Doctor, I’m Fine

18 Jul

by Terry Rachel

I can’t get this thing about growing old into my head. It’s just not working for me. I have to keep busy, I have to be part of something, I watch very little TV, and I’m not online a lot. Instead I think about nature, and being outside, walking two or three miles, and getting fresh air. And those projects: Furniture needs to be stripped and varnished, and those boxes. Utilize the boxes and place your tools in them. You should get some things to storage, so you can start empyting the closet. And, unlike a lot of people, I am not an online shopping addict, not a compulsive buyer. I think about what I need and then shop in a real store to find it. If it fits, and I need it, I buy it. If not, I don’t think about it again.

When it comes to eating, it’s now a matter of what is good for my body. Is my body going to be bored with it? Will it be too much? I can’t eat a lot now, and I can’t eat late at night. I used to love drinking wine and pairing it with cheese, nuts, and fruit, with cured meats such as pepperoni, and hard salami, always a favorite. But after a glass or two, I’m no longer a sparkling conversationalist (no pun intended), and the cheese and nuts are bound to be stuck somewhere in my digestive track. I have to be sensible. Maybe I’ll have some green tea before bed.

I try to keep western medicine at bay. I’m afraid of taking pills. I debate on whether or not to take 200 milligrams of Ibuprophen when someone else might pop 2 or 4 pills within hours. On a recent visit, my doctor said, “You know, your blood pressure is elevated. We can get that down. I’d like to prescribe 5 mg of…” I looked at her like a deer in headlights. “I’m just nervous right now,” I said, “I get that way whenever I go to the doctors.” I filled the prescription, and when I got it home I stared at the bottle. I didn’t want to be on a prescription drug. That was 6 months ago. Since then I increased my exercise by including bicycling two times a week and staying an extra 15 minutes at the gym for a total of 90 minutes five times a week. My body likes to be physical. Afterall, the doctor doesn’t know my body like I do.

Working still and working with a team. I know some people enjoy their retirement years. For them, getting up at a six o’clock alarm is no fun, and sleeping in is their preference, maybe even lounging in bed with a cup of coffee. I can’t do that. I like routine. I have’t lounged in bed in “I can’t remember when” no, not for me. I like working. I like producing. I like being part of a team, and I really love being a part of the ever-changing technology landscape. Technology is fascinating and I keep in the know about IT and tech.

My relationship with God has taken on a new level of faith. I got away from the church for nearly 30 years, but I returned in 2019, going to mass almost every Sunday. I went to confession on Ash Wednesday in 2020. There was a line that day, nearly 6 people ahead of me. I was nervous. I was looking around. “You should go,” I thought, “What are you going to say, anyway? No. This is wrong.” But I stayed, and I waited on line. I kept checking my watch. Thirty minutes! Wow, this priest must be popular. My confession went off without a hitch, but I have to admit, I stunned the priest when I told him it had been 50 years since my last confession.

My life is a very simple one. I live in a very simple world that I created. With the passing of friends and family, threads of communication, my once reliable byways, have shrunk in size. And maybe that’s why I keep running around, I keep chasing time. I keep wanting to make something happen. I keep getting up for that alarm. I can’t get it into my head that I have to slow down. It’s Sunday. If I buy varnish and stripper today, I can get that piece of furniture ready for October, when it’s not too humid.

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