ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:   At my age

© Another Day in the Country

Last week I came to the point where I had to go into the doctor’s office in order to get my blood pressure medication renewed. I hate taking medication. I’ve tried all kinds of things to get my blood pressure to go down: Watching my salt intake, working out regularly at the gym, attempting to lose weight. Eventually, a year ago, I just gave in and started swallowing the little pill.

“We need to run some tests,” the doctor said to me.

“Really?”

My mind began to whirl as I asked questions. What if these tests came back saying I needed more tests? What if they said something was growing where it should not be? What if? This happens all the time to folks I know. When will it happen to me?

On the way home I talked to myself.

“You know, Pat Wick, at your age you can expect some of this. Eventually, on one of these visits they’ll tell you that your time is limited.”

Myself soaked that in for a minute and then retorted, “Just not now!”

“Well, then when?” “In 10 or 15 years?”

That sounded good. Far off.

“I’ve been trying to do things to lower my blood pressure,” I told the doctor. “Honestly, do you think I’ll ever get off the medication?”

She grinned at me.

“At your age, probably not,” she said.

At my age! There it was again, sidling up to the fact that I burned the butter the other day when I was making gravy — just walked into the other room while the skillet was heating up — they’re heavy, it takes awhile for the butter to melt — I got side tracked. I’ve done stuff like that before, not often but “been there,” and this time my sister walked in the front door and called to me, “Pat?” as she walked out the back door with the smoking skillet.

“Darn,” I said to myself, putting down the pile of clean laundry that had distracted me momentarily. “Twenty years ago I wouldn’t have thought twice about this, but now? Someone will think I’m losing it.”

At my age!

There’s a tooth that’s been bothering me, and the dentist and I have been trying to save it for a couple of years.

Finally, the verdict came, “That tooth has got to go.” I groaned. “It’s my back molar.”

“You won’t miss it,” came the reply. My tongue searched out the errant tooth, bottom left side. That’s a huge tooth. How could I not miss it? The day I came home from the dentist with the tooth missing I said to my sister. “How could I not miss this? There’s this huge gap!”

“Did they talk about implants?” my sister wanted to know. “No?”

Pause.

“Do you think it’s because of your age?”

And then I wondered if I was too old for implants? They are expensive and my shelf-life is what — 10 years? Or is the concept too advanced, like learning to use a smart phone?

“Not for you, sweetie. Stick to rotary.”

Carefully I’ve cared for my traumatized jaw.

“Be not afraid,” I say to myself, “We’re going to ask about implants as soon as this heals.”

Meanwhile, chewing feels like a lawnmower with only one blade!

There’s a lot to adjust to at my age! I remember when I first had to wear glasses — all the time!

I fussed around and then my daughter said, “Get real, Mom, I’ve got friends who’ve worn glasses since first grade!”

Aha! Good to hear! Sets things in perspective.

My oldest cousin, trim and lovely as she’d always been, was showing me her new wardrobe for taking a trip with a man friend of hers, years ago. She laughed.

“It’s great; but life just takes so much maintenance at my age.”

She was my age right now, come to think of it. You can’t be resigned too soon.

I do recall, at 60, I thought, “I’ll never have another man in my life — not at my age,” I wasn’t sad — been there, done that — but I was wrong, delightfully misjudged what life had to offer on another day in the country. So, I just crossed the word “never” out of my vocabulary.

My advice is “Go for it! And, be quick about it, especially at your age.”

 

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