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Monday, August 27, 2012

Old Age Versus Disease







Old & Aging:          unstoppable
Disease:                   treatable

     She had trouble getting up from her desk at work.  Using the strength of her arms, she pushed herself upright .  Didn't scream once.  She looked up and saw me watching her.
     "Getting old," she said.  "Arthritis."

Arthritis and old age are not synonymous.  Every old person does not have arthritis.
     Arthritis is a disease.

Disease:      pathological.....abnormal....cluster of specific symptoms
                   of a particular state of dis-ease.

     As we experience the twilight lumpy landscape we are now upon, it is easy to get really mixed up about what is disease and conversely, what are the characteristics of being old.  After all, this is new terrain for us, and I don't know about you, but my grandmas and grandpas left me nothing about what they were experiencing.  Where are my grandmas when I need them!!!!  Why didn't they leave me a blog or something?!  
     And frankly, the characteristics of aging seem like symptoms to me!  But the characteristics of aging are not symptoms of disease.....they are NORMAL.

     If you long to know what aging does to a person, look at other old people.  All old people have to have the characteristic or it is NOT about being old.
     All old people don't go blind!  Blindness is caused by disease.
     All old people don't pee their pants!  Loss of bladder control is caused by disease.
     All old people don't have memory problems.  Memory problems is caused by disease.
     All old people don't give up sex.  Sexual dysfunction is caused by disease......(or maybe anger).

     So.........what does aging cause that we all experience?

#1.  We all slow down as we age.  Even those old people who make us so proud at the Senior Olympics will tell you they used to be faster.
     I heard O.J. Simpson being interviewed (when he was trying to regain lost status after his crimes).  Did he regret the swath he had cut?  Didn't seem like he did.  What he talked about regretting was that he couldn't run down the football field at lightening speed as he once did.
     We all slow down.
     Come to think of it, that might be a good thing.

#2.  Another thing we all experience is that our bodies go through two major metabolic changes as we become more and more "fuel efficient".  The first change comes about age 35 and decreases our need for calories by half!  If that isn't difficult enough, our bodies go through another metabolic change about age 70.  Now our need for calories is decreased by half again.
Look around you.  How many of us have made those switches at the dinner table?
     So the pounds pile on a lot of us.
     But before we write ourselves off as hopeless, let's remember our worth:  WE ARE THE MOST FUEL-EFFICIENT DANDIES IN THE HUMAN RACE.

     We are valuable.  We don't need much food, we don't need as much sleep and by now we have learned to live without any positive feedback whatsoever!  We are priceless.
   Yeh, you couldn't put a price tag on us low enough to get somebody to buy us as a slave, but put a price tag on our volunteer efforts....or even our suffering.....and you could better see our worth.
    I will speak to other normal changes of aging tomorrow.
   


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