I’ve always hated how people throw the “How are ya’?” line at you, even when they have absolutely no interest in your answer. I get that it’s just an American version of “Hello,” but its still annoying.
So today’s question is really asking the question:
How are you doing? Seriously, are you okay? Feeling good? Just okay? Not so great? Why do you think you’re feeling the way you are?
All things considered, we’re both doing alright — all things considered. Are we feeling our age? Yup. I’m 75 and Garry’s 80. There’s no avoiding the obvious weight of the years, but for our ages, we’re doing reasonably well and are content. We’re slowing down and I don’t expect we’re going to get more lively with time. We are doing better than I imagined either of us would do considering my long siege of ill health and at this point, we have fewer than expected major issues. Especially me. We’ve both got lots of small problems. Allergies, intolerance to foods that we used to love but can’t eat anymore, and an unwillingness to do long drives.
I’ve had cancer (twice), major heart surgery, and stomach removal due to ulcers (twice) — and of course, a spinal fusion surgery when I was just 19 — oh, and a pin in my right leg when I was 14. And yet here I am. Limping along. I’m not sure how that happened, either.
The odds didn’t favor my getting as old as I am. Garry comes from a long-lived family, so his years were more expected. He has no major health issue (that we know about) other than being 80, some arthritis, a bum shoulder (Tommy Johns surgery didn’t “hold”) and wishing he were younger. Mind you, he can still do and does 200 situps a day. I’ve never been able to do a dozen, so I think he’s better than he thinks.
Garry’s big issue was and remains his hearing. Even with a cochlear implant, he doesn’t hear well, but he struggles along. In the spring, he should be able to get new aids which will hopefully improve his hearing.
I’m tired a lot of the time. I don’t sleep well. Part of it is the endless pain in my back and that my hands and feet fall asleep even when the rest of me doesn’t. New medication has improved the pain level by a huge amount but doesn’t seem to be able to keep my hands and feet from doing their own thing.
Otherwise, for no known reason, the Duke has gone into full zoom mode. He decided last night was race night. All around the house and out into the yard, jump on the bed, bark, jump off the bed and race out the doggy door, bark, race back inside and upstairs to our bed. Where he pokes his cold, wet nose in my face and barks (just once) — I assume to say “Hi, wanna get up and play?” It was three in the morning, so the answer was a flat “NO!”
Is it the new vitamins? The broccoli? The food? I cook it myself, so is it making him zoom? Too much protein or just one healthy 6-year old pup? So, the Duke is 100% fine, thank you and has all the energy (maybe twice as much) as Garry and I.
I’m also tired because I read late into the night, which is often the only time I can read. If the book is good, I get involved and forget to stop reading and suddenly, it’s morning. This is a bad habit from childhood, but I’m not a kid and I should make more of an effort to sleep. I’m also tired because my heart has “issues” and my spine is full of arthritis. Garry’s tired because he worked for a long, long time and he’s 80. He looks GREAT, mind you. Appearances, he points out, can be deceiving.
And then, there’s the Duke.
If I don’t think about politics, the state of the planet, climate change and whether or not I’ll be able to keep buying the medications I need (there are a lot of them), I can avoid becoming frantic. The news is unrewarding but I feel obliged to at least keep in touch with the reality in which I live. I can’t do much about it, but whatever I can do, I still make the effort.
Why? Because it really IS the right thing to do.