Monday, January 11, 2010

You Might Be an Old Person If . . .

you look at your driver's license picture and realize it's the best photo you've taken in years . . . you shake your fist at the neighbor kids and yell at them to get off your lawn . . . you can't watch a movie without falling asleep . . . Okay, okay. Jeff Foxworthy I am not.

They say that comedy comes from pain, and if that's true, old people are the funniest humans on the planet. Anyone who's ever visited the elderly knows how much of their conversation centers around their most recent physical ailments. They catalogue their aches and pains. They describe in detail their latest visit to the doctor, hospital, and/or surgical suite. Hours fly by as a group of senior citizens enjoy a hearty debate regarding the side effects of cholesterol medication. May the good Lord protect you if you're a politician trying to mess with their insurance.

I first noticed the correlation between "age" and "health concerns as the main topic of conversation" when my husband and I were passing through Washington state. We'd made a side trip to Spokane to visit his relatives and were staying at his grandparents' house. The couple of nights we spent there felt like a couple of months as we sat on the couch, a muted Wheel of Fortune playing in the background, receiving an update on the health of not only his grandparents, but all of their friends.

I realize as I write this how snotty I must sound, so let me assure you that my husband and I are quite possibly the most respectful people you're ever going to meet. Even though we didn't know any of the folks about whom they were talking, we listened to Grandma and Grandpa's tales of medical malpractice, nodded our heads, and asked questions. In short, we forced ourselves to care about Thelma's kidney stones and Bert Sr.'s gangrenous toe. And you know what? For the rest of their lives, my husband's grandparents spoke fondly of us. They thought we were the nicest kids, and thoroughly enjoyed our short time together. That visit forged a strong bond between us.

So what's my point? My back hurts. I bent over to sweep a mess into the dustpan and my lower muscles went into spasm. I screamed and dropped to the floor in agony. I had to go to the doctor! She gave me a muscle relaxer called Flexeril, which caused me to spend most of the weekend laid out on the sofa falling in and out of a coma. Speaking of laid out, have I told you how my father had both knees replaced last year? Pull up a chair. This is going to take a while . . .



Dinner last night: Flexeril, water



10 comments:

Katherine said...

I first realized I was turning into my mother (and "getting old") when I realized I hadn't seen the end, or middle, of a movie in over 2 months.

I thought it would take a lot longer to get "old."

AngieB said...

Oh, yeah! I used to know my friends' favorite cocktails and musical preferences. Now I know their medical histories. We're a fun crowd, let me tell you!

Michelle Hoad said...

I can always tell when it's going to rain because my knees start to hurt.

Michele said...

I hope your husband's grandparents don't read your blog!

BTW, I can't sit cross-legged on the floor anymore to fold laundry. My legs go numb. And my neck goes snap-crackle-pop every time I turn my head. I'm gonna be so much fun to be around when I get older!

Michele said...

PS - I should have said before, I'm so sorry about your thrown back. There's nothing else like it. My husband lives in fear of the next time his back goes *sproing*. You just don't appreciate your strong back until you don't have one anymore.

Michele said...

Dinner last night: Flexeril, water.

LMAO, you are too funny, even doped up and in excruciating pain. Feel better soon.

PS - this is a contest to see how many comments I can leave on a single post. I think I won. You forgot to mention in your post about memory loss in old people!

Quadmama said...

I knew I was getting old when I listened to the radio and was appalled by some of the lyrics. What the heck happened to me? Oh, and I have to wear orthotics in my shoes to alleviate foot and back pain. Yep. I'm old.

A Merry Heart said...

I take naps. I'm starting to get grumpy if I miss one. Sigh.

Karen said...

Is it inevitable? Is there some way to avoid making my aching knees and lower back pain the most interesting thing going on in my life?

It's true, though. Old people love it when someone will listen to them. Even if your mind is wandering, they don't care as long as you're sitting there and letting them talk. I think it's why I was always my grandmother's favorite.

barbaramaarit said...

Hi Kim, I was writing a very late Christmas card to you this morning and was about to start in on a "health report" . . . then I remembered this entry in your blog and changed my mind.

I am old, but there are more interesting things to think and write about.