Friday, April 15, 2016

Today is my 70th birthday. Am I old yet?

I used to say that middle age lasts until they shovel dirt onto you. I can still say that, but with a bit less conviction. I do everything with a bit less conviction. Especially climbing stairs.

Last summer I went to a doc with an office sign that said "geriatric and adult care." I asked the receptionist how old one has to be to be considered geriatric. She said 50. Ouch.

I don't "feel old." But maybe that's because lots of my body parts have no feelings at all.

I certainly don't "think old." I have a 14-year-old brain imprisoned in a 70-year-old body. Maturity is overrated, and if I have not yet achieved it, I probably never will. My next stage of emotional development will likely be senility.

For most of her 90-plus years my mother was an active and brilliant lady. At the end she had terrible Alzheimer's. She didn't recognize her children, didn't read, speak or stand. She ate and slept. That's not much of a life.

At Mom's 90th birthday party her long-time physician and friend said that medical science can keep a body functioning long after the mind stops, but what's the point?

I had previously predicted that
I'd die in 2035, at the "ripe old age" of 89. Now I wonder if I should revise my plan.

Within the past eight months I've been hospitalized twice. I've been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. My diabetes attacked a nerve that controls one of my eyes. I wear an eye patch to eliminate double vision. I have no feeling from the soles of my feet to half way up to my knees. The combination of loss of vision and loss of feeling makes walking wobbly, so I sometime use a cane. On different days different knees hurt. My hands hurt 97% of the time. My left foot, which theoretically has no feeling, often hurts a lot.

I've cut back on pizza consumption to twice a month, and ice cream to twice a week. I can spell the word "exercise."

Typing is tough because I often tap the wrong keys and forget and substitute words.

Within the past month or so a bunch of famous people died while in their 60s and 70s. That's scary.

Later today I'll drive to Firestone to get new brakes. The better brakes have a lifetime warranty. How long is that?

I'm going to have a surprise birthday party on Sunday. The party is not a surprise, but the birthday is. I thought I would've been killed before now by an overdose of brownies or by someone I pissed off.

I still enjoy life and will still do almost anything for a joke. I have no idea how much time I have left. I've started to dispose of my collections and acquire less, and cross items off my bucket list.

Today I will taste my first cup of coffee. I will probably never go to bed with a prostitute, bungee-jump from the George Washington Bridge nor give a bronsky to Sofia Vergara.

Maybe it's best to not empty my bucket list. It gives me something to look forward to just in case I get a second chance.

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