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 a lawyer or politician. A fireman or police officer may be under consideration. 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 someday.

If a superhero is on your list, you may have to give that one up rather quickly, unless you are like Robert Downey, Jr. He was still playing Iron Man past the ripe old age of 50. I guess that is a commentary on keeping yourself in good shape. Of course, he was just play-acting, like we do as kids, and he certainly had 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 of 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 someday.  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 I have settled for two pairs 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 is set to optimize the view from where the monitor should be, a little more than an 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 of glasses so it would be less obvious. When I am on Skype or Messenger 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 my glasses have gotten better and these are not as thick or heavy as the 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 80s, he never left the house without a cane. He just might have had 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 compliment 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.

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. Or what the former Colombian formerly known as John cooks for dinner. 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 fewer side effects, apparently.  Other problems and medications have come and gone. Parts wear out, you know.

Recently a high school classmate of mine wrote to say he had finally gotten into 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 about a 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 someday.  You will probably feel it coming.

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

Categories: #Health, Getting old, Medical, Rich Paschall

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. I dread it! Getting old! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. we are lucky to be alive, and it is amazing to see us transform into older people, with a. new understanding of those who were old before us

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I figured I would “gracefully age.” Some white hairs, but otherwise, pretty much the same. Of course I started falling apart before I hit my 20s, so I knew pretty early on that the cool grannie wouldn’t be me.

    But you know? With all our complaints and problems — and we have a LOT of complaints and real problems to go with them — we’re alive and a lot more people I used to know are not alive anymore. More of my friends are dead than alive. Fortunately, the “core” of my friend group ARE still with us and none of us has had to move to a senior care facility. Which is very good because frankly, I can’t afford anything but a state facility and I think I’d rather be dead.

    Be glad you ARE alive. My mother never got as old as I am now. Neither did my brother. I think of that often these days, the living and the dead and how, with all the issues I’ve got, I’m still here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • At this point I have had quite a number of cousins who have passed away at a younger age than I am now. A number of high school classmates are gone too. With my various long standing issues, I guess I should be glad to be here and still working part time. The extra pays for my extras, so to speak.


  4. I see my future in your post…

    Liked by 1 person

%d bloggers like this: