COLUMN: The joys of growing older, let me count the ways



Every day it seems I am reminded again that it takes a little more to do the things I used to take for granted.

Every week the yard gets a little bigger, the mower a little smaller, a little slower. My grandchildren no longer think I am the greatest playmate in the world.

The doctor’s office is a regular port of call, and when your pharmacists know you by name, it’s a sign.

Just this week I had a wonderful little procedure called a colonoscopy. If you recognize the term, welcome to the club. If you don’t, you have a really wonderful experience ahead of you.

Without being too explicit, it is relatively simple procedure. But as they say, the devil is in the details. They call it “the prep.” I say there has to be a better way.

Then of course there is the little addendum to my instructions to adhere to a “clear liquid diet” beginning the day before the procedure. Now that is just a Madison Avenue way to say don’t eat anything.

It means no food, nada, zippo, zilch. Why not be up front and just say it Liquid diet sounds like nourishment of some kind. Jell-o and Popsicles just don’t cut it. Then comes the “the prep.”

I will just say any medical procedure that includes drinking a half gallon of “water” in 30 minutes the night before and another half-gallon at 4 a.m. the morning of said procedure conjures images of the Inquisition. Considering the results of these ablutions obtain, Ipersonally would prefer water-boarding.

At least this is one trip to the doctor that once you actually arrive, the worst is over. My first colonoscopy, they gave me a valium and Anesthesia Lite, which means I wasn’t knocked out completely. So I have vague memories of being quite relaxed and dozing in and out with a really weird TV program playing on a screen above me reminiscent of “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

This time I get wheeled in and have pleasant conversation with my specialist, Dr. Cherner, and then they are ready to put me under. I was told I would be out in 15 seconds. Well I have a high degree of concentration and I am totally alert. I think I will fight this in an exercise of self …

Next thing I know I am awakened and somewhat groggily realize it’s all over. The Dr. Cherner gives me the really good news. If everything checks out OK, we won’t have to do this dance for another 10 years.

That is Okey Dokey with me.

I know there are more of life’s little wake-up calls ahead of me. Trips to my dentist these days require more than a quick cleaning and a, “See you in six months.” It seems most of the parts of my body are clamoring for special attention.

Lots of changes are coming my way as I grow older.

I just wish someone would tell me I wouldn’t have to mow my lawn for the next 10 years. I’d give him the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

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