Turning 65 has suddenly been a wake-up call where all I have to talk about is my aches and pains, my meds, the grocery deals, and yes, my bowel movements. My first indication that I had hit this mile marker was people quit asking me "How're ya doin' there big fella?" Now they wave and mention the weather, which I've also become quite a sage on the subject. "Back in the 70's..." I begin and they immediately get a text or a phone call and holding their communication device up to signal it's priority over actual face to face interaction, step off for a moment that eventually leads them away.
I talk to people in elevators and the grocery story, often grabbing at their arm when they fake how precious their time is. Never mind that we are strangers. What's more important than people? Any interaction with my fellow humans in now important and I have a witty anecdote to share and by golly, they should slow down to savor it.
"You ain't seen nothin' yet," half joked the old Korean War veteran who I met at the VA. Recently, I had CT scan to rule out other more significant problems so I could continue pain management via acupuncture for my neck issues. The good news is I do not have a tumor, but I have cranial calcification, which I immediately knew better as "bone head" caused by aging. So it appears, my narrow range of topics is a direct result of said calcium deposits.
I was afraid it would reveal the dreaded "dirty mind" deposits that go with being an elder male of the human species, but I guess they didn't run that test. Other men my age have explained to me that being a dirty old man is as common as litter and is fully excusable due to the fact that most of us are or will become inert and harmless and that is quickly recognized by intended targets of our risk-free witty banter.
I see this performance at the gym in the mornings when other "old goats" are drawn to the female gender to spread friendly double-entendre. Before I turned 65, I would explain to my bride that "they really like women" and that's why they always come over grinning. The other day I was tempted to engage in this social behavior. Drat! At least I wasn't drooling. Not yet any way. The dang truth is, I am 65 and not 35 and I can't do a lot of the things that I did when I was younger. 2017 has been mean to me physically.
I was talking to Barbora Cole the other day and when I got on this subject (which is my new staple conversation), she laughed and explained how it was only going to get worse. Her husband Leo nodded in agreement. Yikes! I'm trapped. I was at their house repairing their computer and I swear, my first thought after I left was what was on sale at Aldi's and that I had to pick up a prescription at CVS.
I've done pretty well on getting away from the pain in my "nasty neck" and sure as the world, I semi-twist my back. You know what I'm talking about. It's that pain you get when you turn wrong, or step in a hole. I did it innocently enough by changing a flat tire on my Jeep. Never mind that the huge tire and wheel weigh 80 pounds. I was trying to stab the wheel on the carrier on the back while feeding the 3rd brake light cable through the middle of the wheel.
Of course it slipped a bit and I jerked to catch it and ouch! When all this stuff started with my neck on March 21st, I was on a single blood pressure med. Now I have 8 meds and 2 topical analgesics. "You ain't seen nothin' yet" comes to mind.
Our VA is a wonderful place in my experience, but the other day my doctor looked at my chart and declared, "Well, you get 2 shots today!" I chuckled and asked what it was for and why. "You are now 65, so you get a tetanus and pneumonia shot." Zap, I got em and 5 days later my arms are still sore. I guess I need to go get a walker from the prosthetics department, as at this accelerated pace, I'll most likely need it soon.
Here is the real skinny on all this aging business. It is inevitable and not entirely avoidable. I have to be smarter and admit to myself that I must back off some activities. Larry Houston told me he never gets hurt changing a tire because he calls AAA and I think he's right. I know he's right. I just don't know how to stop being 35.