Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Since the five decade mark a couple of years ago I have begun to notice changes with my body. I guess it is a part of growing older--I like to blame it on entropy. Entropy is the theory of moving from order to disorder--or, in simple terms: things eventually fall apart. My body is falling apart. It is no longer the Adonis it once was in my imagination. Now it looks a whole lot like Earl Pickles in the comic strip Pickles. I have found that I have become a weight magnet and have collected weight from throughout the universe and it has all headed down to the equator around my waist. Dora, the Dachshund, has found that it makes a wonderful pillow for taking naps when I am crashing in the Lazy Boy. Others may call it "fat", but Earl Pickles has come to the rescue as he explains to his grandson that it is not "fat" but over-accumulated wisdom! I knew I wasn't fat--I just well-educated!
I guess that is one advantage of getting older--a person can gain weight. I guess that is a plus if you want some extra weight, more often than not what I notice are the things I am beginning to lose. My eye sight is one of the things that I seem to be losing. In the past five years I have gone from a single lens eye glass prescription to the infamous and dreaded tri-focal lens prescription. It was tough enough attempting to learn how to use my bi-focals when I got them and then the eye doctor added another one! I just don't see as well as I used to and I notice myself drifting over to the large print and audio books more and more. My arms just aren't log enough for reading anymore!
Hearing is another one of those things about my body that is fading fast. The wife thinks I have "selective hearing loss", but what husband doesn't? The truth of the matter is that I pretty much damaged my hearing during my young adult years when I worked building grain bins in Nebraska. I was that guy in the bin with an impact wrench screwing down the bolts. This was before OSHA had regulations dealing with protective gear including ear plugs. Of course the loss has only grown worse over the years and I really have a difficult time hearing high frequency sounds in a crowd. So I have learned to shake my head a lot and say, "Uh huh." I have a co-worker, an audiologist, who keeps threatening me to test my hearing and set me up with some hearing aids. I just look at her, shake my head, and say, "Uh huh."
The father in the comic strip Luann is my comic alter ego--he is the spitting image of what I look like. He is well-educated, wears glasses, and has that selective hearing loss that we men embrace so well . . . plus, he has that wonderful receding hair line! He is going bald. Now I cannot blame getting older for my baldness as I have been going bald since I was in college. Getting older has only made what hair I do have left grayer and more distinguished looking. But hey! I still have hair left, but it is getting harder and harder to fork out twenty bucks for what little hair I do have every time I need a haircut. I feel like I am over-paying the stylist as she rarely even breaks a sweat cutting my hair. We hardly get past the pleasantries of conversation before she is done. It has taken me three years to learn her name--I get a little bit each time I go in.
But one of the things I have noticed about going bald--the hair that a person loses on his head usually shows up some else on the body. Usually in places where no one wants hair. I have discovered that the hair on my head has migrated to my ears--nose--and back! It is hard to create a comb-over from those parts of the body!
I have also discovered other parts of the body that have gone Awol since getting older. My thyroid has decided that it was going to retire and it shut down. For such a tiny part of the body it is amazing how much of the body the thyroid effects--metabolism (probably why I am so well-educated now) is a big one. To replicate the thyroid I now take a tiny pill every day and will for the rest of my life. When the magic of better living through chemistry kicked with the thyroid medicine my body started functioning again. This allowed to discover that I have some arthritis--mainly in my thumbs. This is good as it has not effected my ability to use sign language while driving. My body hurts a lot more than it did since I have gotten older . . .
. . . but, hey, I'm alive! I am working. I still can play. I live in beautiful Montana and I am still able to get out and hike in the mountains. I still have a since of humor. I still can enjoy a good micro brew. I enjoy my family and friends. I love God and God loves me. I am still able to take pictures, write, and tell lousy jokes. Life is good. That is God's gift to me and I plan on enjoying it for as long as I can. I exist and this blog is evidence of that existence. As the cartoon below says:
Despite growing older, more educated, harder of hearing, balder and grayer, and basically falling apart, I am here! I blog--therefore I am! It doesn't get any better than that!