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  • Bob Puglisi

MY THOUGHTS ON AGING – JUNE 2024


I’ve been thinking a lot about aging lately. It’s probably because that’s what’s happening to me, my wife, relatives, and friends. I expected some things would change with age, like our hair color turning gray or white and hair loss. Another foolish thought I had was you get a few aches and pains. Maybe our eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be. The hearing goes, too.


It’s all those and, to my surprise, much more. My life and Anita’s are filled with days of doctor appointments. We used to see a doctor maybe once a year. Now, we see multiple doctors several days a week, sometimes more than one in a single day. Then, there’s the medications. I’ve been lucky to have to take only a few prescription drugs and several supplements. Poor Anita hasn’t been as fortunate. She takes a handful every morning, followed by another handful at bedtime. And the side effects of those drugs cause other problems. I’ve often asked our doctors, “You think the problem is caused by such and such medication?” Their response has been no, or maybe. They never seem to admit a drug is the cause.


We didn’t contract COVID during the pandemic; getting the vaccines was always challenging. Here’s what I think—we weren’t infected, but it affected our health because it kept us from seeing our doctors. Over those two years, maladies were brewing that went undetected until we resumed regular medical care. You may have had similar experiences.


One of the saddest things about this time of our lives has been the loss of friends and relatives. Even worse, the diseases that they had to suffer through for months and even years. I think the lucky ones are those that pass on suddenly. We’ve learned the awful effects of cancer, heart disease, memory loss, Parkinson's… The list goes on and on. I’m always surprised to hear about some new disease. One friend lost her life to White Matter Brain Disease—whoever heard of that?


Our daily lives are shadowed by everything I have mentioned and more. How do we deal with all this while waiting for the other shoe to drop? I’ll offer some thoughts that have helped me. I try not to let it get me down and to stay positive no matter how bad it gets, and that isn’t easy. Some of these things begin to take over our lives. When those of us of a certain age talk, we often discuss our medical problems. I like what a good friend always says, “Let’s only talk about our medical issues for five minutes.” Five minutes is an arbitrary number. You can decide for yourself what’s a reasonable amount of time. They also say we should stay connected to the world around us through volunteer work, activities, and staying in touch with people we care about.


I’m not an expert on aging. I’m just an old guy trying to make the best of it. I wish I could turn back the clock to my 30s; however, at this time, I would be happy to be 60 again. We’ve all been told about the things that can help us live a better life in our waning years. I try to eat healthier, drink less alcohol, and exercise. Reading the nutrition labels on food packaging is supposed to help. I don’t know if it does because I often trade off sodium for carbs and sugar or vice versa. They tell us to cut back on fats to avoid cholesterol buildup. But I’ve also read that a certain amount of fat is good for the body.

Exercise is a healthy choice we should make. I have a fitness center three doors away from my condo. I go four or five days a week. I walk on the treadmill to help lubricate my aging and achy hips. Then, I work out with dumbbells. Before going to the fitness center, I do physical therapy at home. That usually consists of using my Chi massager. It’s a machine used while lying on my back with my ankles on the machine; it rocks them back and forth, stimulating blood circulation, spine, and lower back and providing an overall good feeling. I do sit-ups, followed by physical therapy exercises for my back and hips.


Then, I hang by my legs on my inversion table. It helps my deteriorating lower back disks. I also try to get in some yoga once a week. In the winter, I enjoy downhill skiing. I’m hoping to continue that into my 80s. Usually, a couple of hours skiing is plenty of exercise while enjoying the crisp mountain air. I like to get an occasional bike ride when the weather warms up. You’re probably saying he must be in great shape. Not true! Every morning, I wake up discovering some new ache, pain, or just the same old ones.


I had the pleasure of meeting an incredible older man several years ago. His name is Sven Wick. He was a retired head ski coach at the local college in Gunnison, Colorado. In his 90s, he would try to cross-country ski or hike daily. Sven said, “You just have to keep moving.” So, keep moving, folks! The end is inevitable, so let’s try to make the best of every day.

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1 comentário


thewriteguy01
18 de jun.

Yeah, aging sucks! I'm a few months from 80, but as George Burns once said, "You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old." Ah, what's he know? He's dead!

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