'm used to doing with my former doctor. I explained that in general I was in good health, and considered some of the little things that occurred as "inconveniences" and probably age-related. He agreed to a point. But it made me think.
I think that there should be classes to teach us how to "be old"...
Instead I have to ask the doctor if "such and such" is a medical problem or is it just par for my age... ?(which will be 71 in a few days)
Should I be taking vitamin D3? My family physician's test last year showed my Vit D level to be only 14 and I was told this was low. But I don't really believe in vitamins... just eating right. This doctor said that he wasn't too keen on vitamins either... and wasn't worried about the D3 level. I've gotten this far without pills and hopefully can go a bit longer.
OK, on to another age-related problem - the subject of "driving". Some drive until they're in their 90's... some shouldn't. Well, if we're honest, we know that our reflexes probably aren't as fast as they used to be. So we should be more careful when driving. Actually my reflexes seem to be more advanced than they used to be... as I tend to grab the door handle quite often when DH brakes suddenly. However, I taught myself to ride in the car with my eyes closed when my kids started driving to eliminate this reflex... so-oo maybe it isn't age-related. I don't drive on highways much anymore... am not comfortable going 70 mph with the possibility of my vision suddenly going out due to migraine aura. And I don't drive at night because of the glare (but once I have my cataract surgery, this may no longer be a problem...)
|Isn't this a great pic?|
Then there's the increased number of pit stops. Some of this is due to my IC, but some could very well be age-related. When I asked the doctor about this, he said, "probably both".... which I would have guessed anyway.
There's possible memory loss. I do occasionally forget the word for something and don't remember it until about 10 minutes later... when it's no longer relevant. Or walk into a room looking for something and then can't remember what that was until I return to where I started. Or...
|I have done this...|
None of these bother me too much, but since my mother, her sister, and my dad's sister all had Alzheimer's, I can't help but think about it.
And there's the agility issue. I used to be able to sit down on the floor and get up quite easily... but lately, not so much. I can still do it, but the getting up part has become a little more difficult. Yoga helps with this, but I quit for the summer and have apparently regressed a bit...
Should I mention hearing loss? DH and I do not have hearing aids and don't think we need them... yet. However, we have noticed that we do turn the TV volume up a bit more than we did in the past. So how do you know when it really becomes an issue? My eye specialist once told me that an issue needs addressing when it starts to affect your quality of life. He was referring to my cataracts at the time. But I guess this advice could extend to other areas as well.
How about lower energy levels? I find that usually by mid-afternoon, my energy level has dropped to a point that I require some down time... meaning a nap. Now this is one age-related issue that I don't really mind. I love to nap! And the cats love it too! So almost every afternoon, we (the cats and I) retire and although sometimes I just read, other times I do nap until time for tea at 4.
Now I'm not complaining about these possibly age-related issues. I'm grateful to have reached this age... since my siblings weren't given the chance. I'm really happy for what I can do and have done. And as time marches on, I will accept that some things will change.
And hopefully, I can do this gracefully. This actually reminds me of something I used to say to my first grandson (who is 17 now) when he was a small boy. He would be having fun somewhere and not want to leave... so he would cry. I would tell him "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened". I had read this somewhere and thought it very wise. I need to try to remember it for myself.