Another Sign of Getting Old

29 Dec

Old is such a relative term. As a child of the 60’s, old refereed to anyone over the age of 30. In my early 40’s, men in their late 50’s were too old to consider for a long term relationship. With my husband 70 and me on the upper side of mid 60, old should refer to people in their 80’s or 90’s.  Now I’m not so sure.

As my father’s emphysema advanced, my parents seen to focus on doctor appointments. After he passed, it seemed that 90% of my mother’s social life were trips to the various doctors. She saw 3 specialists, a general practitioner and a nutritionist. Each appointment was carefully marked on her calendar along with any special instructions for diet or lab tests before the appointment.

I just finished putting doctor appointments on the calendar for January. We already had 2 each for the last 2 weeks of December and now have 1 each for the 1st and third weeks of January  and Harry has 2 more for the 2nd week. Medicare works like most employer health care; the deductible starts January 1. We needed to select a new doctor and asked for referrals from everyone we knew. We then dealt with all of the doctors who aren’t accepting new Medicare patients. At the suggestion of our new electrician, we filled out the paperwork for Harry’s VA health care benefits. I was surprised at the size of the VA hospital, clinic and long term care center just 15 miles away in Bonham. They even have bus service for trips to the larger facility in Dallas. VA benefits are now based on economic need (or service related injury) so we had to request a hardship determination that will look at our 2013 income rather than our 2011. He qualifies so now he gets to go through the process of repeat lab tests and then doctor visits. The calendar is filling up for January. Maybe it is time to plan a fun (non Lowes or Home Depot) trip somewhere to place a true social event on the calendar. I wouldn’t want a visitor to think that our life was only doctor visits.  That would mean we were old!

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One Response to “Another Sign of Getting Old”

  1. gramajan December 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM #

    Perhaps you need to redefine “old.” I know people younger than me whose lives unfortunately revolve around medical appointments, but I think the important issue is their attitude toward whatever medical condition they deal with. My sister-in-law, with heart issues and crippling rheumatoid arthritis, is perpetually young and an inspiration to me. My younger friend, battling diabetes and a host of other issues, is of variable age, depending on whether the battle has sent her into depression again. No matter how many medical appointments you have, if you can still have fun and enjoy life, despite its challenges, then you needn’t consider yourself “old.” (I’m one of the lucky ones so far–still healthy enough that I rarely see a doctor.)

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