Old, by Rich Paschall

When you think of all the things you want to be when you grow up, “old” probably is not on the list.  You may think about being a doctor or nurse.  You may consider lawyer or politician.  Fireman or police officer may be on your list.  In fact, in your elementary school days you may have changed your mind many times. It is OK to dream about the future and fantasize about what you should do some day.

If superhero is on your list, you may have to give that one up rather quickly, unless you are Robert Downey, Jr.  He is playing Iron Man at the ripe old age of 50.  I guess that is a commentary on keeping yourself in good shape.  Of course, he is just play acting, like we do as kids, and he certainly has a stunt double.  Your own life does not come with a stunt double, sorry.

If we give it any thought at all while we are young, of course we want to live a long life.  Therefore, we do want to get old.  If accident or disease does not rob us of life too soon, then we will indeed get old.  It is all the things that go with it that I am not too pleased about.

Contemplating the years
Contemplating the years as the sun sets.

I did notice the changes in my grandparents as they got older.  I am certain that I threaded needles for both my grandmothers at some point in time.  I knew they could not see as well as when they were younger, but I never thought about that being me some day.  Yes, I can still thread a needle, but I probably have to hold it at just the right distance in order to do so.  In fact, I really need trifocals, but have settled for two pair of bifocals instead.  The bottom part is the same on each, but one pair is strictly for the computer.  The top part of the glasses are set to optimize view about where the monitor would be, a little more than arm’s distance away.

This is not fooling anyone, of course, not even myself.  People can see I switch glasses in order to see.  I should have gotten the same style glasses so it would be less obvious.  When I am on Skype, and can see myself back on the screen, I really do not like the look but I am stuck with them for a while.  At least glasses have gotten better and these are not as thick or heavy as ones I wore years ago.


As my grandfather got older, I noticed he sometimes used a cane to help him get up, or walk around.  When he was in his 80’s, he never left the house without the cane.  He just might have too much trouble walking while he was away. Sometimes when I walk past a window or mirror, I think for just a moment the reflection I see is my father or grandfather.  My stepmother once said that I should take it as a complement that people see me as my father, since he was so handsome, but I began to think they saw me as they saw him later in life.  That is, old.

When you see pictures of me, you generally will not see the cane.  I set it down for the shot.  Years ago my doctor sent me to a sports medicine guy for a foot problem of still undetermined origin.  Maybe I was playing sports in the park long after a time when I should have moved on.  Maybe I suffered some trauma that came back to get me.  Maybe it was related to some disease I contracted.  In any case, I had it operated on, which did not help.  Years later I had another operation.  That did not help either.  I had many procedures in between.  Was it just an issue of getting older?  We will never know for sure.

I have heard it said that the aches and pains we feel as we get older are not a natural part of life and we should not just accept them.  Perhaps some accept them when they could feel better, but I have never accepted them.  I have spent a good deal of time getting to know my doctor and all that goes on in his business.  Yes, I might as well interview him a little, he interviews me a lot.  Together we have looked for solutions to my various problems.

The Gabapentin for the foot nerve pain does not seem to eliminate the problem, even if it lessens it.  The Lidocaine patch may numb the pain, but I cut the patch down because a completely numb foot is not a good thing for walking and creates a dull pain, which actually is not much better than a sharp pain.

My doctor does not like my diet or my cholesterol.  He seems to cast a skeptical eye at my insistence that I watch the cholesterol rating on the food I buy.  That does not include restaurant food, however.  I don’t eat out often anyway.  Statins did not work.  They created muscle and joint pain I could not stand.  The non-statin anti-cholesterol pills are not as effective, but hold less side effects, apparently.  Other problems and medications have come and gone, I guess as the age related issues cropped up.  Parts wear out, you know.

Recently a high school class mate of mine wrote to say he had finally gotten in to a senior center he had applied for a while ago.  He had a variety of health issues in recent years and needed to get into such a community.  I wrote back that I could not imagine that any of us would be talking Senior Center, because it seemed like just a few years ago we were in high school together.

With any luck at all, old age will catch you some day.  You will probably feel it coming.

Related: Share If You Are Old Enough To Remember (humor)
To Not Grow Old Gracefully (Sunday Night Blog)

38 thoughts on “ONE THING I DID NOT WANT TO BE

  1. Marilyn Armstrong February 21, 2016 / 12:35 am

    I have computer glasses and distance glasses. I also have prescription sunglasses. I wear my computer glasses most of the time because it’s easier than constantly changing and I don’t get on with bifocals. I wish that were the worst part of getting older! On the other hand, I can still think. My brain seems to be fine, albeit a bit forgetful. Okay, very forgetful. Where I used to remember everything, I have to write everything down these days.

    I have yet to figure out which pair of glasses to wear for shooting pictures. Senior life means everything goes rather slowly. But the thing is, they are GOING — and retirement is the cherry on the top of the sundae of life. NOT working is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rich Paschall February 21, 2016 / 12:44 am

      I have to work a few more years, unless I win the lotto. If Republicans win, I may have to work to 70. The brain is OK, the body has slowed. I used to have prescription sunglasses, but now the non-computer glasses are Photo-gray and change as needed. I hope to survive to the “non-working” years.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Garry Armstrong February 21, 2016 / 11:51 am

        Hey, Rich, I LOVE this one. It’s a nice change of pace for you. Makes me appreciate how things are going for me. While my hearing is almost in the toilet, the rest of me is okay with my 74th birthday just a few weeks away.
        Cataract implants have given me fighter pilot long range vision. Computer and reading glasses are used for the close stuff with contacts as an option.
        The aches, pains and accompanying groans are now a natural part of daily life.
        It’s not exactly Frank Capra stuff but perspective enables me to be grateful.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Rich Paschall February 21, 2016 / 11:59 am

          Thanks. Sometimes our own lives make the best stories. When the birthday comes, don’t forget to party like a younger rock star, Paul McCartney anyway. He’s 73.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Garry Armstrong February 21, 2016 / 12:14 pm

            Rich, our own lives absolutely make the best stories. I derive a greater sense of satisfaction from personal pieces (i.e. — talking about my deafness) than all those celebrity stories I share. That’s why I enjoy your posts so much. As for birthday partying, I’ll rock but not too hard.
            On another note, it’s great to have our boys of summer in their camps. I feel rejuvenated.

