Thursday, July 06, 2017

"You ain't seen nothin' yet"

I've been duped! At least I think I may have been. Time will tell the full story. Mind you, I don't like anyone pulling the wool over my eyes, but when you are raised to believe one thing and then discover "it ain't quite like that" is suddenly revealed, it isn't mildly funny. Yes, I'm talking about turning or making 65 years of age. Racing to get to retirement is not all its cracked up to be. There. I said it.

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.


Anonymous said...

DH: This really hit home Bert. I let my gym membership expire last winter, a class would wipe me out for 2 days. Joined yoga class, I can see this will be very beneficial to keep limber. Walk the dog for a little cardio. No more step aerobics for me, I'm afraid. Just getting into new stuff that I enjoy. I have had terrible back pain off and on since I was about 10. Dr wanted to operate on kidney but Dad took me to chiropractor Dr Phillips instead. Went there until Dad died when I was 15 and there was no money. Shots and bed rest was the norm for a long time. Now at 65 I have no pain at all. I read that as you age the disc shrink and for some that takes away the pain. I feel so blessed to have made it to a pain free 65! I pray good things happen for you too.... Debi

Anonymous said...

Pat Oldham: a very good one.

Anonymous said...

Lynda Toups: Great article!! I am just saying, too, while you are still moving and not in pain- take those dream vacations while you can still enjoy them. Plus don't stop eating healthy, ever, and don't stop exercising ! Thanks for that right on article!

Anonymous said...

Melvin Roark: Very good article, and being past 70 one that I can relate with as

James Connealy: I too suffer from thinking I'm still 35, every time I reach out and grab something that offered little resistance a few years ago, is now a struggle followed by something hurting the next day. Only 'encouragement' I can offer, it just keeps getting worse.

DDC: Bert, just wanted to let you know what a great column you wrote in The Baytown Sun this morning. Another really good one. You not only have the grammar skills, but more importantly, the communication skills as well. Great job, brother.

MR: I agree with Dandy Don Cunningham, that was a good article Bert Marshall and one that we can definitely relate with.

Anonymous said...

SL: Enjoyed your latest column! You had me laughing and reading excerpts to my family.

Pretty touching line at the end also.


Dona Rena said...

I agree RBA is very awesome. It's amazing my neck x-rays look just like yours. I bought one of the massagers that the acupuncturist use and it works wonderful in between treatments. PS my dad always said dirty mind just kept you young it didn't make you get older.

Anonymous said...

Dona Dyer: Love the article I'm going to keep following you

Anonymous said...

Mr. BLT: My newest crowd talks like "what I use to do" and use as if it was still just as effective as if 35 again. Then you have the story topper. Well, I was only 12 when I lifted a full sized cow. Now you understand someone has left you at St James and you like it. Here's your meds, meal menu, bingo at 3:00pm and do it again.

Not me. I'm witnessing this first hand 20 years later than OLD Bert. My folks and my mother has turned into a royal ____ __ __ ass. MY Dad wearing his marine hat in bed 99% of his time and crying spells. Not me......

I'm adding rocks to my life vest. Anyone wanting to sign up for fast effective relief, one way trip to the Gulf, text me. I have a resume of over 20 people accidently drowned off my boat. I Know a thing or two because I have seen a thing or two.

It can only happen while shopping!

As the big man is my witness, every word of this is unquestionable and void of hyperbolic incredibility. With that taken into consid...