            Liked by 1 person

              • Garry Armstrong February 21, 2016 / 12:27 pm

                Absolutely!! Now we can dream.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn Armstrong February 21, 2016 / 1:52 am

    Just thought I’d mention that gabapentin, aka neurontin, makes your hair fall out. It also makes you forget stuff. Just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rich Paschall February 21, 2016 / 11:13 am

      I’ve been taking it for years and I find that…what was I saying?


        • Marilyn Armstrong February 21, 2016 / 7:58 pm

          Did a real number on my brain. Turned it to mush. I did weird things like wandering away from my car and leaving it running … Leaving for work, and then going somewhere else. I had to stop taking it before I ran off a cliff or something. And half my hair fell out, which I didn’t like at all.


          • Rich Paschall February 21, 2016 / 8:37 pm

            I guess it is like many medications. They don’t work for all people. I could not take statins and had to stop taking another for bad side effects.


  3. johnedoe February 21, 2016 / 3:27 am

    life is funny,..isn’t it rich??? i have been gone from wordpress for a few years and i no longer even remember how to use it! but seriously,………it will take me a while to find may way back around,….maybe

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rich Paschall February 21, 2016 / 11:30 am

      You will. Staying active on something is the best way to stay sharp.


  4. eloquentparadise February 21, 2016 / 6:19 am

    This is such a beautiful narrative. I made my grandma read this and she never stopped smiling until it ended.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. judyt54 February 21, 2016 / 9:31 am

    I had cataract surgery several years ago, after a lifetime of intense nearsightedness, and what puzzles me, is why people who ARE nearsighted don’t just get the damn implants and be done with it. I now have 20/30 vision in one eye and did have 20/35 in the other. Reading glasses, sometimes. No glasses for the computer, not even readers.

    I can appreciate (if not always with good grace) the changes–the ground is further away than it once was, and I really don’t want to end up my days in a walker or a body cast because I broke a hip; Im more cautious on ladders and stairs. My senses still kick over nicely, and while I forget stuff I at least still know I forgot it. you see the difference, there.

    All of my mother’s family is gone. Aunts, Uncles, cousins. most of my cousins’ kids (and there were a LOT) are mostly gone, too. What saddens me is there is no one left that knew me, no one left that can answer questions about family stuff, It’s a funny place to be in. My birth father’s family is still chewing on “What Daddy Did 71 Years Ago” and refuse to speak to me. sigh.

    And I refuse to acknowledge the idea that 50 is a qualifying age for Senior citizens. It just jacks up the stats on how many ‘old’ people actually are out there. I’ll accept 65, or even 60, but not 50. If a woman has a child at 50, does she qualify for a senior discount for the delivery?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rich Paschall February 21, 2016 / 11:36 am

      I joined AARP at 50 and enjoy the discounts but did not really feel in the Senior group back then. It does add needed numbers to their organization.
      My parents are gone for years now and there are few relatives left in the area. That is why a strong network of friends becomes increasingly important.


  6. cordeliasmom2012 February 21, 2016 / 11:01 am

    I want a stunt double. Preferably a young, nubile, sexy looking one – cause that’s what I see when I look in the mirror. Without my glasses, of course – and with the mirror showing me only from the eyes up seeing as I’ve lost some height over the last few years. [sigh]


  7. swo8 February 21, 2016 / 1:10 pm

    Considering the alternative – old will do, however, let’s put a little polish on it and refer to it as we would to a nice bottle of vintage wine, smooth, full of character with a hint of autumn. (That would be a French wine – say a Cotes du Rhone)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Charlie@Seattle Trekker February 21, 2016 / 9:41 pm

    Old age, like wisdom that comes with time is a boon that is not given to just anyone, it appears you are one of the lucky few to have been chosen to receive this special gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rich Paschall February 21, 2016 / 11:21 pm

      Thanks, I wanted to old on to the first gift a little longer, however.


  9. Cardinal Guzman February 22, 2016 / 9:37 am

    “Your own life does not come with a stunt double”. Yes, that’s true and that’s why I’ve always done my own stunts. This has, among other things, resulted in a broken cranium. I don’t recommend broken craniums to anyone…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cardinal Guzman February 22, 2016 / 9:38 am

      BTW: the task seemed very easy at the time: “get your ass to the pub, stay there for a while, then get your ass home.” As it turned out, it wasn’t that easy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rich Paschall February 22, 2016 / 9:21 pm

        No, sometimes the return home part is tricky. Be careful out there.


    • Rich Paschall February 22, 2016 / 9:20 pm

      No, that does not sound good. I try to keep my parts intact.


  10. Rich Paschall May 21, 2017 / 12:34 pm

    Reblogged this on Sunday Night Blog and commented:

    I visited my doctor yesterday for a periodic checkup. Every time I go to him, I think of these things.


    • Rich Paschall May 21, 2017 / 4:38 pm

      It is better than the alternative, or at least that’s what some say.


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